CBD, one of the cannabinoids in the cannabis and hemp plants, has become popular over the last few years, and for good reason. CBD has shown great promise for treating many illnesses that were previously considered unmanageable. In many cases, CBD has the potential to supplement, or be an alternative to, traditional treatments. Another reason CBD has become so popular is that on its own it does not produce the psychoactive ‘high’ that is experienced with THC. When buying CBD you will see many different types of products. Some are called full-spectrum CBD and others CBD isolate. Here we will explore the differences between full-spectrum CBD and isolate so you can make an informed choice regarding what is best for you.
Full-spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate
They’re both CBD so why should it matter? But there are important differences between full-spectrum CBD and isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD, which we typically see as CBD oil, contains more cannabinoids than just CBD, some of these include; CBN, CBC, CBG as well as terpenes. It can also contain THC but only up to 0.2%, so it is not sufficient enough to experience any psychoactive effects.
CBD isolate, on the other hand, contains only CBD. CBD companies can achieve this either by isolating CBD from cannabis or hemp or by making it artificially in a lab. Though sometimes terpenes will be added to the isolate after extraction. Read more to find out why.
Which is better?
There is no definitive answer as to which is better but there may be a choice that is more appropriate for you.
CBD isolate benefits
- Pure. Since CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form it is the prefered treatment method for individuals who do not want to consume THC. Maybe they are sceptical about its therapeutic uses or they are subject to drug tests they are required to pass.
- Odourless/Tasteless. This means it can easily be added to many other things without affecting its natural flavour.
- Many Modes of Consumption. We will discuss this further in the section on how to use CBD isolate.
- Easy to Dose. Since we don’t have to take any other compounds into account it is easy to measure.
CBD full-spectrum benefits
Due to the fact that different cannabinoids and other compounds found in cannabis interact with our endocannabinoid system differently, there is the potential to increase the benefits by having them all work together. This is called the entourage effect (source).
Note: this is why many companies will add terpenes back into their CBD products to get some of these effects while still having no THC. So, when you are looking into purchasing products pay attention to what that product contains.
Which Should You Choose?
Full-spectrum CBD may provide some enhanced benefits due to the entourage effect but that does not mean it is the right choice for everyone. Individuals may choose to use CBD isolate for numerous reasons:
- First-time users who are concerned about the impact of THC and other cannabinoids (this is super real no judgement)
- Individuals who are sensitive to THC
- May have to undergo a drug test
- Those who are recommended to use high doses of CBD
- Individuals who prefer the fact that it’s tasteless
- Those individuals living in areas where there are strict regulations around cannabis use
- Individuals who choose to add isolate to their regular cannabis use or find it easier to dose accurately
How to Use CBD Isolate
CBD isolate comes in a powder form, so you might question the best way to use it.
- One of the best ways to consume isolate is through vaping, many companies make vape pens or e-liquids that are perfect for vaping and simple to use. Typically in these cases, like with Miss Envy’s vape pen, terpenes are added back into the equation to get the added benefits of the entourage effect.
- Some individuals add isolate to the cannabis flower they are smoking to increase their amount of CBD consumption.
- You can simply place the isolate powder under your tongue. Leave it for approximately 60 seconds to let it absorb straight into your bloodstream, then wash it down with water or another beverage.
- CBD can also easily be added to our favourite foods and beverages. CBD binds to fat, it works best when added to foods that already have fat content, like bulletproof coffee.
- This is a common choice since they are tasteless it doesn’t impact the overall flavour of your food. Though take into consideration that with ingestion is that the effects are delayed and absorption into your system through the digestive system varies between people. This means that it might take some trial and error to determine the most effective dose and timing with edibles.
- You can also infuse CBD crystals into coconut oil or butter to make edibles. Simply melt the butter or oil on the lowest temperature and add your crystals. Stir for 5 minutes until their are fully dissolved. After that, the mixture is ready to be paired with the other ingredients in your recipe. (or you can buy your coconut oil pre-infused if that’s easier for you)
- Custom Oils or Topicals
- You can mix the isolate with a carrier oil to create your own DIY and custom dose CBD oil. Just add your dose of CBD to medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil or olive oil.
- For topicals, infuse the CBD isolate with skincare oils like shea butter, cocoa butter or coconut oil and apply the homemade mixture to your skin.
Have you tried CBD isolate before? What is your favourite way to consume it? Let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram @miss.envybotanicals
Check out Miss Envy’s CBD isolate.