The world of CBD (cannabidiol) can often seem complicated and confusing, with new words, acronyms, and numbers flying around. To get the best CBD experience for you, it’s important to get the best CBD education possible, so you can make an informed decision. Today we’re going to look into the differences between full spectrum CBD extract and isolate CBD extract. If these terms are new to you, don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for!
Let’s start at the beginning of the CBD making journey, in the field. CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, the flower of the plant to be precise. Next, is the extraction process. CBD is just one of around 120 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, alongside terpenes and flavonoids. Isolate extract takes only the CBD molecules and leaves the other components, whereas full spectrum takes all the components — replicating the natural structure. But is one better than the other?
Initially, it was believed that isolate CBD extract was the best form, as it was the purest form of CBD. However, a study by The Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology debunked this idea.1 Scientists found that the effects of isolate CBD extract presented as a bell-shaped graph, meaning that after a certain dosage the effectiveness quickly and steeply dropped off. And to make things harder, this optimal dosage was different for everyone.
Meanwhile, the study found that when trials were repeated with full spectrum CBD extract, the bell-curve disappeared. Full spectrum keeps all the cannabinoids together, as well as the terpenes which are responsible for flavour, and the flavonoids which have antioxidant properties. When all the elements are kept together as they are naturally found, they work even better — this is known as the “entourage effect”.
When buying a CBD product be sure to check what kind of extract is included to get the best quality possible!