Here at Great Lakes Hemp Supplements we take pride in the education we can pass along. In today’s CBD market there is a great deception. This is due to the lack of regulation in the CBD market, as well as (if not more so) a general lack of education. In this article we will dive into what the differences are between a CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD extract, and the dichotomy of medicinal benefits between the two.

There is some general knowledge that is important to understand in order to talk about and compare these two types of products. In any given cannabis plant there exists special little chemicals called cannabinoids. Theses chemicals interact with your body and mind in a variety of different ways. To date there have been over 110 identified, the most abundant of which are THC (tetrahyrocannabinol), and CBD (cannabidiol). Where as THC is widely responsible for the 1960s; psychoactivity, euphoria, etc, CBD causes no psychoactivity, and actually works to counteract the psychoactivity of THC (in most cases). When extracting these chemicals from the plant, colloquially full spectrum means during the extraction process you pull a spectrum of all types of cannabinoids found in the source plant, where as an isolate pulls just one type of cannabinoid.

So whats the big deal? If CBD is so medicinal promising why not just make an extract packed full of only that? Seems simple right? Perhaps not nearly as simple as we would  think. Yes, it is true that CBD hosts the majority of medicinal benefits from the cannabis plant (or at least the greatest diversity), and yes it is true that you can achieve a very pure and simple product using only isolated CBD, however; research has shown that a cascade (entourage) effect occurs with the presence of additional cannabinoids (as found in a full spectrum vs an isolate) increasing the effectiveness astronomically.
In 2015 an incredibly important study was published out of the Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem. The study examines exactly what we are discussing today: is a full spectrum CBD product more effective than an isolated CBD product and why. Directly from the study…

“Cannabidiol (CBD), a major constituent of Cannabis, has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety drug, without exerting a psychotropic effect. However, when given either intraperitoneally or orally as a purified product, a bell-shaped dose-response was observed, which limits its clinical use” (source)

This bell-shaped dose-response means that only at a certain level of dosing – which would vary between individuals – is the isolate effective, at any higher or lower doses it is ineffective. In contrast to this the study found that a full spectrum CBD extract containing a high percentage of CBD with other trace cannabinoids proved to be wildly more effecting in alleviating inflammation and pain sensations at any dosing.
As part of this study there were tests performed on ethically-approved mice from the Hadassah Medical School. One of these tests was concerning the infamous anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. The graph below illustrates the effectiveness of CBD versus the 202 full spectrum extract when handling TNFa (tumor necrosis factor alpha) which causes fluid accumulation in body tissues (swelling). Both when performed orally and by injection the full spectrum extract proved to be more effective at any dosing, where as the isolate only performed comparatively at a single dosing.

In these graphs “Clone 202” refers to the full spectrum extract provided by the Tikun Olam Company, whereas “CBD” refers to the isolate provided by the THC Pharm GmbH.


As illustrated, the 202 extract preforms increasingly better as you increase the dosing, where as the CBD isolate is only really effective at a single dosing. Clinically this would be an incredibly shackling attribute, as dosing (especially with cannabis) is incredibly tailored to you and your body’s homeostasis – what works for one person may not work well for you at all. Isolates being extremely limited in dosing adjustments means we could not provide, or even recommend an educated opinion on where to start because if you don’t hit the nail on the head you will have missed out on most all the benefits you could and should achieve with CBD and cannabis extracts.
It is for these reasons we only use full spectrum extracts in our products instead of isolates; they are prolifically more effective, promote health diversely within the body, and coupled with naturally occurring terpenes, Full-Spectrum CBD is a natural and proactive medicine. Research what you’re putting into your body, especially if it isn’t clearly stated on the bottle/packaging, you could be losing over 90% of what you paid for!

We highly recommend you check out some of the articles we have included below for more information, and as always if you have any questions please email us directly at, your education is our priority.


Rohan Django-Ashlin Berst
Executive manager GLHS


For original Lautenberg study click here
or a more in-depth review of the study click here
For more information on the “entourage” effect click here