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Isolate CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD vs Full Spectrum CBD

Which CBD is Better and Why

To have a better understanding of the “WHY” let’s start by identifying and defining each of the 3 major compounds you will become most familiar with when purchasing CBD. But 1st we must know what we are working with: The Hemp Plant

Hemp vs Cannabis: Know the difference!

As defined by the Farm Act of 2018: the Hemp Plant is farmed in a manner that produces a THC level of 0.3% or less. Any crop producing greater than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychoactive compound in Cannabis) or THC for short is considered to be Cannabis a.k.a Marijuana.

  • Less than 0.3% THC or No THC defines CBD
  • Greater than 0.3% THC or more defines Cannabis a.k.a. Marijuana

Any farmer that misses their mark and goes over this 0.3% specification is legally bound to destroy the crop or find another use beyond the manufacture of CBD…  as you can imagine there are some that follow the rules and some that make their own rules, thus; the importance of 3rd party testing and to be aware that bad CBD does exist. When purchasing CBD always ask for a current “Certificate of Analysis” commonly referred to as an COA and contains the lab results that provide the data needed to confirm Compliance. In the end, there are no legal CBD products on the market that test higher than 0.3% THC and going a step further – no 30ml full spectrum tincture should contain more than 3500mg to meet that same standard.


Legal CBD is derived from the Hemp Plant and there are 3 varieties commonly available on the market today. CBD Isolate, Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum CBD

The Short Answer(s):

  • CBD Isolate: contains the compound Cannabidiol (CBD) only
  • Broad Spectrum: utilizes the entire hemp plant, contains numerous cannabinoids and terpenes, NO THC
  • Full Spectrum: utilizes the entire hemp plant, contains numerous cannabinoids and terpenes, INCLUDES THC


CBD Isolate

Isolate is just that, a single compound extracted from the Hemp Plant. As an Isolate this extraction contains only the CBD Compound and utilizes none of the other existing minor Cannabinoids, including THC. So, to be clear and utilizing clean extraction methods… no THC, no CBG, no CBN, no CB anything other than CBD. In the past, CBD Isolates were the goto for homeopathic medicines commonly used in drinks, topicals, bath bombs, edibles and many, many other formulations. Today, with the saturation of the market there are still quite a few Isolate products out there but with new research, new extraction methods and newly identified minor cannabinoids most manufacturers are actively participating in new product development and adding minor cannabinoids accordingly resulting in higher quality products and lower prices. Good for all of us!

Fact: No legal CBD product contains enough THC to produce a psychoactive affect


Broad Spectrum CBD

By now you have a better understanding of CBD and these minor cannabinoids I keep referring to… the minor cannabinoids are the compounds extracted from the hemp plant. CBD itself is categorized as a minor cannabinoid. Some others you may or may not recognize: THC, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBDA, THCA, THCV and many, many more – there are 113 cannabinoids identified at last count. In addition to and because we are utilizing the entire hemp plant there are other extracted benefits such as: terpenes, essential vitamins, proteins, fatty acids and other naturally occurring elements too deep for this purpose. The definition of Broad Spectrum is defined as the Entire Hemp Plant minus the THC. This is the goto formulation for people concerned about having THC in their system. If you job requires or performs random drug testing, if you operate heavy equipment or work in dangerous conditions this probably applies to you and Broad Spectrum CBD should be your product of choice. The benefit of using a broad spectrum cbd product is that we are often times ingesting an abundance of the cannabinoids extracted from that hemp plant (again, minus the THC) and giving the best possible chance of achieving the result that brought you to know CBD products to begin with and/or if you are new to CBD… homeostasis is a wonderful thing!

Full Spectrum CBD

In a nutshell, everything I just mentioned above + THC. Full spectrum utilizes the entire hemp plant and has a reputation of being the preferred CBD product. I’ll try to explain: Of all the people using CBD there are a number of followers in CBD as homeopathic medicine, the hemp plant and how it works with the receptors within us all. That being said: there are a number of Cannabis enthusiasts and homeopathic users that will climb mountains to yell out how much using the entire hemp plant including THC is necessary to obtaining the full benefit of this cure-all medicine. Let me just say that CBD is NOT a medicine… in fact, CBD is not a medicine at all and should never be associated with cure. Note any legal disclaimer and the warnings that come with combining CBD with certain prescription medications. This gets really deep and I will address this in a separate post sometime in the future, so keep checking back if I caught your attention. Just know that I personally believe in using the entire plant full spectrum version of CBD if it does not interfere with your daily life or threaten your job and livelihood… Know that a legal and compliant CBD product will never contain enough THC to produce a psychoactive effect. However, I do not believe that THC at 0.3% or less is a large enough combined dose to change the efficacy of the product and Broad Spectrum CBD is as efficient as Full Spectrum. As I understand it there is just no research data that can prove this one way or the other.

If you would like to dig deeper and know more about how CBD interacts with the physiology, body and mind be sure to check back often

Industry News

Keep up on the latest cannabidiol industry research, science, standards and advances in product development. Here you can find articles regarding proper dosing, cbd extraction methods, cbd for pets, how to’s, reading lab results, the use of carrier oils, and much more!


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