Steven Van Cott
A Spokane native helping the community find safer alternatives such as CBD.
CBD Isolate Vs Full-Spectrum CBD
Now we've all heard the debate, at least in the CBD community, about whether CBD needs some THC along with it to work or not. This idea was sparked by some of the leaders of CBD research, including a man by the name of Dr. Ethan Russo. He is the same man who coined the term "Entourage Effect", a phenomenon where it was found in cell cultures and animal model studies that there was a benefit to using whole plant extracts of Cannabis, as opposed to a simple isolate product, where only one cannabinoid was introduced in the study. Primarily, this effect was seen when CBD was introduced along with THC, the compound in Cannabis which leads to euphoria, or at times dysphoria in certain populations. Despite this, in an interview with Project CBD's co-founder and director Martin A. Lee, Dr. Russo explains that CBD [Isolate] acts as broad spectrum modulator of our endocannabinoid system, without the addition of THC or the other plant cannabinoids you would normally find in a full-spectrum product (i.e. CBG, CBC, CBDA, THC, THCA, etc.). Therefore, our take-away from Dr. Russo's conversation with Mr. Lee would be that in order to make THC more effective and lessen its psychoactivity, CBD may be useful. However, the opposite does not necessarily hold true. CBD isolate products can be just as effective as full-spectrum products, and maybe even more so in cases such as anxiety, where THC might lead to panic attacks.
This is not the whole story. Dr. Russo also explains that due to the additive effects of THC along with CBD, the pain-relieving properties of the THC in full-spectrum products may be amplified when both compounds are present. Thus, there is an argument to be made that full-spectrum may be the preferred method of delivery when chronic pain and even nausea are present. Additionally, there is the vast array of terpenes, or plant fragrances, which can be added to certain preparations of full-spectrum and isolate products which have even more specialized properties such as limonene promoting wakefulness, and alpha-pinene's effects on boosting acetylcholine by inhibiting an enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase. For now though, these are topics of a completely different article. The main takeaway should be that CBD isolate can be just as effective as full-spectrum CBD; one may be more effective depending on your individual physiology and your personal preference. Additionally, you may need to boost the CBD content you are used to taking if it is a CBD isolate product, due to the amplification effects of the Entourage Effect.
You may notice, when you walk into any of our stores, or peruse our online marketplace, that we sell CBD oil in the form of a tincture. Now generally, a tincture is a concentrated herbal extract which is typically made by soaking herbs in ethanol (alcohol). This is not what our tinctures are, however. Our tinctures fall into two categories: Full-Spectrum and Zero-THC. Full-Spectrum extracts tend to include whole-plant extracts, which have been derived from the hemp plant using super-critical CO2 extraction (a method of extraction leaving no solvent residue in the final product). These extracts are then diluted and dissolved into a carrier oil, most commonly MCT oil (derived from coconut oil) or hemp seed oil (derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, containing 0.0% CBD, as we learned in the previous article). On the other hand, our THC-Free tinctures are a solution of crystallized CBD isolate (single molecule) which is dissolved in one of the carrier oils listed above. These solutions are generally taken sublingually (under the tongue), where the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream via the salivary glands. Once in the bloodstream, the CBD can work systemically (across the body), to assist with inflammation, pain, and anxiety by interacting with our endocannabinoid system.
Another type of product you will see on our shelves at CBD of Spokane is the edible. This is an all encompassing term for CBD-infused candies, cookies, drinks, and gummies, which we sell. The difference between the tinctures and the edibles is two-fold: The time it takes to absorb and thus get relief, along with the amount of CBD absorbed by the body. Tinctures tend to act faster, bypassing what is known as first-pass metabolism, as well as having increased absorption of the CBD over edibles. Why would you use an edible then, you might ask? There are many reasons to use an edible. One might include that it is easier to use CBD in the form of an edible, a form which many of us are familiar with doing already (after all, we all have to eat, right?). Additionally, edibles are great for children who are picky eaters and want a delicious, yet CBD-infused treat for their ADHD or epilepsy.
One of our favorite methods of CBD delivery includes the use of topicals. What is a topical? This is a product which is infused with CBD, and would be applied directly to the skin or area where you need relief. Topicals come in the forms of creams, lotions, salves, balms, and even eye-serums! Generally, we recommend creams, or salves and balms for arthritis-related pain, as well as injured spots where there is not an open-wound.* Creams tend to absorb into the skin more than salves, which seem to cling on and may even last longer. The preference for these forms of topicals is totally up to you and whatever you prefer. Depending on the topical, the specific formula may include a variety of other plant extracts, terpenes, essential oils, and other ingredients which assist with the delivery of the CBD to the area. It is generally a best practice to clean the area of application before putting a topical on an area. There are two reasons for this: 1. Some topicals include DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), an ingredient which allows for the penetration of the topical into the dermal layer of the skin. If the area is not cleaned beforehand, you may allow other contaminants already present on the skin to be pulled into your body, which you probably do not want. 2. Topicals can penetrate more completely and effectively when you clean the area of the skin you will be applying the cream or salve.
There are many routes of administration when it comes to CBD. All we ask is that you come to CBD of Spokane with an open mind and allow our experts to discuss with you the many ways people are using CBD. This gives us the opportunity to do our job better by finding products which actually work and allow you to continue doing what you do best. We encourage you to try all of our products and find the ones which you like the most. CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD no longer need to compete because this is a personalized journey for you! Some people will like edibles, others will enjoy tinctures, and still others want to lather some topicals on for spot-application. This is the best part of CBD; You get to choose! We will just be here to support you in your efforts to find relief in a safe and effective manner. Please like and subscribe to our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat to get all of the best CBD of Spokane updates and sales! And as always, drink water, tell your loved-ones you care about them, and keep working on the things you are passion about creating.
*None of our recommendations are from medical-professionals and you should only make decisions based on what your trained and certified healthcare provider has advised.