What is the Difference Between Full-Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate?

What is the Difference Between Full-Spectrum vs Isolate?

When you begin to research CBD, you will find that full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate are both mentioned and compared quite frequently. You may think to yourself, “What is the difference? Why do some people pick one over the other?” We are here to help you understand the differences between these products and help you navigate deciding which will work best for you. 

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

A full-spectrum CBD is essentially the extract of the cannabis plant, diluted with a carrier oil (preferably a carrier oil with high bioavailability). Full-spectrum CBD can also be described and referred to as, “CBD-rich whole-plant cannabis extract.” It is made from the whole plant and retains the cannabinoids and terpenes that naturally occur in cannabis. The harmonious blend of cannabinoids and terpenes work together in something called the “entourage effect,” contributing to the theory that the whole plant is better than just one single compound. This is why a full-spectrum CBD is typically preferred for therapeutic purposes. The main concern heard from consumers is that full-spectrum CBD will make them fail a drug test or will get them “high.” While the trace amounts of THC in a full-spectrum CBD may yield a positive urine drug test result for THC metabolites, it cannot intoxicate the consumer. Even though we recommend a full-spectrum CBD as your first choice, if failing a drug test is a major concern of yours, or if you know you are highly sensitive to THC and have adverse reactions, you should look into taking CBD isolate. 

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is also called single-molecule CBD. If you are not interested in full-spectrum CBD oil, then this may be the next best option for you. Due to the fact that CBD isolate is purified synthetic, single-molecule Cannabidiol diluted with a carrier oil, you are at no risk to fail a drug test due to THC metabolites. CBD isolate is ideal for those who cannot take full-spectrum; however, it can be very difficult finding the correct dosage for you. According to a study released by Scientific Research Publishing, “...purified CBD gives a bell-shaped dose-response curve. Healing was only observed when CBD was given within a very limited dose range, whereas no beneficial effect was achieved at either lower or higher doses.” CBD isolate can very well be effective and helpful for many, you just have to pay very close attention to your dosing and how your body is reacting. Eventually, you will find your sweet spot for dosing. With an isolate, you miss out on the entourage effect, but you are not at risk of failing a drug test and you can still benefit from therapeutic use. 

How to choose between Full Spectrum and Isolate

While CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD are without a doubt different in terms of the extent of what they offer, they can both benefit your quality of life in a dramatic way. 1 mL of an isolate is not equal to 1 mL of full-spectrum, and that does not necessarily mean one is better than the other. Listen to your body and find out what it needs, and start living in wellness today!


If you have any questions that have not been answered, please schedule a free 15-minute consultation with our Natural Health Practitioner.

Sources:

We cannot hyperlink these resources, but if you are interested in learning more, copy and paste the links below into your browser to view.


  • https://www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/cbd-oil
  • https://www.projectcbd.org/science/terpenes-and-entourage-effect
  • https://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogfr/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Overcoming_the_Bell_Shaped_response_of_CBD.pdf

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