Company Blog

April 19, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Full-Spectrum and Distillate

When one thinks of CBD, they typically picture a row of little brown jars with identical-looking liquid inside. However, just because CBD products look the same doesn’t mean they are the same. Of the many types of CBD oils, two of the most common are full-spectrum oil and distillate. To help you understand what each may offer your consumers, we provide the pros and cons of full-spectrum and distillate.


Full-spectrum CBD oil is what most people think of when they think of CBD. Facilities load hemp into an ethanol extraction system, soaking it in solvents such as ethanol at various temperatures to extract the oils and other beneficial plant compounds. It contains high amounts of cannabidiol, trace amounts of THC, and a whole host of other cannabinoids.


Full-spectrum oils allow you to experience the benefits of all the different compounds in the plant. You’ll get the benefits of both the individual cannabinoids and the cannabinoids working in conjunction. This idea, called the entourage effect, is that each cannabinoid works more effectively in the presence of others.


The cost of including all the plant’s different compounds is that the CBD itself is not as potent in full-spectrum oil. One would have to use a much larger amount of raw plant matter to get the same level of potency as distillate.


Distillate looks very similar to full-spectrum oil. It, too, is extracted from hemp using a solvent; however, it goes through an additional refining process after extraction. This process strips it of all its cannabinoids except CBD and trace amounts of THC.


The main benefit of choosing distillate is the concentration of the CBD. Because there are few other cannabinoids, those that remain are much more potent than those in full-spectrum oils. Removing the other cannabinoids also allows some level of customization over your product. You can add your own selection of flavors and strains to the distillate.


The drawback to distillate is that, although the CBD comes through very strongly, you don’t get the same quantity of cannabinoids. As such, users are less likely to experience the entourage effect using distillate as they would using full-spectrum oil.

If you want to supply your customers with a quality CBD product, ultimately, there is no wrong answer. Both offer users benefits, but knowing the pros and cons of full-spectrum and distillate will give you a better sense of what your customers will get when using these products.

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