The science of cannabis. Full spectrum CBD oil vs CBD isolate

By now, you’ve probably come across the word cannabidiol or CBD. You’ve likely heard that it’s a cannabinoid derived from Hemp or Cannabis plants, it doesn’t get you high, and that it’s versatile when it comes to helping a variety of medical conditions and symptoms including anxiety, chronic pain and epilepsy. But what about the different ‘types’ of CBD we’re starting to hear about? Terms like ‘CBD isolate’ and ‘Full Spectrum CBD oil’ are being thrown around, and they’re important. Here’s the difference between the two.


CBD Isolate

If you’ve ever tried a CBD capsule, tincture or topical cream, you’ve probably been consuming CBD isolate. CBD isolate is a 99.9% pure, crystallized form of CBD that’s manufactured in a laboratory from a Cannabis derived CBD-rich extract. Because of this process, it doesn’t contain any THC, essential fatty acids, terpenes or other cannabinoids. It’s a white powder in it’s raw form that can easily be confused with baking soda or borax. But it’s usually mixed with Ethanol, MCT or Grapeseed oil and made into tinctures, capsules, vape pens and topicals before it gets to you.

High CBD strains of cannabis used to make CBD oil

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Full Spectrum CBD oil is a full Cannabis or Hemp plant extract that contains a high percentage of CBD. (Hemp plants are just Cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC). It’s made using a plant extraction process that doesn’t require the same isolation and crystallization that CBD isolate does. In the end, you’re left with a CBD-rich mixture that contains traces of other cannabinoids and terpenes like THC-A, CBG, CBN, myrcene and much more.

For a long time, people thought that CBD isolate was the best way to consume CBD because of its purity. Simple, clean, effective. Right? Not quite.


The Entourage Effect

There’s this thing that happens in Full Spectrum CBD oil called the “Entourage Effect”. And no, it has nothing to do with Vince Chase, Turtle, Ari or Johnny. Basically, a group of scientists noticed that the effects of CBD in your body work better when the CBD is in a full-plant extract (ie. Full Spectrum CBD oil) in an article they published in 2015. Why? CBD seems to work better when it’s in a mixture with other cannabinoids, terpenes and essential fatty acids. This may seem counterintuitive but imagine it this way…

Imagine a scenario where all of the cannabinoids (THC-A, CBD, CBG, etc.) are at a dinner party hosted by their best bud CBD. It’s the end of the night and CBD has one goal – to clean his apartment and get everyone out so he can binge watch Scandal on Netflix. If CBD is the only one left to clean up, it’s probably going to take all night and he might not be very good at some of the clean-up tasks. But, if he has 20 different friends around to help, there’s hope. Let’s say CBG is great at doing the dishes and THC-A is awesome at wiping down the counters so they get the job done in no time.

Basically, the more ‘friends’ CBD has that are willing to help, the faster (and better) his place is going to get cleaned up. In other words, CBD in a Full Spectrum CBD oil has stronger anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects because there are other cannabinoids around to help.


So what’s the right choice for you?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you have a drug test coming up and are concerned about consuming trace amounts of THC, I’d suggest a product made with CBD isolate. If you want a product that’s going to maximize the medicinal benefits of CBD, I’d recommend trying a Full Spectrum CBD oil product. Maybe you’re looking to save a few bucks? If so, CBD isolate is a cheaper option compared to Full Spectrum CBD oil products on the market right now. Not to mention, Full Spectrum oil products are downright hard to come by. At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong choice. Just read the label, ask your provider what they recommend, and learn as much as you can about the products you’re considering trying.

Not sure what CBD products Twisted Extracts offers? Check them out on our Products page.

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