Many people who speak of the healing powers of cannabis talk about “whole-plant medicine.” What does this mean, exactly? The cannabis plant is full of numerous compounds.

Two compounds stand out. Those are the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The difference between the two in the simplest terms is that THC is the psychoactive compound and CBD is the non-psychoactive and medicinal compound.

Both compounds have their value, but CBD might be the better of the two – particularly for those who are looking for relief for anything from arthritis and other forms of chronic pain to insomnia, anxiety, and depression. CBD gives this without making you feel high.

However, if you walk into your local dispensary you may be greeted with any number of products labeled CBD. If you’re a newbie to either legal recreational or medicinal marijuana, you might not know what you’re looking for or what might be best for you to try. Which kind of product is best for you?

Two of the most commonly confused products are CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD, sometimes simply referred to as CBD wax or shatter. What’s the difference? Which one of these two is best for you? It depends. Let’s look at these two products to clear up the confusion.

CBD Shatter

CBD shatter is an example of a full-spectrum CBD product. By full-spectrum, it means that other cannabis compounds like THC and terpenes are also present. It’s basically a concentration of a high-CBD strain. CBD shatter let users enjoy the full range of effects from CBD strains in a form that is much easier to use than flowers or smoking.

Full-spectrum CBD products are preferred by some people due to something called the entourage effect. Simply put, full-spectrum products take advantage of the combined effects of all of the different cannabis compounds in a strain to create a synergy that’s greater than the sum of the parts.

The best way to consume CBD shatter is by using a vaporizer that is specially designed to handle it. There are some decent models out thereĀ  – the kings of the desktop vaporizer have introduced their own shatter-compatible Volcano Portable Vaporizer called The Crafty Vaporizer. It’s backed by Storz & Bickel’s phenomenal warranty and can handle CBD oils and dry flowers alike. You can also use a wax vape pen or a 3-in-1 portable vaporizer to handle flowers, waxes, and shatter.

CBD Isolate

However, depending on how you react to cannabis and your local laws, full-spectrum CBD products may not be available or desirable. In these cases, CBD isolate might be a better choice. CBD isolate is pure CBD extracted from plant material using a CO2 extraction method. This creates CBD crystals that have no other cannabis compounds, including THC.

Though CBD isolate can be used to make other CBD products such as edibles and tinctures, vaping CBD will definitely help the patient to feel its particular effects much more quickly due to the concentration. CBD isolate is also generally much more affordable than CBD shatter… and it tastes like cherries. Vaping CBD isolate is best done with a dry herb vaporizer or the Crafty portable vaporizer from the people who brought us the Volcano Portable Vaporizer.

However, while CBD isolate may be 99% pure CBD, we come again to the fact that science has identified more than 11 useful compounds including those wonderful terpenes in the cannabis plant. Therefore, you may not be receiving the full medical benefit with isolate alone.

Whole plant medicine might be more beneficial to the majority of cannabis patients. Because the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant do, indeed, work better when they are all present, CBD shatter or a full-spectrum CBD product would likely be more efficacious than 99% CBD.

It’s also much easier to load wax or shatter into a wax vape pen than to pour crystals into a dry-herb vaporizer. But the choice is yours. If you can, try them both and see what you prefer!


Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points


Michael Jacobs
Author Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points.

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