Full Spectrum VS. Broad Spectrum VS. Isolate

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Full Spectrum VS. Broad Spectrum VS. Isolate

Over 64 million people in America have used CBD oil in the last two years to help balance their endocannabinoid system. When it comes to choosing a CBD product to use, you are faced with three options: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate. What’s the difference between the three?

The differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD are:

  • Full Spectrum CBD is the full hemp extract, including all essential oils, vitamins, cannabinoids, and small amounts of THC (<0.3%)
  • Broad Spectrum CBD is the full hemp extract, including essential oils, vitamins, and cannabinoids but with the THC removed
  • Isolate CBD is only pure CBD

That’s the simple answer, but there is more to the story. Choosing the right CBD for your situation is important. We’ll talk about how they’re made, what they contain, and which is the best option for you in more detail below.

CBD Oil: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate

When it comes to choosing a type of CBD, you have three main options. Knowing the differences between them and how it affects you can be a little challenging, so we’ve put together a short description and common questions for each.

Full Spectrum CBD

Full Spectrum CBD contains all of the other essential oils and compounds that are extracted alongside it from the hemp plant. This includes things such as:

  • Vitamins (A, B, C, and E)
  • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Other cannabinoids (meaning compounds found in hemp)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC

That last part is important. Full Spectrum CBD does include very small amounts of THC. We’ll cover more about that below.

Will Full Spectrum CBD Make Me High?

Full Spectrum CBD does include small amounts of THC, the active compound in marijuana which provides the psychoactive effects.

However, the amount of THC contained in Full Spectrum CBD is too low to make you high. In order to be sold across the United States, a Full Spectrum CBD product must have less than 0.3% THC. In fact, CBD products are not even made from the same type of cannabis plant. CBD products are made from hemp, while THC focused products are made from marijuana, which is bred to purposefully contain a lot more THC.

The fact that it has some THC in it can still be important, though. There are a few scenarios where you might not want any THC at all, such as:

  • If you are drug tested for your job and do not want to take any chances
  • If you have a THC sensitivity
  • If your religion or personal practices disallow the ingestion of a psychoactive substance

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad Spectrum CBD is one step away from Full Spectrum. It contains all the other beneficial substances extracted from hemp, but without the THC.

This can be useful in several ways:

  • You can still receive the full benefits of the vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients from the hemp.
  • You can take it even if you are being drug tested.
  • It does not contain anything that could be considered a psychoactive drug.

By removing the small amounts of THC present in hemp extract, it allows you to receive the beneficial effects of CBD products without worrying about any THC present at all.

One of the beneficial effects of Full and Broad Spectrum CBD products is something called the “entourage effect.” This is the term used to describe the way all the different vitamins, nutrients, and essential acids in CBD interact together to provide a greater effect than if they were used alone

Just like all the flavors come together in a dish to make something greater than they taste alone, all the beneficial bits of hemp extracts come together to make the CBD more effective.

Can I Use Broad Spectrum CBD if I’m Being Drug Tested?

Since Broad Spectrum CBD contains no THC at all, it is completely safe to use if you are being drug tested.

Full Spectrum CBD shouldn’t affect a drug test either, since the amount you are receiving is too little. However, some people’s bodies process the chemical differently and drug tests can be more or less sensitive depending on which test it is.

If you are being tested for work or any other reason, and you don’t want to take any chances, then Broad Spectrum CBD provides all the benefits of Full Spectrum CBD without any THC.

Isolate CBD

Isolate CBD also is exactly what it sounds like—isolated CBD.

Isolate CBD is just pure CBD with everything else removed, meaning it includes no:

  • THC
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins
  • Amino Acids
  • Any other cannabinoids

All you’re getting is the pure, unadulterated CBD compound.

Pros and Cons of Isolate CBD

Choosing to use Isolate CBD instead of a Broad of Full spectrum product has a few pros and cons:


  • You know exactly what you are getting – pure CBD.
  • Avoids potential rish factors of other cannabinoids which may need further research.
  • Can cook with isolate CBD and it does not add any flavor.


  • You lose the “entourage effect” of full and broad spectrum CBD.
  • You miss out on all of the beneficial products hemp contains, like the vitamins and amino acids.

When to Use Each One

Each type of CBD product has things that it is better and worse at. We’ve put together a quick list of reasons to use each one, so pick the one that aligns best with your goals.

Full Spectrum CBD is useful:

  • When you want the maximum effect a CBD product can provide.
  • When you want all the therapeutic benefits.
  • If you don’t care too much about THC content (remember it is too little to get you high).
  • When you want the most holistic approach.

You should use Broad Spectrum CBD when:

  • You want the full therapeutic effects of hemp extract.
  • You want the entourage effect to increase the effect of CBD.
  • You need to avoid THC for work, religious, or personal reasons.

Choose CBD Isolate when:

  • You need to avoid THC for personal or religious reasons.
  • You don’t want any other cannabinoids before they are studied more.
  • You are going to be cooking with CBD and don’t want it to alter the taste much.

Is Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or Isolate CBD Better?

People find themselves asking: is Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum, or Isolate CBD better?

Full Spectrum CBD is going to be the most effective due to the entourage effect. All of the different compounds in the CBD combine their effects together to create a more holistic approach to overall endocannabinoid system balance.

However, Broad Spectrum is only slightly behind Full Spectrum. Because all it’s missing is the small amounts of THC, it will provide almost the same endocannabinoid system balance.

However, that isn’t to say that Isolate CBD is not useful. CBD alone still provides a lot of benefits and effective endocannabinoid system balance, so Isolate CBD still makes a great option for those looking to management of their endocannabinoid system without consuming other cannabinoids.

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD

There are many different reasons why people choose to use a CBD product to help them. Because of this, the three main types of CBD products provide options for everyone.

Remember the differences between the three types are:

  • Full Spectrum CBD is the full hemp extract, including all essential oils, vitamins, cannabinoids, and small amounts of THC (<0.3%).
  • Broad Spectrum CBD is the full hemp extract, including essential oils, vitamins, and cannabinoids but with the THC removed.
  • Isolate CBD is only pure CBD.

While Full Spectrum CBD won’t make you high, there are still reasons you may choose not to use it. With the information we put together for you, now you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which type is best for you!

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