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CBD Gummies: Full Spectrum vs. Isolate CBD Edibles

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Edible CBD is one of the most popular ways to take this cannabis supplement. Among the edibles, CBD gummies are extremely popular. They offer a bright and fruity way to enjoy a precise dose of CBD that is both discrete and delicious.

If you are planning to give them a try, one issue to be aware of is the difference between edibles made from CBD isolate and those made from so-called full spectrum CBD extracts. Here’s what you need to know.

The Entourage Effect

It may sound like a clever marketing term, but the so-called “entourage effect” was actually coined by researchers Shimon Ben-Shabat, and Robert and Raphael Mechoulam (et al.) in their landmark 1998 paper exploring the complementary effects of different compounds found in cannabis as they interacted with the endocannabinoid system in various tissues.

Further research into the complementary effect of various cannabinoids and terpenes (delicate flavor compounds) found in cannabis has further confirmed this theory. For example, CBD may help to mitigate the risks of mental illness and memory loss associated with chronic use of high THC strains of marijuana.  

The potential benefits of full spectrum extractions, which include a more robust cannabinoid and terpene profile from the whole plant, remains in the nascent stages. While considered a pipe dream by some in the scientific community, other researchers are working to better understand the specific chemistry and mechanisms of the 483 compounds found in cannabis.

Research aside, anecdotal support among experienced CBD users of full spectrum products – including edibles such as gummies – is strong. Of course, it is a matter of personal preference, but certainly one that may warrant some trial and error to find out if full spectrum CBD gummies offer any advantage over isolate-based formulations for each individual.

Isolate vs. Full Spectrum: Pros and Cons

There are a few distinct advantages of CBD gummies made from isolated CBD. First and foremost is cost. CBD can be chemically isolated from hemp cheaply and efficiently on a large scale. It can then be added to just about any recipe with very precise dosing in mind and without adding any of that characteristic “hempy” taste. Plus, when CBD is isolated, usually using supercritical CO2 extraction methods, the manufacturer can guarantee a THC-free product.

On the other hand, quality full spectrum CBD products are usually more expensive. The process of extraction is more complicated and slower due to the delicate nature of many of the flavonoids found in hemp. In addition, manufacturers need to start with organic hemp lest they concentrate the residual pesticides found in the source plant. And most full spectrum-based gummies have a slight (yet distinctive) aftertaste that not all consumers appreciate.

How to Find Quality CBD Gummies

Whether you decide to go with isolate or full spectrum CBD gummies for your fruity daily supplement, do a little research before you buy. Look for transparency when it comes to hemp sourcing, extraction methods, and lab reports to confirm dosage consistency.

In addition, if you plan on giving full spectrum gummies a try, look a little further for a cannabinoid profile report, usually found in the lab reports on the company website. Some “full spectrum” products show a much wider range of cannabinoids and terpenes than others.

Manufacturers that take pride in their full spectrum extraction always make their cannabinoid profile easy for potential customers to access. Those are the ones worth spending a little more for if the entourage effect is something you are interested in trying out.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and educational purposes only and is not intended to reflect the views of the publication.