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Full Spectrum vs Isolate CBD Products: What You Need To Know

Full Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate
Full Spectrum CBD Extracts vs CBD Isolate

One of the most important FAQs we see at Modern Nature (MoNa) is "What is the difference between Full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate?" In this article, the cannabidiol (CBD) experts at Modern Nature will explain why full spectrum CBD extracts from the whole hemp plant are superior for optimizing the full range of therapeutic health benefits which CBD has to offer. We'll talk about the exciting "entourage effect" and explain how the performance of CBD is enhanced when used as nature intended, interacting with over 100 companion cannabinoids and terpenes found in the whole hemp plant.

 A recent study by the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research left no room for doubt in the full spectrum CBD vs CBD isolate debate concluding:

"In all of the tests, the isolated CBD was ineffective both before and after a certain dosage, while the effectiveness of the full-spectrum solution continued to increase as higher doses were administered. The results all indicate that CBD is only effective against swelling and pain at a certain dose, and that cannabis solution containing a full range of cannabinoids will continue to provide corresponding effects as the dosage is increased." 

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

The medical term for "swelling" is "inflammation" and CBD's powerful anti-inflammatory action and well-known analgesic (painkilling) effects are two of the factors which attract health consumers. Full spectrum CBD includes all of the beneficial compounds within the cannabis plant including CBN, CBG, THC-V, and THC-A.

CBD provides a safer more effective nontoxic solution for those who are tired of strong, addictive medications which only address the symptoms of pain and chronic inflammation and tend to lose their effectiveness over time. CBD offers a safe and effective alternative to prescription and OTC medications with their long lists of debilitating side effects, not to mention drug interaction hazards.

Conversely, CBD works naturally with the incredible endocannabinoid system by activating existing cannabinoid receptors to address the underlying causes of symptoms at their source. Evidence also shows that taking supplemental full spectrum CBD can trigger the creation of even more of these CB1 and CB2 receptors over time so the body can take full advantage of the extra supply of available CBD. This is why we say at MoNa, "A little CBD goes a long way." With CBD there is no risk of building up a tolerance, addiction, or fatal overdose.

While full-spectrum CBD extract from hemp oil does elevate mood by raising natural levels of the mood-enhancing chemical compound anandamide in our systems, it does not have the psychoactive effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in marijuana extracts. And CBD products from hemp are now legal in all 50 states since the recent passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

By naturally influencing (what scientists call "manipulating") the endocannabinoid system with supplemental CBD  improved pain tolerance, immune response, inflammation response, elevated mood, motor control, sleep, and overall wellbeing is the result. But research such as the Lautenberg study has shown that all of the cannabinoids and terpenes available in the whole hemp plant must also be available in the CBD extract chosen to supplement the body's natural supply of endocannabinoids.

What is CBD isolate?

CBD isolate originated to "isolate" the beneficial CBD cannabinoid from its notoriously psychoactive companion cannabinoid THC in marijuana. Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants but in chemical composition, they are as different as apples and oranges. With CBD from hemp, this isn't a concern since the hemp plant has only naturally minuscule trace levels of THC, below the legal limit of .03%. In fact, under the terms of the 2018 Farm Bill, even a CBD isolate product derived from the marijuana plant is still illegal. Only CBD products from industrial hemp are legal in all 50 states, whether they are full-spectrum or isolates.

Vaping was a primary driver of the CBD isolate concept. Many CBD users vape CBD liquids for the increased "bio-availability" since vaping gets CBD past the blood-brain barrier most effectively. For chronic pain management, this is an effective way to achieve quick relief, but many health-conscious vapers were under the impression that they needed to avoid inhaling any "unnecessary" terpenes or cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Before ongoing research revealed the benefits of full-spectrum CBD the "isolate" concept had gained enough traction that it crossed over into other products such as edibles and capsules. 

Sadly, CBD isolate product users are missing out on the vast array of health-enhancing compounds which nature has made available in the whole hemp plant including the many cannabinoids, healthy fatty acids, and terpenes which are all readily available in full-spectrum MoNa CBD products

Benefits of Full Spectrum CBD Extract

The hemp plant contains over 100 chemical compounds in a complex structure and research is just now unraveling how these substances interact and enhance the performance of each other. This is known as the "synergistic" or "entourage" effect. New research has revealed that the less notorious cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG also have anti-bacterial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties of their own which complement the similar healing actions of CBD. 

Going beyond the presence of 100 or more cannabinoids (research is still ongoing into the wonderfully complex hemp plant) full spectrum CBD products bring a host of other beneficial nutrients and essentials including: 

  • minerals
  • essential fats
  • proteins
  • the nine essential amino acids
  • vitamins A, C and E (all powerful antioxidants)
  • iron
  • zinc
  • calcium
  • potassium
  • phosphorus

And let's not forget the most important benefit revealed by the Lautenberg Center study, that full-spectrum CBD, as a result of the entourage effect, maintains its effectiveness over time. This is important when CBD is deployed to fight serious ongoing neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. 

Terpenes and CBD

The synergistic effect of terpenes and cannabinoids increases the therapeutic power of each. Terpenes are the essential oils which give cannabis its distinctive musky aroma. So far researchers have identified almost 200 distinct terpenes, and it turns out that they do much more than provide a pleasant scent. Terpenes act on receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain with an antidepressant potency comparable to Prozac and Elavil.  

The common terpenes have therapeutic properties of their own which go hand in hand with the many known benefits of CBD. The terpene caryophyllene has the ability to activate the endocannabinoid system's CB2 receptors even though it's not a cannabinoid. This gives caryophyllene a strong anti-inflammatory property. Limonene is a sweet smelling terpene reminiscent of citrus with antibacterial and antianxiety characteristics. Linalool has a strong sedative effect. The array of disorders for which terpenes can be effective helps us understand how they complement the therapeutic power of CBD. These include:

  • pain
  • inflammation
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • addiction
  • epilepsy
  • cancer
  • fungal and bacterial infections
Full Spectrum CBD Products at Modern Nature

At Modern Nature, our Ph.D. formulated CBD products incorporate the full-spectrum benefits of the whole hemp plant with the synergistic power of healing herbs such as holy basil, ashwagandha root, and turmeric to provide a safe doctor-endorsed solution that can enhance every lifestyle.