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CBD Isolate vs. CBD Full Spectrum


CBD is a new and growing industry. Many people would benefit from the use of CBD but industry profiteers, and their lack of integrity and sophistication, have made purchasing and using CBD products extremely confusing. But it’s not entirely the industry’s fault. The FDA and the government haven’t allowed or done much, if any, large scale testing of CBD and its impacts on specific illnesses or conditions.

This leaves people wondering what type of CBD to use and how much CBD to actually take for their condition. It also leaves them wondering if there’s any validity to the claim CBD Full Spectrum is better than CBD Isolate or CBD Broad Spectrum products. 

Let me help define these terms.

  1. CBD Isolate is primarily CBD. It’s typically 97% CBD or higher when tested by an analytical lab. Remember, the lab tests the potency or purity of the CBD. It’s NOT THE AMOUNT of CBD being placed in products you’re purchasing.  It’s simply a test to determine how much CBD and other cannabinoids are in the CBD raw material being used in manufacturing. A typical lab result might look something like this:

CBD – 98%, CBDA – .15%, CBN – .08%, CBC – .07%

  • CBD Broad Spectrum is now being defined as CBD that contains other cannabinoids except THC. A typical lab result might look something like this:

CBD – 96%, CBDA – .24%, CBN – .18%, CBC – .11%

Not much different than CBD isolate.

  • CBD Full Spectrum is now being defined as CBD that contains other cannabinoids including THC. A typical lab result might look something like this:

CBD – 85%, CBDA – 1.19%, CBN – .08%, CBC – .20%, THC – .3%

Not much different than CBD isolate or CBD broad spectrum.

And full spectrum products typically contain less CBD than isolate or broad spectrum products.

So why all the fuss? Researches know when an individual uses a combination of cannabinoids they seem to offer better results. This is because there is a synergy or an entourage benefit.  Each of the different cannabinoids either helps the others, or one cannabinoid helps where another cannabinoid can’t. This sounds great but let me give you a few examples of how this reasoning begins to fall short.

  • Science has not given specific definitions to the terms broad spectrum or full spectrum. Therefore, any company can label their products as they see fit regardless of accuracy. 
  • Science has not determined WHICH cannabinoids should be included for a product to be called broad or full spectrum.
  • Science has not determined the appropriate RATIOS of specific cannabinoids a CBD product should contain to be called broad spectrum or full spectrum.
  • There are about 113 different cannabinoids.  Which of these should be included, and in what ratios, to be considered broad spectrum or full spectrum? Science hasn’t determined this yet.
  • Which cannabinoids, their amounts, and their ratios should be taken for the specific illnesses or condition you want to treat? Science hasn’t determined this yet.
  • And finally does the product you’re using have ENOUGH of each of these cannabinoids (including CBD) to make an impact on your illness or condition?

The above factors generate this hypothesis: Would 5,000 mg of CBD isolate be better than 500 mg of CBD full spectrum? And based on the points above, our belief is yes for the following reasons:

  1. CBD is an effective compound but it’s not easily absorbed by the body. Therefore, you need large amounts of it in your product to receive the benefits.
  2. If you hoping for the entourage effect from a broad or full spectrum CBD, you’re certainly not going to receive any type of synergistic entourage benefits from TRACE amounts of other cannabinoids. You need enough of these other cannabinoids along with enough CBD to offer a benefit and impact.
  3. Companies now add ingredients like caffeine, melatonin, aspirin, curcumin, etc. in an effort to give you LESS CBD.  Like a coffee company that makes a pound of coffee that weighs 12 ounces. You want CBD not these other cheap fillers you could buy at Walmart.
  4. This also fools people into thinking CBD with melatonin (or aspirin, caffeine, etc.) makes the CBD or the melatonin work better. It doesn’t.  Again, corporate America creating gimmick marketing to take advantage of a new industry and consumer’s lack of knowledge.  

A bar of gold can be 24 karats. It’s then diluted down to 14 karats so you don’t receive as much gold in the jewelry you buy. Same is true for CBD.  If you’re looking for the benefits of a CBD product you should be purchasing and using a CBD product that contains large amounts of CBD and you shouldn’t be overpaying. The wholesale price of CBD has come down significantly in the last 5 years.  Companies shouldn’t be charging you top dollar for weak CBD products. Don’t waste your money on low potency CBD products while missing out on the benefits of this amazing product.