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CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum CBD and the “Entourage Effect”

April 22, 2019

When first deciding to use CBD as a holistic health approach, it can be a challenge to understand which CBD products to choose. With a growing number of consumers turning towards this more natural approach to assist in certain medical conditions and a more holistic way of living, it is important to understand the different types of CBD products available.

If you are not familiar with CBD, then it is first a good idea to understand the difference between CBD and THC.

entourage effect cbd colorado

Two most common sources of CBD in products today are CBD Isolate and Full Spectrum oil.. What is the difference between these types of CBD products, and which one is right for you?

To summarize, CBD isolate is an isolated form of CBD. Full Spectrum is a processed oil that contains multiple naturally occurring cannabinoids, many of which contribute to the entourage effect. This synergistic effect results when then the full plant extract is included, allowing the many cannabinoids to work together harmoniously, creating a more natural and complementary interaction with the human body.

To understand this difference, we will explore each type of CBD product in detail so you can decide which CBD oil is right for your health goals.


What is CBD Isolate?

Also referred to as cannabidiol isolate, CBD isolate is a fine, white powder or crystal form that contains up to 99 percent pure CBD.

Essentially, it’s CBD in its purest, most concentrated form. Despite its crystalline appearance, CBD isolate is not a lab-created, synthetic product. A careful refining process is used to purify all-natural hemp oil, removing oil, chlorophyll, and other plant material, producing the potent isolate.

This CBD isolate aims to deliver the therapeutic benefits of CBD alone without the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant.


How is CBD Isolate Made?

CBD isolate typically begins with the hemp plant, from which the rich hemp oil is extracted. At 43 Solutions, our hemp plants are naturally grown without pesticides or fertilizer chemicals, producing a premium hemp oil.

Using non-toxic CO2, the hemp oil is carefully extracted from the plant. This oil contains CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, plant material, and fatty acids.

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At this point, the CBD oil is purified to remove excess plant material, waxes, and cannabinoids such as THC. The final product is a crystalline powder that is 99 percent pure CBD.

The quality of any given CBD isolate is dependent on many factors: the hemp used for the hemp oil extract, the extraction method, the purification process, and more. Because the market is not regulated with the same laws that limit other food and drug companies, you should avoid purchasing any CBD products from sources that don’t have an established reputation.

Instead, choose a trusted company that has a track record for quality, including lab testing to prove purity and safety of their products. Then, you can be confident that you’re purchasing CBD isolate that’s been made properly for optimum results. Look for reputable testing posted annually on a company’s website like the lab results from 43 CBD.

What about the natural relationship between CBD and the other cannabinoids and compounds that are found in the hemp plant? The entourage effect of this synergistic relationship is where full-spectrum CBD differs from CBD isolate.


What is Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD is a label used to categorize a specific type of CBD product. Although CBD is one of the primary cannabinoids in plants such as hemp, there are approximately 100 other compounds that have been identified.

Full-spectrum CBD includes a variety of these cannabinoids and compounds, taking advantage of each one’s natural properties and purported benefits. Many supporters of full-spectrum CBD support a theory called the “entourage effect,” which describes a synergistic relationship between the numerous compounds and cannabinoids.

Consumers often report that full-spectrum CBD is more effective in meeting their health and treatment goals, which many attributes to the range of components in full-spectrum CBD products.


What Does Full-Spectrum CBD Contain?

cbd entourage effect and cannabidiol

When you use full-spectrum CBD, you’re accessing a wide range of the many cannabinoids derived from the Cannabis, plant family. In addition to CBD, there are other lesser-known cannabinoids often found in full-spectrum CBD products, lending their chemical properties to the products’ effects. Some of the most notable phytocannabinoids include:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabitriol (CBT)
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

In addition to many natural cannabinoids, full-spectrum CBD also contains numerous essential vitamins, fatty acids, chlorophyll, proteins, flavonoids, and terpenes.

Terpenes are the chemicals that contribute to the specific scents and aromas of plants in the Cannabis species. Many consumers report varying holistic benefits * associated with different terpenes, including stress relief, improved cognitive function, and reduced inflammation.

Flavonoids are compounds found in a massive variety of plants, including flowers, fruits, and vegetables. These compounds are responsible for the way your senses experience your CBD product of choice, specifically interacting with your taste buds and sense of smell.

Many vitamins can be found in full-spectrum CBD products, including vitamins A, E, and C, as well as some complex B vitamins. Zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium are among the minerals in full-spectrum CBD. Many high-quality full-spectrum CBD oils can also contain upwards of 20 amino acids and fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6.


Is Full-Spectrum better than CBD Isolate?

Since both CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD products have their own sets of applications and benefits, there is no straightforward answer. Many users have claimed that full spectrum is more effective, and we believe this is due to the phenomena we will discuss next.

cbd isolate and full spectrum

Dr. Ethan Russo, MD, from the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI), suggests that one molecule from the Cannabis plant is unlikely to match the therapeutic potential of the multiple compounds working together. This synergistic relationship is known as the “entourage effect”.


What is the “Entourage Effect”?

The entourage effect results from a whole-plant extraction and allows the many components to work together in synergetic relationship to produce a stronger influence on the human body. This entourage effect implies that the alternative medicine is not simply relying on one active compound but rather a relationship between multiple therapeutic compounds found in a whole-plant extract.

A report published by Dr. Hildebert Wagner and Dr. Ulrich-Merzenich titled, “Synergy research: Approaching a new generation of phytopharmaceuticals”, discusses some basic attributes of the entourage effect:

  • Synergistic effects can be produced when a whole-plant extract affects different targets of the human body.
  • Substances of a whole-plant extract can be enhanced through a synergistic effect.
  • Whole-plant extracts can have improved solubility of several compounds with a synergistic effect.

This raises the question…


Do other compounds of the cannabis plant hold therapeutic effects?

Another report published by Dr. Russo from the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCU) addresses this question.

Dr. Russo discussed how other phytocannabinoids, including cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahyrdocannabivarin (THCV), and cannabichromene (CBC) exert additional effects of therapeutic interest.

The report also discusses other phytotherapeutic agents, the cannabis terpenoids. These terpenoids are components common to human diets and display therapeutic effects that may also contribute to the entourage effect of the full-spectrum cannabis extract.

cannabis extract full spectrum

This idea of whole-plant medicine to activate the natural benefits * of multiple components working together is not a new idea. Many alternative medicine practitioners revolve around using the entire plant for holistic health rather than isolating a single element.

Scientists Joan T. Pickens and J.W. Fairbairn conducted a research study in 1981 that provided evidence that the cannabis plant had existence of the entourage effect. The researchers concluded that the whole plant extracts had inhibited much more biological activity than with the THC extract alone.

Their conclusions help to support the idea that the cannabis plant produced enhanced effects when using multiple cannabidiols and terpenes working together.

While there has been significant research surrounding the entourage effect of full-spectrum CBD, much of the research supported is anecdotal evidence. Many more studies are necessary to fully understand the full potential of the entourage effect and how full-spectrum CBD can be more beneficial than CBD isolate extracts.

Studying the full power of the entourage effect with full-spectrum CBD can be the key to developing unique cannabis-based treatments tailored to specific medical needs.


Interested in Adding Full-Spectrum CBD Products to Your Natural Health Regimen?

If you’re considering incorporating full-spectrum CBD into your holistic lifestyle, it’s important to choose a reputable source you can trust. 43 CBD Solutions cultivates organic hemp using all-natural farming practices, free of pesticides and harmful toxins.

43 cbd full spectrum

Our Colorado farm is managed by a team of passionate, dedicated people, pouring heart and soul into every CBD product we create. Add that to the crisp mountain air, rich soil, and fresh spring water, and our artisanal hemp plants are destined for greatness.

Our CBD-infused products include full-spectrum hemp oil, as well as a range of salves, tinctures, and capsules containing premium full spectrum CBD. Many consumers have found that 43 CBD Solutions’ CBD products far exceed those from other companies, with many of our customers reporting impressive efficacy and incomparable quality.

Looking to add full-spectrum CBD to your holistic regimen? Browse our selection of premium products to find the perfect match for your health and wellness goals.


* The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made regarding these products. FDA-approved research has not confirmed the efficacy of these products. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice.


“Best bang for your buck on the market that I am aware of. 43 Solutions CBD has helped me sleep well, be more calm and collected, helped with various aches and pains, and tastes great too. Give it a try before reaching for prescription anti-anxiety or sleep meds.”

– Alessandra

“No more expensive trips to the animal hospital and our dog is much happier and healthier! Thanks, Greg and the 43 CBD crew for producing such a high-quality CBD tincture that works amazingly!”

– Josh

“43 CBD has been my source for quality broad spectrum CBD for about three years now. CBD relieves severe spasticity and muscle cramps at night that prevent me from sleeping. CBD  may not do everything, but it has been very important in improving my quality of life when nothing else helped. I highly recommend these guys!”


– Jay

“I have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, muscle spasms and crippling pain throughout my body. 43 CBD hemp oil has changed my quality of life with no side effects. It has made me able to manage my pain since November 2017. Thank you!”

– Beverly

P.O. Box 1771
Durango, CO 81302
(970) 708-8847

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Products sold on this site contain 0.3THC or less and are derived from hemp.