Full Spectrum CBD vs Isolate – Is there a difference in quality and medicinal values?
The simple answer is “YES!”
It would seem that everyone and their mother, including my own, is now jumping into the CBD game.
The market is currently flooded with companies selling CBD in all kinds of formats: oils, edibles, topical, vaping, transdermal, and more. It’s hard to think that just a couple of years ago, such a thing was unheard of!
As a consumer, however, the need to be informed is key to the unregulated market of CBD, because not all manufactured goods are what they claim to be. While many are seeking FDA approval for products and regulation is not yet a common idea in the industry, each production company is subject to its own morals and ethics when it comes to labeling and transparency of product ingredients and mg.
This is where the basic knowledge of the difference between “full spectrum” and “isolate” terms come in: The marijuana plant is chock-full of chemicals called “cannabinoids.” The important and relative cannabinoids in this case are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
A “full-spectrum cannabinoid” refers to the plant extraction to oil, which includes all other properties or molecules of value in the marijuana plant. In other words, when the plant is extracted for oils, the properties and components that are part of that – such as terpenes and THC, for example – is still existent in its extracted form. The molecules of the “whole plant” remain intact in the processed extracted oil. In this extraction process, there is little to no loss of any of the other compounds that work in tandem with the CBD’s compromised or eliminated through the process, hence allowing for what is called the “full entourage effect,” which is derived from the whole plant extraction method.
On the other hand is the Isolate method. Oil, once extracted, is cooled until it forms crystals. The crystals are then processed into a powder. In this extraction method, the powder or “isolate” results in a single molecular compound of strictly CBD. There are no other molecular compounds of value found in the powder.
The debate that seems to arise in the industry is the medicinal values of one versus the other. Although it may seem counterintuitive, research so far indicates that full-spectrum CBD is more effective than isolate.
According to a study done at the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem, the effectiveness of isolated CBD versus full-spectrum CBD extract concluded that CBD isolate yields a “bell-curve” of effectiveness. Studies proved that the isolate becomes less effective over time, while full-spectrum CBD continued to be effective in providing pain relief.
This same study proved that a CBD isolate is only as effective as its dose, while full-spectrum CBD continues to provide relief as the dosage increases. Full-spectrum CBD extract has qualities that can aid in pain and inflammation relief that isn’t found in over-the-counter, common anti-inflammatory drugs.