The introduction of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabis compound known for its ability to reduce chronic inflammation, alleviate seizures and increase energy, to the medical community has catapulted the reputation and applications of hemp oil for patients seeking natural forms of treatment.
CBD comes in several derivatives and mediums, which vary in form (gummies, topicals, and oils – just to name a few) and effectiveness. In hemp oil, there are two main types of CBD formulas available today: full spectrum and isolate.
Full Spectrum vs Isolate
As the term suggests, full spectrum CBD comes with all the of the cannabinoids present in the plant. In hemp oil, this includes a long list of cannabis compounds, such as Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabicyclol (CBL), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and Cannabichromevarinic Acid (CBCVA). It is crucial to point out that small amounts of THC can also be found in hemp. The government regulates concentration levels at 0.3 percent (dry weight) for “industrial hemp” products, resulting in very limited cerebral stimulation.
When CBD is in isolate form, it is separated from other cannabis compounds in the source plant. It was previously believed that CBD isolates were more potent and concentrated than full spectrum CBD. This assertion was eventually debunked by a study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem. In the 2015 study, researchers were able to prove that full spectrum CBD is capable of offering greater levels of relief, as higher doses were administered to mice. By comparison, the group that was given CBD isolate did not experience the same level of relief at higher doses.
To better understand how these two CBD formulas differ, imagine being presented with two types of spaghetti sauce. In the first bowl, you’ll find a simple spaghetti sauce made out of pure tomatoes (CBD isolate). In the second bowl, you can find a more complex spaghetti sauce, containing roasted garlic and fragrant Italian herbs (full spectrum CBD). It’s clear that both bowls are holding spaghetti sauce – but the second recipe is more flavorful and interacts with one’s taste buds differently (also known as the “entourage effect”).
Which One is Right for Me?
Based on the comparison above, full spectrum hemp oil is more effective than CBD isolate, making it highly recommended for patients interested in holistic approaches to medicinal cannabis treatments. Hemp oil is an extremely potent source of CBD (responsible for a large bulk of the oil’s cannabinoid profile). To fully reap CBD oil benefits, one should explore the different mediums of the compound available on the market today.
This post was originally published on April 28, 2017, it was updated on December 13, 2017.