What Is CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum Used For?

White powder in clear container on white countertop

Posted on December 15th, 2021

If you’re shopping for CBD, you’ll have a choice to make: CBD isolate vs full-spectrum. It’s often hard to decide which to purchase. Especially since so many products retail in similar sizes, but for markedly different prices. For newcomers, labels such as “full-spectrum” or “isolate” don’t mean much. In fact, this lingo can be overwhelming. Even long-time users occasionally have trouble keeping up.

We know how frustrating this confusion can be. So, to help clear things up a bit, let’s focus on explaining the differences between CBD isolate vs full-spectrum. While both contain the same key ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD)  that’s about all they have in common. Which is why we’ll highlight some of the key differences as well. 

CBD isolate vs full spectrum. What is CBD isolate used forWhat Is CBD Isolate?

CBD is one of over 100 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis family of plants. Now, when you extract CBD, additional plant products and compounds come along for the ride. But, when you choose CBD isolate vs full-spectrum, manufacturers remove those extract products. 

Afterward, your CBD isolate will likely come in a powder or crystal form. It contains only CBD without any additional cannabinoids or plant-based additives. Usually, the product’s CBD purity level is about 99 percent.

Today, we use several different processes to produce CBD isolate. One common method is to focus on extracting all additional plant matter and cannabinoids, leaving only CBD behind in a crystal form. This crystal can then be sold as is or converted to powder.

What Is CBD Isolate Used For?

It’s for people who want to enjoy the health benefits of CBD without using additional cannabinoids like THC, CBN, and CBG. Why would that be the case? Well, we’ve seen more research on CBD benefits than on any other cannabinoid. (Except maybe THC.) So, by taking pure CBD, people think they’ll reduce the risk of negative side effects. Now, there are some problems with this theory. But we’ll address those later.

CBD isolate is not often sold as oil, unlike most other CBD products. It’s usually sold as a powder that you can use in a process called “dabbing”. To ‘dab,’ you vaporize a small amount of CBD isolate on a hot surface. You then inhale the vapor. You can also find CBD isolate for dabbing that’s sold as wax or “shatter.” (This is a harder substance that resembles glass.)

With time, we’ve gained access to CBD isolate in traditional oil and edible form. But these types of CBD isolate vs are less popular vs full-spectrum products. And that brings up the next question: why do most people prefer full-spectrum CBD? 

What Are CBD Isolate Benefits?

All of CBD isolate’s benefits apply to full-spectrum products as well. But the reverse isn’t true. Because when it comes to CBD isolate vs full-spectrum, the latter can also harness the power of benefits linked to THC and other hemp cannabinoids.

Benefit 1: Pain Relief

This is one of the most significant benefits associated with CBD isolate. CBD appears to have powerful analgesic properties. This prevents certain nerve endings in the body from releasing neurotransmitters or peptides that would otherwise indicate pain. Because of this, CBD isolate has become a very popular supplement for people suffering from certain neurological disorders.

Benefit 2: Stress Relief

CBD may target stress and anxiety by altering the way our brains respond to specific chemicals, which in turn greatly reduces symptoms of stress. In fact, in one study conducted in 2019, researchers found that 79 percent of participants experienced reduced anxiety when exposed to CBD.

What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

As you might have guessed, this is the opposite of CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD includes the full range of cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. All of these cannabinoids are included during the extraction process. This means that a full-spectrum CBD product may include a very small THC concentration, which may worry some individuals. 

However, as long as your full-spectrum CBD is sourced from hemp plants, you don’t have to worry. Strict regulations govern the growth of hemp plants and the production of CBD (including full-spectrum CBD). Legally in the United States, hemp plants used to produce CBD must not contain a THC concentration higher than 0.3%. Now, since this percentage is so low, it’s considered completely negligible in terms of benefits and side effects. That level of THC most certainly can’t trigger psychoactive effects.

Tanasi 2400mg CBD TinctureWhat Is Full-Spectrum CBD Used For?

Full-Spectrum CBD can be found in nearly all possible forms, aside from crystalline. It’s most often sold as a tincture or mixed with additional carrier oils in lotions, salves, and many other products. It is a popular ingredient when making legal edibles because it does not lose all of its health benefits during the cooking process.

The people who rely on full-spectrum CBD enjoy all of the benefits associated with CBD isolate, and so much more. That’s because the general scientific consensus is that cannabinoids work better together than on their own. There has even been a study that covered this subject, now known as the “entourage” effect. It is because of this effect and study that many consumers prefer full-spectrum CBD.

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum: Will You Get The Entourage Effect?

We know that CBD works by interacting with specific receptors in your endocannabinoid system. Just like CBD, other cannabinoids can interact with these receptors as well. Their effect, though, is not always the same. The two cannabinoids that are most well-understood are CBD and THC.

An entourage is a group that surrounds and follows an important person. In this case, CBD is that important person, and the other cannabinoids form the entourage. The entourage effect suggests that the benefits of CBD are greater when consumed with additional cannabinoids. 

But that’s not all: not only do other cannabinoids boost the impact of CBD on the body. They also produce their own benefits. And, other terpenes found in the hemp plant can also be beneficial. 

The entourage effect has been noticed and studied on multiple occasions. In 2011, the British Journal of Pharmacology published a massive review of studies that pointed toward the existence of the entourage effect. This review of studies indicated that the phytocannabinoids and terpenes produced in the cannabis plant possessed a powerful synergy.

Of course, without a high volume of studies, it is possible to cast doubt on a theory. A 2019 study suggested that there was no additional change to CB1 or CB2 receptors when CBD was consumed with additional terpenes. This most likely indicates that additional research is needed to determine just how these phytochemicals working together in the body and how their synergy produces increased benefits.

Why Are People Affected Differently?

With both forms of CBD, we see that two different people can be affected very differently. This is what leads to a lot of confusion surrounding CBD-based products. Why is it that two different people can experience two different reactions when taking identical CBD products?


Once again, genetics impacts our lives in ways that we can’t control. Some people are born with more CB1 and CB2 receptors in their body. This provides them with more potential CBD interactions and thus a greater potential for experiencing health benefits.

Physical Properties

This includes your health, sex, and body type. Various health conditions will affect how cannabinoids impact your system. As such, you should always discuss CBD use with your doctor, especially if you suffer from a chronic health condition. Additionally, a higher body fat percentage will mean that you need to consume more CBD to experience the same effects as someone with a lower body fat percentage. Finally, some studies suggest that females may be more sensitive to the effects of CBD.

Conclusion: Which Product Is Better?

Are you trying to make a decision between CBD isolate or a product containing full-spectrum CBD? Allow us to weigh in. Here at Tanasi, we believe that full-spectrum CBD is a superior product. The entourage effect means that the CBD will deliver increased health benefits in addition to unique health benefits associated with the included cannabinoids or terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD is simply a more well-rounded product, with a greater chance of producing desired effects in your body.

Even so, we realize some people want to avoid THC at all costs. The only way to truly accomplish this is by purchasing a CBD isolate product. Doing so will still provide you with many of the benefits associated with CBD. 

Finally, if a CBD isolate product does not deliver the benefits you seek after allowing enough time for your body to adjust to the supplement, then we recommend sampling a full-spectrum product. Remember, legal CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC and most high-quality products will contain less than this. So you can enjoy a full-spectrum CBD product without fear of legal repercussions. 

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