Cannabis CBD Hemp

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate: A Brief Comparison

CBD has become more prevalent today, and everyone may have come across it at some point in life. The biggest worry, however, is which CBD is suitable based on personalized needs. Amidst these worries, one can choose among isolate, broad, and full-spectrum products.

Noteworthy, all CBDs are derived from the same plant, but they are fundamentally different in their structures. After extraction of cannabinoids from plants, manufacturers have a range of options that include (1) use the CBD-rich extract in that raw form, or (2) process the extract further to the isolate and extract more specific forms of cannabinoids.

The article is a detailed discourse of the definition of the three types of CBD, including but not limited to an assessment of their vital essential differences.

Definition of Full Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD is characteristically endowed with a full profile of all compounds in a typical hemp product. For a better understanding of full-spectrum CBD, it is crucial to understand its formational process. 

To start with, the extraction of CBD can follow a variety of processes, but the most common of these are superficial CO2 extraction. From this step, the process is then taken through winterization, which is basically a purifying process. Here, the process CBD component is separated from a plethora of other unwanted components. From this stage, the product undergoes a further processing step, decarboxylation. Here, the components of CBD extract, usually in an acid state, are then converted into active forms such as CBD and THC. The primary goal of carboxylation is to remove carboxyl from the mixture. Outside the lab, the process can take place by merely using a vaporize or a joint. For other forms of CBD, the other processes occur in the lab. 

It is important to note that full-spectrum CBD does not contain THC molecules. However, since most CBD products are derived from the hemp plant, full-spectrum CBD has a low content of THC in natural states. From a legal perspective, a hemp plant should have a low potency rate below 0.3 percent of THC. In line with this legal requirement, most CBD derived from the hemp plant, contain far less content of THC.  This rate potency rate is way less even for detection in a drug test.

Definition of CBD Isolate

Just as the title connotes, this is undoubtedly the purest form of cannabidiol (CBD). The process of extraction is typically the same pathways followed by the previously discussed type, but towards the end, it has some additional steps. The primary significance of these additional steps is to separate CBD isolate from other extracts of the hemp plant.

Soon after activation during the decarboxylation process, the product is subjected to some special form of distillation. Several distillation processes may be applied. Important to note, however, it is that the process is fundamentally much similar to that used in distilling alcohol. The residue of the process is a fine white powder constituting about 99 percent CBD and the rest 1 percent are traces of hemp plant that may be removed with further processing. The pure product can be sold directly to the manufacturers in its crystal form for use in producing a variety of products that include vape juice, tinctures, and a range of assorted isolated based products.

Definition of Broad Spectrum CBD

Just as the name connotes, it is broadly the full-spectrum CBD but without any traces of THC. It is supposed to be the most basic definition of broad-spectrum CBD. In reality, however, the term is used to include any CBD product with one or more cannabinoids. Procedurally, broad-spectrum CBD is derived by using chromatography to separate THC from the extract. The rest of the compound contains a variety of cannabinoids, organic compounds, and terpenes.

Understanding the Entourage Effect

The combined effect of organic compounds in broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD produces an effect popularly known as “entourage effect.” The term was first coined when studies on cannabinoids revealed the potential of CBD in suppressing the psychoactive results of THC when consumed. More findings showed that the potency of THC notwithstanding, its effects were more pronounced when used along with other compounds. The effects of CBD isolate occur within the contours of dosage for which the entourage effect is difficult to elicit, and there is an optimal dosage administration from which more of it cannot possibly produce further entourage effect. In science, this pattern of effects is known as a bell-shaped dose-response. The effect of CBD typically starts to be felt from low dosages and increases with more dosages, particularly when used in pain management.

In terms of broad spectrum vs full spectrum, both types of CBD deliver an almost equally powerful entourage effect. The main difference is the full spectrum CBD may also have the enhanced benefits (and possible side effects) of THC.

Comparing Flavor and Odor

CBD isolates naturally without color, odor, or a unique flavor. In contrast, broad and full spectrums have hemps like flavor attributable to the presence of terpenes and other organic compounds in the formula. For a person that wishes to conceal their use of cannabinoids when vaping e-liquids, then CBD isolate is their best bet. Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD are preferred by those who revere a flavored drug more than discreteness.


The article has provided insights that would guide when selecting between various categories of CBD and in electing the types to use for personal use. Whichever choices you make, zeros down to personal preferences and individualized considerations. 

Undeniably, full-spectrum has much potential owing to its unrivaled entourage effect. However, the risk incriminating drug testing results should be something to worry about, especially if one fears ruffling feathers with criminal justice system actors. CBD isolate can be a good option for the majority of users. Still, one must learn to use the correct dosages for optimal effect, mainly if one is using its powdered form. The suitability of broad-spectrum variety arises primarily from the shortcomings of the other two varieties. 

Whichever choice one elects, it is always essential to purchase your drug from reputable suppliers especially those that have partnered with third parties for testing. As it is the practice, should have any views, questions, comments, and opinions be at liberty, use the section below.