With the CBD industry growing at an exponential rate, the market is flooded with various types of extracts like CBD concentrates, isolates, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. CBD is extracted in various forms from the hemp plant and the nature of extract in a product determines the effect CBD produces on the body. A common question often asked by the first time users is : What is the difference between full spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate?  As the name suggests, Full Spectrum refers to full plant extract or “whole plant” and offers a greater part of the plant’s molecules in quantities and ratios as intended by nature. On the other hand, CBD isolates have been isolated to only the CBD molecule. CBD isolate products are normally labeled as 99% or more pure CBD based on their form. They contain no other active component and simply aim to offer therapeutic doses of CBD segregated from the various cannabinoids and terpenes.

The Purest Form Of CBD: CBD Isolates

Presented as the purest, highly concentrated form of cannabidiol, CBD isolate offer the maximum CBD benefits. They contain only CBD (cannabidiol) and is devoid of other plant compounds. With regard to isolates, purified CBD is removed from the hemp plant and separated from other naturally present cannabinoids.

In the course of extraction process, CBD, different cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes that are present within the plant are initially drawn out. Further  in the process , the solution is refined again, eliminating various cannabinoids and plant components, with only CBD remaining. CBD isolate products are available in the form of a white powder or with a carrier oil like MCT oil for better absorption.

A Solution That Combines Various Plant Compounds: Full Spectrum

Full spectrum includes every naturally present plant compound, such as other cannabinoids like THC, terpenes, flavonoids, phytonutrients, minerals, fatty acids, vitamins, chlorophyll,  and essential oils. Full or whole plant extract retains the complete properties of the hemp plant. Almost more than 114 cannabinoids are naturally present in the hemp plant that offer their unique benefits just like CBD. By conserving all the plant ingredients, whole plant hemp or full spectrum extract benefits from such synergistic qualities offered by its various components. It has been found that plant elements interact with each other to generate an enhanced effect in contrast to the component alone. Such a synergy in which CBD and other ingredients of hemp function together to enhance absorption and effect within the body is called the ‘entourage effect’. These compounds influence each other’s working for a sum greater than its individual parts.

Considering that the natural cannabinoids stay intact, full spectrum hemp extract consists of marginal levels of THC. Despite that, to be regarded as hemp, full spectrum extract should contain less than 0.3% THC. This represents a trace amount that results in no intoxication. The cannabinoids CBG and CBN for instance, are present in most full spectrum extracts and CBD

A comparative between the two forms of CBD namely Isolate and full spectrum can be drawn out as under:


The purest kind of CBD refined after removing all other plant compounds and cannabinoids.



  •  Purest kind of CBD
  • Zero risk of psychoactive effects
  • High safety profile
  • Tasteless and Odorless
  • No testing positive for THC



  • Does not extend the enhanced benefits of the complete plant
  • Less Bioavailability

Best suited for

  • Individuals advised to take specifically high doses of CBD
  • Individuals sensitive to THC or various cannabinoids
  • Individuals who regularly undergo drug screening examinations
  • Individuals who like light flavors or no flavor
  • New users who are reluctant about trying other cannabinoids

Full Spectrum CBD

CBD extracted from the cannabis plant together with the various compounds and cannabinoids.


  • Offers complete benefit of the hemp plant (entourage effect)
  • Undergoes lesser processes and is minimally refined with most of the cannabinoids and terpenes intact
  • Greater benefits as it contains dozens of cannabinoids


  • May show up during drug examinations
  • Contains trace amounts of THC
  • May possess a strong flavor and odor

Best Suited For


  •  Individuals recommended a particular THC to CBD ratio


  •  Individuals suffering from severe conditions that could not be alleviated by CBD isolate and Broad Spectrum
  • Individuals residing in states where Cannabis is permissible and legal

Full spectrum CBD consists of greater cannabinoids, terpenes and various natural compounds and has a wider health reach, while CBD isolate may be ideal for people who require a powerful dose of only cannabidiol. Moreover, CBD isolates lets users receive larger amounts of CBD and be aware of the amount they are receiving. A recent finding revealed the synergistic effects of full spectrum CBD oil as being greater compared to an isolate in treating inflammatory conditions. Terpenes have also shown individually its incredible potential to heal and should not be neglected.

Final Thoughts

Before closing, it is worth mentioning that any particular type of CBD cannot be said to be better than the rest. After all, there are several factors that defines the manner in which a cannabinoid will influence the body, for instance the chemical makeup,  weight of an individual, and their history with various substances and its abuse. For certain people broad spectrum CBD can be the likely choice as it delivers the complete benefits of the plant minus the THC, while the rest can prefer a high dosage of pure CBD isolate. Still for others, full spectrum can perform the trick and offer better health advantages and meet the severity of the condition. As research is still on into the efficacy of each spectrum, it may require some experimentation to find out the best one for yourself.



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