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.
Let’s not forget about terepenes and flavonoids too. While not cannabinoids from hemp, they are compounds found in hemp and other plants. Terpenes are fragrant oils that bind to receptors in the human body and carry a variety of health benefits.* Flavonoids are a group of phytonutrients that serve as cell messengers with their own health-promoting benefits,
The aforementioned entourage effect is the main reason behind the efficacy of whole plant extracts. There are over 100 ‘identified’ compounds in the cannabis plant. While most of these compounds have their own therapeutic benefit, they combine synergistically to provide a far better performance than any single compound, including CBD. Here are a couple of examples of conditions that benefit from the entourage effect:
Being a hyperaccumulator also has drawbacks: If a hemp plant that is used in production of CBD oil was cultivated in a land that is rich in heavy metals such as mercury and lead, the resulting oils will also reflect the amount of heavy metals absorbed by the plant, making it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children or others who are extremely vulnerable to toxins.
Isolate is typically the CBD oil product of choice for those who get drug tested or are sensitive to other cannabinoids such as THC. Products labeled as Isolate will generally be highlighted as being 99+% pure CBD. Usually, these products will have nothing but CBD in them because the CBD has literally been isolated from everything else. You can find pre-made isolate oils that typically consist of a carrier oil, such as MCT Oil, infused with the crystalline isolate powder. You can also find the “raw” crystalline powder or slabs (a form of concentrate) on its own.
The health benefits of full-spectrum hemp go beyond it being a source of CBD. The array of cannabinoids and other natural constituents found in full-spectrum hemp oil work have been shown in studies to work together in what’s referred to as the “entourage effect.” Together, these compounds work harmoniously to magnify their therapeutic properties. The complex mix of cannabinoids, essential nutrients, protein, and healthy fats work synergistically to encourage homeostasis and balance in our health.