The popularity of CBD has exploded in recent years, with many people looking to CBD oil to treat anxiety, chronic pain, and even epilepsy.

What someone new to the market might not know is that there are in fact two main forms of CBD available: ‘Full-Spectrum’ CBD and ‘CBD Isolate’. There are a number of differences between these two forms of CBD that can dramatically alter a users’ experience. As we will see, full-spectrum CBD is more popular, and for good reason, but isolate has certain benefits that might appeal to different CBD users.

‘Full-spectrum CBD’ refers to an oil that contains all the cannabinoid molecules from the cannabis plant and is also known as “full plant extract”. The alternative to Full-spectrum CBD is a ‘CBD isolate’, which is the purest form of CBD, and is made from carefully filtered hemp plant extract. CBD isolate is created by isolate single molecules from the cannabis plant, like CBD or THC, in much the same way we can strip the caffeine off of tea leaves to make decaffeinated tea. CBD isolate is generally considered to be the cleanest and purest CBD product available.

The downside of CBD isolate is that it tends to not deliver the full benefits of all the cannabinoid compounds working together. This synergistic relationship between cannabinoids is often referred to as the “entourage effect”. Full spectrum CBD is largely considered more effective than isolates because of this effect.


It might help to think of CBD isolates as the “protein powder” of the cannabis world, whereas full-spectrum CBD oil is more like a chicken breast. Both have high levels of protein and can taste good, but for many people it takes more than just protein powder to feel satisfied.

Full spectrum and isolates can both have ultra-low THC, but full spectrum will always have some THC present. A CBD isolate oil is perfect for people who do not want any THC or the psychoactive effects associated with it. By comparison full spectrum CBD oil is more effective at supporting pain management but will have some THC. Make no mistake, THC can help with pain too, but it can have the consequence of having psychoactive effects, depending on your body and the amount you consume. With high levels of pain, high levels of THC are usually recommended.

Blends and ratios

The beautiful thing about modern technology is that you don’t have to choose between just isolate or full-spectrum CBD. Many CBD only oils come in both varieties. You can even choose between blends of CBD to THC if you want to better tailor your experience and medicine. Common rations are 1:1 and 2:1. One to one (1:1) denotes equal parts TCH and CBD, so it would be 50% THC and 50% CBD. This could look like 5mg THC and 5mg CBD and could deliver a small head high. Two to one (2:1) is double the amount of CBD to THC, so it would be closer to 2.5mg THC to 5 CBD, this would give less of a head high. Sometimes you can find rations of 4:1 or even higher. It’s all about finding what’s right for you and your pain.

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