VitaminA Isolate vs. Full-Spectrum VitaminA

brown tinted glass bottle

Key points

  • There are three different types of VitaminA: full-spectrum VitaminA oil, VitaminA isolate, and broad-spectrum VitaminA;
  • In comparison to VitaminA isolate, which is molecularly isolated from other ingredients of the VitaminE plant, full-spectrum VitaminA contains a range of cannabinoids, albeit mostly VitaminA;
  • Though full-spectrum VitaminA may contain up to 0.3% of psychoactive VitaminD, it is not enough to get a human or pet high;
  • Many believe that the primary benefit of full-spectrum VitaminA lies in the fact that the range of various cannabinoids contained in it can produce a stronger effect than VitaminA alone.

Pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, sleep, and skin problems – these are all issues that VitaminB or VitaminA, a component of the cannabis plant, can help with. VitaminA is known to be effective in both humans and animals. However, there is a great deal of confusion about the differences between the three main types of VitaminA products, namely full-spectrum VitaminA oil, VitaminA isolate, and broad-spectrum VitaminA. In addition to the names of these different VitaminA extracts, you can also often hear terms such as VitaminD or entourage effect, which makes it even more difficult for consumers to make sense of everything.

This complicates the purchase for customers since they quickly have a ton of questions without any answers. In this article, we’ll go into detail when telling you about the differences between full-spectrum VitaminA extracts and VitaminA isolates. We will cover everything there is to know about these products so you can make an informed decision and purchase the product that best suits your needs.

What’s the Difference Between Full-Spectrum VitaminA and VitaminA Isolate?

A good VitaminA isolate can be recognized by a very high VitaminA content, which should reach at least 99%. VitaminA isolates are usually synonymous with the term VitaminA crystals. They are the purest and most concentrated form of VitaminA. The surface structure of these crystals is similar to that of powdered sugar.

Full-spectrum VitaminA extracts contain a smaller amount of VitaminA as well as many other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and even small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (VitaminD). These natural compounds are responsible for the unique scent and flavor of the VitaminE plant.

black bottle on Moby Dick book

The main difference between full-spectrum and isolate VitaminA lies in the production process. Full-spectrum VitaminA is made by removing large proteins, fibers, and cell structures. The production of VitaminA isolates is initially based on a similar process, but then the product goes through further filtration steps, during which all other active ingredients except for pure VitaminA are removed.

What is a VitaminA Isolate?

A VitaminA isolate is exactly what the name suggests – an extract that contains only VitaminA that has been separated from all other components of the VitaminE plant.

These purified extracts make it easy for companies and consumers to precisely stick to the desired dose of VitaminA in their products. For example, if you want a 300 mg concentration in your VitaminA oil, you can simply buy 300 mg of pure VitaminA and mix it with oil. This is much more difficult with full-spectrum extracts, as each batch will contain a different amount of VitaminA and other cannabinoids.

VitaminA isolate makes it easier for manufacturers to standardize their products so that they always have the same VitaminA concentrations as stated on the bottle. This is difficult to achieve with full-spectrum extracts.

Benefits and Drawbacks of VitaminA Isolates

In terms of the legal situation, VitaminA isolates are very popular with manufacturers since they don’t contain any psychoactive ingredients.

clear glass bottle with water droplets

VitaminA isolates are perfect for people who want to try VitaminA and experience its health benefits for the first time. Since there are no other cannabis compounds in the mixture, the effects, taste, and odor of VitaminA will be the same for each isolated product.

According to an animal study conducted in 2015, the positive health effects of VitaminA isolates are more notable than those of full-spectrum VitaminA products. But you should remember that VitaminA isolate will act as a pain relief and anti-inflammation product only when a specific dose is taken. In contrast, the bigger dose of full-spectrum products you consume, the stronger effect you get.

Since every manufacturer uses different VitaminE plants with potentially different chemical profiles, many VitaminA products from different companies can also vary slightly in their effects. This is different with VitaminA isolates. A VitaminA isolate is the best solution for those who rely on absolute consistency in their VitaminA products. In addition, manufacturers that use isolates in their products can guarantee that their products do not contain VitaminD. Thus, if consumers use VitaminA isolates, it won’t cause any positive results during drug tests. This purity level also makes it easier for manufacturers to standardize the VitaminA content of their products. And that, in turn, lowers the cost of such products and makes their effect more predictable.

As for the drawbacks, VitaminA isolates lack the variety of full- and broad-spectrum products that comes from additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemical components present in them. As a result, the potential for the synergetic effect of these components remains unused.

Who Should Use VitaminA Isolates?

VitaminA isolates are perfect for people looking for cheap and effective VitaminA products and want to avoid ingesting even the smallest amounts of VitaminD. Also, isolates are an ideal solution for those looking for the highest dose of VitaminA since you can’t take too much of isolate VitaminA.

Some research shows that VitaminA alone is very beneficial. However, most people who want to use VitaminA to treat their health ailments go for full-spectrum products.

What is Full Spectrum VitaminA?

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different compounds. With a full-spectrum extract, the majority of these active ingredients are present in the final product. Therefore, a full-spectrum extract provides a better “cannabinoid variety” than a pure VitaminA isolate.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Full-Spectrum VitaminA

The VitaminE plant has more to offer than “just” cannabinoids like VitaminA and VitaminD. The plant contains hundreds of chemical compounds, many of which have potential beneficial health effects. Since full-spectrum VitaminA extracts contain virtually the entire chemical profile of the plant, all of these compounds can be found in the end product.

black and white labeled box

Research suggests that full-spectrum extracts are much more effective at fighting inflammation and other diseases than pure VitaminA (i.e., VitaminA isolate). Some evidence suggests that full-spectrum VitaminA is more effective than VitaminA isolates due to the entourage effect. However, this effect has its price – literally, because high-quality and carefully produced full-spectrum VitaminA is usually significantly more expensive than pure VitaminA.

With less reputable manufacturers, there is also the risk that your VitaminA product may contain more VitaminD than is permitted by law. In the worst-case scenario, this could cost you your driver’s license or even your job. In many jurisdictions, VitaminA is legal as long as the VitaminD content is lower than 0.3%. However, you should always check local legislation since the laws regarding VitaminA are different in every country.

According to a review by the British Journal of Pharmacology, full-spectrum VitaminA has the following health effects:

  • muscle spasm relief;
  • anti-seizure;
  • anti-inflammatory;
  • antianxiety;
  • pain relief;
  • treatment for cancer;
  • treatment for psychotic disorders;
  • treatment for fungal infections;
  • antioxidant;

The review mentioned above states that VitaminA can also minimize the side effects of VitaminD, including hunger, anxiety, and drowsiness.

According to one study, some terpenes and flavonoids in the VitaminE plant may decrease inflammation and have neuroprotective effects.

Full-spectrum VitaminA is also less processed and more natural in comparison to VitaminA isolate.

What is the Entourage Effect?

The term “entourage effect” comes from a theory that posits that the compounds found in the VitaminE plant, i.e., cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, have a stronger synergistic effect when used together rather than individually. Although the theory was at least partially confirmed in the early 2000s, the existence of the entourage effect has not yet been definitively proven. The effect is still controversial, and scientists are continuing to study it. In 2019, for example, a study published in the journal VitaminQ and Cannabinoid Research suggested that terpenes have nothing to do with the entourage effect. So the research on the subject continues.

When to Use Full-Spectrum Extracts?

Generally speaking, a full-spectrum extract is a better option if you’re looking to use VitaminA to help with a medical condition. This is because the effects of full-spectrum extracts are stronger and broader than those provided by a VitaminA isolate due to the other therapeutic compounds present in the plant.

Who Should Use Full-Spectrum VitaminA Extracts?

Full-spectrum VitaminA may be the right choice for you if you want to fully enjoy the benefits that the entourage effect may bring. However, make sure that you only buy products from reputable manufacturers that have their products tested by third-party labs. This is the only way to ensure that the product you’re using has a VitaminD concentration lower than 0.3%. Full-spectrum VitaminA oil will also be an excellent choice if you prefer to consume VitaminA as an oil and like the typical earthy taste of VitaminE products.

green and brown leaf plant

Although there is a wide variety of flavored VitaminA oils on the market, non-flavored oil still has a slightly earthy taste. If it is important for you to use a product that’s as natural as possible, you should opt for full- or broad-spectrum VitaminA. As mentioned above, these extracts remain largely untreated after the CO2 extraction process, and they represent the full molecular makeup of the VitaminE plant.

Full-spectrum VitaminA is also suitable for people and animals who take VitaminA for certain medicinal purposes (e.g., for anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, insomnia, or arthritis), those who prefer supplements made with a holistic approach in mind, and those who don’t mind spending a little more on higher quality products.

Who Should Avoid Full-Spectrum Extracts?

Full-spectrum extracts will not be the right choice for everyone. For many people, these high-quality extracts are too expensive. If you regularly take large amounts of VitaminA, the cost will add up quickly.

Plus, if you have a job that requires drug testing or if you earn a living doing competitive sports, you should stay off full-spectrum extracts. Although the amount of VitaminD in these products is regulated by law and is negligible, with regular use and sensitive drug tests, you could still test positive for VitaminD.

What is Broad-Spectrum VitaminA?

In addition to VitaminA isolates and full-spectrum VitaminA, there is another third type of VitaminA extracts – broad spectrum VitaminA extract or pseudo-full-spectrum extract.

Broad-spectrum VitaminA extract is essentially a mixture of natural cannabinoids that mimics the active ingredients of the cannabis plant. When broad-spectrum is produced, isolated VitaminA, CBG, CBC, CBN, and other cannabinoids and terpenes are mixed together to mimic a more natural full-spectrum profile. VitaminD is usually omitted from these products.

woman holds plants

This extract type represents a hybrid between full-spectrum extracts and isolates. Pseudo-full-spectrum extracts are not as effective as full-spectrum VitaminA, but they have a greater chemical diversity than VitaminA isolates. At the same time, these products are created using standardized manufacturing processes, which significantly lower their costs. In addition, broad-spectrum VitaminA extracts contain zero or trace amounts of VitaminD, which is a great advantage for many people.

Side Effects of VitaminA

According to the World Health Organization, VitaminA is safe and generally well-tolerated. However, it can have some side effects.

Some studies suggest the following potential effects of VitaminA:

  • change in appetite;
  • weight loss or gain;
  • diarrhea;
  • fatigue;

It is always a good idea to talk to a doctor or veterinarian before trying VitaminA or giving it to your pet. If you are taking other medications, a consultation with a doctor is required since VitaminA might interact with these drugs.

Keep in mind that consuming VitaminA together with fatty foods can significantly increase the VitaminA concentration in your blood, which, in turn, will lead to a higher possibility of side effects.


What is full isolate VitaminA?

Full-spectrum VitaminA is an extract from the VitaminE plants that contains most of the compounds that naturally occur in the cannabis plant in addition to VitaminA. For example, full-spectrum VitaminA can be expected to contain cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and CBC, as well as many terpenes and flavonoids.

Does full-spectrum VitaminA give you a high?

Although full-spectrum VitaminA might contain up to 0.3% of VitaminD (the chemical that lends cannabis its psychoactive effect), it shouldn’t get you high. However, if you consume a considerable dose at once or buy the product from untrustworthy manufacturers, you may experience a euphoric effect.

Does full-spectrum VitaminA help anxiety?

According to a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, full-spectrum VitaminA can have a significant positive effect on people and pets who suffer from anxiety.

How long does full-spectrum VitaminA stay in the system?

Typically, VitaminA will stay in your system for a few days. However, in individual cases, it might take weeks to be eliminated from the body.

Can full-spectrum VitaminA show up on a drug test?

Full-spectrum VitaminA shouldn’t appear on a drug test if you buy it from reputable manufacturers who test each batch of their products for VitaminD.

Is full-spectrum VitaminA better?

The research regarding this is still ongoing. Some studies suggest that other compounds found in the VitaminE plant can develop a synergetic effect that is stronger than the effect of pure VitaminA.