Full and Broad-Spectrum CBD and Isolates – What’s the Difference?


CBD has become increasingly popular all over the world in recent years with the number of users skyrocketing. In the UK alone, it as been estimated that 7.3 million people (11% of the population) used CBD products in 2019 – a figure which has undoubtedly grown over the last 18 months. Despite this growth, however, many people remain unaware and under-educated on the different types of products available on the market.

In this article, we look at the differences between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate CBD products.

CBD Isolates

Products advertised as CBD isolates should be just that – isolated CBD. These products should not contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids, although they likely contain carrier oils such as coconut, olive, or MCT oil.

These products are made using more extensive extraction methods that separate CBD from other cannabis compounds such as THC, CBN, and CBG as well as terpenes and flavonoids. While some may feel that the purity of these products should mean that they are more effective, there is evidence to suggest that, in some cases, the contrary may be true…

Although not available commercially, licensed medical cannabis product Epidyolex is a pure CBD preparation that has been proven to help reduce seizures in some forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy. However, the product may not achieve the same levels of success when used for different purposes.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

In contrast to CBD isolates, broad spectrum products contain a number of other naturally occurring compounds from the cannabis plant, including other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Although there may be a combination of different cannabinoids, THC – the main psychoactive component of cannabis – is completely removed from broad-spectrum products.

Many users favour these products due to the perceived synergistic effects achieved by a combination of potentially therapeutic ingredients. This has become known as the ‘entourage effect’.

Full-Spectrum CBD

As you might have guessed, full-spectrum products will contain a full array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as THC! However, the levels of THC in these products will depend where you are in the world.

In the UK, full-spectrum oils must contain no more than 0.2% THC. This cut-off rises to 0.3% in the US. Although cannabis-legal states in the US will allow for much higher levels of THC in cannabis oils, CBD oils will usually contain only trace amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid.

The Entourage Effect

Evidence has shown that cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, as well as other phyto-compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids, can often work together to achieve a more potent effect. For example, CBD has been found to alleviate the some of the psychoactive effects of THC.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are present in many plants, including black pepper, lavender, citrus fruits, and many more! These compounds have been found to have a number of therapeutic potentials which, like in cannabinoids, may be enhanced in the presence of other compounds.

It is therefore theorised that cannabis may potentially have a number of end effects depending on the combination of compounds within the preparation. Our range of broad-spectrum CBD oils are designed to provide you with the benefits of a number of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other hemp derivatives without the psychoactive effects of THC!