Yo, what’s good everyone? It’s your boy Dan here, and today we’re gonna be talking about the difference between full-spectrum CBD and isolates. Now, if you’ve been on the hunt for some CBD products, you might have seen that some are marketed as full-spectrum and others as isolates. But what’s the real difference? And how do they affect our bodies differently? Let’s break it down.
First things first, let’s talk about the cannabis plant. Did you know that it contains 483 known compounds? That’s crazy, right? And out of those compounds, around 60 or more are cannabinoids. CBD is just one of them. Now, a lot of research has been done on cannabinoids like CBD and THC, but there’s still so much we don’t know about how the cannabis plant affects our bodies.
So, what is full-spectrum CBD? It’s made with an extract that contains all or nearly all of the compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant. This includes not just CBD, but also other cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, and CBG (just to name a few), terpenes, flavonoids, and a whole lot more. On the other hand, CBD isolate only contains CBD. Companies can achieve this by either isolating CBD from cannabis extract or making it artificially in a lab. One company is even planning to produce cannabinoids from sugar! Crazy stuff.
Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of full-spectrum CBD and isolates. If you take large doses of CBD on a regular basis and are subject to random drug tests, you might want to go for isolates. Most full-spectrum CBD products (including everything in our CBD line) are made with hemp extract which typically has extremely low THC concentrations (below 0.3%). These concentrations won’t get you high or anything, but they might show up on drug tests. However, CBD isolates can be made completely THC-free so if you’re worried about drug tests, this might be the way to go.
But what about full-spectrum CBD? Well, because it contains all of the compounds found in cannabis, it’s being compared against CBD isolate for their differences in effects. This has to do with something called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is a theory that claims all of the compounds in cannabis can synergize in our bodies to produce unique effects. Some sources debate its validity, but there is solid research that suggests cannabis’ distinct effects don’t just come from individual compounds but also from how those compounds interact with each other in our bodies.
For example, studies are investigating whether CBD can interact with the side effects of THC like anxiety. It’s believed that CBD can block some cannabinoid receptors and therefore block the effects of THC which binds directly to these receptors. Ethan Russo, a well-known cannabinoid researcher, has documented the entourage effect in the past. He mentioned that as little as 5mg of pure THC is enough to cause psychosis-like symptoms in some people. But when taken together with CBD, patients can take much higher doses (up to 48mg) of THC without these negative side effects.
Research is also looking into whether full-spectrum CBD outperforms CBD isolates in terms of efficacy. A study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem compared full-spectrum CBD with isolates in the treatment of pain and inflammation. In all aspects of the study, full-spectrum CBD exhibited greater effects.
So where does this leave us end consumers like you? If you’re looking to buy CBD and want to harness the full entourage effect of the cannabis plant, I highly recommend going for full-spectrum products.
But wait! There’s more! I’ve talked about full-spectrum and isolates but what about broad-spectrum extracts? Broad spectrum extracts are similar to full-spectrum extracts in that they contain a variety of different molecules that offer users the benefits of the entourage effect. The difference? They contain zero THC! This type of extract is perfect for those who want terpene content but want to avoid any trace levels of THC detectable in drug tests.
So there you have it folks! The difference between full-spectrum CBD and isolates boils down to how many compounds they contain and whether or not they contain any THC. If you’re looking for a product that harnesses the full potential of cannabis’ many compounds working together, go for full-spectrum or broad-spectrum extracts. But if you’re subject to random drug tests or want higher doses of pure CBD, isolates might be more up your alley.