CBD Explained: Full spectrum vs Broad-spectrum vs isolate

CBD Explained: Full spectrum vs Broad-spectrum vs isolate

What are cannabinoids, and which is their role in our health?

The Cannabis plant has a special classification of compounds referred to cannabinoids. Research shows over a hundred identified cannabinoids, among them CBD and THC, naturally occur within different cannabis strains. 

Of late, there has been a lot of buzz around cannabinoids and how they affect our health. This is why cannabinoids are essential to us.

In 1995, Researchers found out that cannabinoids interact with the human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) receptors. This is the basis of how CBD and THC could benefit the body's health in many ways. 

The ECS can control different biological body functions like memory, mood regulation, stress management, cognitive performance, immune response, and pain perception, among many others.

The researchers also discovered that each cannabinoid affects the body differently. For instance, THC prompts psychoactive effects related to "getting high," while CBD, on the other hand, does not get you high. 

Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) cannabinoids deliver a variety of effects. A full collection of cannabinoids is what is referred to as the cannabinoid spectrum.

CBD products are all extracted from the cannabis plant through the CO2 extraction method. During the extraction process, other compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids are also stripped from the plant for easy administration and storage.

Depending on the strain used for cannabis extraction, the cannabinoid composition and profile for CBD oil differs.

Let's say hemp extract has little or no THC compared to cross-bred cannabis strains, which have a content ratio of 1:1 CBD to THC. Companies also decide to use a different cannabinoid spectrum depending on the use of the final product.

After extraction, the company can then single out only specific plant parts and cannabinoids to refine the extract from. After initial extraction, what then happens with the cannabinoids determines whether it is a broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or CBD isolate.

Let's discuss now what each cannabis spectrum means.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

When an extract is a full spectrum, it contains all naturally found phytochemicals in the cannabis plant. These include essential oils, terpenes, CBD, and trace cannabinoids. These compounds work together to boost the medicinal benefits of every single cannabinoid. This is referred to as the entourage effect.


  • Longer-lasting and powerful therapeutic benefits from the entourage effect
  • The least processed form of CBD meaning high potency levels.


  • May show up on a drug screening due to THC inclusion
  • THC content may cause problems with the local law
  • If unflavored, it carries the natural flavor and aroma of hemp, which smells like marijuana. 

Full-Spectrum is Best For:

  • CBD users who want to benefit from the trace amounts of THC in their extracts
  • Individuals who have severe symptoms that fail to be solved by CBD isolate and broad-spectrum products 
  • people living in states with a legal marijuana market

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum CBD has cannabidiol besides every other compound contained in the plant, although THC is entirely removed after the initial extraction.

Since broad-spectrum extracts have several cannabinoids, they also deliver the "entourage effect," but without the THC psychoactive effect. The effects may not be as powerful as that from full-spectrum CBD oil.


  • It provides a solid percentage of the entourage effect even without THC.
  • Less processed than isolate
  • No risk of psychoactive effects and will not appear on screenings.


  •  Less researched
  • Less available than full-spectrum or isolates
  • May carry a strong, natural hemp flavor.

Works Best for:

  • CBD users with conditions that can't be solved by isolate alone
  • Individuals sensitive to THC
  • People living in places with strict THC regulations
  • Beginner CBD users afraid of THC


What is CBD Isolate?

 CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD formed by removing all other ingredients found in cannabis plants. The isolated form of CBD is more often extracted from hemp because of its low to non-existence THC content.


  • The most concentrated form of CBD
  • No risk of getting high
  • Highly adaptable
  • Secure for all types of CBD consumers
  • Odorless and flavorless
  • One can pass a drug test with CBD isolate


  •  Doesn't offer the enjoyment of the entourage effect

CBD Isolate is Best for:

  • CBD users who have a very high dosage of CBD recommendation
  • Individuals sensitive to THC or other cannabinoids
  • Users afraid of drug test failure and THC psychoactive effects.
  • CBD users who have flavorless products preference 
  • Individuals living in states with harsh THC laws

Final thoughts on the CBD oil spectrums

There are many factors to consider before selecting the best CBD oil spectrum that suits you. Your health status, weight, and lifestyle influence the way you react towards the different CBD oil spectrums.

The pros and cons, along with the user-matching for each spectrum provided above, guide you to find your best spectrum.

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