• alianton

Whole Plant CBD Vs. Isolate — What’s the Difference?

There are a ton of CBD oil products on the market. And gobs more to come as the legality of CBD spreads state by state. If you’ve been experimenting with CBD—or want to try it out—be aware that there are two forms of CBD oil extract to choose from: "Whole Plant" and "Isolate". Which form you decide to take is up to you, but knowing the difference helps you make a more informed decision.

First you should know that CBD can be extracted from both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. They’re different plants. Hemp plants contain only trace amounts of THC (the compound that gets you high) but marijuana plants contain high levels of TCH (will get you high).

A lot of people interested in taking CBD aren’t interested in getting high. I’m one of them. And because I don’t want to get high, there are two forms of CBD I can choose from:

1) Isolated Extract from the marijuana plant. Since marijuana plants contain high levels of THC, the CBD has to be isolated from the TCH so you don’t get high. This is called CBD Isolate.

2) Whole Plant Extract from the hemp plant. Hemp plants don’t have high levels of THC to begin with, so the CBD doesn’t have to be isolated out from anything; you can keep everything without getting high. This is Whole Plant Extract or Full-Spectrum Extract.

A recap: If you don’t want to get high, you need to either isolate the CBD from the THC, or simply use oil from the hemp plant instead of the marijuana plant because it doesn't have enough THC to get you high to begin with. This is what I do. I personally stick with oil that comes from hemp plants only, not from marijuana plants.


Isolating CBD takes extraction waaaay further than simply removing the precious compounds out of the plant. Solvents are used to separate the CBD from the THC and the other cannabinoids. After isolating, the CBD turns into a white powder. And unless the solvents are completely washed out, they may still be present in the final product.

Whole Plant extraction on the other hand keeps all the cannabinoids in one happy package. Nothing is isolated. I believe that’s how nature intend us to assimilate all nutrients. Most (if not all) compounds act synergistically with others to create a desired effect in the body. Very few things in nature (if any) work by themselves. Research is now being done on many other cannabinoids (CBDa, CBN, CBC, CBG). There are many proposed health benefits that each of these cannabinoids can offer us. Why throw these babies out with the bath water?