CBD Isolate or Full-Spectrum: Which One Should I Choose?

Jul 29, 2019

Buying CBD products for the first time can be a confusing process - especially in today's market with so many options available to consumers. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed or even lost when trying to decide. When looking to buy CBD products, it is good to have an understanding of a few key terms like full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. Understanding these terms can help you choose the right product for you and ultimately get the maximum benefit. In this article we will help you learn the differences as well as the pros and cons of each type.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

The Vape Guide

Full spectrum CBD contains all compounds that are found in the cannabis plant - both marijuana and hemp. These compounds include things like essential vitamins, terpenes, essential oils, minerals and so much more! Think of full spectrum CBD like an all-star sports team - while each player is great on their own, when you put all these great players together you have a winning team. Similarly, while the cannabinoid CBD is great on its own, combining it with the other naturally occurring compounds of the plant it can enhance the therapeutic effects. When all of these cannabinoid compounds work together, it is commonly referred to as the "entourage effect." While a full spectrum product can be extremely beneficial, it is important to note that it may have THC in it which could show up on drug tests, have issues with legality, leave a strong taste in your mouth and possibly have psychoactive side effects.

Full spectrum CBD comes in an oil form and can be taken in a variety of way: sublingually (under your tongue), in your edibles, capsules, vaping, in your topicals, dabbing and e-liquid. How you choose to consume is all up to you!

What is The CBD "Entourage Effect"?

There are over 100 different cannabinoids that researchers have been able to identify in the cannabis plant, each one having their own beneficial effect on the human endocannabinoid system. When these different cannabinoids react together, they can activate and magnify their effects. This in turn can treat negative symptoms more effectively. Researchers have discovered that the entourage effect becomes significantly more evident when tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, is added to the mix.

As you might already know, plants that contain a higher ratio of THC to CBD can make the user feel psychoactive effects of the plant, giving them that "high" feeling. By the same token, hemp plants, which have a higher ratio of CBD to THC do no effect users in a psychoactive way. There are some plants that are specifically genetically engineered to have equal parts THC and CBD, which scientists have found are the most effective when treating different unwanted negative symptoms. Research shows that the ratio of CBD to THC plays a critical part in the treatment of negative symptoms, like pain for example.

What is CBD Isolate? 

Steves Goods

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD that you can get. It is pure CBD with no other cannabis compounds. Isolate is generally obtained from hemp plants because there is almost no THC present. Isolate looks like white powder or crystals and because there are no other cannabinoids in it, it has absolutely no taste or smell. Since isolate is pure, there is zero THC, which means there are no psychoactive effects, it will not show up on drug tests and is great for users who take high doses of CBD. Isolate is also great for first time users as they can feel the beneficial effects without worrying about the possible negative side effects of a full spectrum. The downside of isolate, is users are not receiving all the benefits they would be if they were taking a full spectrum. Like full spectrum, there are a number of ways to consume isolate. You can add it to any food, take it sublingually (under your tongue), dab it, vape it, add it to your topicals and even smoke it. It truly is versatile and how you consume it is up to you.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad spectrum CBD is a mix between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD - the best of both worlds! With broad spectrum, the CBD has been extracted with other cannabinoids, with the exception of THC. As a result, users are able to experience the benefits of the "entourage effect" without the psychoactive effects of THC. One downside of broad spectrum is that it can be harder to find since it's a newer product. If you are able to get your hands on some, we highly recommend that you give it a try!

What kind of CBD is The Best?


This question has been a topic of much debate in the cannabis community. There are many studies that have point towards full spectrum. The thought behind this being that you need THC in order to fully activate the other cannabinoids in order to get the full beneficial effects. However, there are also people who use very high doses of CBD and are very sensitive to the effects of THC - making isolate the clear choice.

Ultimately, there are benefits to each type of CBD and it depends on the individual using it in order to determine which type suites their specific needs. No one type is better than the other. Users will need to weigh all the factors before picking one and factor in dosage, location and whatever symptoms they are trying to remedy. Keep in mind that it may take some experimenting to learn which is best for you.

As more research is done and more is learned about the long-term effects and how it interacts with the body, researchers could have more definitive answers about which type of CBD to use for different ailments. Regardless CBD is gaining popularity across the world as people discover the therapeutic and healing properties.

Have you tried either full spectrum, isolate or broad-spectrum CBD? Tell us your story in the comments!