Obtaining cannabidiol (CBD) used to be a struggle but—because of new laws and outlets—this is no longer the case. That being said, with a number of new products on the market, it can be confusing for new customers to understand the difference in oils, edibles, tinctures, and everything else available at their local store. Before making your first trip to the market, it may be helpful to do some studying. This guide will explore the differences between CBD isolate vs full spectrum.
CBD isolate is literally only cannabidiol. To understand CBD isolate vs full spectrum, you must first explore them separately. There are no added cannabinoids, additives, flavors or chlorophyll to the product. This leaves a white powder that is nearly 100% pure CBD. The white powder has been refined and purified and has lost its odor and tastes, which makes it an ideal product for many.
- CBD isolate has no taste or smell, which makes it ideal to put in foods or drinks. CBD isolate can also be taken by placing it directly under the tongue, or sublingually.
- Since CBD isolate is 98-99% pure CBD, it has a high potency and can be taken in small quantities rather than in large doses.
- Because there are no other ingredients, it is also easier to take a single dose without worrying about the effects of other components.
Check out this blog for more information on CBD Strains.
How Is CBD Isolate Made?
There are three common ways CBD is extracted from the plant itself. Each method is intensive and, as the processes get more complicated and the product becomes purer, prices increase, as well.
- Chromatography separates out CBD by using another solid or liquid. Different components pass through at different rates, which allows for CBD to be extracted on its own. Think of writing on paper that gets wet, and how the ink spreads out over the paper. This is the origin of the method’s name: the Greek words chroma and graphe, or “color writing.”
- Winterization is commonly used in biotechnology to separate types of fats in oils using their different melting points, the ability to dissolve, and volatility. The product is dissolved in ethanol, then is placed in a freezer. The cold separates the different elements at different rates, making them easier to be removed. Pure, liquid oil is leftover from the process.
- CO₂ is a newer method used to extract oil. This process takes carbon dioxide and changes it from a gaseous state to a liquid, and passes it through the marijuana substance. This causes impure parts of the marijuana to be dissolved and leaves behind a purer oil.
What About CBD Distillate?
While CBD distillate and CBD isolate are often used interchangeably, there is a difference in the products’ quality. CBD distillate is a product that has been refined, but not as much as CBD isolate. There are still trace amounts of THC, cannabinoids, and other terpenes. The product cannot be considered an isolate, as it contains traces of the other components. This is the main distinction between the two products.
A full-spectrum CBD contains all phytochemicals found within the marijuana plant. This includes CBD, trace cannabinoids, essential oils, and terpenes. THC is also found in trace amounts within this product.
- This is the most common of CBD oils for medicinal purposes.
- Full-spectrum is a combination of many different cannabinoids as found in their natural states within the cannabis plant.
- It is easily accessible and affordable for many consumers.
How Is Full-Spectrum CBD Made?
Full-spectrum CBD can be made using similar techniques as CBD isolate. One of the common methods is CO₂ extraction. Full-spectrum CBD will contain all the cannabinoids that hemp naturally has:
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabigerol (CBG) – A different type of cannabinoid.
- Cannabichromene (CBC) – Another type of cannabinoid.
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) – A compound found in small quantities within the full spectrum.
These cannabinoids have varying effects. They work in natural combinations to produce what many call an “entourage effect.” This means that the natural combination can produce the desired effects for medicinal or recreational purposes.
CBD Isolate vs Full-Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum
When it comes to CBD, there are two main categories to consider: full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products. These are similar but have key characteristics that make them differ. Check out our blog to learn more about Farm Bill Regulations.
Does CBD oil smell like Weed? Check out our blog for the answer.
Broad-spectrum products contain everything that is in the plant such as CBD, cannabinoids, essential oils, and terpenes. Broad-spectrum products are set apart by their lack of THC. THC is removed during the extraction process. This is the marked difference between broad and full-spectrum products.
When comparing these products, you should determine whether you want to use a pure product made of only CBD or take a combination approach. Either option can achieve similar results, depending on the individual and their needs.
Hop over to our state by state guide to find out more about hemp regulations in your state.
Tell us: Which products have you tried with success? What is your preferred product? Comment below! Want to know more about hemp flower? Check out this blog.