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  • August 27, 2022 5 min read


    Isolate CBD is the pure state of CBD that does not have additional cannabis plant compounds. On the contrary, full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the elements of the hemp plant; terpenes, THC, flavonoid, and CBD. Full-spectrum allows you to enjoy the entourage effect while isolate makes you benefit from CBD only.

    CBD products are manufactured using various hemp plant extracts. The extracts are obtained using various extraction methods, including CO2 and ethanol. However, CO2 is the most popular use compared to other methods since it maintains the purity of products and the environment. According to Landi et al. (2019), the common elements obtained from the hemp or cannabis plant are terpenes, cannabidiol (CBD), flavonoids, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike other elements, Schlienz et al. (2018) revealed that THC is regulated to 0.3% due to its intoxicating side effects such as getting “high,” dizzy, anxious, and experiencing severe headaches.  The elements of hemp are used to differentiate between the full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD, which are the three types of CBD oil. This article will help understand CBD isolate and whole plant CBD oil and their differences.

    What is CBD Whole Plant and Hemp CBD Oil?

    Whole-plant CBD oil is popularly known as full-spectrum CBD. It is manufactured using all the elements of the hemp plant; terpenes, flavonoids, THC, and CBD. Whole-plant CBD oil is the most popular, followed by broad-spectrum and isolate. It is popular since it is easy to manufacture and offers more therapeutic benefits, as noted by Watt & Karl, 2017 compared to other spectrums. Full-spectrum CBD users enjoy the entourage effect offered by all elements of hemp; terpenes, flavonoids, CBD, and even THC are associated with intoxicating effects. The entourage effect is the ability of various elements to work together to offer a better therapeutic solution than a single element.

    Although whole hemp plant CBD oil offers an entourage effect, some studies have doubts concerning its effectiveness due to the presence of THC. THC is the second dominant element of hemp associated with psychoactive effects. The common side effects of using too much CBD oil and having THC include getting “high” and anxious. However, the amounts of THC in the hemp and cannabis plant are insignificant and are harmless to users unless taken in high concentrations. According to the 2018 Farm Bill and the Food and Drugs Administration, only CBD products with THC levels less than 0.3% are legal; amounts are found in hemp and cannabis. Therefore, CBD users should always assess the potency levels of THC in their full-spectrum CBD oil to avoid the side effects.

    Isolate CBD OIL

    Isolate CBD oil is unique in broad-spectrum and full spectrum. It is also manufactured from the hemp plant but contains a single element (CBD). Isolate CBD is void of terpenes, flavonoids, and THC. Therefore, it is also suitable for people wishing to evade the intoxicating side effects of THC. Isolate CBD is highly recommended to people who only want to benefit from CBD. Unlike full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil, isolate users are not exposed to the health benefits of other elements such as terpenes and flavonoids. Alger 2013 noted that taking too much isolate CBD oil results in THC-related side effects, getting anxious and feeling ‘high.’ A slight increase in isolate CBD quantity results in diverse side effects; it is highly concentrated.

    Broad Spectrum

    Broad-spectrum CBD oil is closely related to the full spectrum. It is manufactured using all the elements found in the hemp plant except THC. Therefore, broad-spectrum CBD oil comprises flavonoids, terpenes, and CBD. It also allows you to enjoy the entourage effect without the fear of experiencing the side effects of THC. Broad-spectrum is the second most popular type of CBD oil after full spectrum. However, users should not take advantage of the absence of THC to take too much of it. Highly concentrated broad-spectrum CBD oil also results in THC-related side effects. However, unlike CBD and THC, too many terpenes and flavonoids don’t have health risks.

    Difference between Whole Hemp Plant and Isolate CBD Oil

    The Elements

    Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the elements of the hemp plant; terpenes, flavonoids, THC, and CBD. However, isolate only contains CBD. It lacks terpenes, flavonoids, and THC. Therefore, unlike full-spectrum CBD oil users who enjoy the benefits of all the elements, isolate users only use CBD.

    How to Choose the Best Full-spectrum and Isolate CBD Oil

    If you are going for either full spectrum or isolate CBD oil, you need to pay attention to some factors to get quality that would yield rapid effectiveness. The following tips will help you land on the best;

    The Lab Results

    Confirm whether the CBD oil has been assessed for potency and purity levels by a certified independent lab. While checking the lab results, consider potency levels to avoid overdosing. Some brands have CBD potency variance listed on the labels and products exceeding 10%, against the FDA regulations. Ensure the products are void of contaminants such as solvents and heavy metals. If you use full-spectrum CBD oil, check on THC levels to ensure they are below 0.3%.

    Method of Extraction

    Before checking on the extraction method, do a background check on the source of hemp of the CBD brand. Ensure the company upholds organic farming practices or gets its hemp from an organic vendor. Buy CBD oil manufactured using hemp from Colorado, Kentucky, or Oregon since they are the best organic hemp producers with their oil crafted from CO2 hemp plant extracts.


    Full-spectrum or whole hemp plant CBD oil is manufactured using all the elements of the hemp plant. On the contrary, isolate CBD oil is the pure form of CBD. Using full-spectrum CBD oil allows you to enjoy the entourage effect. However, it exposes one to THC-related side effects, including anxiety and severe headaches. If you wish to enjoy the benefits of CBD only, isolate will work best. Be cautious on the total concentration since it is highly concentrated, with CBD the only element.


    Alger, B. E. (2013, November). Getting High On The Endocannabinoid System. In Cerebrum: The Dana Forum On Brain Science (Vol. 2013). Dana Foundation.

    Landi, S., Berni, R., Capasso, G., Hausman, J. F., Guerriero, G., & Esposito, S. (2019). Impact Of Nitrogen Nutrition On Cannabis Sativa: An Update On The Current Knowledge And Future Prospects. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, 20(22), 5803.

    Schlienz, N. J., Lee, D. C., Stitzer, M. L., & Vandrey, R. (2018). The Effect Of High-Dose Dronabinol (Oral THC) Maintenance On Cannabis Self-Administration. Drug And Alcohol Dependence, 187, 254-260.Https://Www.Sciencedirect.Com/Science/Article/Pii/S0376871618301844 

    Watt, G., & Karl, T. (2017). In Vivo Evidence For Therapeutic Properties Of Cannabidiol (CBD) For Alzheimer's Disease. Frontiers In Pharmacology, 8, 20. Https://Www.Frontiersin.Org/Articles/10.3389/Fphar.2017.00020/Full.