Is Full Spectrum Always Better than Isolates?

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You may have read my earlier article or watched my earlier video about full spectrum products.

In general, I feel that full spectrum products have better positive effects with fewer negative side effects than isolates.

But are full spectrum products always the best option?  Dr. Chou discusses in today’s article and video.



As a basic refresher, full spectrum and isolate are defined as follows:

  • Full spectrum products contain all the THC, CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes that occur naturally in the cannabis plant.
  • Isolate products feature a single component of the cannabis plant, usually THC or CBD, without any other active ingredients.



For patients taking THC, the evidence is pretty clear.  You should almost always take THC as a full spectrum product.

THC isolates produce inferior results and more side effects.

Full spectrum THC products, on the other hand, work better and have fewer side effects.

Unless some extraordinary circumstance exists, I will never recommend a patient to take THC isolate.

With THC, full spectrum is the way to go.



With CBD, the case for a full spectrum product is less clear cut.

Some people would be better off with an isolate versus a full spectrum product.

For example:

  • patients who cannot have even trace amounts of THC in their system, such as people who get drug tested for their jobs
  • patients who are children, elderly, have multiple medical conditions, or take many medications
  • patients with certain medical conditions, such as seizures, who require very precise and exact components

In addition, because CBD can be produced from industrial hemp or marijuana, the CBD source is another major factor in determining whether you should look for a full spectrum or isolate product.

If your CBD is produced from industrial hemp, the full spectrum effect is less pronounced.



Whether to use full spectrum versus isolate products is a major question that needs to be answered during any medical marijuana consultation.

An experienced doctor will determine which option is best for you, taking into account many factors such as your medical condition, symptoms, occupation, and finances.

Thanks for reading.


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Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana