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

With CBD growing in popularity after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the usage of the hemp plant, many curious newcomers have been trying to do their research to see if it’s right for them.


The vast amount of information is confusing and overwhelming, though, so how can anyone parse through it to figure out how to move forward?

One of the most confusing things about CBD to anyone who isn’t familiar with it is the difference between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Is one better than the other? Does it matter which one you buy?

These products are similar, and for many people, they have the same effects. With that in mind, they’re still different enough that you might want to choose one over the other. Keep reading to learn more.


What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD is a product that has more than just cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is the hemp derivative that interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It’s what gives CBD its calming effect.

Full-spectrum CBD can include a variety of things. It often includes essential oils from other plants, other cannabinoids, and terpenes.

This kind of CBD concoction can also include THC in small amounts. Legally, full-spectrum CBD is still considered a CBD product if it includes .3% or less of THC. More than this, and it’s no longer a legal product in states that don’t allow the use of marijuana.


Benefits of Full-Spectrum Cannabidiol

So why bother with all of those extra additions? To someone who isn’t “in the know,” it might seem like muddying up your CBD would make it less useful.

This isn’t true. While there are many “extra” things in full-spectrum CBD, they’re not acting as filler. They create what’s called “the entourage effect.” The entourage effect is what happens when different substances work together to enhance each other.

You’ll notice that THC products also have CBD in them. This is because the effects of CBD can enhance the “high” of THC. For some people, this means reduced anxiety and other good mental health benefits.

It works the same way when you have THC (or other cannabinoids) in CBD products. While it’s nothing like consuming THC products, it allows the CBD to do a better job.

Full-spectrum CBD may be better at relieving pain, nausea, and anxiety because THC is “boosting” it. Full-spectrum CBD is often more popular for treating mental health conditions, inflammation, muscle spasms, and other debilitating problems.


Can Full-Spectrum CBD Get You High?

If the idea of THC in your products is sending out alarm bells, don’t worry.

THC is popular as a recreational product because of its psychoactive effects (or the “high” feeling). While full-spectrum CBD has a tiny amount of THC, it’s not nearly enough to get you high, much to the chagrin of many people who buy it without knowing what it’s for.

This small amount of THC isn’t likely to show up on drug tests (although it’s possible, so if this is a concern for you, consider isolate), and it shouldn’t alter your behavior.


What Is CBD Isolate? 

CBD isolate still cannabidiol. As the name implies, though, it’s “isolated” from any other substances. In other words, it’s pure.

It has no taste or color (aside from the taste or color that might be used in the oil, edible product, or tincture that the CBD is in), and it’s good for people who have never used CBD before that want to try it out without the other compounds present.

CBD isolate wholesale prices are often comparable to full-spectrum CBD prices, so either is a good choice if you’re new to CBD products.


Benefits of Cannabidiol Isolate

Many people who start using CBD and start with CBD isolate do so because it tends to have milder effects. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the person.

Assuming that you’re new to CBD, it’s good to “test the waters” with something that you know is pure. This allows you to see if the CBD is helpful or if you might benefit from something else. If the CBD isolate is good enough for you, there’s no reason to move on to something different.

People start using CBD for a variety of reasons. It’s good for joint pain, inflammation, insomnia, anxiety, and even mild gastrointestinal problems. More serious forms of these things may not be helped by CBD isolate because the entourage effect isn’t in play.

Some people know that THC affects them badly. While the small amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD should be a non-issue, they may feel more comfortable seeking out products that don’t include THC at all.

Furthermore, some people are worried about drug tests. A common misconception about states in which THC is legal is that they no longer have any jobs that test for it. This isn’t true.

Many more conservative careers, or jobs that involve working with the state in some way, continue to drug test. While that tiny amount of THC shouldn’t flag you, it might. If this is a concern, CBD isolate has the benefit of being undetectable on a THC test.


Full-Spectrum or Isolate: Which Is for You? 

When it comes to choosing your first CBD product, there’s no “right” answer. Both full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate great for beginners, and you may not notice the difference at all.

Try out CBD products today and see which works for you.

For more helpful articles about CBD, check out the rest of the site.


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