The Science Behind Full Spectrum CBD Oil and Isolates

CBD comes in two forms

The common characterization of cannabidiol (CBD) as a recreational cannabis product has morphed into something else in recent years, as its now commonly used to manage all manner of ailments and conditions.

Many are familiar with CBD as a cannabinoid in the marijuana plant, but the compound is also observed in hemp, and has given many benefits in research and studies in its hemp form. It can be utilized in a variety of ways, ranging from simple oral consumption to topical use, and even vaping. Regardless of the many different consumption methods, however, there are just two main kinds of CBD on the market: Full spectrum CBD and CBD isolates.

Cannabidiol. Source

There are a number of fundamental differences between the two. Full-spectrum oil is carefully derived from specific cultivars of cannabis seeds that contain an abundance of cannabinoids, including very small traces (up to 0.3 percent) of THC. CBD isolates, on the other hand, are purely CBD — isolated from the cannabis plant with all other plant material removed.

The rise of the CBD

The prevalence of CBD has led many users to raise questions about the methods used to extract and deliver the substance. The principal subject of these inquiries, is which form provides the most efficient spectrum of medical benefits for the user. As stated, the two most popular forms of extracted CBD found in the markets are full-spectrum (whole-plant extract) and pure CBD isolate. Most users favor the full-spectrum option.

As CBD’s usefulness for medical purposes has become more trusted over the years, new methods of administering it have begun to develop.

Cannabinoids found in full spectrum oil

On a microscopic level, all cannabinoids are derived from the cannabinoid cannabigerol. Cannabinoids are modified from their primary acid forms by decarboxylation through heat, light, or alkaline conditions, allowing them to associate fully with the endocannabinoid system.

  • Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is the most overflowing cannabinoid in hemp oil gaining over 90% of the cannabinoid content. It is non-psychoactive and is the center of the benefits derived from hemp oil. CBD has little inclination for CB1 or CB2 receptors, the main features of interaction for cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. The system preferably acts as a secondary antagonist of cannabinoid agonists, probably allowing CBD to temper the ‘high’ caused by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Other forms present include CBD-C1: Cannabidiol-C1, CBD-C4: Cannabidiol-C4 and CBDA: Cannabidiolic Acid.

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)

Cannabigerol is recognized as the stem cell cannabinoid, for its function as an antecedent to other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Previously ignored as a significant cannabinoid, the role of CBG is becoming better explained as a lot of research is being conducted. Because most CBG is converted into other cannabinoids like CBD or THC by the cannabis plant, natural CBG levels are low in most treated cannabis plants.

The medicinal benefits

Cannabis, with its multiple chemical structures, contains over 100 active cannabinoids aside from CBD. It also contains terpenes, which have anti-inflammatory characteristics and are regarded as improving the efficacy of cannabinoids. Although they aren’t considered as important as CBD for medical benefits, some of those other cannabinoids have been seen to have symptom-alleviating properties as well. The cannabinoids CBN and CBG, for example, are found in most full-spectrum extracts, and studies have explained that both contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and pain-relieving properties.

The full-spectrum oil

By forming full-spectrum oil, all the cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant are in the oil. This also enables the cannabinoids to interact with the endocannabinoid system in what has grown to be known as the entourage effect— when all the ingredients in the oil, including the terpenes, vitamins, and range of cannabinoids are released to work with the body directly, as they would in the native plant.

Methods of consumption can have an exciting impact on the effectiveness of CBD, and should be considered while buying CBD products. As we see, full-spectrum CBD is more famous, and for good reason, but CBD isolates has certain advantages that might be attractive to different CBD users.

Cannabinoids. Source

CBD isolates

study centered on the effectiveness of CBD isolate corresponded to full-plant extracts, sustained this result: The isolated CBD was ineffective both before and after a particular dosage, while the effectiveness of the full-spectrum solution maintained, and increased as higher doses were delivered.

The result shows that CBD is uniquely efficient against swelling and pain at a specific dose. It also shows that those cannabis solutions comprising of a full range of cannabinoids will continue to provide corresponding effects as the dosage is increased.

Given the results of the study, it would seem to verify that full-spectrum extract is favored over CBD isolate for most CBD users. However, CBD isolate is still commonly used and considered by some to be more efficient than full-plant extract. This belief is driven by the concept that CBD is the only medically solicited cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, aside from THC.


CBD isolate does have something for CBD users that full-spectrum extracts do not. The fact that full-spectrum extracts regularly contain zero to low levels of THC means that some users think it unsafe. This leads them to stick with complete CBD isolates out of fear of failing a drug test or feeling a form of ‘high’.

Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and studying everything above and under cannabis roots.

Published by Neil

Neil believes Cannabis has medical benefits and should be prescribed by a Doctor. This site aims to provide accurate information on the science and legality of Cannabis so you can make informed decisions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: