Learn what makes CBD “pure” and whether that’s a good thing!

Wondering if there’s any reason you should pick up “pure CBD” over a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum oil? Before you decide, you should learn what makes this product different from the rest.

Pure CBD simply means that the product contains only cannabidiol and none of the 140+ other cannabinoids (and various terpenes and flavonoids) that can make up different cannabis extracts. “CBD isolate” is another name for this!

Some people choose CBD isolate oil because cannabidiol has plenty of benefits on its own. “Terpenes and flavonoids?” you may be thinking, “Who needs ‘em?”

But you should know that minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids can actually make broad-spectrum CBD products more effective compared to CBD isolate. They work together in something called the “entourage effect.”

Still, CBD isolate does have its uses. You may choose CBD isolate because:

  • It contains zero THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis)
  • There are a million ways to use it (the powder form can be added to gummies, oils, even bath bombs!)
  • Dosing is easy since there's only one active ingredient to account for!

CBD isolate initially comes in a crystalline powder form straight from processing, but you’re more likely to find it on the shelves in the form of gummy bears, oil tinctures, gel caps, or other easy-to-use products. It’s especially common in topical products like creams and bath salts.

Still not sure about pure CBD isolate vs. full-spectrum CBD oil or broad-spectrum CBD oil? Read on to learn how isolate compares.

The possible benefits of pure CBD

There’s plenty of research examining the potential health and wellness benefits of CBD isolate. And a lot of people have used it to help squash anxious thoughts and improve their wellbeing.

For example, a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal found that CBD reduced anxiety scores in 79% of the individuals evaluated, and these scores remained lower for the three-month duration of the study. Also, 66% of patients reported improved sleep in the first month of use, though this “fluctuated over time.”

If you can’t have any THC in your system due to drug testing or worry about side effects, you should know that “full-spectrum” CBD products may contain up to the legal limit of THC—which is 0.3% by dry weight. Isolate products, in contrast, contain no THC at all—so that’s a major benefit.

There’s a great deal of research that looks at CBD's effects as part of broad- or full-spectrum products, which contain cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Still, researchers are also diligently working on learning what makes pure CBD unique. Some current studies are examining its use in the context of:

The mechanism of pure CBD

Cannabidiol acts on CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors in your body. That action can include:

  • Indirectly activating the CB1 receptor by increasing anandamide
  • Blocking the CB1 receptor from being activated by THC
  • Interacting with the CB2 receptors to modulate inflammation

CBD acts on a few other receptors besides the ones in the endocannabinoid system. Those include:

  • Vanilloid receptors,which are implicated in pain and inflammation
  • Serotonin receptors,which affect sleep and anxiety
  • Opioid receptors,which change the way pain is perceived

The side effects of pure CBD

CBD isolate is very safe for most people. And if you’re hesitant to try it because you’re worried that a trace amount of THC could get you feeling out of whack, you can chill out!

THC is the cause of the worst side effects associated with cannabis products, including:

  • Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which causes severe nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Paranoid thinking
  • Impaired cognition, including memory or complex thinking skills
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate

Since pure CBD doesn’t include THC, those aren’t an issue. Still, there are a few potential side effects attributed to CBD alone, but usually in high doses or when used in conjunction with certain medications. Those include:

  • Appetite changes (either increased or decreased)
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

These adverse effects aren’t common. But they do happen in some people, and it’s important to be aware of the potential impact of everything that you’re putting into your body. It's also a smart idea to titrate your dose from a small amount until you hit the sweet spot—all of the benefits without any side effects!

You may be more likely to experience issues if you take medications that have a grapefruit warning on the label (yes, you read that correctly). Medications like cholesterol drugs or birth control can metabolize differently when they’re in the presence of grapefruit and, strangely, CBD.

The bottom line on CBD isolate

For a lot of people, pure CBD is actually not the way to go. Some research says that cannabis oils of other forms—broad- or full-spectrum—are the most effective way to get relief.

One example is a 2014 study that concluded that “is superior over CBD for the treatment of inflammatory conditions” after testing mice with inflammatory paw-swelling and pain.

Of course, that’s only one study. But there is a good deal of research on that entourage effect. Because various compounds work together, broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD can produce a stronger, more synergistic version of the impact you'd expect from CBD alone. You can't get that effect from CBD isolate because it only happens when CBD interacts with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the plant.

Get your CBD chill from Sunday Scaries

CBD isolate definitely has its uses. But if you’re looking for the most relief possible, we’ll steer you in the direction of the world’s best broad-spectrum CBD gummies, tinctures, and more.

At Sunday Scaries, we use double-tested broad-spectrum CBD that comes from local Colorado hemp. That means instead of just CBD, you’re getting a full range of minor cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that give you an even better chill—but no THC that will get you high!