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You may have heard that there are two different types of CBD products, “CBD isolate” and “full-spectrum CBD.”

But that sounds pretty technical. What does full-spectrum mean, in plain and simple language? How is it different from CBD isolate? And–most importantly–why should you care?

In this article, we explain the fundamentals behind both types and what CBD isolate vs full spectrum means for you.

CBD Isolate 101

So what is CBD isolate? An isolate is a scientific term for a compound (like CBD) that has been completely isolated (hence the name) from any other compounds that are typically found in the same source.

For example, imagine that you’ve discovered that poison ivy contains a compound that can cure blindness. But the problem is…you can’t just extract the juices from the poison ivy plant and start using the extract as a cure. The compound in poison ivy that makes people break out in a rash will be present in your extract as well. (Yikes, that would have a pretty nasty side effect.)

So, you have to isolate the blindness-curing compound. That way, you’re left with its pure form–with no rash-causing compounds (or anything else for that matter) present in your extract.

That pure form of your compound is called an isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD compounds 101

Now, what does full spectrum mean? Long story short, full-spectrum compounds (like full-spectrum CBD) are the opposite of isolates.

Full-spectrum compounds aren’t “pure,” in the sense that they include traces of more than just one compound. You might have a full-spectrum compound that is mostly one compound, but other substances have tagged along in your extraction and are present in some quantity.

Full-spectrum compounds usually aren’t unsafe–you should just be aware that they probably contain small amounts of other stuff.

What this means for CBD

If you’ve been following so far, you can probably already guess what the difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD is. But we’ll break it down for you anyway.

CBD isolate is pure CBD. Everything else has been totally removed, including essential oils from the Cannabis plant or any trace amounts of THC.

Okay, so what does full-spectrum CBD mean? It means that the CBD product likely contains some of the other stuff found in the Cannabis plant. This can include the benign elements like essential oils…but it can also potentially include the psychoactive compound, THC.

CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum CBD: Which is right for you?

So…which should you choose? It depends on a couple of things:

If you live in a non-legalized state
If you live in a state or country where THC is not legal, then you should choose CBD isolate. That’s the only way to be 100% sure that there isn’t any stowaway THC in your product.

If you plan to add it to your food or drink
Full-spectrum CBD can sometimes have a strong odor and taste. So if you’re adding your CBD oil to food or drinks, you’ll be better off with the odorless and tasteless CBD isolate.

If you might be drug tested
It’s possible that a full-spectrum CBD product could contain enough THC to cause you to fail a drug test. If you work for a corporation or organization that takes drug testing seriously, then it’s better to be safe and choose CBD isolate. CBD isolate will never make you fail a drug test (….or lose your job).

Soul CBD is always CBD isolate

When comparing CBD isolate vs full spectrum, we’ve found that CBD isolate is best for most of our customers.

That’s because CBD isolate never contains any amount of THC. That means two big things for you: You won’t ever fail a drug test from consuming CBD isolate, and you don’t have to worry about traveling with it across state lines. (While you may fly with full-spectrum CBD if it contains less than .3% THC, it’s just easier to choose CBD isolate–because it’s guaranteed to be completely THC-free and TSA friendly.)

Bottom line? With CBD isolate, you can be confident that you’re purchasing 100% CBD.