Whole Plant Hemp or CBD Isolate: Which is better for you?

Whole plant hemp extract and CBD isolate are two common forms of CBD extract. These extracts vary in the type of cannabinoids and synergistic plant extracts they contain.

CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its most processed form. To produce this extract, CBD is isolated, then refined to remove any additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant components found in the hemp plant. The final product is a fine white powder that contains around 99% Cannabidiol.

Whole plant hemp extract is a full spectrum hemp oil that contains all the properties of the hemp plant. This CBD oil contains terpenes, cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, phytonutrients and any other materials that are extracted from the hemp plant. The hemp plant naturally contains over 100 cannabinoids in addition to CBD, all of which provide their own unique benefit. This includes other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBL, and CBCVA, as well as aromatic (nice smelling) terpenes such as pinene and limonene. Often, the ratio of CBD to other cannabinoids will enhance or moderate its effects.

The Entourage Effect is the synergistic effect that results when these hundreds of natural components of the plant interact together and with the human body's endocannabinoid system to produce a greater influence than realized by any one of those components used alone. The different compounds can amplify each other's effects, increasing CBD's effectiveness in treating medical symptoms. CBD isolate lacks all supporting cannabinoids so does not provide the Entourage Effect.

A research study utilizing mice found CBD was much more effective when used in combination with other compounds of the Cannabis sativa plant than when used alone. While further study is required to answer why, it’s now generally accepted that full-spectrum CBD oil is more effective than CBD isolate in treating the majority of medical conditions.