Nowadays, there are an abundance of different cannabidiol (CBD) products available on the market for us to purchase, from oils to tasty chewable gummies. How you choose to consume CBD is down to your own personal preference, but the experience will depend on whether you choose to use CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD. Let’s explore the features of each together.
What is CBD?
For anyone new, who is exploring the world of CBD and its benefits for the first time, let’s start with the basics. CBD is a chemical compound from the cannabinoid family which can be extracted from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant. For good reason, CBD products have exploded onto the mainstream in recent years and its popularity has only increased because of the benefits reported by consumers. Although the substance naturally occurs in the cannabis plant, unlike fellow cannabinoid THC, CBD will not get you high but instead is sought for different properties.
What is CBD isolate?
Did you know that scientists have so far managed to extract 108 cannabinoids from the cannabis plant? Each of these cannabinoids has different properties and are known to have varying effects on the body. During the extraction process, every compound present in the cannabis plant is removed and for CBD isolate to be formed, it must be isolated from all the other cannabinoids present. This is no mean feat and provides an irony to the fact that CBD isolates are known as a ‘basic’ form of the products available on the market.
You will most commonly find CBD isolate in the form of dabs and the process of consuming it in this way is called ‘dabbing.’ This is an extremely effective way of taking CBD isolate and can achieve maximum results in a relatively short period of time. Dabs come in the form of a powder, wax, crystals, resin and shatter, which are vaporised on a hot nail and the vapour that this creates is then inhaled. This is kind of like vaping, just without the pen. However, if ‘dabbing’ doesn’t sound like something you would like to do, then there are alternative methods in the form of CBD isolate oils and edibles currently making a breakthrough on the market.
What are the advantages of CBD isolate?
If you are looking to get creative in the kitchen with CBD (CBD cakes and coffee are a thing), the isolated version could be the product for you. It is completely tasteless and doesn’t smell of anything, so your wonderful baking and cooking will not be overpowered by a cannabis odour or flavour. Furthermore, with its high concentration of CBD, an isolate product will often contain around 90% cannabidiol, so you’re getting real bang for your buck. The only real drawback to CBD isolate is that you won’t benefit from the the entourage effect (more on this later).
What is full spectrum CBD oil?
On the other hand, full spectrum CBD oil products contain a multitude of cannabinoids. In this case, once the extraction of the plant is complete, everything is packaged into a consumable product, resulting in a full helping of all of the plant’s compounds. You can liken this to taking a multivitamin, which instead of a singular vitamin, it contains a whole range of benefits which work together.
Some people have concerns around using full spectrum CBD oil and are reluctant to do so because of the small quantity of THC it contains. However, there is no need to worry. By law, CBD products must be extracted from hemp, not marijuana, where there is less than .2% THC. Once you have put the hemp through the extraction process, the traces of THC will be minimal, so there is no risk of you experiencing surprise highs.
When it comes to consuming full spectrum CBD, the most commonly used form is an oil. The process is really easy – it just requires a few drops drops to be placed under the tongue using a dropper and you can consider your dosage administered. Alternatively, you can just swallow the liquid(but a high percentage will be broken down by your digestive system after you swallow). With the rise of CBD products available, also comes the arrival of full spectrum CBD gummies, liquids for vaping and capsules. You will be spoilt for choice.
What are the advantages of full spectrum CBD?
Although it was once believed that CBD isolate offered the most effective results, the benefits that full spectrum CBD products offer are now widely regarded as more superior. This is due to full range of cannabinoids it contains, with the results being known as the entourage effect. This describes the increased potential spectrum CBD provides due to the additional cannabinoids,flavonoids, and terpenes present. This study conducted in Jerusalem in 2005 expands on the entourage effect. The results showed that participants who consumed additional cannabinoids (not just CBD) for their symptoms, experienced greater relief compared to the participants who tried CBD isolate. Full spectrum CBD is also considered more naturally authentic due to its lack of processing compared to CBD isolate and its closer relationship to the natural cannabis form.
There is one important downside to full spectrum CBD that is worth noting. Although it will only occur in very rare cases, the tiny amount of THC present in the product may cause you to show up as positive in a drugs test. The quantity is so small that it is likely to be overturned in a follow-up test, but if you do have to take regular drug tests and want to avoid any stress or embarrassment, it might be best to opt for CBD isolate.
What are terpenes?
Aside from cannabinoids, there are a multitude of other compounds found in the cannabis plant. Firstly, let’s talk terpenes, which are responsible for giving cannabis its scent, flavour and is a big part of the reason each strain of cannabis has its own unique feeling associated with it. In nature, plants use their terpenes to repel herbivores and attract pollinators, so they are incredibly useful. You can also think of them as the essential oils of the plant world – of which there are 20,000 different types currently known, 100 of which exist in cannabis and hemp. Cannabis has a naturally high concentration of terpene, which really helps to enhance its therapeutic benefits.
What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids also play an important role in determining the smell and flavour of different cannabis strains, in addition to pigmentation. Have you ever wondered why blueberries are blue and roses are red? This is all down to flavonoids and their properties, which gift nature with its vivid colours. These colours are designed to attract pollinators and the flavonoids also act to protect plants from diseases, pests, fungi and filter out UV rays. These little gems of nature also all have antioxidant properties and are an essential component of balanced nutrition. With over 6,000 flavonoids discovered in nature so far and many of these residing in common foods found in our kitchen, flavonoids really are all around us.
Why are terpenes and flavonoids important?
The best thing about terpenes and flavonoids is the great bond which they have with cannabinoids. All three work together to produce and enhance CBD’s therapeutic benefits for humans. As we have learnt, each compound has its own fantastic ways in which it helps nature and can offer assistance to humans, but when brought together, their capacity to be beneficial to us increases tenfold. Despite their incredible natural benefits, some people dislike the strong taste and smell that terpenes and flavonoids create and so opt for CBD isolate products to avoid them.
Which type of CBD product is for me?
When shopping for CBD products and choosing whether you would prefer to use CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD, don’t be afraid to partake in some good old fashioned trial and error. A good starting point would be to try full spectrum CBD, which will provide you with the full CBD experience and allow you to reap all the benefits. If however, personal circumstance such as regular drugs testing, a worry about strict drug laws in your area or perhaps you even have a sensitivity to THC, CBD isolate can still provide some excellent, therapeutic benefits.