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Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs CBD Isolate

We hear the terms “full-spectrum”, “broad-spectrum”, and “CBD isolate” thrown around a lot when discussing different CBD oils.

What does that all mean? Is one better than the other? Which one should I use? Let’s break it down.

Full Spectrum

Full-spectrum oil contains more than simply CBD. It offers the full benefits of the cannabis plant, known as the “entourage effect.” This includes all cannabinoids, such as CBN, CBG, CBC, and more. It also includes terpenes, terpenoids, flavonoids, and many other plant compounds. 

This means trace amounts of THC (or higher amounts, depending on the state’s legality).

With the entourage effect, the combination of cannabis compounds works together (known as synergy), enhancing and amplifying the benefits of each individual cannabinoid.

Research supports that full-spectrum CBD provides higher relief for most subjects, compared to CBD isolate. Studies also show that full spectrum enhances effects with increased dosages, while CBD’s effects stayed consistent.

Who is full-spectrum ideal for?

  • Those seeking the full benefits and plant compounds of cannabis.
  • Those who were recommended a THC:CBD ratio.
  • Those living with chronic, more severe conditions that could potentially benefit more from the entourage effect.
  • Those living in states with recreational or medical cannabis.
  • Those living in states with less strict THC laws.

Broad Spectrum

In between full-spectrum and CBD isolate lies broad spectrum. Broad-spectrum is essentially full spectrum without the THC.

Like full-spectrum, the extract contains the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds  – but ZERO THC. The THC is completely removed while preserving the other cannabis compounds. This way, the cannabinoids can still cause the “entourage effect,” without risk of the psychoactive effects.

Broad Spectrum CBD is a great choice for those who want the full spectrum benefits without the THC in their system. Or are you cautious to try CBD oil for the first time? This is also a nice way to dip your toes in!

Who is Broad Spectrum ideal for?

  • Those sensitive to THC.
  • Those trying CBD oil for the first time and wanting to ease in.
  • Those living in states with strict THC laws.
  • Those living with conditions that require more than CBD alone.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. The extraction process isolates the CBD, removing traces of THC, cannabinoids, terpenes, oils, chlorophyll, and more. It has no taste, odor, or psychoactive effects. This makes it an excellent option for people sensitive to THC or other cannabinoids.

Since the extract is stripped down to just CBD, consumers do not receive the full benefits of the entourage effect. However, isolate can be particularly helpful for those needing high doses of CBD, sensitive to psychoactive effects, or concerned about drug testing.

Who is CBD Isolate ideal for?

  • Those sensitive to THC.
  • Those sensitive to the taste of cannabis and other strong flavors.
  • Those sensitive to strong smells.
  • Those seeking high doses of CBD.
  • Those who are regularly drug tested.

What’s best for me?

All three extracts are commonly used for various medical and mood disorders. This includes chronic pain, anxiety, depression, reproductive disorders, bone conditions, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, and much more. 

However, something that works well for one individual may be entirely different for another. Everyone’s body is chemically different. Like with anything, it will take time to find what product, extract, and dosage works best for you individually. 

Listen to your body. Work with a practitioner. Always consult a licensed healthcare provider before consuming new herbs. 


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