By Cara Oorbeck & Brandy Palmer – The Green Wellness Crew!
Isolate, Full Spectrum or Raw?
Finding the right CBD for your needs and body can be confusing. We answer customer questions all day long and we have found that there is no one size fits all. Each individual is different and finding the right fit for you can be confusing. So let’s take a look at the different forms of CBD: What is the difference between them? Who would use which version, and why?
What exactly is CBD, and where does it come from?
First of all, it’s important to understand that cannabidiol (CBD) is only one of the major compounds that are present in the cannabis plant – both hemp and marijuana. It happens to be one of the most studied compounds by scientists because of its powerful potential and the fact that it occurs in greater quantities in the plant than some of the other more than 80+ compounds. As evidence of its interest to scientists and researchers, CBD has been used in multiple pharmaceutical solutions. One of the most recent to be approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug used to treat childhood epilepsy.
Despite its fame, CBD is not the only major component in cannabis sativa. There are a range of other compounds that make up the plant, though CBD garners most mainstream attention these days.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil: A Rainbow of Compounds
This is a lot like it sounds: full spectrum CBD oil means that manufacturers use the whole plant and all the cannabinoids found therein instead of just the CBD.
Full-spectrum is unique in that it can introduce the user to the possible positive effects of the other components of cannabis working together, often referred to as the entourage effect. Though there are many different cannabinoids in the plant, here are a few of the better-known ones included in full spectrum products.
1. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
Full-spectrum CBD from the hemp plant does include trace amounts of THC, which is well-known as the psychoactive element of cannabis – or the part that makes you high. It’s can’t be more a .3% concentration when coming from a hemp plant, so it has no psychoactive effect. There is technology that is isolating the THC out of some full spectrum products making it what is now being referred to as a “broad spectrum.” This means that it started as a full spectrum, but the THC was isolated and removed from the other cannabinoids. These products will usually specify 0 THC. Examples of this are KOI Tincture and Natural Leaf softgels
2. CBN (Cannabinol)
This component of cannabis does not occur in as great a quantity, so we don’t know quite enough about it yet. What science is finding is exciting, though. Some early studies are showing that there may be real benefits for people struggling with sleep issues.
3. CBG (Cannabigerol)
Interestingly, CBG has been shown to stimulate growth of new brain cells and stimulates bone growth. These unusual properties make it a fascinating compound for researchers to study.
4. THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin)
THCV has a similar molecular structure to THC and is also psychoactive. Research is finding that it’s very similar to CBD as well, in working to balance and neutralize cells.
All of these compounds—and far more—interact in a full-spectrum product. Who would this form of CBD work for? A full-spectrum CBD oil would work great for someone who wants to work with all the elements of the cannabis plant for a holistic approach. It would be very useful for those who are interested in other compounds, like CBG and THCV, and their effects. It’s important to keep in mind that unless clearly stated to be a 0% THC product (ie broad spectrum,) full spectrum products will likely contain a trace amount of THC. That legal limit, if coming from hemp, is 0.3%.
CBD Isolate: Pure CBD Oil
In a CBD Isolate, only one compound is present—CBD. It’s been individually extracted from the plant without any of the other cannabinoids, terpenes or plant matter. Some might say that the isolate is missing some of the other compounds that make full-spectrum oil special. While this is true to an extent, there are plenty of reasons why someone might want just pure CBD oil.
For one, maybe they’re only interested in specific CBD oil effects. If a user has discovered that CBD works best alone to treat their particular disorder or ease their symptoms, then they would definitely want to stick with what works. Other users might feel uncomfortable with even trace amounts of the psychoactive compound THC in full spectrum; in this case isolate CBD is a perfect solution.
Others may actually be allergic or have had bad reactions to other cannabinoids. In this case, a CBD isolate would be the best choice to make sure he or she only consumes a product that’s pure with no trace of other compounds.
“Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is a chemical compound found in the resin glands (trichomes) of raw cannabis plants.” In this case, raw means unheated and uncured. Many of the conditions that respond with CBD also respond well to CBDA but there is a growing body of information that is talking about the benefits of raw or CBDA having a greater affect on people living with chronic pain. There is also a patent pending by GW Parmaceuticals using CBDA in conjunction with CBD for anxiety and psychotic disorders.
Whatever your choice when it comes to CBD, it’s important to make sure you’re thinking with a comprehensive view of what you body needs at a given time. If you don’t have any allergies or issues with compounds in a full spectrum product, maybe compare its effects in your body to pure CBD isolate and see what makes you feel better. Every system is unique. We know it’s heard to hear, but there is no one size fits all. At the end of the day, the best CBD for you is the one that you will reap benefit from!