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  • by Nicola Boulton August 30, 2022 5 min read

    What Is CBD Isolate & Whole Plant Hemp CBD Oil? What's the Difference?

    CBD isolate is also called pure CBD oil. It comprises a single element of the hemp plant (CBD). Whole plant (full spectrum has all the elements of the organic hemp plant. The broad spectrum entails all hemp plant extracts except THC. This article explains what CBD isolate is, what a whole plant hemp CBD oil is, and their difference.

    CBD is obtained from organic hemp plants or marijuana. The plants contain various chemical compounds such as terpenes, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and flavonoids. The presence or absence of either of the elements in CBD oil is used in differentiating the types of CBD. There are three types of CBD oil, full-spectrum (whole plant), broad-spectrum and isolate (pure). Each type of CBD has its health benefits and disadvantages. However, not only CBD oil is offered in the three types. Other hemp-based products such as capsules, vapes, tinctures, and topicals are also offered in all types of CBD oil.

    What Is CBD Isolate & Whole Plant Hemp CBD Oil? What's the Difference?

    What is CBD Oil?

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major chemical compound of the hemp plant or marijuana. Although other elements of the hemp plant are also useful, CBD has obtained a lot of attention from researchers. The presence of other elements in CBD oil is useful in delivering an entourage effect. CBD oil is the most natural of hemp. Its extracts are obtained through CO2, the most effective method. According to Rochfort et al. (2020), CO2 is the cleanest and most effective way of obtaining hemp plant extracts. It involves few chemicals, minimizing contamination. However, only quality CBD oil can address an individual's health concerns.

    Whole Plant Hemp CBD Oil

    Whole-plant CBD oil is also called the full spectrum. They are manufactured using various hemp plant parts, including the leaves, stalks, and roots. Whole-plant CBD oils undergo less extraction because all the elements are involved. They comprise flavonoids, THC, CBD, and terpenes. Whole-plant CBD oils are highly embraced and are the most common. They have various health benefits beyond the intended due to the entourage effect. Multiple organic chemical compounds can work together to offer more than the intended health benefits.

    Whole plant effectiveness has been severalty questioned by researchers. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the second dominant element of the hemp plant. However, unlike CBD, terpenes, and flavonoids, its levels were limited by the 2018 Farm Bill. According to Fattore et al. (2011), THC can result in anxiety, poor memory, dizziness, change in appetite, red eyes, and dry lips due to its intoxicating side effects. Due to the intoxicating side effects of THC that will make “high,” the 2018 Farm Bill retrained its levels to below 0.3%. Marijuana CBD oil is illegal since its THC levels are over 10%.

    Besides the intoxicating side effects, whole plant CBD oil has multiple health benefits. Its entourage effect allows you to gain more health benefits than intended. THC is also an active element contributing to the entourage effect. According to Gallily et al. (2018), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has anti-inflammatory properties contributing to one's general health and wellness. According to Boehnke et al. (2022), full-spectrum CBD is suitable for alleviating anxiety levels. However, it can only be effective if taken in considerable concentrations. Notably, high potency levels of full-spectrum CBD oils escalate the condition. However, more clinical trials are required to show the impact of CBD oil on our health since the available ones are not approved, apart from treating epilepsy.

    Isolate CBD Oil

    Isolate CBD oil is also called pure. It is noted as pure CBD because it is void of any other chemical compounds of the hemp plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and THC. It is manufactured with cannabidiol extracts obtained through the CO2 supercritical extraction method. Notably, isolate (pure) CBD oil is limited to cannabidiol health benefits only. Unlike full-spectrum and broad-spectrum, it limits one from the entourage effect since it has a single element. Pure CBD is a suitable alternative to avoid the “high” effect caused by THC.

    Although pure CBD oil is void of THC, it should not be used as a reason for taking too much of it. Like any other medication, high potency levels of isolated CBD oil can result in various side effects. According to Liu Tina (2019), concentrated CBD can cause anxiety, a shift in appetite, dizziness, and diarrhea. Therefore, it should be taken in considerable measures. However, high potencies or too much pure CBD oil is relative. Beginners should take considerable amounts of up to 20 mg of CBD per serving to avoid either of the side effects.

    Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

    Broad-spectrum CBD oil shares similarities with the full spectrum. It comprises terpenes, flavonoids, and CBD. It is also a suitable alternative for the entourage effect since it is void of THC. It benefits you from all the chemical compounds and avoids THC intoxicating risks. Broad-spectrum CBD oils are also popular with multiple health benefits. According to de Assis et al. (2021), it is suitable for addressing various health issues, including reducing internal and external pain. However, broad-spectrum CBD oil should also be taken at considerable potency levels to avoid potential side effects.

    How To Determine the Best CBD Oil

    Since more products keep coming to the market, it is difficult to differentiate between poor and good quality. The most important aspect is the lab results. Only consider CBD oil assessed for potency and purity levels to avoid taking chemical solvents and overdosing. The blended elements are also important for determining the purity levels. Artificial elements often contaminate the end products, making them less effective. Lastly, the extraction process is also important since it determines the purity levels. Consider CBD topicals manufactured using CO2 hemp plant extracts since the method is clean, minimizing contamination.


    Effective CBD oil is made with organic ingredients and assessed for potency and purity levels. Before buying CBD products, confirm they have lab results from an IOS-certified lab. Also, check on the ingredients to ensure they are safe for usage. Avoid CBD oil with artificial ingredients since it will likely contaminate the end products. They can also interfere with the chemical structure and potency levels. Full spectrum CBD will work best if you are interested in all elements. However, it is possible to avoid the intoxicating side effects of THC using a broad spectrum and isolate.


    Boehnke, K. F., Häuser, W., & Fitzcharles, M. A. (2022). Cannabidiol (CBD) in Rheumatic Diseases (Musculoskeletal Pain). Current Rheumatology Reports, 1-9.

    Fattore, L., & Fratta, W. (2011). Beyond THC: the new generation of cannabinoid designer drugs. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 5, 60.

    Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., & Hanuš, L. O. (2018). The anti-inflammatory properties of terpenoids from cannabis. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 282-290.

    Rochfort, S., Isbel, A., Ezernieks, V., Elkins, A., Vincent, D., Deseo, M. A., & Spangenberg, G. C. (2020). The utilization of design of experiments approaches to optimize supercritical fluid extraction of medicinal cannabis. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-7.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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