Full Spectrum CBD vs Isolate - Which is Right for You?

Learn about the difference between full spectrum CBD and Isolate

By Plant Power Team
December 9, 2020 – 8 min read

Generally, when discussing cannabinoids, the first that comes to mind is TetraHydroCannabinol (THC), however there is another popular molecule you should be aware of, in case you have been living under a rock. Yes, we’re talking about CBD.

CBD is one of the active compounds found in the cannabis plants. Research has shown that CBD may carry numerous benefits to human health, causing interest to rise regarding the inclusion of it in daily routines. In addition to potential positive health effects, it may also strengthen mental state and overall well-being.

When examining CBD products, you will encounter various names and definitions. Two of the most common ones, “CBD full spectrum” & “CBD isolate” refer to the type of CBD that the product carries.

The purest form of CBD that is pulled directly from the plant is known as CBD Isolate, while Full Spectrum CBD contains all the natural chemicals found in the whole plant, in addition to CBD.

Let’s dive a little deeper to break down the pros and cons of both extracts.

Different Forms of CBD:

There are more than 100 different cannabinoids found in different plants. Cannabinoids are compounds that can be found in Hemp and Cannabis plants, with CBD and THC known to  be the most common ones.

“Full spectrum CBD” vs “Isolate CBD”.

Full spectrum CBD:

This type of CBD contains all the essential natural chemicals that can be found in the hemp plant. It also includes numerous terpenes and cannabinoids and may carry various essential vitamins, plant based protein fibers and fatty acids. 

Some products carry the label “hemp oil extract”, which is different from Full Spectrum CBD, so to avoid confusion, look for labels which state the exact amount of CBD in the products. It is helpful to know that full spectrum CBD products should be tested by a lab to help you understand their full list of ingredients and percentage breakdowns. Lastly, make sure the product has no pesticides and heavy metals. When considering which CBD product to use, you should be mindful of the fact that 

researchers suggest that health benefits are more prominent when multiple cannabinoids are present in the mix. 

CBD Isolate:

Isolate CBD is formed when all of the ingredients that are associated with CBD get extracted from the plant. It may sound very enticing but there is more to consider when using CBD isolate. 

Once isolated, CBD is 99% pure, however surprisingly, it does not carry more powerful benefits precisely because it lacks other ingredients like terpenes or flavonoids. Since pure CBD does not have THC, CBC, CBN and other cannabinoids, it will be less costly than full spectrum CBD products, in most cases. Nonetheless, a research conducted in 2015, illustrated some interesting results for CBD Isolate use. The outcome has shown that Isolated CBD can carry various benefits, but they are lighter in effect. Moreover, some people who choose CBD isolates prefer to take high doses of CBD and ultimately the decision rests in finding the right type of product for your needs.

So should you choose Full spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate?

It is totally up to you to choose which product is right for you. Here’s a useful summary for you to refer to when ready to take the CBD plunge.

Isolate CBD can be helpful if you;

  • Want to intake larger doses of CBD.
  • Want to avoid THC altogether.
  • Want to have an odorless and flavorless product.
  • Might need to undergo drug testing.

Full spectrum CBD can be right for you when you;

  • Want to enjoy the entourage effect.
  • Want a pleasantly flavored product.
  • More immediate beneficial effects.

And don’t forget to consult a health practitioner before choosing any of the above!