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Full Spectrum VS CBD Isolate

Whenever buying CBD oil or any hemp-derived CBD product, it’s important to know whether it is a full spectrum or CBD isolate. Here are two scenarios.

  1. You want the full power of the entire hemp plant, including CBG, CBC, CBN and trace amounts of THC (<0.3%), but you unknowingly purchase a product that has had everything removed from it EXCEPT the CBD. Bummer.
  2. You can’t risk consuming even trace amounts of THC (occupational reasons?) and you unknowingly buy a product that has small amounts of THC that could theoretically have you test positive for THC. Potentially bigger bummer.

To avoid either scenario, always check before purchasing any hemp-derived product.

Full Spectrum, Ethanol Extracted, CBD Oil by Head + Heal from Cortland, NY.

Here are a few differences between Full Spectrum & CBD Isolate products.

Full Spectrum Hemp CBD

  • Contains mostly everything from the hemp it was extracted from. 85+ cannabinoids, 200+ terpenes.
  • Can contain trace amounts of THC (less than %0.3).
  • Promotes theory of synergistic entourage effect by using all the compounds that are found in hemp together.

Isolate Hemp CBD

  • Contains only CBD, all other compounds removed through the extraction process.
  • 0% THC, but also 0% of any the original cannabinoids in hemp.
  • Preferred by those who do not want to consume even trace amounts of THC.

How to Tell the Difference

1. Look for the term “Full Spectrum” or “CBD Isolate” on the product’s packaging or labeling.

2. Review the ingredient list which often describes whether the product has Full Spectrum hemp extract or a CBD isolate.

3. Review the product’s Certificate of Analysis (COA). If the results show a broad spectrum of cannabinoids, including less than 0.3% THC, then it is considered a full-spectrum CBD product.

Learn more about reading CoAs:

Which is Better?

It’s tough to say.

I’m an advocate in getting as close the plant as possible. The truest “full spectrum” you could possibly get would be to consume the activated raw flower. This would guarantee the ability to consume every phytonutrient provided by hemp while avoiding the potential for loss from the extraction process.

With that said, I know that isolated CBD does work on its own. For many people, it could be the only option for those who can’t consume any THC.

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