Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum - Farmulated

Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum

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A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

Making an Informed CBD Purchase

Making your first CBD purchase can be an intimidating experience, especially when faced with questions concerning the type of product, desired dosage, and the dizzying decision between CBD isolate or full-spectrum extract. To make the most informed purchase for your health needs, we have broken down some of the confusing product terminology so you can enter the CBD world with consumer confidence.

 CBD Isolate: Cannabidiol in its Purest Form

CBD isolate’s meaning can be found in its name. This is a purified, isolated form of cannabidiol in which all other chemicals of the hemp plant are removed.1 While known to be well-tolerated and efficient, one 2015 study shows CBD isolate to have a bell-shaped dosage response curve.2

Bell Curve

When envisioning the shape of a bell on a graph, this means both low and high dosages of CBD isolate correlate to ineffectiveness, while only a limited, middle dosage range correlates to the peak curve of the bell. So, there is a minimum amount of CBD isolate to be taken to achieve results, but increasing the dosage to increase the effects of CBD has limits. In other words, taking a very high dosage of CBD isolate will not warrant any greater results than taking a smaller dosage as long as it is above the minimum threshold, which varies by person.

CBD Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

As the term “full-spectrum” implies, this more comprehensive hemp extract hasn’t been stripped of the numerous other naturally occurring terpenes and micronutrients found in hemp plants.1 Instead, full-spectrum oil relies on a mixture of cannabinoids to increase effectiveness. Also included in these naturally occurring substances is the psychoactive chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which cannot exceed 0.3 percent per federal regulations, and will not contribute to any mind-altering properties at such a low dosage. Unlike CBD isolate, the same 2015 study noted above found full-spectrum extract increases its effectiveness as the dosage increases.2

 Which Do You Choose?

So what does all of this information mean for your CBD purchase? The answer depends on your levels of pain and inflammation, personal response to CBD, and lifestyle needs. CBD isolate is known for being tasteless and thus easy to mix with other supplements and can be viewed as an “everyday” treatment for better health. It is effective when taken at the correct dosage, but a minimum dosage must be met to achieve results, so you may need to experiment to find optimal results for your body.

 Full-spectrum extract, on the other hand, is a diverse concoction of cannabinoids that may interact differently with your body’s endocannabinoid system than CBD isolate. High dosages of full-spectrum oil are likely to garner more intense results, so this may be a better option for those experiencing higher levels of pain and inflammation.


Overall, making the decision to include CBD in your health regimen is a step in the right direction, and determining the product that fits your needs may require a few rounds of trial and error. If you are still feeling uncertain about exploring the unfamiliar territory of CBD products, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We understand adopting short- or long-term health routines takes a good deal of time and consideration, and we are excited to help you along the way!



  1. CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum. (2019, August 3). Retrieved from
  2. Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z. and Hanuš, L.O. (2015) Overcoming the Bell‐Shaped Dose‐Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 6, 75‐85.




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