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

When looking for CBD products, you’ve likely seen a few different spectrum options, such as isolates, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD oil. While these types may seem similar, they’re quite different. In this guide, we’ll offer an overview of the importance of cannabinoids and we will also discuss the benefits and disadvantages of each CBD product type.


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Cannabinoids and How They Affect Our Health and Well-Being

What is CBD oil good for? As you may already know, cannabinoids are chemicals that are naturally found in cannabis plants. There are more than 113 known cannabinoids, with THC and CBD being the most researched. Because of their interactions with the endocannabinoid system, which is a network of neurotransmitters and receptors in the nervous system, brain, and immune system, these compounds have tremendous effects on our overall well-being.

The endocannabinoid system or ECS controls various functions, such as cognitive performance, memory, stress management, pain perception, immune response, and mood regulation, among many others. Years ago, scientists discovered that THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids could benefit the brain and body in several unique ways.

While THC induces a well-known psychoactive effect, CBD won’t get you high. In fact, cannabidiol can even mitigate the euphoric effects of THC while offering other benefits such as stress relief and improved pain perception. At a lower dose, CBD acts as a mild stimulant, while higher doses typically provide a sedative effect. Other cannabinoids, such as CBN (cannabinol) and cannabigerol (CBG) have distinct effects. The full range of compounds combines to create the cannabinoid spectrum.

What Makes Hemp Extracts Different?

What is CBD oil? We’ll answer that question here. All cannabidiol products, including the best cbd oil for pain relief, are extracted from cannabis plants using carbon dioxide and other solvents. During the process, all the terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids are removed from the plant matter and dissolved in oils, making them easier to store and administer.

Depending on the strain chosen, the cannabinoid content of CBD products varies widely. If you want to buy CBD oil legally, we recommend choosing hemp extracts, as they’re federally approved due to the 2018 passage of the Farm Bill.

Full-Spectrum CBD Products: What Are They?

When extracts are full-spectrum, they contain all the phytochemicals found in the whole plant, including trace cannabinoids, CBD, essential oils, and terpenes. Full-spectrum hemp extracts have a THC content of 0.3%, which is considered negligible. The active compounds derived from hemp work together in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, which we’ll discuss later in this guide.

Broad-Spectrum CBD Products

A broad-spectrum CBD oil or tincture contains cannabinol and all the other beneficial compounds found in cannabis, except for THC, which is removed after extraction. Because these products contain several cannabinoids, they provide the entourage effect, minus the high associated with THC. In simple terms, broad-spectrum CBD is a cross between an isolate and full-spectrum cannabidiol.

CBD Isolates

An isolate is the purest form of CBD. It’s made by extracting the cannabidiol from cannabis plants and leaving all other ingredients behind. Isolates have several advantages over other formats, namely the high concentration of cannabidiol. These products are typically 99% pure, but you won’t get the benefits of the entourage effect.


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Explaining the Entourage Effect

Despite its complex name, the entourage effect is a simple concept. It’s a reference to the compounds found in cannabis, which work together to enhance the plant’s benefits. Each of these compounds can amplify the others’ beneficial aspects while lessening their adverse effects. Some of these other compounds include:

  • CBN (cannabinol)
  • CBC (cannabichromene)
  • CBG (cannabigerol)
  • Cannabidiol acid (CBDA)

Because of the plant’s benefits, full-spectrum products cost more than broad-spectrum offerings and isolates. It’s harder for manufacturers to maintain consistency when using full-spectrum extracts, which raises the cost of these products.


When considering the purchase of cbd for pain relief, you may have seen that they claim the health benefits provided by the plant’s natural terpenes. These volatile molecules create the unique aromas of many fruits, spices, vegetables, and plants, and they’ve been used therapeutically for hundreds of years. Cannabis contains over 200 terpenes, which bind to the body’s receptors and provide various health benefits.

Which Spectrum is Best?

Now that we’ve explained the various spectra of CBD, you may wonder why a buyer would choose one type over the others. Everyone’s needs are different, and we all react differently to cannabidiol, so it’s up to you to choose the right spectrum for your needs. To assist you in the selection process, we’ve listed a few of the benefits and drawbacks of each type of CBD.

  • Full-spectrum CBD oils provide the entourage effect. It’s minimally processed, and its flavonoids and terpenes provide additional benefits. These products are great for those with symptoms that can’t be controlled by isolates and broad-spectrum products. However, they may show up on drug tests, and their THC content makes them illegal in some areas.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD also offers the advantages of the entourage effect. It’s not as processed as an isolate may be, and there are no psychoactive effects. Broad-spectrum CBD tincture is ideal for those who are sensitive to THC and those who live in areas where it’s illegal. These products aren’t as widely available as isolates and full-spectrum CBD, and their flavor is quite strong.
  • CBD isolates are highly concentrated, but because they contain no THC, they won’t get you high. They’re safe for all users, and they won’t show up on a drug test. However, because they only contain CBD and no other cannabinoids, there’s no entourage effect. Isolates and pure cbd oil are recommended for those who need high CBD dosages and those who are frequently drug tested.

No matter your needs, it’s important to start with high-quality products. You can buy CBD tinctures and other products here.


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In Closing

There are numerous factors that may help you choose one CBD spectrum over another. Your weight, body chemistry, lifestyle, and history of prior substance use may affect your reaction to various cannabinoid profiles and the way you learn how to use cbd oil and tinctures.

For some users, broad-spectrum products may be best, as they deliver some of the entourage effect’s benefits without the euphoria associated with THC. For others, high doses of isolated cbd for pain may alleviate most symptoms. More research is needed to determine the efficacy of each CBD spectrum, so for now, finding the best cbd oil tincture is a matter of trial and error. We offer some of the highest quality cbd oil for sale, and we invite you to check out our selection today.