Whole Plant Hemp Oil vs. Single Molecule (Isolate)

For many of us, there is no difference between full spectrum Hemp oil and CBD isolate, when it comes to choosing CBD products. This is especially true if you are familiar with the medicinal properties of hemp plant, you probably know about its long history and healing powers.  

However, you may be surprised to find out that both CBD isolate and plant hemp oil are not the same.  To understand their benefits, it is essential that you have the right knowledge about how they are different botanically and scientifically.  

What is Hemp Oil and Single CBD Molecule

Hemp plant is deeply revered for its potent healing qualities in many cultures. The plant is not only used as a food, but also as fuel, medicine and fiber. Interestingly, the whole hemp plant is loaded with hundreds of essential and active compounds, in which cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the primary and natural components. The plant with its beneficial terpene has become the focus of medical science due to the presence of CBD, CBN and CBDV.   

Full Spectrum Oil 

As its names suggests, whole plant extract and full spectrum oil is extracted from the plant. It contains all the CBD components. In addition to that, the extracted oil contains essential minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, omega fatty acids, and flavonoids.  

CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate or molecule, on the other hand, is the purest form of cannabidiol.  The only similarity is that it is also extracted from the hemp plant.  Once extracted, it’s processed in a variety of machines to remove oil, waxes, plant material, and chlorophyll, and leaves behind just pure CBD isolate. 

 It comes in the white powder form.  The CBD- centric focused studies have lead scientists to develop some effective products that include cannabis-derived drugs and Epidiole. They are FDA approved to treat pediatric refractory epilepsy. 

However, CBD has limited part in hemp plant’s healing properties and has limitation of using active ingredient model. 

Comparison between Single Compound Formulation and Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

Plant Based Model vs. Isolated Active Ingredient

‘Benefits of Full Spectrum Hemp vs. benefits of Isolate CBD’ has been the topic of debate among researchers. Typically, nutraceutical industry emulates the pharmaceutical model and tends to focus on identifying a single CBD molecule to standardize and study to determine its relative safety and efficacy.    The focus is on the effectiveness and delivery of each ‘active ingredient’ one takes within each serving, considering it a pharmaceutical drug. 

Mainly, it ignores the overall benefits of hemp plant medicine, which is a combination of several other active ingredients and includes essential molecules. This plant-based medicine interacts synergistically with other molecules and produces some effective outcomes, undeniably greater than each individual CBD ingredient.

 The isolation of this purported active ingredient is combined with proprietary formulations which rather serve the purpose of manufactures but not the consumers.  In contrast, there are some products, which have the perfect proprietary blend of cannabis and hemp extracts. They are especially developed to deliver the therapeutic advantages of essential oils and active parts of Hemp. 

The fact of the matter is that no herbal supplement contains a magic bullet for holistic medicinal benefits. Medicinal plants, on the other hand, have plenty of active components, which synergistically interact with each other to multiply the health benefits.

Scientific Perspective about Superior Therapeutic Properties of Plant Hemp Oil vs. Single CBD Molecule

The holistic medicinal benefits of full spectrum hemp plant were scientifically surfaced after a ground breaking study in 2015. The research showed the superior therapeutic properties of full spectrum hemp plant extracts and compared them to isolate- molecule of CBD. 

Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacy 2015 published a study that directly challenged allopathic medicines and many ‘Big Pharma’.  Not only this, the  research also  debunked the belief that  botanical preparations  are less effective as compared to purified formulation that contains single  molecule with its function and structure.   

 The study highlighted the contributions of Lumir Hanus – a Jewish scientist from the Hebrew University. He surveyed and studied scientific literature and concluded that most preclinical studies had only focused on various anti-inflammatory effects of CBD isolate molecule, which is used in Vivo and Vitro animal models of diseases.    

The study found that when single molecule CBD is administered, it results in a bell-shaped dose response curve. That means when CBD dose is given in exceeded amount, its therapeutic effects are diminished at certain point.  

Some characteristics of CBD isolate molecule act as a serious obstacles that limit the usefulness of its ingredients, particularly in a clinical context.  

To rectify this limitation, the Israeli researchers compared   single- molecule CBD with full Hemp plant extract that contained a number of minor cannabinoids and various other constituents. Their aim was to   find out a source that could eliminate this bell-shaped CBD response.

Surprisingly, upon comparison, the full spectrum CBD plant showed the presence of rich extracts, along with a dose-dependent inhibition of inflammation, pain, and TNF production. The bell-shaped dose disappeared, making plant-based medicines ideal for use. 


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