Full Spectrum CBD & CBD Isolate – What’s the difference and which CBD should I take?

The CBD Industry is an exciting place to be a part of right now and people are finally starting to discover the potential natural health properties.  Laws around the world on this wonderful plant are becoming more and more relaxed resulting in new CBD products being developed at a very fast pace.  With so many new products appearing, the market is quickly becoming complicated and confusing.  Terms like full plant extract, full spectrum and isolate are appearing on all sorts of products and websites so we decided to write this article to point out the differences.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant – it is non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating but is now recognised for its potential medical properties.  CBD will not give the user any sort of high that cannabis is more commonly known for and is becoming more available in shops and online in the UK as more awareness spreads and regulations change.   CBD is usually derived from hemp, the name given to cannabis plants with less than 0.2% THC which can be mass gown for CBD extraction.

So … What is Full Spectrum Oil then?

Full spectrum – sometimes referred to as ‘whole plant or full plant extract’ means that the full plant is used to create the extract.  This means that all the hundreds of different phytochemicals derived from the cannabis plant, such as cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds are all included.  Due to current UK regulations, the CBD extract must contain no more than 0.2% THC.   This extract is usually mixed with a carrying oil such as Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil or Coconut oil to create a Full Spectrum CBD Oil.

Studies are being carried out which indicate that the cannabinoids and terpenes work together to influence each other.  This synergistic effect is called the entourage effect and is considered an effective way of influencing your own endocannabinoid system.

So … What Does Isolate mean then?

CBD Isolate is exactly how it sounds – isolated CBD.  Due to changes or clarifications in the current regulations from the FSA, isolates or pure CBD are now no longer permitted as they have been classified as ‘novel foods’.   We have seen alternative CBD based products such as e-liquids and skin care treatments that still contain CBD Isolate but Isolate can currently not be used for CBD oil which is designed to be taken orally.  Whilst this was a blow for the CBD industry, we still feel that there is a lot if not more benefits from taking Full Spectrum CBD oils as the user receives the full entourage effect as outlined earlier.  Studies have indicated that the synergistic effects of a Full Spectrum CBD Oil were superior to an isolate in the effective treatment of inflammatory conditions.  Terpenes which are included in Full Spectrum Oils but removed from Isolate have also shown incredible potential for human health and should not be over looked. 

Full Spectrum it is then …..

Whilst we agree that true Full Spectrum based products are great, there’s unfortunately a lot of false claims and figures being thrown around.  It’s not all about the amount of CBD per serving that you see on a bottle.  A higher CBD Product isn’t necessarily superior to a full spectrum oil.  Leaving the plants extracts closer to the way nature intended could be a better option for most people.  

Our next blog post will touch on active CBD content and dosages – We’d also like to talk about the difference in Full Spectrum Extract processes and how that effects the end product.


We really hope that these blog posts help clear up any confusion over the current CBD products on the market.  Our aim is to keep raising awareness and give people the confidence to try CBD. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this and once again, we hope you enjoy the posts and give Herbal Labs CBD Products a try!

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