Full Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

Updated: Apr 2, 2021


In this article, we will go over the differences between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. There are many types of CBD tinctures available today and it can be difficult to choose. First, let’s talk about the hemp plant and how CBD extracts are produced.

Female hemp plants are grown until the end of their flowering cycle, producing flowers rich in cannabinoids. These plants are then harvested and dried. The next step is to extract the cannabinoids from the plant.

There are several types of extraction methods, the most popular being CO2 extraction, ethanol (alcohol) extraction, hydrocarbon extraction (butane), Rosin pressing and Lipid extraction. If you want to learn more about the hemp extraction and refining process, check out our Blog post on extraction.

The cannabinoid profile and quality of the extract depends on the quality of the plant material as well as the extraction methods used. Once a raw extract is obtained, the processor can choose to use it in the raw form or to further refine the oil. In its raw form, the crude extract contains plant matter like lipids, waxes, terpenes and chlorophyll along with an abundance of cannabinoids.

The oil can be further refined to make several different products, but for the sake of this article we are going to compare Full Spectrum and Isolate

To create an isolate, the crude oil is winterized, distilled and processed using a solvent to create a highly concentrated (99%+) CBD powder called Isolate. The main advantage of using CBD isolate is that the potency can be more accurately measured, and there is nothing but CBD in the final product. This can be a benefit for those that have to pass THC drug tests.


Pros and Cons

At Welliva we strongly believe that full spectrum CBD provides the best results and here’s why:

• Full spectrum contains the majority of the compounds found in the plant in its natural form.

• Full spectrum provides the entourage effect where the various cannabinoids, terpenes and other plant molecules work together to increase efficacy in the human body. This therapeutic synergy is the most valuable benefit of the cannabis plant and is lost when isolates are used instead.

• Preparing Isolates requires the use of solvents and sometimes contain residual solvents even after being fully processed.

• There is a lot of cheap Isolate of questionable quality being produced in countries with minimal oversight or regulations.

• Isolate can be artificially produced from non-hemp sources like genetically modified yeast!

• Isolate has been shown to work in a bell curve (more to come on this point)


Let’s talk about that last point; a study by an Israeli company published in the journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy (Feb. 2015) states that while isolates do work, they only work within a specific dosage window. That means if you take too much or too little isolate, it stops being effective. This makes it harder to calculate the correct dosage and increases the possibility that you will not get the results you seek. In contrast, full spectrum CBD continues to work even if the dose is increased, until you reach a plateau. But the full spectrum CBD never drops in efficacy like the isolate does.


When we consider all of these points, it is clear that full spectrum CBD is the best option for tinctures.


At Welliva, we produce Certified Organic Full Spectrum CBD and CBG oils which have been minimally processed using clean CO2 extraction.


As always, our mission is to bring our customers safe, highly effective, all-natural products. All our products are extensively tested for purity and potency before they are released and lab results are available on our site.


Visit our SHOP to check out our full spectrum Certified Organic tinctures and our high potency topicals. Get 20% off your first order and free shipping!


Every Welliva purchase plants a tree! Learn more about our partnership with Vermont non-profit One Tree Planted here.




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