CBD Research - How CBD Works
IS CBD FULL SPECTRUM BETTER THAN ISOLATE? BESIDES FOR THE COMPANY?
Many people new to CBD quickly run into terms that aren't familiar to them.
- Tincture (since the middle ages anyway)
Let's throw in full-spectrum and isolate to the mix.
Many companies will sing the virtue of full spectrum in their CBD products but what does it really mean.
One thing missing from the conversation is a very important piece for millions of Americans.
We'll get into that below as well as a full description of what exactly "full" is full of.
Let's also look at isolate in a new way.
It's not lacking!
Lots to cover.
If you want to jump right to the price comparison of screened brands for isolate OR full spectrum, you can click here:
Otherwise, feel free to jump to any section here:
Let's get to it!
A Quick Intro To CBD
We've covered a lot on this website regarding CBD.
You can jump to the Beginner's Guide to CBD or How CBD works here.
But if you're new to CBD, here's a quick primer.
CBD is short for cannabidiol.
It's everywhere in the press right now due to some pretty impressive results for health issues and general well-being.
The research is speeding along but the benefits list keeps growing:
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in our own body.
This system is critical in keeping other main systems in balance:
- Endocrine system – hormones
- Nervous system – neurotransmitters
- Immune system – protect against foreign invaders and repair
These systems impact every other system in the body so being in balance is key to you functioning WELL!
Here's a quick graphic of what's going on:
There's a lot to cover but let's get into why we're here.
Isolate versus Full Spectrum.
Let's define each first!
What Is CBD Isolate
Isolate is just a fancy word to say "by itself".
Here's the pathway to isolate:
- Start with raw hemp oil (cannabis with less than .3% THC)
- Extract out other contaminants (solvents, heavy metals, etc) if any
- Extract out CBD from plant material
The isolate is generally in a crystalline form.
Most isolate sold on the market is generally blended with hemp, olive, or coconut oil (MCT is processed from coconut oil).
You basically have CBD (the chemical we're after) with an oil base.
CBD, like many substances (such as curcumin), needs an oil cohort to be used well in the body.
We reference lots of CBD research on the site.
In almost all of those studies, the CBD used is isolate.
This is to narrow any results to just the cannabidiol alone.
So...what is full-spectrum?
What Is Full-Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum is just a term for getting more of the raw plant along with the CBD.
We skip a big chunk of the extraction process.
- Start with the raw hemp plant
- Extract oil in its entirety (other than reducing THC below threshold)
- Extract any contaminants
Many (if not most) products on the market are Full Spectrum these days.
This means we can expect to have a range of different substance in addition to CBD:
- Other cannabinoids like CBC, CBN, CBG, and up to 100 others at much smaller amounts
- Omega Acids and Vitamin E
- Range of other substances at lower level amounts
The first three are of main interest.
They are reported to have their own health benefits which we'll touch base on later.
We'll also talk about the increasingly overused "entourage" effect title.
Drama carried that show by the way!
Let's first knock out some common questions and we'll get into the thick of full-spectrum versus isolate.
Does Full Spectrum Oil Contain CBD
Yes, for the legal CBD products you'll find screened here, CBD is the leading cannabinoid.
That being said, there are lots of bogus CBD products on the market with very diluted CBD amounts.
You're going to see it everywhere over the next few years and most of it will be pretty poor.
CBD by name only!
That's why we screened the biggest brands for CBD amounts and purity (with 3rd party testing) here:
THC and CBD are the two most prevalent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
The amounts of each vary according to strain.
Legal CBD comes from industrial hemp (just a legal term for cannabis plans with less than .3% THC).
Therefore, CBD will be the major cannabinoid in legal full-spectrum CBD products.
The THC is extracted out (or has to be under .3%).
Full Spectrum Versus Hemp Oil – Are They The Same?
Up to a point.
Hemp oil is just the raw oil from the hemp plant.
In a perfect world, full-spectrum is the same thing with the THC extracted out and concentrated CBD added back in.
It can make comparisons complicated since some brands might say "500 mgs of CBD" while others say "500 mg of hemp oil".
Those are not the same thing.
More on that next.
The Whole Mg Controversy With CBD Versus Hemp Oil
You have to be careful when comparing CBD products.
In our CBD comparison page, we specifically looked for exact amounts of CBD in the product.
Most of the legitimate brands (which we compared) specify this amount.
Occasionally, you'll see a listing of milligrams (mg) of "hemp oil".
The CBD amounts may be MUCH less than this total hemp oil.
Hemp oil contains a volume of other substances besides just CBD.
That's misleading in our book.
It goes to the heart of CBD isolate versus full-spectrum (essentially hemp oil).
Let's get into that now!
Full Spectrum Versus Isolate
On our site, we like to focus on research.
There are so much pomp and circumstance surrounding CBD these days online.
We haven't actually seen a person levitate from taking CBD!
The research is really impressive and growing daily (finally).
Within the cannabis community, there's almost a religious belief that the whole is greater than the parts.
I.e. the different substances in the hemp plant work better than just one isolated piece (CBD in our example).
There are two issues here:
- It's not really born out by research
- It usually comes from a different focus...that of THC!
Here's a great synopsis of what research has to say.