Cannabidiol (CBD) is having a moment. CBD is one of the most abundant constituent compounds in cannabis. It is garnering a ton of interest as a low side-effect therapy for conditions ranging from acne to epilepsy. But the jargon that accompanies its marketing can be a little confusing for consumers. Many new consumers don’t know the difference between CBD isolate and broad or full-spectrum CBD. And why should they? These are confusing terms and most people aren’t scientists. So here we try to answer the question: Does CBD isolate contain THC?
We know CBD comes from cannabis, and we know that its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) also comes from cannabis. One gets you high (THC) and the other doesn’t (CBD), that much is simple. But when it comes to which CBD product to purchase, the waters of understanding can get a little murky.
Also Read: What is CBD Isolate?
Does CBD Isolate Contain THC?
CBD oils can be purchased in a variety of forms. But in most U.S. states, broad-spectrum and isolate oils are legal because they have had the THC removed. Yes, you read that right, CBD isolate contains no THC at all. The same is true for broad-spectrum CBD as well (but for different reasons).
If you have any hesitation about trying CBD because you think it will get you high, try a CBD isolate. With all the stigma around CBD and THC, we want to make this very clear.
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains THC which is oddly still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency. That puts it on par with heroin and cocaine. I think we can all agree that those three drugs are very, very different.
Also Read: These are our 6 Favorite Pure CBD Oils
But due to the 2018 Farm Bill, full-spectrum CBD with less than .3% THC is considered legal. Any CBD product with more than .3% is still considered federally illegal and must be purchased at state-sanctioned dispensaries.
So It Won’t Make Me High?
One of the most common questions about CBD oil is whether or not it will get you high. The CBD that’s available everywhere from Walgreen’s to yoga studios will not get you high. In fact, it won’t have any psychoactive effect. That’s because the CBD has been isolated from all the other cannabinoids in the plant. And it is then usually distilled into an oil referred to as CBD isolate.
During the extraction process, all the other compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, as well as other phytocannabinoids are removed. This leaves pure crystalline CBD, or isolate, which is CBD in its most pure form.
One drawback of using isolates as opposed to full or broad-spectrum CBD is that you lose the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a phenomenon where all the components of the cannabis plant work together to provide enhanced benefits. When terpenes and cannabinoids are removed consumers may lose some benefits that more robust oils may provide.
Also Read: Everything you need to know about CBD lube
What is CBD Isolate Good For?
Isolates, however, do have their place in the medicine cabinet. They can be beneficial for those who were prescribed a high dose of pure CBD. These prescription are frequently used in the treatment of seizure disorders. Or for those who live in cannabis prohibition states where THC is illegal. As well as first-time consumers who want to start slow before jumping into full or broad-spectrum oils. The lack of THC also means it’s safe for those concerned about drug tests.
CBD isolate does provide myriad health and wellness benefits. Don’t completely discount it because of the lack of entourage effect. Current research supports a robust profile of therapeutic benefits. It has an intriguing combination of low occurrence of side effects and lack of a psychoactive component. This makes it perfect for the cannabis newbie.
If you are just starting to get into CBD, give isolate a try. It’s lack of THC is perfect for beginners. Also, every type of CBD (from isolate to full spectrum) will help you endocannabinoid system stay in homeostasis.
Kristi is a skilled researcher and writer — covering health, wellness, cannabis and neuroscience over many years. She has written for Healthline, The New York Times, Washington Post and Everyday Health to name a few.