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ABC’s of CBD: CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD

The ABC’s of CBD

CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a cannabis compound that’s been making headlines in the news for a while now as one of the year’s biggest health & wellness trends, with people saying they’ve seen the benefits help with everything from anxiety to arthritis. 

If you’re new to the world of CBD, chances are that you’ve come across words or phrases that didn’t quite make sense- and that’s why we’re here. 

We’re bringing you the ABC’s of CBD so you can learn the lingo people use in the cannabis scene and to provide a more thorough understanding of some of the more complex concepts related to CBD!

What’s The Difference? CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum 

CBD Isolate and Full Spectrum CBD are the two main kinds of CBD extract.   

CBD Isolate- An extraction of pure CBD with absolutely no other cannabinoids included. 

There are hundreds of cannabinoids present in hemp, not just THC and CBD. CBD Isolate is produced through a more extensive extraction process, which removes all cannabinoids except for CBD, leaving those CBD molecules isolated- hence, CBD Isolate. 

In order to be a true CBD isolate product, when tested, the product must contain CBD and must not contain THC, CBC, CBDA, or any other cannabinoids. 

Full-Spectrum CBD- Unlike CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD is not an extraction of pure CBD. Instead, full-spectrum CBD contains many different cannabinoids. That means instead of just CBD, Full-Spectrum extract will contain CBD, CBC, CBDA, and more cannabinoids that don’t cause a high. 

Terpenes and flavonoids, the flavor-producing compounds in cannabis plants, can also be found in full-spectrum extract, which means they might have a bit of an herbal taste to them. Full-Spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, but in order to be compliant with federal law, the maximum amount of THC allowed in a CBD product is .3%. 

Why would you want Full-Spectrum? 

Answer: The Entourage Effect

Full-Spectrum CBD is the most potent and nutrient-dense version of CBD, but there’s another reason some prefer it to CBD Isolate- here’s why.

There’s a theory called ‘The Entourage Effect’ that essentially states cannabinoids are more effective when they’re taken together. The synergy that exists between cannabinoids theoretically makes the effects stronger, longer-lasting, and potentially more broadly beneficial than when one is taken alone. 

That’s the goal of Full-Spectrum CBD- rather than separate CBD completely, Full-Spectrum allows this ‘Entourage Effect’ to happen, while still producing a product that’s below .3% THC. 

Why would you want CBD Isolate?

CBD Isolate is a completely pure extraction of CBD- there’s nothing else in there at all. CBD Isolate does not have a flavor, so these products should be flavorless unless a flavor has been purposefully added. 

If drug testing is a concern, CBD Isolate products are the way to go, as there’s no THC whatsoever. Full-Spectrum products have extremely low levels of THC content (under the legal limit of .3% THC), which means it is possible, though unlikely, that it could cause a false positive on a THC test. 

Because CBD isolate products do not contain THC, there is no chance of falsely testing positive for THC when using them. For people who want to try CBD products but cannot risk a false positive on a drug test, CBD isolate products should be safe to try.

Make sure to purchase your CBD, both full-spectrum and isolate, from a store or brand you trust. Legitimate CBD companies should display or make available third-party lab testing, which confirms that the products being sold contain what they’re supposed to. Buying from a company without third-party lab testing means that there’s no guarantee the product contains what you expect it to. 

We carry CBD from Grassroots Harvest, a local Austin CBD manufacturer that proudly displays their third-party lab results on their website- you can find them at https://grassrootsharvest.com/