Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil vs. CBD Isolate

full spectrum vs cbd isolate

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active compound extracted from the hemp plant. Consumers use CBD products—including tinctures, edibles, vape, and skincare—to help with symptoms relating to epilepsy, pain and inflammation, and anxiety. 

During the extraction process, CBD can be processed into different forms. Two of the most common are full-spectrum hemp oil and CBD isolate. Both forms contain CBD but otherwise vary in composition. 

There is debate over which form is best.  Let’s look at the differences between full-spectrum hemp oil and CBD isolate to understand how they influence the intake of CBD. 


Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil 

Full-spectrum hemp oil contains all the available components of the hemp plant including terpenes, cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. As the name suggests, it is an oil extracted from the hemp plant. Also referred to as whole plant hemp oil, full-spectrum hemp oil not only provides the benefit of CBD but the other components of the hemp plant. 

The hemp plant contains over 85 cannabinoids and each cannabinoid provides its own unique benefit. Full-spectrum hemp oil contains less than 0.3% THC, an intoxicating cannabinoid, which is a minimal amount that will not get you high. 

Full-spectrum hemp extract benefits from the synergistic properties between the components of hemp. Researchers have found the components of hemp interact with one another to support or enhance function. This theory is known as the entourage effect. 

CBD and other components of hemp, such as terpenes and minor cannabinoids, work together to improve the affect CBD has on the body. While research is in the beginning stages, it is interesting to find the whole plant produces a benefit greater than CBD alone. 


CBD Isolate 

CBD isolate is the most potent CBD product on the market. This pure crystalline product only contains the CBD compound, offering CBD in the most concentrated form. 

CBD isolate is created from full-spectrum hemp oil. To create this form of CBD, hemp oil undergoes a purifying process to filter out the plant material and excess waxes until pure crystalline CBD is all that remains. The final product is a fine white powder that contains around 99% CBD. 

Since CBD isolate contains only CBD, this means that it does not contain any THC. This makes CBD isolate an ideal option for those who seek a THC-free product. 

Read more: Does CBD Hemp Oil Show up on a Drug Test? 

CBD isolate has no taste or odor and can be used to formulate many varieties of CBD products, such as edibles and topicals. Since CBD isolate is around 99% pure, you have control over exactly how much CBD is added to a product (a milligram of CBD isolate equates to about a milligram of CBD.) 


Which Should I Take? 

Due to the benefit of consuming the whole hemp plant, we recognize full-spectrum as the ideal form of CBD. However, we understand there are those who have jobs that require drug testing and the low risk of failing is not worth the benefit of the product. While full-spectrum hemp oil benefits from the entourage effect, CBD isolate is a beneficial option as well. If you have the flexibility to do so, we suggest trying both to determine which form suits your body best. 


CBD isolate is pure CBD while full-spectrum hemp oil provides the synergistic benefits of the whole hemp plant. Whether you choose CBD isolate or whole plant hemp extract is dependent upon your health goals. Both are beneficial in certain instances. 

As the scientific community learns more about CBD, we are beginning to understand how CBD interacts with the body along with other plant components. Do you have additional questions about using whole plant hemp extract versus CBD isolate? Leave a comment below!

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