With so many CBD products on the market, it can be difficult to navigate the different labels and descriptive terminology you might find. Not all CBD products are created equally, and it is important to understand the product you are purchasing and the cannabinoids it might contain. Educating consumers about CBD and the different cannabinoids is one of our favorite things to do as a company!
At events and online, one of the questions we receive the most is often, “What is the difference between a full-spectrum CBD product and one made of a CBD isolate?” Simply speaking, a CBD isolate, as its name implies, is pure CBD. The CBD has been isolated from all other cannabinoids into a crystalline form that is made up of 99+% cannabidiol (CBD). Terpsolate has become a popular product, which is the combination of CBD isolate and terpenes for flavor and other benefits. Broad Spectrum isolate has also emerged on the scene lately, which is generally 99% CBD, a small amount of CBDV, and naturally occurring terpenes. Isolate is a popular product because it has broad applications and can be combined in a variety of products, smoked or dabbed, or used in a sublingual application. While CBD isolate is a popular product, there are dozens and dozens of beneficial cannabinoids including CBG, CBN, CBC, THC, THCa, and CBDa.
A full-spectrum CBD product will contain a broader range of cannabinoids, often including a small amount of THC. Proponents of full-spectrum products will often cite the “Entourage Effect” as their primary reason for preferring these products. The entourage effect is a term that refers to the belief in “whole plant medicine” or the idea that the full benefits of the cannabinoids are only realized in synergistic effect when taken together. Full-Spectrum products are said to amplify the therapeutic benefits of the individual cannabinoids. While more research on all cannabinoids is needed to substantiate claims and to clarify the effects of these phytocannabinoids, every CBD user is different; Some prefer and find relief in products made with a CBD isolate, while others ascribe to the idea of the entourage effect and prefer full-spectrum products.
Whether purchasing a CBD product made of an isolate or a full-spectrum extract, it is important to understand the nuanced differences between the ever-expanding list of CBD products available to the public. While there are many anecdotal claims, medical research is necessary to broaden our understanding of the differences between an isolated cannabinoid and the synergistic effects of cannabinoids acting in concert. The endocannabinoid system is poorly understood, but new research opportunities are opening up as laws in the United States surrounding cannabis continue to change.