The Difference Between the Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD

When you’re on the lookout for CBD oil, you may have heard of various terms like full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate (pure CBD oil). These terms may sound similar, but they are not the same. In this article, we will go through each element and how diverse they are from each other.

Each CBD oil variant is used to define the type of CBD that is used in different products. Each CBD type has vital information and factors that you must consider before deciding on using it.

Why do cannabinoids matter?

A cannabis plant has many compounds that are known as cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the two most recognized compounds; from a hundred other composites that occur naturally in the cannabis strains. In 1995, scientists found that the receptors in the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids like CBD can benefit the body. Later on, they discovered that each cannabinoid element has a different effect on the human body. THC has a psychoactive effect, which is known as the ‘high’ feeling you get when you smoke or consume it. Whereas CBD does not get you ‘high.’ CBD was preferred over THC because it could give you the same benefits but without the psychoactive elements; CBD is also known to counteract THC’s psychoactive effects.

When it comes to CBD oils, many varieties are delivered by other cannabinoids, and the whole collection of cannabinoid is referred to as the “cannabinoid spectrum.”

What is the Cannabinoid spectrum?

The type of CBD oil you invest in and the type that is included in a product will show you whether it’s full spectrum, broad spectrum, or a CBD isolate. So, to create a CBD product, the content is taken from a cannabis plant with the help of CO2 extraction. During the removal, there are other cannabinoids found in the plant, and these comprise of terpenes and flavonoids. The profile of cannabinoids will differ; it usually depends on the strain and category that is used for extraction.

For example, Hemp or industrial hemp (a part of the Cannabis Sativa family) contains traces of THC, which is very less compared to the Cannabis Indica plant that has 1:1 CBD and THC content ratio. It’s the end product that determines what strain the company chooses and which variant will suit their needs the best.

Contents that are included in the pure extract determine if the CBD is full spectrum, broad spectrum or a CBD isolate.

What is a CBD isolate?

Pure CBD oil, or in scientific terms an isolate, is the purest form of a compound. It’s produced by removing all the additional elements that are present in a cannabis plant and isolating the CBD compound. This means that the terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids are expelled from the extraction process. Hemp plants are normally used to extract CBD isolates because of the low levels of THC.

What is Full spectrum CBD?

This is an extract that includes all the natural compounds that are found in the cannabis plant, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. All the compounds that are extracted work well together and are known to amplify the health benefits that CBD products have to offer. This is usually termed as the “entourage effect.”

In the past, it was believed that pure CBD oil had more benefits than a full spectrum CBD product. In 2005, this assumption was clarified with a study that claimed full spectrum CBD had equal health benefits as an isolate, and it could provide higher levels of pain relief as well. The results of the study showed that the full spectrum CBD showed better results with higher doses, and the effects of CBD remained consistent with the increased doses.

What is a broad spectrum?

Broad spectrum CBD is an amalgamation of full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, aka pure CBD oil. The broad spectrum CBD has all the elements of a cannabis plant as well, but similar to the CBD isolate, the THC is eliminated.

Broad spectrum CBD can deliver all the benefits of a full spectrum CBD without a trace of THC and its psychoactive effects.

What CBD type should you choose?

Now that you know the difference between pure CBD oil, full spectrum oil, and broad spectrum oil, you may wonder why a person would choose one over the other. There may be some confusion about which type you should choose.

Firstly, no CBD oil is better than the other. Every person has different needs and depending on that, you get to choose what CBD is best. Below is a list of Pros and Cons for each CBD oil and this will help you decide on which oil would be suitable for you.

CBD Isolate:

Pure CBD oil is the form of CBD where all the other compounds from a cannabinoid plant are eliminated.


  • A pure form of CBD
  • No psychoactive effects
  • Generally safe
  • No taste or odor
  • Will not test affirmative for THC


  • You won’t get the benefits of the entire cannabis plant

This oil is best suited for:

  • People who are recommended to take high doses of CBD
  • Individuals who are sensitive to THC
  • If you have to undergo regular drug screenings
  • People who prefer no flavor
  • If you live in a location that has strict anti-THC laws
  • First-time users

Full spectrum CBD:

This is CBD that is extracted along with other compounds of the cannabis plant.



  • May have sedatives that are psychoactive and bring on side effects
  • Can show up in drug tests
  • The THC content can cause legal complications
  • May have a strong odor

This is best suited for people who:

  • Are recommended a certain THC to CBD ratio
  • Have a severe condition that CBD isolate can’t solve
  • Are living in a location where cannabis is legal

Broad spectrum CBD:

CBD that is extracted from the plant, but the THC is removed during the extraction process.


  • It offers the entire benefits of the cannabis plant, but without THC
  • No psychoactive effects


  • Less research and availability
  • May have a strong odor and flavor


All the oils are beneficial in their own way. Whether you use pure CBD oils or full spectrum oils, it depends on your health condition and how each oil will benefit you in the long run. CBD oils have a long way to go in terms of research, but so far, the results are promising.

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