The CBD Spectrum: Full, Broad, or Isolate?

As we all know, there are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, each with their own advantages and effects. Any product made from the cannabis plant can include any variations of cannabinoids whether it be all of them, some of them, or just one of them.

Full Spectrum

This product includes all cannabinoids in the plant: CBD, THC, CBN, CBG, etc. If the CBD is hemp derived, it’s guaranteed to have 0.3% or less THC, but it will be present. Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum (see next section) products engage in what’s known as “The Entourage Effect” which means that the effects of one cannabinoid produce a much stronger influence when consumed with the rest of the cannabinoids in the plant. Full Spectrum products are great for those who don’t shy away from THC and want to feel the full effects of the CBD.

Broad Spectrum

One step removed from Full Spectrum, a Broad Spectrum product includes all cannabinoids in the plant, minus THC. It still engages in the Entourage Effect which means the CBD has a strong influence, but having the THC removed guarantees you won’t get high and can consume it at any time of day. This is a great option for most people looking to CBD for health and wellness.


On the other end of the spectrum, CBD Isolate is just CBD – it’s been stripped away from the rest of the plant and is the sole cannabinoid present in the product. Often devoid of any taste or smell, Isolate can be a good option for people who are sensitive to taste or want to be sure of what they’re getting in the product. Unfortunately, an Isolate product does not engage in the Entourage Effect so the CBD may not be as effective as a Full or Broad Spectrum product.

Extra Credit

If your standards are high (as they should be), here are three extra credit opportunities to make sure you’re getting the best possible product on the shelf:

Source – Where is the CBD coming from?

When a brand uses top shelf CBD, they’re paying top shelf money for it which is why they’ll include source information on the label or company website. You’ll want to make sure the CBD is coming from America as opposed to China or other international areas with more lax regulations.

Extraction – How is the CBD extracted from the plant?

Look for two options here: Supercritical CO2 or Food-Grade Ethanol. Also make sure that the extraction method doesn’t include solvents, heavy metals, or pesticides.

Testing – How is the CBD verified?

The product’s CBD should always be verified by independent third-party labs and approved for potency, purity, and consistency. If you ask, companies will often send their certificates of analysis to confirm the CBD’s validity.

All in all, we believe you should get the best bang for your buck which is why we suggest a Broad or Full Spectrum product over an Isolate. If you’re turning to CBD for anything from taking the edge off to getting a good night of sleep, you’ll want that Entourage Effect to make sure your CBD is operating at its best.

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