Over the last few years, the use of CBD oil for its perceived therapeutic and health benefits has become far more common. The CBD oil industry has rapidly grown to meet the demand of consumers. As a result, terms such as CBD full-spectrum oil, CBD isolates, and CBD distillate are commonly used in the market. These terms can be confusing and new users may find it difficult to differentiate between full-spectrum and distillate CBD oil. This article will look at distinguishing differences between the two so you can better understand what you are purchasing.

But first, what is CBD? 

Cannabidiol, normally referred to as CBD, is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants, especially the hemp plant. Unlike THC, another cannabinoid common in cannabis plants, CBD use does not result in any psychoactive effects on the user. In simpler terms, you won’t experience a high feeling when you consume CBD. While CBD is more common in the hemp plant, THC is more common in the marijuana plant. The hemp plant typically contains less than 0.3% levels of THC.

Once CBD oil has been extracted from the hemp plant, it could be a distillate or full spectrum CBD oil depending on the extraction method used. The two types of CBD oils have different structures and contents and therefore provide different effects to the user. Each has its own benefits and the choice of which option to select usually depends on the intended purpose.

The Extraction of CBD Oil

As we have already mentioned, the extraction method used to obtain the CBD oil determines whether it is CBD isolate, distillate CBD oil, or full-spectrum CBD oil. The more refined and purer the CBD oil is, the more advanced the extraction method is. Below are some of the common extraction methods used to obtain CBD oil from cannabis plants.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction Method

This method takes advantage of carbon dioxide’s ability to exist in both liquid and gas state to separate the CBD oil from the cannabis plant material. The plant material is placed in a chamber; then liquid CO2 is pumped in at high pressure. The pressure, in combination with low temperatures, helps to make a mixture of the liquid CO2 and the CBD oil from the plant. They are then transferred to another chamber where the CO2 is converted back to the gas state where the gas evaporates and leaves behind pure CBD oil.

The CO2 extraction method requires specialized machinery that is quite expensive, and results in CBD oil with a high concentration of CBD. The machinery can also be adjusted to obtain desired levels of CBD concentration.

Solvent Extraction 

Solvent extraction methods usually involve the use of hydrocarbons and natural solvents to separate the CBD oil from the cannabis plant. However, the use of hydrocarbons such as propane, butane, and petroleum has raised health concerns because the solvents tend to leave behind toxic residues. Therefore, natural solvents such as ethanol are preferred. When natural solvents are used, there is the likelihood of extracting other plant matter such as chlorophyll. The chlorophyll results in a bitter and grassy taste of the CBD oil. No toxic residues are, however, left in the CBD oil that is extracted.

In such cases, the CBD oil may need to be distilled further to remove impurities such as chlorophyll. This can either be done through winterization or short-path distillation. In winterization, the extracted CBD oil is frozen overnight in 200-proof alcohol to filter out unwanted substances before the mixture is heated to remove the alcohol. At the end of the process, pure CBD oil is produced. In short-path distillation, the compounds in the CBD oil are isolated from each other and used by themselves.

Steam Distillation Method

In this method, steam is usually used to separate the CBD oil from the plant material. The plant material is placed inside a glass flask that has an inlet and an outlet. The inlet connects to a glass container containing the water to be boiled beneath the flask containing the plant material. The outlet, on the other hand, connects to a condenser tube.

The water is then heated and the steam travels to the flask containing the plant. As a result, CBD oil vapors are produced. The outlet then moves the CBD oil vapor into the condenser tube where it is condensed into oil and water. Thereafter, distillation occurs to extract the CBD oil from the water.

This method, however, is rarely used because it is highly ineffective and requires large amounts of the hemp plant. Too much heat can also damage the extract and alter the chemical composition of the cannabinoids.

What Is Distillate CBD Oil?

CBD oil distillates are not as refined and pure as CBD isolates and may contain various substances such as plant material and terpenes. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD you can find. It is devoid of other substances such as terpenes, plant matter, and even other cannabinoids. CBD isolate is mostly used in vape juices, gummies, and other ingestibles because it has no flavor of its own. It is believed that the presence of other substances such as terpenes and other cannabinoids may be beneficial to the body. Since distillate CBD oil is mostly made from the marijuana plant because of its THC content, distillate CBD oil may be illegal in jurisdictions where the use of marijuana and marijuana products has been outlawed.

One of the benefits of using distillate CBD oil is that it has very high levels of potency. It is also relatively inexpensive to produce. Distillate CBD oil is usually combined with artificial flavors to give CBD oil products a standard taste.

However, some users find the taste of distillate CBD oil quite off-putting. Since it is highly potent, consuming too much of it within a short period of time can also result in an unpleasant experience.

What is Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?

Unlike distillate CBD oil, you will find all the effects of the cannabis plant without consuming high levels of THC when you use full-spectrum CBD oil. It is believed to be rich not only in other cannabinoids and terpenes but also in plant vitamins that are good for the body. The amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD oil is very negligible and you are unlikely to experience psychoactive effects. 

One reason why most users prefer full-spectrum CBD oil is that the chances of experiencing the entourage effect are more enhanced. The entourage effect refers to the interaction of the various compounds in the CBD oil for a more enhanced effect on the user. Many users believe that they will also get to enjoy the benefits of plant vitamins found in full-spectrum CBD oil. It can, however, be difficult and quite expensive to produce full-spectrum CBD oil. 

Full-spectrum CBD oil can be further distilled to make broad-spectrum CBD oil. Though it is less potent as compared to full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil contains fewer impurities than the former.

Which Option To Choose?

Most people, after learning of the differences between the two, often ask whether CBD oil distillate or full-spectrum CBD oil is better and which they should select. This is quite a difficult question to answer as the option to choose will be informed by your personal preferences and the purpose for which you are using the CBD oil. 

Distillate CBD oil is usually very potent and more effective if you need a high dosage of CBD. Because it contains fewer impurities, the other cannabinoids found in full-spectrum CBD oil are believed to provide additional benefits to the body. For example, it is believed that cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN could be helpful in reducing bacterial infections and relieve pain. Studies to confirm the pain-relieving and anti-bacterial properties of these cannabinoids are still in the initial stages though and we make no claim as to this efficacy.

In the end, you will have to find a CBD oil product that works for you and that you are comfortable consuming. We recommend trying different products before settling on one. However, if you are on any medication or suffering from any illness, it is advisable to consult with your doctor first before beginning any CBD regimen or experimentation. The CBD could interact with your medication and result in adverse side effects or reduce their effectiveness. Remember that the medicinal benefits of CBD oil products are yet to be confirmed. They aren’t a replacement for any medication or proven to treat any disease.

When shopping for CBD oil products, always shop from reputable manufacturers and vendors so that you can get high-quality products that are reliable. It is also important to carefully read the product label and get to know the exact ingredients of the CBD oil products. You can always find reliable CBD products at Buy CBD Products. Our products are lab tested by trusted third-party entities and free of any contaminants.