When you buy CBD oil from a high-end brand like VSAVI, you’ll need to make one key decision before you complete your purchase. Do you want full-spectrum CBD oil, or do you want CBD oil made from CBD isolate? Your choice is a fairly important one because it may affect the type of experience that you have when using CBD.
Which type of CBD oil is the right one for you?
What Is Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?
Hemp is an extremely complex plant with a wide assortment of active ingredients. CBD is just one of those ingredients. There are more than 100 cannabinoids in hemp, along with other potentially useful natural compounds such as terpenes.
The first step in manufacturing CBD oil is extracting the essential oil from hemp plant material. That’s usually done via supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, a method that leaves no residual solvents in the final product. A machine shoots pressurized carbon dioxide through the plant material, drawing out a thick, dark distillate.
Raw hemp distillate contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes from the original plant material, and it is the basis of full-spectrum CBD oil.
What Is CBD Isolate?
It’s also possible to isolate CBD from a raw hemp extract and use it as the basis for a product containing nothing but CBD. To do that, the hemp processor puts the hemp extract through a lengthy refinement process.
The refinement process begins with winterization, a step in which the hemp extract is mixed with alcohol and frozen. Winterizing the oil makes the plant waxes in the extract clump together so they can be filtered out.
After winterization, the hemp extract is put through fractional distillation. In this step, individual compounds – including CBD – are boiled out of the hemp extract and collected separately.
Finally, the hemp extract – now containing almost nothing but CBD – is mixed with a solvent that causes the CBD to precipitate out in a crystalline form. The crystals are oil-soluble, and they contain more than 99 percent CBD. Mixing CBD isolate with a carrier oil such as MCT oil gives you a CBD oil product in which CBD is the only detectable cannabinoid.
What Are the Benefits of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?
Researchers around the world are studying hemp and trying to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which it can potentially benefit people. Hemp research has been ongoing for decades, though, and we remain very far from understanding it completely. Although researchers have discovered that CBD may have many potential benefits, the dozens of other minor cannabinoids in hemp may be equally beneficial. We simply don’t know; the minor cannabinoids have barely been studied all.
When you use full-spectrum CBD oil, you’re getting all of the minor cannabinoids along with the CBD. If the minor cannabinoids do have benefits of their own, then you’re getting those benefits along with the benefits of the CBD. You’re also getting the terpenes from the original plant. Terpenes are abundant in hemp; they’re the compounds that give various hemp strains their unique flavors and scents. Flowers and spices are also rich sources of terpenes. Terpenes are the compounds that allow aromatherapy to work its magic. Many people find that some terpenes produce uplifting and energizing effects, while others are more sedating and relaxing. You may find that terpenes enhance the benefits you get from CBD oil.
Some people who have tried both full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate have reported that full-spectrum CBD seems to produce more noticeable benefits. The hypothesis is that cannabinoids have an “entourage effect” in that individual cannabinoids are more effective when they’re taken in the presence of other cannabinoids that reinforce their effects.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Isolate?
Full-spectrum CBD has a potential drawback in that all hemp – even industrial hemp – contains some THC. Nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom tightly regulate the amount of THC that industrial hemp can contain, so no legal CBD product will ever make you feel high or impaired.
It is possible, though, for a full-spectrum hemp extract to contain enough THC that a lab can detect it. It’s therefore also possible that, if you consume large doses of full-spectrum CBD oil, you could get flagged as a THC user when taking a drug test even though you aren’t using marijuana.
While the possibility of failing a drug test after using full-spectrum CBD oil is remote and usually requires you to take very high doses of CBD, even a slight possibility of failing a drug test is unacceptable for the many people who must undergo mandatory drug screenings as a condition of employment. If you want to eliminate the possibility of consuming any cannabinoids other than CBD, CBD isolate is probably the right choice for you.
How Might CBD Isolate Products Evolve in the Future?
So, what does the future hold for CBD products based on CBD isolate? It’s obvious that there’s a high level of demand for CBD products that contain no THC. At the same time, there are plenty of people who believe that CBD is most effective when it isn’t just taken on its own. In the future, maybe we’ll see products based on CBD isolate that have the THC removed and other minor cannabinoids selectively added back in. At this time, though, there is no known way to separate cannabinoids that finely.
One thing that is possible, though, is selectively adding terpenes to CBD products. Terpenes can be isolated from a variety of plants – not just hemp – and can then be added to CBD oil to enhance certain effects. One fun thing that some CBD producers do is use blends of terpenes to simulate the terpene profiles of real hemp strains. The simulated terpene profiles are particularly popular among those who prefer to inhale CBD products.