Due to its non-psychoactive healing properties, Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a very popular option for patients seeking a natural alternative to treat conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and more. As patients start to understand how CBD can be used to alleviate their symptoms, they are often faced with a choice between using products made from CBD Isolate or Full Spectrum CBD. So, what exactly is the difference between the two?
It sounds like the title of a children’s book, but like so much else that you learned in kindergarten, it’s true. Everyone’s body is different – but everyone’s endocannabinoid system is really unique. For reasons we don’t fully understand, receptors in the endocannabinoid system don’t respond predictably to cannabinoids from person to person. This lack of a predictable response makes standard dosing tricky.
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While there is much debate on which form is better, this 2015 study (http://file.scirp.org/pdf/PP_2015021016351567.pdf) leans in favor of Full Spectrum products. There are many that believe that other cannabinoids, THC especially, are necessary to take full advantage of what cannabis has to offer. Ultimately, however, we are all different and it comes down to the individual user and their needs. If drug testing is a concern, you’re encouraged to seek out CBD isolate products (or terpsolates) instead of Full Spectrum.
There’s a growing body of scientific evidence to support the use of topical CBD products to ease pain, inflammation, and the symptoms of arthritis. One study using rats found that topical CBD has “therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.” More scientific research on humans is needed to confirm all of CBD’s benefits, but the initial research into topical use in humans is also promising.
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: