Full-Spectrum CBD Versus CBD Isolate

Full-Spectrum CBD Versus CBD Isolate

Producers Create Different Cannabidiol Products for Different Needs

Tinctures. Waxes. Broad-spectrum. Terpenes. Infusions. Balms. Phytocannabinoids. Isolates. Distillates. These are just a few of many terms associated with CBD products -- so it's easy for even the most seasoned pros to get lost in the jargon. Today, we're going to break down two of the terms on this list: full-spectrum CBD and isolates. If you've ever wondered about the difference between CBD products produced from CBD isolate versus full-spectrum CBD, then keep reading. CBD school is now in session!

First, Some Background

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it's helpful to know a few key terms (hey, we warned you that there's a lot of vocabulary associated with CBD). First, the cannabis plant has many parts, but the ones we'll be discussing the most are phytocannabinoids -- the molecules the cannabis plant synthesizes that act on your brain receptors to produce myriad effects. CBD and THC (the phytocannabinoid that's responsible for the "high" feeling) are two of 113 phytocannabanoids in the cannabis plant.

Combining phytocannabinoids produces what's known as an "entourage effect" -- which means they work together synergistically to create a sum effect that's greater than their individual parts. It's kind of like the difference between eating an orange and getting all its vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and fiber, versus taking a Vitamin C supplement.

With that in mind, let's talk full-spectrum and isolates.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Continuing the previous metaphor, full-spectrum CBD is analogous to the whole orange. It contains all parts of the cannabis plant: phytocannabinoids, terpenes, phytonutrients, vitamins, and nutrients. Because of this, some forms of full-spectrum CBD may contain trace amounts of THC, but as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, full-spectrum CBD users won't experience the psychoactive effects of THC. They will still benefit from the entourage effect, as all the phytocannabinoids can work together synergistically. 

Broad-Spectrum CBD

The cannabis distillation process allows people to pick and choose different components and cannabinoids via distillation to create what’s known as a distillate. For example, maybe you want CBD, but not THC. You can distill a full-spectrum CBD oil and isolate select cannabinoids to arrive at a distillate that still contains multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, but 0 percent THC. This is sometimes referred to as a broad-spectrum distillate. For example, Mushroom New Orleans carries Southern CBD tinctures, which use a full-spectrum distillate free of THC. (To be legally sold in Louisiana, CBD products must contain zero THC, and all products sold in our shop contain no THC.)

If you want to be guaranteed that a product contains zero THC, or if you have an allergy to terpenes (the natural compounds that give cannabis its fruity, flowery, and herby flavors), full-spectrum CBD may not be your best bet. You could opt for broad-spectrum CBD, which filters out all the THC, or you could choose an isolate.

CBD Isolates

As its name suggests, CBD isolate is ONLY pure CBD. It contains no THC, phytonutrients, vitamins, nutrients, etc. Isolates have lots of potential health benefits and are less expensive than full-spectrum CBD. They also are flavorless (because they don't contain terpenes), but they lack the entourage effect. Sometimes, terpenes can be added back in to isolates, or isolates can be placed in a carrier oil that increases the absorption and utilization rates of the CBD.

We hope this has been illuminating -- and if you're still feeling foggy, so to speak, feel free to drop by and speak with our friendly staff about all things CBD. Class dismissed!

CBD products are only available in-store and are not available for online purchase.

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