Industry News

Should I Use an Isolate or a Whole-Plant Concentrate?

Written by Nicholas Demski

Your forehead is sweating, you can feel a sunburn setting in, and you drank the last of your water 30 minutes ago. You’re on the verge of collapse. Then, you see it: an ice cream stand. Only this is no ordinary ice cream stand; instead of money, you only must offer a compelling reason why chocolate is better than vanilla.

You might think this is easy but try it out; most of the conclusions (taste, color, preference of bean) are based on opinion, not any objective reasoning, depending on the ingredients there are more objective reasons based on the nutrients. If only based on subjective reason, you offer no compelling reason and you collapse under the awning of the ice cream shop, yearning for an ice cream your subjective self cannot have.

Luckily, when deciding about whether to purchase isolates or whole plant concentrates from your dispensary, there are objective reasons to purchase one or the other.

An Individualized Approach

Everyone’s body is different. My nose is larger than yours, your ears are bigger than mine.  My metabolic rate allows me to eat pizza every week and not gain weight or suffer from the gluten in the dough.  Likewise, there is a spectrum of personal requirements for cannabis consumption.

For those who prefer a precise dosing of CBD without the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis use, they may find a smoother experience for themselves while treating psychosis, schizophrenia, or neuropathic pain if they use a CBD isolate (Manseau and Goff, 2015). For someone who wants all THC and no CBD, they could find the same level of specificity to treat their ailments with a standardized product and an exact measurement in a THC isolate. This works for many people, but not all of them.

Some users’ conditions are not as well as addressed with the products made up of isolated cannabinoids. They find there are significant upsides to using a whole plant extract. The entourage effect enhances the mixture’s healing effects (Russo, 2011). Whole plant users will also find and a broader spectrum of nutrients. The wider spectrum of compounds in whole plant concentrates means users can test out the varying effects from different strains.

While this may seem highly subjective, it is quite like choosing between vanilla and chocolate ice cream if only based on opinion. There are firm, objective reasons to decide between an isolate or a whole-plant concentrate.


Don’t go out on a hot day without enough water; and, don’t assume an isolate is better than a whole-plant concentrate, nor vice-versa.

Do you use isolates to treat a specific ailment? Or do you use whole-plant extracts as part of your wellness routine? Let us know in the comments!


Manseau, M. and Goff D. ‘Cannabinoids and Schizophrenia: Risks and Therapeutic Potential.’ Neuropathic. 2015. Volume 12 (4). 816-824.

Russo, Ethan. ‘Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-terpenoid Entourage Effects.’ British Journal of Pharmacology. 2011. Volume 163. 1344-1364

About the author

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski's latest venture is He's a poet, author, cannabis writer, and budding entrepreneur. You can follow his travels with his daughter on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram @TheSingleDadNoma