Extraction Products Medical Research

Are Isolates Better Than Whole-Flower Products?

Written by Nicholas Demski

Terpenoids, flavonoids, cannabinoids, oh my!

Scared of the terms echoing through the halls of the University of Cannabis*?

The multi-syllabic, Latin-derived words that represent cannabis jargon are esoteric, and can be overwhelming to the layperson. I apologize for the verbosity.

However, there is a word you should know without needing to be fearful of forgetting how to pronounce it: isolates.

If you haven’t heard of them, they’re all the rage–as are most fads at one point in their lifetime.

If you’re considering whether you should be delving into isolates, I’m sure you have some questions.

Here we’ll discover what isolates are, how they compare, and what you should choose.

What are Isolates?

Researchers have identified over 500 chemical components within Cannabis; over 60 of them are classified as cannabinoids (1). If you dry its flowers, combust them, and inhale the smoke, you’ll consume all of them at once (many with opposing effects). However, what if you want the health benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effect of THC?

Say hello to isolates.

Isolates are created from the segregation of chemical compounds from the whole plant. Their name is a cognate of its definition: when a compound is isolated from a plant, it becomes an isolate.

Figure 1 Viewing isolates under a microscope. (3)

You Mentioned the Health Benefits of CBD. Are Isolates Better Than Whole Flower Extracts?

The answer depends on your preference and needs. As mentioned, if you don’t want to consume THC, then yes, isolates are a better choice for you.

However, there is something special about using the whole flower: the entourage effect (2).

So, the question shouldn’t be about whether isolates or whole-flower use is better, it should be about which is better for you.

Should I Choose Isolates or Whole-Flower Products?

Much like monster trucks, ballets-on-ice, and pumpkin spice lattes, isolates can be a work of art for some, and a pointless endeavor for others.

Each person’s cannabis-palette is different, and should be treated as such. There is no one-size fits all in the case of isolates and whole-flower use.

Now that you know what isolates are and that determining the best type of cannabis use is highly individualistic, you’re better equipped to experiment and see what works for you.

Are you ready to take the leap into self-discovery? Comment below about what works for you and share your wisdom with the community!

*Not a real place.


  1. “Cannabis, a Complex Plant: Different Compounds and Different Effects on Individuals.” Accessed May 2, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  2. “The Entourage Effect and Terpenes.” Accessed May 2, 2018. https://terpenesandtesting.com/the-entourage-effect-terpenes/
  3. “Figure 1” Credit to Pixabay.

About the author

Nicholas Demski

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