CBD Cannabidiol crystals isolate in glass bottle with CBD molecular structure and Cannabis leaves

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 opened up so many doors for cultivating the beneficial hemp plant on a commercial scale.

It also introduced people all around the nation to a whole new vocabulary of terms to learn and master.

Full-spectrum versus isolate. Hemp versus marijuana. Cannabis versus cannabinoids. CBD versus THC. What do all these words even mean?

How can you figure out which CBD product will best meet your health and wellness needs and goals?

There is a learning curve at first when you are shopping for CBD. In this post, we specifically take a look at what you need to know about a specific type of CBD product, CBD isolate.

Here Is Your Basic CBD Vocabulary

If you are brand new to learning about CBD products, this basic vocabulary lesson will help you get up to speed and feel more confident while ordering your products.


Hemp is one of several varieties in the cannabis family of plants. The hemp plant is less famous than marijuana, which also belongs to the cannabis family.

Hemp is used for all kinds of things around the world, including furniture and furnishings, linens, and clothing, as a sustainable wood substitute and also to produce CBD products.


Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds present in varying quantities in different plants in the cannabis family of plants.


CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the cannabinoids. The hemp plant has the greatest natural quantities of CBD.


THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main active ingredient (naturally occurring chemical compound) in the marijuana plant. THC is best known for producing a “high” sensation, which gives it the label of a “psychoactive compound.”

What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

CBD products come in so many different forms. You can find tinctures, essential oils, gummies, lozenges, lip balms, lotions, creams, bath bombs, capsules, and more.

But there are two main types of CBD products you may be interested in: full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

It is important to understand the difference when choosing your CBD product. First, we will take a look at full-spectrum CBD, so you understand what that offers.

In the previous section, you learned that CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many naturally occurring chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, that are found in the hemp plant.

CBD is one of more than a hundred different cannabinoids that have been identified in the hemp plant.

So what does it mean when a CBD product is labeled as “full-spectrum?”.

CBD comes from various parts of the hemp plant. The stem, stalk, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant all contain CBD. The only part of the hemp plant that does not contain any CBD is the seeds.

But the hemp plant contains many more cannabinoids than just CBD. Those other cannabinoids are also present naturally in the stem, stalk, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant.

So when a CBD product is marked as “full-spectrum,” what this means is that the product contains CBD plus the whole range of other natural cannabinoids. In other words, CBD will be the main ingredient but not the only ingredient.

What is most important to remember here is that the hemp plant can also contain small (trace) amounts of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana that produces the trademark “high” sensation.

To be legal to be sold commercially, hemp must contain 0.3 percent or less THC. But 0.3 percent is not zero percent. And some people are sensitive to THC. Also, even very minor trace amounts of THC can sometimes show up on drug tests.

This brings us to the importance of CBD isolate as an alternate choice.

What Is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate, as the term implies, is a type of product that contains only CBD as the active ingredient.

There are several different methods used to separate (extract) CBD from the hemp plant parts. These methods include carbon dioxide, ethanol, lipid, and hydrocarbon.

From there, distillation and chromatography are two common ways that CBD, cannabidiol, is separated from the other active and inactive ingredients in the CBD extract.

Once cannabidiol has been distilled, the end product is called CBD isolate.

A CBD isolate product in its final form may also contain a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil. But it won’t contain any of the other active natural chemical compounds found in the hemp plant, and it won’t contain any THC.

This means that CBD isolate can be a better choice for people who have to take random drug tests for employment reasons or for people who know they are sensitive to THC.

CBD isolate can also be easier to dose and work with since you are only taking a single active ingredient – cannabidiol. This can make it easier to see how your body responds to the cannabidiol itself.

Is CBD Isolate Stronger Than Full Spectrum CBD?

A definitive study on this topic was published in the Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacy in 2015.

This study revealed that CBD isolate is not stronger than full spectrum CBD – it is just different.

This means that you may need to try one and then the other to determine what formulation gives you the greatest benefits for your particular needs.

CBD has been studied a lot more extensively than most of the other cannabinoids present in the hemp plant. But researchers do know that there are benefits to be found in these other cannabinoids as well. There is much more research that needs to be done before we understand the full health and wellness benefits of hemp.

But this is why full-spectrum CBD works better for some people, and CBD isolate works better for other people.

Now that you know the difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD, you can decide which one you want to try first.

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