Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, comes in many different forms, so let’s unpack the two most prominent varieties: CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD.
CBD oils and salves are usually made from a purified extract of cannabidiol from hemp, which are the regular isolated forms of the compound. Meanwhile, full spectrum CBD contains all 113 cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabivarin, better known as THC, which is the psychoactive byproduct most often associated with marijuana.
Full spectrum CBD is almost as ubiquitous as the regular version; from lotions and salves to drinks and ointments, full spec CBD offers many variations for potential consumers to indulge in with a myriad of specific concentrations of each respective cannabinoid. The reason for this is simple: it just might be better.
The benefits of these two styles varies depending on the user, of course. However, many studies show that the isolate form of CBD pales in comparison to its full spectrum counterpart.
The Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology conducted a report in 2015 that found full spectrum CBD effects to be more efficient than isolate forms of the compound. Where isolate forms of CBD plateaued after dosage threshold, full spectrum causes a synthesization effect between cannabinoids and other compounds known as terpenes. These work in tandem to increase relief and other therapeutic properties.
This is what is known as the entourage effect. The theory states that CBD creates better results and lowers side effects through phytocannabionid-terpenoid exchanges, which synergizes calming effects when combined with the other compounds found within the hemp plant. This necessitates a lower dosage of CBD, since other compounds compensate for the lacking cannabidiol, and offers similar effects.
While it might seem that full spectrum is the far superior product, it’s not always the case. Some people experience the same effects in CBD infused items and find full spectrum products to be overwhelming. Additionally, the trace amounts of THC found within full spectrum products often causes increased trepidation, particularly for those who work in industries that require drug testing. While not a guarantee, the THC amounts may show up on drug tests. It all comes down to a person’s personal preference.
Isolate forms of CBD are often preferred for consumables because the purified crystals are pulverized into tasteless powders that are added to edible and drinkable products. On the other hand, the terpenes found in full spectrum CBD have olfactory effects and distinct tastes, which are not ideal for consumables; therefore, full spectrum CBD is most often used in dermal ointments like CBD oils, lotions or salves.
The most important thing to remember about full spectrum CBD and the isolate variety is that effects vary. Consumers need to remain knowledgeable about what they’re putting in and on their bodies. Make sure that the CBD products, whether full spectrum or an isolate, are from trusted providers. Check the ingredients list to ensure you’re getting the best product available and enjoy the calming effects of cannabinoids and their subsidiaries. The CBD industry remains on the rise.