Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate. What’s the difference?

What are the different types of CBD on the market today:

Isolate - CBD isolate is typically 99.9% pure CBD. The extraction process is unique in that it removes everything contained in the plant matter, including THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll, and all other plant matter. All you are left with is CBD.[1] This is primarily used for those who have to be conscious of drug testing as isolates are less effective than Full Spectrum products. 

Full Spectrum - In comparison to isolate, full-spectrum includes everything that the plant contains. This type of CBD oil includes the terpenes, phytocannabinoids (trace amounts of THC plus the other host of cannabinoids), flavonoids, and fatty acids. Including the other active components of the cannabis plant has value in that it creates what is known as the “entourage effect”.  The term is being used to describe the enhancement of therapeutic effectiveness of CBD oil. A 2013 article in The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that “The synergistic contributions of cannabidiol to Cannabis pharmacology—and specifically analgesia—have been scientifically demonstrated. Preclinical and clinical data indicate that cannabinoids administered together are more effective at ameliorating neuropathic pain than the use of a single agent.”[2] Full Spectrum products are quickly becoming the most available on the market. 

Broad Spectrum - Recent advances in CBD oil manufacturing have resulted in new specialized processing that removes only the THC from a “full-spectrum” extract. This CBD oil uses a process that filters extract through a special media to remove the THC, leaving the rest of the chemical profile intact. These products, called broad-spectrum, are new to the market and combine the best of both worlds for those seeking to optimize health-related benefits in a THC-free option. This is a key factor compared to the stripped-down nature of an isolate. [3]


[1] CBD School Article 1

[2] NCBI Article

[3] CBD School Article 2