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Isolate vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum: How Do I Choose?

by David Bray

There are a few things that are true about all CBD products: they are derived from the hemp or cannabis plant, they are non-intoxicating, and they work with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

But there’s a wide variety when it comes to CBD products. There are CBD oils and tinctures, topicals, vape products, edibles, capsules, and more! Each of these categories is further divided by the type of CBD they contain: CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD, or full spectrum CBD.

If you’re not sure what each of these terms means, you’re not alone – it can be confusing! So, here’s what you need to know about isolate vs. broad spectrum vs. full spectrum CBD.

What Is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It is carefully lab-extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant. It contains none of the other terpenes, cannabinoids, oils, waxes, or other plant matter.

Pros: Contains no THC (so you’ll never fail a drug test or feel intoxicated), does not have a taste or odor.

Cons: No entourage effect.


What Is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad spectrum CBD products contain high levels of CBD as well as a selected amount of terpenes and cannabinoids. Terpenes and cannabinoids, like CBD, are found naturally in the hemp plant and are known to have an entourage effect, meaning that the different compounds work together to produce a more therapeutic result.

Pros: It has a beneficial entourage effect from the many different terpenes and cannabinoids, the THC is removed, and is often considered the “best of both worlds” between isolate and full spectrum CBD. 

Cons: It may have an herbal taste or odor from the plant compounds.


What Is Full Spectrum CBD?

A full spectrum CBD formula will preserve as many naturally-occurring plant compounds as possible. Aside from THC – which must remain under the legal limit of 0.3% – the additional cannabinoids, terpenes and other plant compounds will remain in the final product.

Pros: It provides the full, beneficial entourage effect from the many different terpenes and cannabinoid.Does not have psychoactive effects even with 0.3% THC.

Cons: May contain trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%, but potentially enough to show up on a drug test), and it may have a stronger flavor and odor than the other types of CBD.


Choosing the Best CBD Tincture for Your Individual Needs

Some people believe that CBD isolate is best because it’s pure CBD with nothing else added. Others say broad spectrum is best, because it keeps all the best terpenes and cannabinoids. And, still others think full spectrum CBD is the only way to go because it has the widest variety of terpenes and cannabinoids, despite having slightly higher trace amounts of THC.

In our opinion, none of them are wrong. We’re glad that there are so many options out there! Weigh the pros and cons of each type and choose what feels right for your needs. Whatever type of CBD you’re searching for, we have it right here at Cannaporium! You can use the search bar to find your preferred type of CBD, whether you’re looking for pure, potent CBD isolate or the full entourage effect.


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