Full-Spectrum CBD vs. Isolate CBD – What is the difference?

Are you looking at whether full-spectrum CBD or isolate CBD is the best way for you to go? It can be a challenging question and there are definitely two sides to the discussion. As with just about anything, the choice you make is up to you and what you are looking for. In speaking to people all over the county, we can safely say there is no one right answer. However, if you have about three minutes, we can walk you through it. Then you can decide, like we did, for yourself. 

The first thing questions to answer are “What is full-spectrum,” and “What is isolate?” Sure, you know what the words mean, but how does it affect the benefits CBD has to offer. 

The answer is pretty simple. The details can be a little complicated, but honestly, not really. We think you will see the basic common sense of it.

Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains, just as it suggests, all of the extracted components of the hemp plant. What does that mean? Well, CBD is just one of (possibly the most important) of the various cannabinoids found in hemp. There are actually over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified. 

In addition to the cannabinoids, hemp contains a variety of other oils called terpenes, which many suggest have their own associated benefits. Some companies sell them to consumers all on their own. Lastly, there are the naturally occurring essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and Omega 6.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is just the cannabinoid, its specific name is cannabidiol (shortened to CBD), all by its little old self. It is extracted from the whole plant and processed to remove everything but the CBD. In the end what is left is a white powder or crystals. 

Some believe that if you are just looking for CBD, then just get rid of everything else. There were even claims at one point that CBD isolate was more potent and concentrated than full spectrum CBD. You can see how this might even make sense, but more research was being conducted and this was later disproved.

The Entourage Effect of Full Spectrum CBD Oil

The claim, that isolate was more effective than full-spectrum, was disproved by research done at the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem. What they found in their research was that full-spectrum CBD offers a greater level of pain relief than isolate alone. 

They coined the term “Entourage Effect” to describe the benefits of keeping CBD together with the rest of the cannabinoids, terpenes and essential fatty acids found in the hemp plant. Basically, it was found that CBD worked better when left together with everything else naturally occurring in hemp. 

And as we at Fusion got started as hemp farmers and making products for consumers to provide the benefits of CBD in a variety of ways, it just made common sense to us. The research just helped confirm what we figured was the best way to provide CBD to you.

Full-Spectrum CBD Research Continues

Researchers are really just beginning to fully understand what all the benefits are of the 100-plus cannabinoids found in hemp, but it is clear that there is more to it than meets the eye. The 2015 study was done using full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate to treat inflammation and nerve-related pain. This study showed that CBD was more effective if taken as a whole-plant extract rather than in isolation. 

But let’s take a look at a part of CBD’s entourage. The cannabinoids CBN and CBG for example, are found in most full-spectrum extracts including Fusion CBD. Both CBN and CBG have their own anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and pain-relieving properties and that is just two more of the 100 that are still being researched. 

It’s not only the additional cannabinoids that make full-spectrum more desirable and potentially effective for you. There is the other part of CBD’s entourage–the terpenes. Terpenes are also being found to have their own health benefits for people. Dr. Ethan Russo wrote about the benefits of terpenes. Terpenes, like the cannabinoids CBN and CBG, are not contained in “CBD-only” isolate products. Dr. Russo found terpenes to be useful for a variety of conditions including skin conditions and certain types of infections.

So, Which is Better? Full-spectrum or Isolate?

The fact is that both are beneficial. CBD of all varieties have found to improve the wellness of a growing number of people around the world. In the case of full-spectrum CBD, the benefit is that ALL of the natural components of the hemp plant are left intact with their variety of potential benefits to the individual. Having said that, some people prefer CBD isolate over full-spectrum oil for adding to food or liquids because it comes in the form of a powder or crystal. 

Because full-spectrum CBD oil does contain all of the cannabinoids of the hemp plants, there is a very small amount of THC which appears in trace amounts–under 0.3% by dry weight, as required by the U.S. government for hemp products. This extremely low level of THC in hemp make hemp oil non-psychoactive and safe for all ages to use. Sorry, you are going to get healthy, but not high. If you are looking for that you need to move to the correct state. This low level of THC in hemp plants is the key differentiation between hemp and marijuana.

Why We Chose Full-Spectrum

When we started farming in 2016, we had a choice — produce isolate or produce full-spectrum CBD. At Fusion CBD, we opted for the full spectrum form of CBD because of the superior results and benefits it seems tp possess. It just made sense to us. 

Hopefully, it makes sense to you now too.

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