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CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum: What’s the Real Difference?

There is plenty of confusion out there about the difference between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD.

Isolate or sometimes casually called “pure CBD” was once believed to be the more effective of the two formulas until recent scientific studies debunked that theory. Researchers are now finding full spectrum is actually more effective.

However, there are benefits to both and it is important to know the difference when deciding which CBD line is best for you.

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum

cbd isolate vs full spectrum benefits and drawbacks

Any easy way to understand the difference between the two is to think about a vitamin C supplement and an orange. You can take a supplement and receive all the benefits of just vitamin C. Or you can eat an orange. Eating the orange will give you the dose of vitamin C you are looking for while also giving you the other nutrients of the whole fruit.  

Clearly, eating the whole orange will give you a wider range of nutrients. However, if you don’t like oranges or your stomach can’t take the acidity, then a vitamin C supplement is an excellent alternative.

The same thought process applies to isolate and full spectrum CBD.  Both formulations have their own advantages and potential drawbacks.

What is CBD Isolate

cbd isolate

The CBD molecule is extracted (and subsequently isolated) from the plant without any other cannabinoids or compounds. It is often called Pure CBD because it contains 99% CBD and 0% of the other cannabinoids.

What is the Recommended CBD Isolate Dosage

Luckily, CBD has little to no negative side effects, and there are no reported deaths from cannabis consumption. It is still recommended to “start low and go slow” when taking new supplements and medications, including cannabis products.

Unfortunately, there is no magic number for dosing since everyone reacts individually to cannabis. Before you begin taking CBD isolate or any cannabis product, consider a few factors.

  1. Do you have a cannabis tolerance or cannabis sensitivity?
  2. Your weight and BMI
  3. Severity of ailment you are seeking help for

If you are sensitive to cannabis with mild anxiety then you will want to take a lower dose, about 15mg per day.

If you are cannabis tolerant, slightly heavy, and dealing with insomnia then you will want a higher dose, about 100mg per day.

If you want to incorporate a dose of CBD daily for general health maintenance, start with 5-10mg and work up as needed or desired.

It’s also recommend to begin by taking your CBD at night, since it has been know to have a calming or even sleepy effect.

CBD Isolate Benefits

Isolating just the CBD compound makes it incredibly pure with 0 traces of THC. This also allows for a greater degree of accuracy when it comes to dosage, allowing for a targeted approach.  

Additionally, being THC free makes it non-psychoactive and safe for any age to consume.

CBD Isolate Uses

You can find CBD isolate in a variety of products. The most popular methods of taking CBD are tinctures, infused edibles, vaping (smoking concentrate), capsules, balms, and lotions.

You can use a CBD balm on your aches and pains and use drops from a tincture in your coffee to calm anxiety.

CBD is being used to help with ailments such as:

  • Acne
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inflammation
  • PTSD
  • Stress

What is Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD contains all of the cannabinoid compounds present in the plant, including

  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Cannabichromevarinic Acid (CBCVA)
  • As well as trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Full Spectrum Benefits

As the name implies, full spectrum utilizes all of these cannabinoids to complement each other, producing the “entourage effect”.  This occurs when compounds work together to actually improve each other’s efficacy.   

Full spectrum CBD has demonstrated increased efficacy with increased dose, likely due to the entourage effect created by the complementary cannabinoids and terpenes.

What is Broad Spectrum

Broad Spectrum is more than just isolate but without all the other cannabinoids. Most broad spectrums on the market are simply full spectrum with THC extracted.

This is beneficial for those not wanting any psychoactive effects, or anyone trying to stay clean for a drug test. Different brands will have different ranges of cannabinoids and terpenes in their broad spectrum products.

Which Type of CBD is Best for You?

Incorporating any of the CBD formulas will provide you with some of the reported healing benefits of CBD. Deciding on why and how you want to use CBD will help you decide which formula is best for your needs.

When shopping for product, if you see “Pure CBD” then the product is isolate.  

If the product says full spec or full spectrum, there is a high probability it contains a trace amount of THC.

Always read the product’s ingredients and dosage information. Also, no matter the formula, start low and ease your way into higher doses over time.

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