All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).
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.
Every CBD product should make third-party lab results available, either online, in their packaging, or by request. At minimum, each tincture here offers lab results showing the levels of cannabinoids like CBD and THC, while others offer additional tests. The more information available to consumers the better. At the same time, we admit it isn’t always easy for newcomers to interpret these lab tests.
The first step to finding your correct CBD dosage is getting as much information as you can about the product you’re using. What is the concentration of CBD? Are there third-party lab tests that can confirm that? The CBD industry is still mainly a grassroots therapeutic movement, and as such, largely unregulated. Concentration and purity levels can differ greatly depending on the manufacturing process.
You then take your first drop of CBD oil, wait 45 minutes, then ask the questions again. If you feel no different and there’s no change in the way you answer those questions, you increase the dose by small increments until you do notice a difference. You can continue this process over several days – and at some point, you’ll find that taking more doesn’t change your scores. That is your minimum effective dose.
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: