What is the difference between CBD isolate and CBD full-spectrum?

Posted by Amos Fred on January 21st, 2020

Between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, which is the best? Is full-spectrum CBD better than CBD isolate? Are there any legal consequences of taking either variety? These are all valid questions you may have about the best CBD product for your needs.

This quick guide will help you get the answers to the isolate vs full-spectrum CBD question.

What is CBD isolate?

When a CBD product is referred to as CBD isolate, it means it is made out of the purest form of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol is just one of over 120 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.

The purest form is obtained by extracting CBD using the supercritical CO2 extraction method. 

A CBD isolate can still have traces of a few other cannabinoids such as terpenes and flavonoids. But pure CBD isolate should not contain the cannabinoid, THC.

THC is the compound that gives marijuana its “high” effect, which can land you in trouble with authorities when you fail a drug test at work or school.     

What is Full-spectrum CBD?

Although more research is ongoing, full-spectrum CBD oils or extracts seem to offer an “entourage effect”.

That means alternative medics and CBD communities have reported experiencing higher satisfaction rates after using CBD products that contain a variety of cannabinoids on top of cannabidiol.

Full-spectrum CBD may or may not contain THC. So be sure to ask your CBD store to supply you with the type you prefer.

In full-spectrum varieties that contain THC, it should not be more than 0.3% of the CBD oil volume. 

Is it illegal to take full-spectrum CBD?

The law requires that all full-spectrum CBD oils, powders, extract, or other forms to not contain more than 0.3% THC volume. More than that and you’d be treading in prosecutable ground for doing what might seem like illegal marijuana in most states and countries.

Difference between isolate CBD and full-spectrum CBD: conclusion

The two major differences between full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate are these:

  • A CBD isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol (CBD) as opposed to the "spectrum" of several-to-dozens of cannabinoids in a full-spectrum CBD product
  • While full-spectrum CBD oils may or may not contain up to 0.3% THC, pure CBD isolate should ideally not contain any THC traces

So, which is the best, isolate vs full-spectrum CBD?

If you are concerned about failing a drug test at work, school or elsewhere, you’ll want to get a CBD isolate product.

But if you’ve been taking CBD isolate oils and feel like they haven’t delivered, and need something more potent, you’ll want to try a full-spectrum CBD extract that contains less than 0.3% THC.

Then for the most efficient absorption into your system, use sublingual (placing under the tongue) technique. Or, inhale the best CBD vaping oils with a quality vape.

So, it all depends on your CBD needs.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to buy CBD products from a reputable CBD store and manufacturer, that are clearly labeled, and have publicly revealed clinical trials to back them up. 


Amos Fred

About the Author

Amos Fred
Joined: April 24th, 2018
Articles Posted: 205

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