CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum: Key Differences

With so types of CBD oil, you may feel overwhelmed when choosing a product. Two key terms that are often found on labels are: “full spectrum” and “CBD isolate.” Beyond just indicating a level of bioavailability, these two words are used to specify what kind of CBD is in a product, and how it will affect your body. It is important to know the difference between types of CBD in order to determine which CBD choice is right for you on your healing journey. 

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum

Most CBD products are labeled as an isolate, full spectrum, or broad spectrum. In short: CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form, full spectrum CBD is CBD that has been extracted from the cannabis plant along with other compounds and cannabinoids, and broad spectrum CBD is CBD that has been extracted from the cannabis plant along with all other compounds and cannabinoids, except THC.

What You Need to Know About Isolate

CBD isolate begins as hemp-derived CBD oil. All of the plant’s natural compounds except for CBD are completely removed, leaving CBD as a pure crystalline.

What is CBD Isolate

So what is an isolate, exactly? This term indicates the purest form of a compound, produced by extracting that compound from its environment and isolating it, or dividing it, from all other compounds.This means that CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD and is produced by removing all compounds found in the plant such as terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids.CBD isolate is typically extracted from hemp, due to its low to non-existent THC-content.

Primary CBD Isolate Benefits

There are many benefits to using a CBD isolate, the first being that there is no risk of a psychoactive effect. Most CBD products contain the legal limit of THC to help activate the CBD (less than or equal to 0.3%), and rarely, sensitive consumers may feel an altered state. An isolate is considered to be very safe, and ensures that a user will not test positive for THC. 

Common CBD Isolate Effects

CBD isolate interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating key aspects of our bodies – including mood, memory, cognition, sleep, immune system function, metabolism and energy balance, and digestion. When CBD is delivered to your body through a CBD isolate, it influences the ECS by interacting with its specialized receptor sites, called cannabinoid receptors, which are found in cells throughout the body.

Top CBD Isolate Uses

CBD isolate can be used to augment the cannabinoids that are synthesized by the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. While most recommend a full spectrum product, isolate can be great for those who are advised to take high levels of CBD, who have a sensitivity to THC or the taste or smell of marijuana, who regularly undergo drug screening exams, and first-time users. 

 Recommended CBD Isolate Dosage

The correct dosage of a CBD isolate depends on the weight and size of the customer. In general, it is best to start with the lowest possible dose (depending on the product) and dose up until desired relief is experienced. 

What You Need to Know About Full Spectrum

“Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains all compounds found naturally occurring in hemp, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. The full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils extracted from the plant work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid. This is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect,” writes CBD Origin writer Aaron Caadena. Scientists have discovered that broad-spectrum CBD extracts are much more effective than CBD isolates, perhaps because they contain a variety of molecules that are similar in size and shape to CBD — that all work synergistically together.

Primary Benefits of Full Spectrum

Recent research has shown that full spectrum CBD is much more effective than CBD isolate as a healing agent because it contains active compounds that work together as a team. THC is the most abundant compound in cannabis, so for a long time, scientists thought that it was primarily responsible for the therapeutic benefits. As Foria Wellness states, “Although purified THC relieves pain, nausea and muscle spasms, it also comes with some downsides: it can increase anxiety, affect memory, and might even lead to atrophy in the brain’s hippocampus.” CBD, the other abundant compound in cannabis, has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and anti-anxiety properties, but (like purified THC) CBD isolate is less powerful on its own. While purified CBD is effective against inflammation and anxiety in rodent and human experiments, its effectiveness peaks at a medium dose but tapers off for higher doses AND lower doses. According to Foria Wellness, “when scientists repeat their experiments with a full-spectrum, CBD-rich extract, the bell-shaped response disappears.”

Common Effects of Full Spectrum

Full spectrum CBD offers the full benefits of cannabis, such as relief from anxiety, chronic pain, sleep, nausea, among many health issues. Full spectrum CBD means that the plant has been processed a lot less, opposed to its counterpart, CBD isolate. However, depending on the sensitivity of the customer, some may dislike the taste or odor of full spectrum products. Plant Alchemy’s Concentrated Oil has an enjoyable, refreshing mint taste. 

Top Full Spectrum CBD Uses

Full spectrum CBD comes in many forms, such as pills, capsules, gummies, and concentrated CBD oil, which you can take with or without food. 

Recommended Full Spectrum CBD Dosage

An effective dosage of full spectrum CBD can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD-enriched cannabis oil to a dropperful. Begin with a small dose of CBD concentrate, which is produced for micro-dosing and can be increased over time. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose. Use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it. Everyone is different, and the body will respond better if you begin with the intention of testing, safety, and care. And although CBD has no known adverse side effects, too much can be less effective than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.

Best Full Spectrum CBD

When searching for full spectrum CBD, it’s important to take into consideration the method of consumption that fits your individual needs. Those just beginning their CBD journey might want to begin with an edible CBD product, such as a gummy, chocolate, or mint. Plant Alchemy’s CBD concentrated oil is also a wonderful choice, as it is cultivated from organic seeds and flower in small batches. Each batch is extracted to maximize the inclusion of all of the plant’s natural terpenes and phytocannabinoids to deliver a full-spectrum, whole plant formulation, specifically grown and cultivated outdoors to maximize the quality of the flower.

Broad Spectrum

While CBD isolate and full spectrum are the two main terms you might encounter, “broad spectrum” is another phrase companies place on their labels. 

What is Broad Spectrum CBD

Essentially, Broad Spectrum CBD is full spectrum CBD with the THC completely removed. This means that manufacturers process their CBD to preserve the terpenes and cannabinoids as much as possible. Broad spectrum CBD is a wonderful choice for those who find themselves sensitive to THC, as the beneficial compounds found within the plant are preserved, though the THC itself is removed. 

Common Effects of Broad Spectrum

Broad Spectrum CBD products offer many of the same benefits of CBD Full spectrum, such as alleviation from chronic pain, sleep difficulties, anxiety, mood swings, and nausea. 

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In the wellness industry today, there are so many different kinds of CBD products to choose from. By understanding these three basic kinds of CBD labels, you are now hopefully equipped with the ability to make an informed decision about what kind of CBD product is best for you. Depending on your lifestyle and health challenges, you may have to experiment– check out our assortment of CBD products here

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