Full Spectrum CBD Versus CBD Isolate

What’s the Difference between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate Products?

Full spectrum vs. isolate CBDa debate which comes up in the CBD space daily. In order to understand the difference, you need to know what CBD is and where it comes from. CBD is a compound often believed to aid in relaxation, pain relief, and reducing inflammation which can be found in a number of cannabis plants. For example, our company extracts CBD from hemp, which allows us to sell and ship CBD products to all 50 states.

When extracting CBD for use in products such as tinctures, lotions, and edibles, we have the choice to extract all of the compounds found in hemp or isolate only the CBD. When all of the compounds are extracted together, this is known as a full plant extraction and the resulting product would be considered a full spectrum product. On the other hand, if only the CBD is extracted and then infused into a product, the resulting product would be made from isolate. Our company makes both types of products and there are pros and cons to each.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD Isolate is exactly what it sounds like, it is the isolated CBD cannabinoid from a cannabis plant. At room temperatures, isolate is a white powder. CBD isolate is pure CBD. It can be taken by itself or used to make other products. One can be purchased on its own for dabbing or ingestion. Otherwise, it can be used to infuse lotions and edibles with the power of CBD. This latter group of products is where most of the debates around full spectrum CBD vs. CBD isolate preside.

CBD Isolate

Why Choose Full Spectrum CBD Products?

Many people recommend full spectrum CBD products over isolate based products. They believe that all of the compounds found in cannabis, not just CBD, play an important role in the body. These people often cite a theory known as the entourage effect. It suggests that all the compounds found in hemp work synergistically to create an effect that could not be achieved by any one compound on its own.

The entourage effect is a staple argument of those who believe in whole plant medicines over treatments which isolate the active ingredient. However, at this point in time, there isn’t enough scientific research to determine what impact, if any, the entourage effect has as it relates to CBD products. For now, CBD users only have testimonial evidence to go on. Still, there are many who swear by full spectrum products, but until there are more double-blind studies, there is no way to tell if any added benefits are simply due to the placebo effect.

Full Spectrum CBD Tincture

Why Choose CBD Isolate Products?

Although including all of the terpenes and cannabinoids found in hemp may bring added potential benefits, it also brings its own challenges. The primary setback is in the flavor department. When including all the extra compounds found in hemp, you end up getting the taste of hemp as well. Although many enjoy or don’t mind the flavor of full spectrum products, for others it can be a major deterrent. This is most noticeable in CBD tinctures which are generally held underneath the tongue for extended periods of time (90 seconds).

For those who are primarily interested in CBD and wouldn’t mind avoiding the other compounds and flavors found in hemp, isolate based products offer more flavor options. It allows companies such as ours to create tinctures with little taste or added flavors that wouldn’t mix well with hemp. Another benefit of isolate based products is that by focusing on CBD alone, they can achieve higher concentrations of CBD. However, for those who want to preserve the natural balance of compounds found in hemp, this can be a downside.

CBD Isolate Tinctures

The Best of Both Worlds

For those caught in between, who want the benefits of a whole plant extract without the taste, there is a solution. We recommend CBD capsules. It allows for all of the potential benefits of full spectrum product while circumventing the question of flavor.

CBD capsules on a mossy ledge

The Final Verdict: Full Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

Until there is more evidence to show how full spectrum CBD affects a person differently than isolates, there is no clear winner.  Either way, there will still be a market for CBD isolate because of its unique uses and ability to infuse just about anything with CBD without affecting the flavor. Until scientists can confirm what benefits come along with the added compounds of full spectrum products, the debate is mostly a matter of taste.

What’s Your Opinion?

Do you swear by full spectrum products or are you only interested in isolates? Maybe you are somewhere in between. Feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

Disclaimer
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Lazarus Naturals shall not be held liable for any direct or indirect damages caused in any way through the use of information, services, or products provided or sold by Etz Hayim Holdings DBA Lazarus Naturals. This disclaimer of liability applies to any damages or injury which may be perceived to be caused by the information or products sold or provided by Etz Hayim Holdings.

33 replies
  1. Kasmira
    Kasmira says:

    High potency isolate is what I am going to go with for my needs but I am a bit confused by this article. Is the isolate not hemp derived? I was also under the impression that isolates have 0 THC as opposed to full spectrum. Am I wrong about this? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Michael Freund
      Michael Freund says:

      The CBD isolate is hemp derived and essentially THC free. If you look at the third-party potency results for our isolate products, they have an undetectable amount of THC. Our full spectrum products contain up to 0.3% THC per volume. We cannot go above this level if we want to ship freely in the U.S.

      Reply
    • Michael Freund
      Michael Freund says:

      Becky, unfortunately, we are not allowed to recommend specific products for specific situations. Further, everyone’s body is different so there is no one answer. We recommend trying both an isolate and a full spectrum product and seeing which you prefer.

      Reply
      • Denise Kenney
        Denise Kenney says:

        I’ve purchased from FB Selling Co. and a couple companies online and I love this site and your help and patience with many questions. I’ve tried both Isolate and Full Spectrum is my go to. Isolate didn’t work for me and as explained each person is different so what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for say even my sister etc… Thanks again for this wonderful site and product…

        Reply
    • Michael Freund
      Michael Freund says:

      Every batch is tested and the 3rd party test results are available on each product page. First, find the batch number on your product, then click on “Potency Results” and find the corresponding tests. From there you can find the supplier of the hemp for that product batch and view the test results in the “Heavy Metals & Pesticides” tab.

      Reply
      • Luanne Stevens
        Luanne Stevens says:

        I looked at the reports for both the full spectrum and isolate. Do you not add any terpenes? I was told that’s important

        Reply
        • Michael Freund
          Michael Freund says:

          We do not specifically test for terpene content, however, we have heard lots of positive feedback even from our isolate tinctures which contain little to no terpene content. For this reason, we believe CBD content is the major factor in a product’s effectiveness. However, we do recognize that terpene content may have a potential impact. That is why we offer full-spectrum products which contain terpenes naturally found in the hemp we use, but we generally do not add additional ones.

          Reply
  2. Vince
    Vince says:

    I am a full spectrum purist! I also like blended full spectrum products for the non-activated acid phytocannabinoids – I find that those extracts work the best for me!

    Reply
    • Marisa
      Marisa says:

      How much of the isolate do I add to coconut oil? Then do I eat the coconut oil and isolate or put it under my tongue? Can I put just the isolate under my tongue?

      Reply
      • Michael Freund
        Michael Freund says:

        There is a lot to unpack here, so I’ll do my best to help you out. All of our products contain CBD, so you shouldn’t have to add isolate unless you want to increase the potency.

        A CBD coconut oil mixture should be absorbable via digestion, topical application, or sublingual use. CBD isolate should be absorbable sublingually or you can mix it with other substances.

        If you’re looking for info on our product catalog and how to take CBD you may want to check out this blog: https://www.lazarusnaturals.com/blog/best-way-to-take-cbd

        Reply
  3. Dawn Pribek
    Dawn Pribek says:

    I have ringing in my ears and I have been using the 750mg tincture for a week or so and it has helped me tremendously. I used a different companies product before I used Lazarus Naturals and your product is much better quality and very effective. I also think it’s wonderful that you give a discount to the groups listed on your site. I have already recommended your products to some of my family for their issues!

    Reply
  4. Sally
    Sally says:

    I believe I now understand the difference between isolate and full spectrum. Now my confusion centers around labeling and delivery. Is a tincture one or the other? How do you tell by the label which one is which? What is “high potency”? Is that necessarily one of the other? Either I’m missing a vial piece of info or the labeling is!

    Reply
    • Michael Freund
      Michael Freund says:

      Hi Sally, the terms high potency and standard potency refer to the amount of CBD per milliliter. Specifically, our standard potency tinctures contain 15mg/ml whereas our high potency tinctures contain 50mg/ml. This is most important when measuring out a serving of CBD. These terms don’t necessarily relate to whether a tincture is full spectrum or isolate-based.

      We recently added icons to the product pages on our website to help you quickly understand whether a product is full spectrum or isolate based. On our current labels, you can tell by looking at the ingredients. If it lists “hemp extract” as an ingredient it is full spectrum, otherwise, it will list “CBD isolate.” You do make a good point that the distinction could be clearer and we will keep this in mind when we update our packaging.

      Reply
    • Rita Copeland
      Rita Copeland says:

      Kathy,

      I have had GA for years and have scares from it. Did you get a response on your question? I am interested in CBD to see if there is a cream that could be tried.

      Reply
  5. Jack Faulkner
    Jack Faulkner says:

    I’m a 73 year old Navy veteran and am so impressed with the way Lazarus Naturals honors & supports vets like me! Love your products!

    Reply
    • Michael Freund
      Michael Freund says:

      That is a great question! Yes, measuring out 10mg of CBD from a full spectrum or isolate based product will get you the same amount of CBD. The difference is that the full spectrum product will also include additional cannabinoids and terpenes.

      Reply
  6. Kjrunnells
    Kjrunnells says:

    I bought the high potency but feel like the full spectrum would suit my needs better. Do you sell the full spectrum? I can’t seem to find it but would love to try it since the other is not working for me. I can’t get a refund on it either since I have used it for a couple weeks. What do you suggest?

    Reply
  7. CBD
    CBD says:

    Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues.

    It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  8. Schmusse_katze
    Schmusse_katze says:

    I got some tincture and isolates. I am just still not sure how to measure out the little crystals from the isolate. I would like to use them in my baking and don’t want to put too much or too little in to the goods. If I think about a dropper of tincture, how much of the powder or crystals would be equal to one dropper of tincture?

    Reply
  9. chuy
    chuy says:

    Hello. I just got the tropical flavor isolate, with 60 ml.

    I have a question regarding the actual mechanism of serving sizes.

    Whats the best way to take in the drops? As of now, Im just opening my mouth and dropping 0.5 ml a day, I dont dissolve it in water, just open my mouth and drop the substance from above, and just swallow naturally.

    Should I leave the tincture substance below my tongue for 90 seconds just as you suggested in your article?, Does this makes a difference in effectiveness?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Adrian Salvatore
      Adrian Salvatore says:

      We highly endorse the words written in the aforementioned blog article. We recommend educating yourself on serving size by utilizing our article and others to see what would work best for you.

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] are only interested in full spectrum CBD products due to what is known as the entourage effect (more on that here). For this chart, we compared price per milligram for full spectrum tinctures containing 1,000mg of […]

  2. […] have covered the difference between full spectrum and isolate based CBD in detail before, but it is worth revisiting as these are terms frequently used and rarely defined […]

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