The Difference Between CBD Oil, CBD Tinctures, and CBD Isolate

If you are just getting started on your CBD journey you may feel like there are a ton of options to choose from. Which CBD oil will be best for you, your dog, or your parent? With this guide, you can get an idea of what to expect from the most common formulations.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

This is the active ingredient used in most CBD products such as capsules, salves, and edibles. It can also be purchased in its original state, without any fillers or additives.

CBD oil contains terpenes, essential oils, and other hemp plant fibers. CBD oil is well known for being full spectrum. This means it contains other beneficial cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG that work together with CBD to create a well rounded compound.

Raw, Decarboxylated, and Gold CBD oils from left to right.

3 Types of Pharma Hemp Complex CBD Oil

The first thing you will notice about our CBD oil products, is that we categorize them by the percentage of CBD content. You will also notice that they are packaged in a syringe with a plunger.

The consistency of all three of these oils is very thick, and they are all highly concentrated when compared to CBD oil tinctures. These products are typically preferred by people who need a stronger dosage than most. Most users will only take a rice grain sized amount at a time, which makes the syringe ideal packaging.

  1. 15.9% Hemp CBD Raw Oil:
    • Natural Dark Green Color
    • Preferred by Minimalists
    • Has undergone basic CO2 extraction
  2. 17% Hemp CBD Decarboxylated Oil:
    • Natural Blue Color
    • Preferred by Pet Lovers and Chefs
    • Decarboxylation in layman’s terms, means the raw oil has been heated to remove excess carbon
  3. 25% Pure Hemp CBD Gold Oil:
    • Natural Gold Color
    • Preferred by those who require the strongest dosage
    • Has been further refined to create the highest concentration possible

CBD Isolate – Simply CBD

CBD isolate is CBD only – it can be used to create a variety of formulations.

The most versatile and refined CBD product is CBD isolate. This product comes in a crystalline powder form and is 99.9% pure CBD. Many people prefer CBD isolate over full spectrum CBD oil because it has 0.0% THC.

It is perfect for cooking because it is tasteless. It can be baked, blended into a smoothie, or sprinkled on top of a cupcake. It can even be used to create custom items such as bath bombs. Isolate is also one of the more affordable solutions if you are looking to get high CBD content at a low cost.

CBD Oil Tinctures

Also commonly referred to as CBD oil tinctures, the ‘oil’ is to emphasize that the tincture is not made with isolate, and refers to full spectrum quality. Pharma Hemp Complex tinctures are made with full spectrum hemp oil.

The biggest difference between CBD tinctures and CBD oil, is that the CBD tincture is made with what’s called a carrier oil. In the CBD oil section above, we discussed the thick consistency of CBD oil, this is why a carrier oil is necessary if you want to simply drop or squirt the oil under your tongue.

Some will often confuse carrier oils with fillers. This is unfortunate, because while these carrier oils are inactive ingredients, they are used for a reason, not simply to bulk up the product quantity. Research has shown that CBD oil can be absorbed more efficiently when taken with healthy fats. This is why we include hemp seed oil as a carrier for our CBD oil tinctures. Hemp seed oil is rich in both omega-3 and omega-6.

Pharma Hemp Complex offers a wide variety of CBD oil tinctures to choose from.

CBD Tinctures for Microdosing

Tinctures are preferred for ‘micro-dosing’ or for taking a small amount of CBD oil at a time. Micro-dosages are what buyers at large are seeking to aid in anxiety relief and temporary muscle and joint discomfort.

A microdose can generally range between about 1-40 mgs of CBD per mL. This of course is subjective to the user, as what feels like micro to one person, can be macro to another. Recall the CBD oil section above, we stated that most users take a rice grain sized amount of CBD oil. Within that tiny rice grain size is about 25 mgs of CBD oil for the 25% pure gold oil.

In a scenario where you only want to take about 5 mgs of CBD oil, you would have to take about a fifth of a grain of rice sized amount. Let’s face it, that would be really difficult to dose out given the thick consistency of CBD oil. Heck, I still have a hard time using just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste! Not only that, but it would be really easy to take too much, and wind up taking a good old fashioned CBD oil nap.

2 Blends of Pharma Hemp Complex CBD Oil Tinctures

At Pharma Hemp Complex, we offer two different formulations for our CBD oil tinctures. Both blends are made with the same source of CBD oil. Both also use hemp seed and coconut oil as carriers. This oil blend base improves the absorption rate of cannabinoids and increases the duration of their effects.

The primary difference in the two blends is the presence of vegetable glycerine and turmeric, neither of which are in the holistic blend.

Pharma Hemp Complex holistic blend tinctures on the left, and VG tinctures on the right.

Holistic Blend:

For those who believe less is more. The holistic blend is a versatile formula that utilizes hemp seed oil and coconut oil to deliver a smooth dosage every time. Expect an earthy taste with this tincture, this one is not for picky eaters.

  • Minimal Ingredients
  • Carrier Oils:
    • Hemp Seed Oil
    • Coconut (MCT) Oil
  • Peppermint Flavor contains Natural Peppermint Oil

Vegetable Glycerine Blend:

We often simply refer to this as our VG Base. Preferred by those with a sensitive palate, the VG based tinctures are a bit sweeter than the holistic blend. Pharma Hemp Complex VG blend tinctures also contain turmeric. Turmeric is a common ingredient in Indian food and is currently being studied for its health benefits. This savory spice complements the VG well, creating a well balanced flavor that many prefer to our holistic blend.

  • Mild Sweet Taste
  • Carriers:
    • Vegetable Glycerine
    • Hemp Seed Oil
    • Coconut (MCT) Oil
  • Additional Ingredients: Turmeric, Natural Peppermint Oil (Peppermint Flavor Only – Not in Unflavored)

Which CBD Oil Product Is Best?

It depends on what you are looking for out of the product. Here are some pros and cons for each to help you make a decision.

CBD Oil:


  • Highly Concentrated – Good for those who want a high dosage
  • Versatile – Can be used to create custom formulations
  • No additional ingredients, just hemp


  • Highly Concentrated – Not good for those who want a low dosage
  • Not ideal for on-the-go usage

CBD Isolate:


  • 0.0% THC – If you are worried about drug screening, but insist on taking CBD, this is one is the safest bet
  • Versatile – Can be used to create custom formulations
  • Get more ‘bang’ for your buck – Isolate is typically the most affordable form of CBD


  • Not full spectrum – Does not contain the full range of beneficial cannabinoids
  • Unless you want to put powder under your tongue, you may want to mix it with something

CBD Oil Tinctures


  • Perfect for Microdosing
  • Convenient to use
  • Can contain other beneficial ingredients such as turmeric


  • Not the best option for creating custom blends
  • Not ideal for those who require high dosages

Keep in mind, this is a highly simplified pro/con list and not an exhaustive list of all the pros and cons of each product. Many people may find that they want to use both, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Some people take straight CBD oil in the morning and night, and supplement with a tincture throughout the day. Some people like to add a little isolate to their CBD oil tinctures to give it a little extra strength. Some make buying decisions based solely on price. The possibilities are really endless, the best way to find out which is best for you is to simply try it.

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