Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate: What does it mean?

There are so many words thrown around in the world of CBD, but what do they mean (and how do they affect you)?

 Full-Spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. Huh?

The question I get asked the most is what the differences are in CBD. Why some companies claim to have a 99% pure CBD, if the trace amounts of THC matter, and what the differences are between a full-spectrum oil, a broad spectrum oil, and an isolate oil.

The differences have to do with how the oil is extracted from the plant, and if any (or the majority) of cannabinoids or terpenes were stripped during the extraction process.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil: 

Cannabinoid wheel

The Cannabinoid Wheel shows how different cannabinoids interact with our body.

Full-spectrum CBD oil means you are using an oil that contains all the different cannabinoids (a specific type of compound that acts on the body’s nervous system) and terpenes (organic compounds in the hemp plant that control how CBD and other cannabinoids perform or function) found in industrial hemp. This does include trace amounts of THC. While it isn’t enough for you to feel “high”, taken daily it may build up in your system leading to a positive drug test for THC.

Why do you want to use full-spectrum oil? Simple: the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the combination of all the hemp plant components working together — this each cannabinoid works together to provide the body with the most benefits. This includes the trace amounts of THC found in a full-spectrum oil.

It’s because of the entourage effect that the first recommendation is always a full-spectrum oil.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil:

Broad-spectrum oil is the next best thing to a full-spectrum oil for those who cannot use any THC. Broad-spectrum is made by dissolving full-spectrum oil into a solvent that is poured through a cone of silica (known as chromatography). The silica absorbs and releases molecules at different timing intervals which allows manufacturers to direct the molecule THC away from the rest of the cannabinoids at specific times.

Tl;dr: broad-spectrum oil contains all the cannabinoids except THC.

Isolate CBD Oil:

Isolate CBD is a crystalline solid or powder that contains 99% pure cannabidiol (one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis). During the extraction process, all other cannabinoids and terpenes are stripped away, leaving only the chemical compound CBD.

The advantage of an isolate is that is a guaranteed 0% THC, but there are also disadvantages in isolating CBD from the other cannabis compounds. It is when cannabidiol is working in synergy with the rest of the cannabinoids and terpenes that the entourage effect takes place.

Questions? Feel free to email [email protected] for more articles and studies on the differences in hemp oil.

Shop our collection of full-spectrum CBD products.