Deeper Look at Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, & CBD Isolate

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When looking for CBD, you’ve probably noticed there are three different cannabinoid spectrum options to choose from (Full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolates).

While these three types of products all contain CBD, they are actually worlds apart from one another and produce varying effects.

What are the essential differences between each of these cannabis spectrums? And, most importantly, which spectrum is best for you?

In this article, we are going to explain the important differences between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Each CBD format has its own pros and cons to analyze and understand.

The Entourage Effect

The Entourage Effect is a phenomenon that occurs when multiple cannabis combinations work together to enhance the effects of one another.

Scientific studies have examined cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, and when they are taken in conjunction with terpenes. From the results of these fusions, scientists found that the cannabinoids complement each other when combined and create powerful results.

Because of these combined THC and CBD effects, cannabis compounds can deliver stronger and more effective results when taken together than any single compound.

For example, myrcene (the most common terpene found in cannabis/hemp) helps cannabinoids cross the blood-brain barrier more easily. This benefit causes the THC to have a greater sedative effect than when taken alone.

Another example of how the entourage effect works is its aid to CBD memory. When CBD is taken with specific terpenes the dual-stimuli lessens the loss of long-term memory associated with THC. These reliefs also diminish the overall psycho-activity of THC.

Full Spectrum CBD

Full Spectrum – Contains all phytochemicals naturally found in the plant, including CBD, trace cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils, as well as a small amount of THC—  below .3 percent.

  • Pros
    • You will be consuming the plant the way that nature intended, with all phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds working in synergy to maximize the effects of one another.
    • Because of this, full-spectrum is the most powerful form of CBD on the market.
  • Cons
    • Contains trace levels of THC, which has the potential to show up on a drug test.
    • Some states are still not friendly towards full-spectrum products because of the THC content.

Full-spectrum CBD is best for anyone looking to harness the full potential of natural compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC. It will provide an overall more powerful effect on your body than broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad Spectrum – begins as a full-spectrum CBD oil, with the full range of beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils, but it then goes through a refinement process to remove all THC compounds.

  • Pros
    • The only compound removed is THC, which still allows you to enjoy some of the benefits from the entourage effect.
    • Will not show up on a drug test no matter how much you consume.
  • Cons
    • Less powerful than full spectrum

Broad Spectrum CBD is best for anyone looking to avoid THC, but would still like to harness the beneficial properties of other compounds in the cannabis plant.

CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate – Pure CBD that has been through a refinement process to remove all other compounds.

  • Pros
    • The most potent form of CBD (usually around 99.9%)
    • highly versatile
      • Can be easily added to food, drink, or absorbed directly into the gum tissue
    • Flavorless and odorless
    • Will not show up on a drug test no matter how much you consume because it does not contain any THC.
  • Cons
    • Doesn’t provide any of the therapeutic properties from other compounds like terpenes or other sister cannabinoids

CBD Isolate is best for anyone looking to take extremely high doses while avoiding the possibility of any psychoactive effects.


There are many factors that can influence your decision when choosing a certain cannabis spectrum over another.

Your unique body chemistry, weight, lifestyle, the severity of the medical issue you’re treating, as well as how you’ve reacted to cannabis in the past, are all factors that should go into your decision-making process.

Each spectrum will provide slightly different results and have their pros and cons, which we discussed above.

No matter what your personal circumstances or needs are, between the three spectrums there’s a CBD product out there that can benefit you.

Here at CBD Facilitator, we’ve created a database of all the best CBD products on the market, and we’ve opened it up to the public, making it completely free to use. If you’re interested in trying any of the CBD products mentioned in this article, check out the database here

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I give one of the CBD spectrums to my dog?

Yes, dogs often experience anxiety that can be aided through CBD oil. To effectively help your dog’s anxiety, use either full spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. These spectrums maintain some of the THC that will help relieve the stress your pup is experiencing. Use CBD oil for dogs, or CBD infused in dog-treats to remedy their anxiety. 

Can I get buzzed off CBD isolate?

Because there is no THC in CBD isolate, then it will not get you buzzed or high. What CBD isolate can do is reduce muscle pain and swelling. CBD isolate can also help with relaxation. Most likely, CBD will make you feel calm and relaxed. 

How is CBD different from marijuana?

CBD (cannabidiol) is derived from a hemp plant. CBD is just one of the active ingredients in marijuana (cannabis). When CBD is used on its own, it does not have the same effects as marijuana.

What dosage should I take?

This will vary depending on the person. If you are new to using CBD and/or THC, start with small dosages. Once you have experienced what works best for you, gradually increase usage to whatever you are comfortable with. 

What is CBD best used for?

  • People and animals with anxiety: CBD can help reduce anxiety for people and pets. Starting with small doses, introduce CBD to your routine to calm and relieve the stressful situations that are causing your discomfort. Another great option is to add CBD oil for anxiety-reducing, by putting droplets into your favorite tea or relaxing beverage.

  • Athletes and people with chronic pain: CBD benefits people who struggle with sore muscles or inflammation. While CBD will not cure serious injuries, it will relieve the pain and ease situations.

  • People with seizures: CBD has also been shown to aid those who suffer from seizures. In recent studies, they reduced the number of seizures, or end them completely. 

Is CBD safe to use?

Though there can be a few side effects of CBD, it is completely safe. Especially when taken in low doses, its effects cannot harm you. Use full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and/or CBD isolate to relieve stress, pain, and anxiety. 

What are the different forms CBD can come in?

The most common CBD is available in oil form, isolates, tinctures, creams, gels, capsules, candies, sublingual sprays, vapors, patches, and wax. Right now, a popular choice is adding CBD oil to tea, or other beverages. Or, make a CBD mocktail with your favorite soda and a couple drops of CBD oil. This is an easy way to consume the calming products without altering your normal routine.   

What is the difference between THC and CBD?

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids extracted from cannabis (the plant). Despite their relation to one another, there are some crucial differences. While CBD offers relaxation and calm experiences, it does not create the intoxicating “high” some people are after. As explained in the article above, the perfect combination of CBD and THC can effectively calm users and create the best results.

Josh Murdoch

Josh Murdoch

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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