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Full-Spectrum CBD Oil vs. CBD Isolate: What’s the Difference?

CBD has become a popular supplement option for many, offering more choice than is ordinarily possible when taking supplements. When shopping for CBD oils and other CBD products, you will usually find a choice between different strength oils. Depending on the brand, there may also be a range of flavors to select from.

What many people are not aware of is that there is a third choice when shopping for CBD oils. Most brands offer their customers an opportunity between CBD isolate oil and full-spectrum CBD oil. The difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD is one of the most important areas of CBD. And, it is often misunderstand.

CBD oils are made by extracting CBD from either hemp or marijuana plants. Some companies prefer to use hemp plants as they do not contain the cannabinoid THC, which can cause psychoactive effects. Some countries also place a limit on the amount of THC that can exist in CBD oil. In the U.S, for example, CBD oils cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.

The way in which CBD is extracted and the filtration methods that are used to create CBD oils vary. This variation will determine whether an oil contains full-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. There is still much debate as to whether CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD oils are better.

So, let’s take a look at CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum and find out which one is right for you.

What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains not only CBD (cannabidiol), but also all the other cannabinoids that naturally occur within both hemp and cannabis plants. By using full-spectrum CBD oils, you can benefit from a range of different cannabinoids. The oils also contain naturally occurring terpenes, essential oils, and flavonoids from within the plant.

Cannabis and hemp plants contain hundreds of different cannabinoids, including the two most well-known: CBD and THC. Additionally, there are plenty of lesser-known cannabinoids such as CBDa, CBC, and CBG. All of the different cannabinoids found within full-spectrum oils help to improve the effectiveness of CBD. But they also have their own health benefits.

Full-spectrum oils are preferred by many as they are thought to pack even more health benefits than CBD isolate oils. Full-spectrum CBD oil allows you to take advantage of the entourage effect. Whereby all of the different cannabinoids from within the plant work in synergy to enhance their impact.

To create a full-spectrum oil, CBD is extracted from cannabis and hemp plants. They then undergo a gentle filtration process to remove any THC present, allowing it to be made into CBD oil. CBD isolate, on the other hand, requires a much more intensive filtration process. This is because all cannabinoids, other than CBD, need to be removed.

Some people believe full-spectrum CBD oils to be more natural than CBD isolate, as they retain most of the compounds from within the plant, and therefore a much healthier option.

What Is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate oils are made using pure CBD, with all other cannabinoids having been removed. The intensive filtration methods used to create CBD isolate oils ensure that all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are extracted.

The extra steps required to manufacture CBD isolate oils, mean they are often more expensive and harder to produce.

Some people dislike CBD isolate oils as they believe the extra manufacturing steps make the oils more artificial. The very thing that they are using CBD supplements to avoid. This argument against CBD isolates oils is often countered by the fact that CBD isolate oils allow CBD to be experienced in its purest form without any other the other cannabinoids from the plant getting in the way.

To create CBD isolate, CBD must first be extracted from the plant, in the same way, that full-spectrum CBD is. Once concentrated CBD has been obtained, it must then be purified for a period of time. The final process required for CBD to qualify as CBD isolate is known as winterization, whereby all of the remaining plant particles are removed, and a pure CBD powder is created.

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

The main difference between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate is the methods of filtration that are used. Full-spectrum CBD requires much less processing as all of the cannabinoids from within the plant remain in the final product. CBD isolate, on the other hand, undergoes multiple filtration methods in order to remove all compounds other than CBD.

The primary process used to create CBD isolate is known as winterization and involves processing raw cannabis through an alcohol wash, removing all cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that naturally occur within cannabis plants.

The second stage requires the raw extract to be frozen in an alcohol solution; this separates all of the different compounds within the extract. Winterization allows CBD extract to maintain its high quality, resulting in a potency level of around 65%.

Studies have shown that full-spectrum CBD oil is better as it contains a wide range of cannabinoids, allowing you to take full advantage of the entourage effect. The combination of different cannabinoids within the body increases the effects of CBD, resulting in improved health benefits. Each cannabinoid also has its own health benefits, further enhancing the effects of CBD.

Is Full-Spectrum CBD Better Than Isolate?

There is no simple answer as to whether full-spectrum CBD is better than CBD isolate, as it very much comes down to what your reasons are for taking CBD and your own individual health needs.

Full-spectrum CBD’s main advantage is the full range of cannabinoids present, which cause entourage effects. CBD isolate oils, on the other hand, are thought to be better for children and those who have a low THC tolerance as all cannabinoids other than CBD have been removed from the final product.

If you live or work in a place wherein you might be drug tested regularly, or a country that is particularly stringent with its THC checks, then CBD isolates might be your best bet.

Additionally, there are some conditions that are thought to be better treated by using only CBD isolate, though this is one of those things that will always be up for contention.

Final Thoughts on CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum

At the end of the day, the decision of whether to use CBD isolate or full-spectrum needs to be up to do.

Both CBD isolate, and full-spectrum CBD oils allow you to benefit from the health-enhancing effects of CBD. It is full-spectrum CBD, however, that retains most of the compounds that naturally occur within hemp and cannabis plants and are thought to add to the health benefits of CBD.

CBD isolate, meanwhile, offers pure CBD experience for much more predictable effects. Whatever it is that best suits your lifestyle is the one you should choose, so make sure to only buy the right kind when shopping for some CBD online.


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Since I take the CBD oil I sleep better and longer, but I have crazier dreams too. Can you mix the two Stacy?

Tanya Lineberry

Reading this article, I think isolates could be a better choice if we are looking for very fast results. They are much concentrated and much potent. Also, if we buy them from a reputed brand, there are never any issues of allergic reactions or alike. I am using one from Mary’s Medicinals and I am quite satisfied.

Doreen Davies

Okay! So I am new to CBD and weed, and had heard a lot of this full spectrum buzz. Good knowledge above, will read the labels carefully from now on.

Sandra Hynes

Is full spectrum CBD legal in the UK and is it available in power form?