Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate: Which One Should I Chose?

Full Spectrum V Broad

The Bottom Line

Full Spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes of the Cannabis plant. These produce the best healing effects. We would always recommend full spectrum if there is no reason to avoid THC and especially when you are suffering from an issue that THC is effective in treating.

Broad Spectrum is full spectrum without the THC. If you are sensitive to THC or it is outlawed in your state, you should consider Broad spectrum as you are still getting 90% of the health benefits.

CBD Isolate is when the cannabidiol or CBD cannabinoid is extracted in isolation from the plant. It is good for getting large doses of cbd without any other ingredients and it can also be used in cooking. We would only recommend isolate if you have a valid reason, as the other two provide a fuller range of benefits.


As you shop around for CBD, you may have already noticed there are a few different products available. Some read “full-spectrum,” others “broad spectrum,” and then still more may have a label that reads “isolate.”

So, you may also be wondering what these are, and what do they even mean?

Read on as we shed some light on these labels, and essentially help you to make the best, informed choice.

Before we dive in, here’s a quick summary of what these terms signify: these terms are defining labels used to convey what type of CBD is in the product.

Now, the terms do sound similar (especially broad and full spectrum), but they each have their distinctive differences.

These characteristics are essential for each individual person to consider, and they can be used to determine exactly what type of CBD product is the ‘best’ one to use.

With each type of CBD, you will have certain advantages and disadvantages. To understand these, it is essential to begin with a basic understanding of certain things about CBD:


These are naturally occurring compounds found throughout the cannabis plant species. So far, researchers have identified over 100 of these cannabinoids, two of which have received plenty of attention in recent years: THC and CBD.
But, there are more to cannabinoids than just THC and CBD. And what’s more, researchers have identified that these cannabinoids might be more effective when left as a ‘team,’ than when isolated and used singularly. This concept is what is known as the ‘entourage effect,’ a concept that you can learn more about in this video:


Let’s get to some juicy facts:

• A research team in 1995 revealed groundbreaking information that would prove to set the tone for the future cannabis industry. In this study, the interaction between the Endocannabinoid system’s receptors and cannabinoids was examined. This interaction highlights the unique relationship the body has with these cannabinoids and the potential therein for healing. The entourage effect is detailed in this study and highlights how cannabinoids could be more effective when used synergistically, instead of isolated and used on their own.

• In the initial stages of study, CBD’s potential healing properties were documented. After that, the scientists discovered data depicting how each cannabinoid has a different reaction with the ECS.

This cannabinoid spectrum is what is included in products labeled ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘full spectrum.’ However, broad spectrum products do not contain the complete spectrum of cannabinoids.
Let’s take a closer look…


So, what makes a product ‘broad spectrum,’ full spectrum or an isolate? The answer to that lies in the compounds that are included- including the cannabinoid spectrum, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Extraction methods, such as the CO2 extraction method, are utilized to extract these compounds, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. The exact extraction levels and the composition profiles of these compounds will be unique depending on what strain of the cannabis plant is used.

In one particular type of cannabis, Hemp, the extraction will contain no notable THC because THC is not a part of the plant’s natural composition. Therefore, if you find a full spectrum product made from Hemp, then you will usually not need to be concerned about your product containing THC.


Before the product hits the shelves, there are a few extra steps in the process. After the compounds have been extracted, the company could perform further refinement to these compounds, to make sure that only specific compounds are included- this will depend on the product’s purpose and the manufacturer’s intent.

Now, at this stage, if the company has chosen to refine and cut down to specific compounds, then this result will essentially determine whether or not the product will be labeled as a full spectrum, isolate, or broad spectrum.

Now that you know what determines what is in a name, or a label, let’s examine what they mean so that you can see which one may be the most suitable for you.


After CBD Isolate, on the opposite side of the CBD product spectrum, we are taking a look at full spectrum CBD products. Now, if CBD Isolate is only CBD, then you can imagine that full spectrum CBD products are inclusive of all naturally occurring compounds- terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids.

In full spectrum products, the compounds are extracted together and left as a whole team to work together. This synergistic approach is thanks to the entourage effect research that we mentioned earlier.

Up until recently, CBD isolate stole the spotlight for the most popular and effective way to use CBD. However, thanks to this research, full spectrum CBD products are now taking the spot on the stage.

Full Spectrum CBD: The Benefits

• With Full Spectrum CBD, you are making use of the plant as nature intended, with all the compounds magnifying and backing each other up.

• Yes, some may argue that the price tag on these products is higher, but you are getting more ‘bang for your buck’. And when it comes to cannabis products, quality should always trump quantity.

Disadvantages Of Full Spectrum:

There are no real disadvantages of a full spectrum product but some people would like to avoid THC in their product due to drug testing fears or if they have a thc sensitive condition like psychosis.

While there are few disadvantages you need to keep an eye out for shoddy products which may contain far more THC than is advertised and could lead to problems. Always stick with a company who has thorough lab testing on every batch that is readily available.

 Best Full Spectrum Brand: Nuleaf Naturals

 Full Review:


If you have been on the fence between the previous two, then hold on because you may have a deciding factor here. This is because the Broad Spectrum CBD is a bit of both the CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD. Well, at most the best qualities from both are combined in Broad Spectrum CBD.

Do you want the benefits of full spectrum and isolate but don’t want to deal with THC? Well, you’re not alone. Many people are wary of CBD products because of THC, so many researchers and brands saw this gap in the market and filled it with Broad Spectrum CBD products.

Broad Spectrum CBD contains most of the naturally occurring compounds, including beneficial cannabinoids such as CBN and CBDA, but no THC.

So, you may be asking, “Can I still benefit from the entourage effect when I use Broad Spectrum CBD Products?” and the answer to this is yes, you can.

Because broad spectrum CBD still contains most of the naturally occurring compounds, you will benefit from this effect.

Broad Spectrum CBD: The Benefits

• Many people want to use CBD products but, for various reasons, want to avoid THC. Broad Spectrum offers people the benefits of full spectrum cannabis products but without THC.
• If you are living in a state or country tolerant for CBD, but not so much for THC, then this is a safe option.

Broad Spectrum: Are there any disadvantages?

Broad Spectrum CBD is basically full spectrum minus the THC. If you are trying to avoid THC, then you will find it difficult to nail down a disadvantage with this type of CBD product.


An isolated compound is, by definition, a compound in its purest form. This is attained by isolating it from the other naturally occurring compounds and then extracting it.

When it comes to CBD isolate- you have probably guessed already that this refers to CBD in its purest form, isolated and left apart from the other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other compounds. Basically, when you are looking at a CBD isolate product, you are looking at a product that is free of all other parts of the cannabis plant and can expect only CBD.

That being said, you can also expect your CBD Isolate product to be made from Hemp. Why? Well, simply because Hemp naturally contains (almost) no THC.

CBD Isolates: the Benefits

• If you are concerned about THC, you can rest assured that a pure CBD Isolate product contains no THC (we should reitterate here that always look for third part lab test results, just to make sure). So, if you have been recommended to take high doses of CBD or are living in a state or country that has strict THC restrictions, then this is a safe option for you. However, always be sure to double-check the brand’s claims against third-party test results.
• Usually a little less pricey than other full or broad spectrum CBD products.

CBD Isolate: The Drawback

• Due to the convincing research supporting the ‘entourage effect,’ you could be missing out on benefits.


Quite frankly, there is no one ‘best’. Each offers its own set of pros and cons.
However, if you are determined to have an answer to this question, then let us leave you with this:
Broad Spectrum. Why? Well, simply because it offers the best of both worlds. But wait! Before you rush off and discard all products that include THC (except, of course, if you have serious legal or health concerns) take a look at some studies into THC.

Why are we offering you this information? Well, simply because due to a lack of information provided in the past (mainly thanks to Hollywood movies purporting negative stereotypes) we feel it is our responsibility to provide you with a fresh take on THC.

Has THC been misused and negatively impacted people in the past? Yes, of course. It would be naive to deny this. However, THC has demonstrated significant purpose in helping and working with the endocannabinoid system. This has shown up in various studies, preclinical trials, anecdotal reports, and other research. However, there is not enough research to date to support any widespread claims. So, we are here to show you a variety of research reports, the potential cons, and potential pros, and then allow you to make your mind up for yourself.

Now, remember, if you are already on any pharmaceutical drugs (whether prescription or over-the-counter), have a chat with your trusted health care provider as cannabis has shown to interfere with some pharmaceutical medications.


This million-dollar question goes through the minds of almost every suspicious and suspecting person curious, but wary, of cannabis and CBD. And to answer this, we will link the World Health Organization’s official pre review report. In this report, CBD is stated to be a non-intoxicating compound and does not demonstrate any ability to cause dependence- unlike the millions of Opioids (and potentially other pharmaceuticals) that are causing an addiction issue across the American nation.


Now, depending on your unique situation, one of the above three types will be best.
And defining this is not so simple, so let’s wrap it up nice and simple for you:

CBD Isolate is best when…

• You are suggested to take a high CBD dose (without other cannabinoids)
• You are in a state or country where THC is still heavily restricted
• You are THC-sensitive

Broad Spectrum CBD is best when…

• You are looking for the benefits of other cannabinoids but are legally restricted because of THC
• You are trying to address a stronger problem that CBD alone does not seem to help
• You want to benefit from the entourage effect but want to avoid THC

Full Spectrum is best when…

• You are recommended a balanced ratio of CBD: THC
• You are looking to address a health condition that THC has shown to assist with

Let’s say you have decided what CBD product to use, there is one last thing left for you to decide on: the brand.

The most important thing for you to do in this stage is to research the brand and the company behind it. Let’s reiterate that: research the brand.
Look for third-party test results. Why? Well, because you want to be absolutely sure that the cannabinoid profile is as the company says it is.
Research to make sure that you are getting a quality product that delivers on their promise.

As the industry develops, you can be sure that we will begin to see more and more detailed research coming through. Stay tuned to our site as we will be bringing you the latest results so that you can make the most informed decisions.