Do You Want Full-Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate?

There is a wide variety of CBD products on store shelves these days, and it can be easy for newcomers to the industry to feel somewhat overwhelmed with all of the options they are being presented. Something that doesn’t make matters any easier is the fact that on top of the various strains of CBD that now exist, there are also three different formats that you can buy CBD in, each with its own pros and cons. 

The three types of CBD you must choose from are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate, and unless you have taken the time to read up on CBD and how it interacts within your body, it can be hard to know which of these is the right choice for you. At, we are constantly asked by visitors to our shop about what these labels mean and how they will ultimately affect the user of the product. 

To help out these curious shoppers, as well as those who simply want to know more about CBD in general, we have put together this quick guide. In this article, we will delve into exactly what full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate refer to, and what the benefits of each are. By the end of this piece, you should have a much deeper understanding of how CBD interacts within your body and just why these various types of offerings exist.

In this article we cover:

  • The Basic Difference Between a Spectrum CBD and an Isolate
    • The Entourage Effect
  • Which Type of CBD is Best for You?
    • CBD Isolate
    • Full-spectrum CBD
    • Broad-spectrum CBD

The Basic Difference Between a Spectrum CBD and an Isolate

Before we get into any details regarding full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolate, we should first go over the basic differences, namely what the terms “spectrum” and “isolate” refer to in regards to CBD. 

  • In the context of CBD, isolate refers to a pure form of CBD in that it has been isolated from the other plant compounds, such as the terpenes and cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. Isolate is often sold in a powdered or crystallized form and is often added to food, drinks, or oil carriers in order to create a consumable CBD product.
  • The “spectrum” of CBD refers to the existence of other cannabis compounds, and the type of spectrum will give you some information as to how many of the cannabinoids or terpenes have made it into your CBD product. A full-spectrum CBD product contains most, if not all, of the natural compounds found in the Cannabis plant. A broad-spectrum product will include many of the natural compounds but will have some specific items removed. In most cases, a broad-spectrum product is the same thing as a full-spectrum product but without the raw amount of THC found in the hemp plant.

All legally sold CBD in the United States is derived from hemp, which is a Cannabis plant that has less than .03% of THC. THC is the cannabinoid known for causing psychoactive effects (as in it is what gets you high) and is looked for in many drug tests. While the THC compound in hemp is low, it is still found in full-spectrum CBD products. Broad-spectrum and isolate products will often make efforts to specifically remove THC.

The Entourage Effect

So why even deal with THC and other cannabinoids in your CBD product? Well, cannabinoids such as CBD, CBC, CBG, and THC have a unique relationship with our bodies and with each other. Cannabinoids have been found to offer unique wellness benefits to our bodies. Several studies have shown that when cannabinoids are taken together, they have a synergistic effect. This means that when you take CBD, CBG, CBC, and THC together, they each become more potent than they would in an isolated format. This unique synergistic effect is referred to as the entourage effect.

Terpenes like linalool, limonene, and caryophyllene are also important to the entourage effect.

Back in 1998, researchers found that cannabinoid receptors found in our endocannabinoid system would only get activated when exposed to unique combinations of cannabinoid compounds. In many cases, a cannabinoid would have no effect on our ECS when taken alone, but taken in tandem with other cannabinoids could have very powerful effects.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is still not fully understood, but so far we have learned that it is pervasive in mammalian species and plays role in regulating a range of functions and processes, including memory, mood, appetite, sleep, and many other key bodily functions.

These findings were further verified when another study published in the journal of Frontiers in Neurology, found that epilepsy patients could get an effective dose of full-spectrum CBD with only a fourth as much product when compared to CBD isolate products. This means that there is evidence that CBD is up to four times more effective when taken in tandem with other cannabinoids (when the entourage effect is activated).

Another study published in Israel by three researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that pure CBD had a unique window of dosage where it was most effective (too much or too little would reduce its effects) while a full-spectrum product was able to provide dose-dependent inhibition of pain and inflammation. This led the researchers to conclude that full-spectrum CBD was much more effective for treating pain and inflammation issues.

While this evidence makes it obvious that you stand to gain a more potent punch and more significant wellness benefits from full-spectrum CBD, it does not necessarily mean that all shoppers should be opting for that form of CBD. To explain, we will go into specific detail on the different spectrums of CBD and the isolate.

Which Type of CBD is Best for You?

The type of CBD that is “best” for you will be entirely subjective and dependent on your personal preferences and lifestyle. This is simply a basic overview of the options you have, the products that are available in that category, and what each format is used for. 

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD you can buy and is perhaps a better choice for those either new to CBD, or wish to completely avoid THC altogether. While the benefits of CBD isolate may be less remarkable than those found in other forms of CBD, there have still been an extensive array of documented benefits resulting from its usage.

While the minimal amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD is not typically going to cause you to fail a drug test, some products are poorly measured, and some people will take such large amounts of CBD that the THC in their system can build up. If you want to learn more about CBD and drug tests, you can read our article on the topic here.

There is also the fact that CBD isolate is a flavorless and odorless product, making it preferable for usage in DIY edibles and crafts such as candles or creams.

Example of a CBD Isolate Product

  • The ACTIV8 CBD Isolate Powder is a perfect example of pure, potent, and well-made CBD isolate powder that you can easily add to food, drinks, or in your DIY crafts. This powder is over 99% CBD that was derived from carefully managed industrial hemp.
  • The ACTIV8 CBD Inhaler is a new and exciting product that allows you to inhale a dosage of 99% pure CBD quickly and discreetly. This product looks just like a traditional medical inhaler used by those who have asthma and other issues, but instead of administering some form of steroid or pharmaceutical, it releases pure vaporized CBD that will quickly enter the bloodstream. This item can be easily carried with wherever you go and can even be used in small spaces like airplanes or busses where inhaling CBD would typically be impossible. This is the perfect companion for those who want fast-acting relief throughout the day.

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD is the closest thing you can get to the natural plant in an easy-to-consume form. This form of CBD will allow you to fully benefit from the entourage effect, and since the THC content is so low, you won’t be experiencing any psychoactive or paranoia effects. Since full-spectrum CBD is a much less refined product than an isolate, products made with it will generally have an earthy, floral flavor. 

Full-spectrum CBD is best used by those who need a potent blast of cannabinoids in order to reduce the symptoms of chronic issues such as anxiety, pain, seizures, inflammation, and more. To see a more comprehensive list of benefits that you can receive from CBD, you can visit our article on the topic here.

Examples of Full-Spectrum Products

  • The American CBD Tincture is a top-shelf full-spectrum tincture that provides a wide range of wellness benefits in a very clean and pure format with no added artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavorings. As a tincture, this option allows you to take the product sublingually (by holding it under the tongue) or as an additive to your favorite food or drinks. All American CBD products are derived from specially grown industrial hemp that ensures they are both potent and free from pesticides, herbicides, and other unwanted chemicals. This tincture comes in four separate sizes,  500mg, 2,500mg, 5,000mg and 8,000mg. This means that if you are taking a relatively low dose of two 10mg servings a day, each 500mg increment can last you up to 25 days. 
  • Another option is the Cloud N9ne CBD Flower Pre-roll of SkyWalker OG. The idea of a CBD joint may seem strange at first, but this is a simple and effective way to inhale the whole bouquet of CBD-rich hemp and ensure you are getting a fast-acting and powerful dose of full-spectrum CBD. When smoked, it only takes minutes for the CBD to enter the bloodstream and get to work. There are a ton of strains of CBD that you can choose from when it comes to pure flower products, and we chose, in this case, to focus on SkyWalker OG since it is known for being both very potent and for providing a profound sense of calm and relaxation. The Cloud N9ne company is known for deriving its products from organic hemp grown on specialized farms in Oregon. 
  • Another fun product is the Cloud N9ne CBD Sour Gummies which make for sweet and delicious little treats that provide long-lasting CBD effects on the body. While edibles will lose some of the bioavailability that is found in products you inhale (meaning some of the CBD is lost in the digestive system), they tend to last a bit longer and are great for taking either first thing in the morning or late at night. This specific option is made for the daytime (they do not make you drowsy), but nighttime versions are also available. Much like with the pre-roll, this product is made with Cloud N9ne hemp, meaning it is made from organic hemp grown on specialized farms in Oregon. 

Broad-spectrum CBD 

There is no strict definition of broad-spectrum, but the general rule is that this form of CBD will have the majority of naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, though without the typical THC content. Most broad-spectrum options provide a nice middle-ground for those who still want to experience aspects of the entourage effect but wish to avoid ingesting THC.

Do You Want Quality CBD Products?

At, we not only put out regular articles on the CBD industry, including news, recent findings, and exciting products, but we also spend a great deal of time sourcing and providing top-of-the-line CBD products to our readers and customers. Everything we carry has been specially selected to represent the very best that the CBD industry offers. 

Check out our shop to see incredible edibles, flower, pre-rolls, and much more! Also, make sure to check back to our blog regularly for the latest CBD and Delta-8 news.


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