Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate CBD: What’s the Difference?

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

As the CBD market continues to become increasingly popular, you may notice CBD products that are labeled “full spectrum”, “broad spectrum” or “isolated.” If you’re unsure of what these terms mean and how they differentiate from one another, then this post is for you.

Text: What's the difference? Full Spectrum CBD Combined with all other plant components, including THC. Broad Spectrum: Same as Full Spectrum, minus THC. Isolate: Usually 99.9% Pure CBD, no other plant components

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum CBD products contain the full array of cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant, including THC. Federally, full spectrum CBD products produced from hemp are limited to .3% THC. Full spectrum CBD products can also contain essential oils and terpenes, which are responsible for giving the products their flavor and scent. Since full spectrum CBD products contain all of the naturally occurring compounds found within the hemp plant, they do not go through much processing upon extraction. There is research that shows the benefits of CBD are greater when all of the other plant compounds are present within the product. This is known as the “entourage effect”. A popular example of a full-spectrum product are CBD drops.

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum CBD products are basically the same thing as full spectrum, minus the THC component. There is zero detection of THC in these products. This is a great option for those who wish to avoid consumption of THC, but still desire the additional benefits provided by the plant’s other cannabinoids. This is optimal for those that have regular drug screenings for work or are seeking new employment. The absence of THC may alter the effects and/or characteristics of the product, and users may notice this if they compare it to full spectrum. Since THC is removed upon extraction, broad spectrum products are slightly more processed than full spectrum products.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is typically 99.9% pure CBD, containing no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or plant oils. Isolate is the purest form of CBD and is the most processed of the three types of CBD. Scientists once believed that isolate was the most powerful version of CBD, but as previously stated, today’s research shows the opposite. Many people still prefer isolate as their source of CBD, especially if they are sensitive to any of the other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

If you’re wondering which type of CBD is best to use, it is truly a personal preference based on individual need or desire. It is important to note that different individuals may react differently to each of the CBD product types.




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