Cannabidiol (CBD) is an anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory substance that has gained immense popularity in recent years. However, it was used to treat many ailments in traditional medicine long before modern scientists isolated the first CBD compounds.
In recent years, studies have validated these traditional remedies, showing that CBD is effective at treating various mental and physical ailments, notably inflammatory conditions. Most CBD products – such as sprays, tinctures and edibles – use CBD extracts suspended in a carrier oil, though many different types of CBD can be used.
This article will discuss the properties and potential uses of full-spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains the ‘full spectrum of cannabinoids (and CBD) and trace amounts of THC, less than 0.3%. Because it is less processed than other forms of CBD oil and contains more natural products, many people consider full-spectrum CBD oil to be superior to other forms of CBD.
These organic credentials mean that full-spectrum CBD is more often used in products marketed as high-quality and/or organic, such as full spectrum tincture oil.
Since full-spectrum CBD oil is not as processed as other forms, you may believe that it’s as easy to make as fruit juice, but extracting CBD oil is a very involved process. From growing hemp to filtering CBD extracts, the production of CBD oil is a very complicated multi-stage process that requires:
Firstly, workers harvest the leaves of hemp or hemp plants before drying and crushing them to attain hemp powder. By rendering the plants into powder form, it is much easier to extract CBD from the plants, which can be done in several ways.
One of the simpler ways to extract CBD from hemp is by heating the plants before soaking them in ethanol and filtering the CBD oil from the ethanol. While the specifics of this process vary drastically between companies, ethanol extraction generally follows this heat-soak-filter method, which has the benefit of not requiring advanced equipment.
Contrastingly, CO2 extraction is an advanced method of separating CBD compounds from hemp plants that requires advanced equipment to treat the plants with CO2 gas: Under low temperature, high-pressure conditions, CO2 enters a supercritical state where it acts as a solvent with much better results than ethanol, resulting in purer (but more costly) CBD extracts.
As the name implies, CBD isolate is a form of CBD that has been isolated from all other cannabinoids such as TCH and terpenes. Because it goes through additional filtration and distillation processes, CBD isolate is almost 100% CBD and is often cold in crystalline or powdered form.
Much like full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD Isolate is made by extracting CBD oil from hemp before isolating the CBD and eliminating the other cannabinoids. As a result, CBD isolate is more processed and involves additional stages such as:
After the CBD has been harvested and extracted (using one of the methods described above), manufacturers winterise the CBD oil to remove impurities like fats and chlorophyll. As the name implies, winterization is carried out by cooling the crude CBD oil to freezing point, when the wax and impurities separate from the oil.
After the CBD oil has been chilled, it’s warmed into liquid form and fed into a filtration chamber to separate the pure CBD oil from all the remaining impurities.
The CBD extract that remains after filtration is highly acidic, so it must be heated in a process known as decarboxylation to convert it into a neutral form. The heating process removes CO2 and acids known as carboxyl from the CBD extract, resulting in a purer, more palatable product.
Lastly, the CBD extract is distilled to remove impurities and convert the crude CBD oil into one of the purest possible forms of CBD. In the same way that one might distill alcohol, heating the CBD oil until it transforms into vapour then condensing it back into liquid removes trace amounts of water and impurities, creating a MUCH purer product than full-spectrum CBD oil.
Since full-spectrum CBD is the most natural form of CBD containing many beneficial compounds in addition to CBD, it has many health benefits, including:
CBD is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce pain from inflammatory conditions and even chronic pain. Furthermore, some research indicates that full-spectrum CBD products (such as full spectrum tincture oil) are more effective in treating pain than other forms of CBD, likely due to the wider range of beneficial compounds present.
Full-spectrum CBD oil is also effective at reducing stress, as it has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Research has proven that CBD helps reduce depression and social anxiety, so full-spectrum CBD could be a great way to beat the blues.
In addition to reducing stress levels, CBD has proven to help people achieve restful REM sleep, especially when taken in the form of full-spectrum CBD products. Researchers theorise that one of the lesser-known cannabidiols present in full-spectrum CBD could have specific benefits on human sleep patterns.
Many skin problems (such as acne and eczema) are linked to inflammation, so full-spectrum CBD helps to tackle the root causes of your skin issues. A few topical applications of full-spectrum CBD could be what you need to get rid of those stubborn spots.
Unlike full-spectrum products, CBD isolate is made from incredibly pure CBD, providing more potent CBD content at the cost of other beneficial compounds found in hemp. It’s unclear if taking a purer form of CBD provides more powerful benefits than an equivalent dose of full-spectrum CBD, but using CBD isolate should help reduce some of the side effects of CBD use.
CBD has widely known anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce pain – even in chronic conditions such as arthritis and neuropathic pain – making it an effective alternative to conventional painkillers.
CBD Isolate has proven effective in treating epilepsy, decreasing the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures in patients, making this an effective alternative to conventional anti-seizure medication.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain a wide range of help compounds – such as terpenes and flavonoids – in addition to CBD, which may offer additional benefits. Although research on these compounds is limited, many studies show that full-spectrum CBD offers more potent anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety benefits than pure CBD due to the additional hemp compounds.
However, the purity of CBD isolate cannot be overlooked, and some research indicates that this form of CBD is better able to treat conditions like epilepsy, for example. Whichever form of CBD you choose, we hope that this article has taught you something new about this wonderful natural substance.