Whatever your reason for taking CBD, there are so many products on the market it can be hard to workout which one to use, which will offer you the greatest benefit and what to believe through all of the marketing jargon. One of the most common questions that is sent over is whether to pick a full spectrum CBD or go for an isolate, so I wanted to dive a little deeper into the subject to help anyone that is feeling confused.
What Is Full Spectrum CBD?
A full spectrum CBD product will contain various cannabinoids. Once it is extracted from the hemp, there are various ingredients other than just CBD, such as THC, CBDA, CBN, THVC, CBDV, CBL, CBCV etc, however they will predominantly be made up of CBD. Obviously, for the product to be sold legally, there are restrictions on the quantity of THC, as this is the part that gets you ‘high’, so in the UK it can only have up to 0.2% THC. Most CBD oil products on the market are full spectrum.
What Is Isolate CBD?
As the name suggests, this will normally be around 99.9% CBD, therefore you are getting it in its purest form. You won’t find any terpenes, alternative cannabinoids or flavonoids within the bottle, just straight-up CBD.
It would sound easy to make, as you only need one ingredient, but it is actually relatively difficult as the extraction process pulls out various ingredients, so it requires further work to completely purify the product.
You will most often find isolate CBD in the form of vaping dabs.
What Are The Benefits Of Full Spectrum CBD?
There have been various tests to show that when CBD combines with the other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes found in hemp, the effects are far greater. As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This has become a well known phenomenon within the industry, known as the entourage effect. The reality is you are taking it in the closest form to the original plant, therefore in its more authentic natural state.
Working in synergy with each other, a number of studies have been shown they have had positive results in treating inflammatory conditions, amongst other health benefits.
Full spectrum is also most commonly cheaper than the isolate, which considering the hefty prices might come as a relief for many.
What Are The Benefits Of Isolate CBD?
One benefit for some is that CBD isolate contains zero THC, which might be important if you want the benefits without fearing it showing up on a drug test, such as primary school teachers or firefighters. I would still seek advice before supplementing so you know you won’t potentially get in trouble, as there may still be trace amounts of THC, which could affect the test results. You may want to try CBD crystals if this matches you.
Beyond this, some people are also sensitive to THC, therefore this might be an extra consideration. Plus, while I happily talk about the 0.2% THC maximum allowance in the UK, around the world there are plenty of countries which don’t allow any form of THC, meaning an isolate is the only option available.
If you really can’t stand the taste of the oil, then an isolate is normally a great option as it tends to have a lack of flavour. For this reason, people often use it when cooking or adding to other ingredients. It can also be made into powder and then you can scatter it over your cereal or in your smoothie without affecting the flavour. Just make sure to contain something fatty such as MCT oil or milk as a carrier oil.
How Do You Pick The Right One?
The industry is filled with people completely knocking isolate and ruling it out, but I think it has its place. The important thing is to assess your situation and your reason for taking it, then seeing which one works best for you. In my situation, I prefer a full spectrum product so I can benefit from the entourage effect.