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The Difference Between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate

Updated: Sep 30

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a very popular alternative for the treatment and prevention of certain conditions and diseases such as depression, epilepsy, anxiety, relief from chronic pain, etc. One of the main reasons is because of CBD’s non-psychoactive properties, and consequently, the number of users is constantly increasing every day.


The constant increase in the number of users also comes with numerous doubts and false stories about the various products and their side effects. However, there are no serious side effects reported, and only rare instances in which minor reactions even occur. Still, this brings about some confusion as to which CBD products you should use, and for exactly which applications.


One of these topics of confusion is the option to choose between CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD. In this article, we will examine what both of these are, their pros and cons, and which CBD product will best fit your needs. So for starters, it is important to know what is CBD isolate and what is broad spectrum CBD.


What is CBD Isolate?


CBD isolate is the simplest form known. The CBD isolate contains only pure and isolated CBD. What that means is that there are no additives of other cannabinoids, extracts, terpenes or flavonoids; just pure isolated CBD.


Although it may sound simple, extraction of CBD isolate is far from that. The CBD isolate is much more difficult to glean from hemp. It takes an extensive process: when hemp is extracted to get rid of its cannabinoids, all the plant compounds are removed from it. All the cannabinoids and terpenes in it leave the plant. This means that additional measures need to be taken to isolate CBD and release it from other compounds. For this reason, CBD isolate is quite difficult to make.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?


Broad spectrum or full-spectrum CBD, unlike CBD isolate products, contains a wide range of cannabinoids. When the extraction of cannabinoids is done from hemp, the whole extract can be consumed, which means that you receive a healthy dose of all the cannabinoids present in the plant.


The main concern here is the THC. If you currently live in a state where it is illegal to take cannabis or you just do not want to take THC, you should think about the THC content of what you’re buying or using. However, under federal law, every CBD product has to be derived from hemp rather than marijuana. It is important to note that by definition, there is less than 0.3% THC in hemp. This means that the extract will only contain an insignificant amount of THC.

What Kind of CBD is Right for You?


Now that you’ve got an understanding of what each of the types of CBD are, the question may occur to you, which CBD type should you choose? And most importantly, which is better than the other?


First off, to be clear, neither form of CBD is better than the other. So if you plan to stick strictly to CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD, it should be based on a preference or personal choice based on your needs and any restrictions you may have.


Each of the options is quite different in what they do, and every one of us has different specific needs. So your needs should determine the type of CBD best suited to you.

So how do you know what you should choose? Here is a simple guide to help you decide.

CBD Isolate is Best for:


  • People who have been advised or specifically recommended to take CBD in high doses

  • People who are sensitive to the various cannabinoids or THC

  • People who undergo regular drug screening tests

  • People who prefer light to tasteless or no flavors

  • People who live in states which have strict THC laws

  • New users who are hesitant or have doubt about the other cannabinoids

Pros of CBD Isolate

  • Isolate is the purest form of CBD

  • There is no risk of a psychoactive effect

  • CBD isolate is generally considered safe

  • Isolate CBD is both odorless and tasteless

  • When you screen for drugs, you won’t test positive

Cons of CBD Isolate

  • The isolate CBD, unfortunately, doesn’t deliver the full benefits of the whole cannabis plant

Broad Spectrum CBD is Best for:


  • People who reside in states where cannabis is completely legal and do not have to fear any legal consequences

  • People who are particular about making the most of their CBD experience

  • People who have a recommendation of a certain CBD to THC ratio

  • People with more serious conditions or those whose use of CBD isolate couldn’t help their pain relief

  • People looking for a good sleep aid regimen

Pros of Broad Spectrum CBD

  • Provides you with the whole benefit of using the cannabis plant

  • Undergoes fewer processes


Cons of Broad Spectrum CBD

  • You may test positive for drugs during a blood screening test

  • You may get some strong natural odor or flavor

It is important again to note that neither CBD isolate nor full spectrum CBD is superior to the other. Your specific circumstances will determine which CBD type will work best for you, or a combination of the two for different applications may be your best route. Considering your needs and experimenting with how each affects you will always be the best approach.

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