Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate: Find Your Perfect CBD Type

Sunday Scaries lab technician analyzing Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD oils

Navigating the world of CBD products can sometimes feel like walking through a maze.

With terms like “Full Spectrum”, “Broad Spectrum” and "Isolate" appearing on labels, it can be really hard to find the perfect product to match needs.

This comprehensive guide will shed light on these terms and help you make an informed decision on what kind of CBD products to purchase.

Key Takeaways

  • Full Spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids including less than 0.3% THC, offering benefits through the ‘entourage effect,’ but may be unsuitable for those sensitive to THC or undergoing drug tests.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD offers similar benefits to Full Spectrum without THC, ideal for those wanting to completely avoid psychoactive effects or in areas with strict THC laws, but it may be less effective due to the absence or trace amount of THC.
  • Isolate CBD strips out all of the other cannabinoids, making it the purest form of CBD with no detectable THC, but sacrificing product efficacy in the process.
  • When choosing between Full and Broad Spectrum CBD, consider personal THC tolerance, desired effects, legal restrictions, and always consult a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for product safety and quality.

The Different Forms of CBD

Three separate lab beakers showing Full Spectrum CBD vs. Broad Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

The three main forms of CBD are: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Contains all the naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%, which is the legal limit).

This combination of compounds is believed to create an "entourage effect," where the different components work together synergistically to enhance the therapeutic benefits.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

Undergoes additional processing to remove THC up until trace amounts while retaining the other beneficial compounds found in the plant.

This form of CBD offers some of the potential benefits of the "entourage effect", without the risk or benefit of consuming a substantial amount of THC.

CBD Isolate

The purest form of CBD, where all other compounds are removed, leaving behind only isolated cannabidiol.

This form of CBD is ideal for those who want to avoid any potential trace amounts of THC, or any other cannabinoids, but many CBD users find it's the least effective in producing health benefits.

Understanding Full Spectrum CBD

A bottle of Full Spectrum CBD next to two pipettes

Full Spectrum CBD oil is a unique product that encompasses a wide range of cannabinoids and compounds present in the hemp plant, including THC.

However, keep in mind that Full Spectrum CBD always maintains a THC content below 0.3%, a level typically too low to induce psychoactive effects.

This aspect of Full Spectrum CBD introduces us to the ‘entourage effect’, a phenomenon where all active compounds, including THC at less than 0.3%, work together synergistically to provide enhanced benefits.

The sensory experience that Full Spectrum CBD offers is another intriguing aspect. The extract mirrors the natural flavor and aroma profile of the cannabis plant, providing an authentic experience that pays tribute to the original plant.

Full Spectrum CBD allows you to benefit from not only CBD but also the complete range of over 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, which are all found in Full spectrum CBD products.

Benefits of Full Spectrum CBD

Here are five potential benefits associated with Full Spectrum CBD:

1. Enhanced therapeutic effects: The 'entourage effect' amplifies results as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

2. Optimal stress relief: CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a role in regulating stress responses. Full Spectrum CBD's diverse array of cannabinoids and terpenes may provide a more comprehensive interaction with the ECS, modulating stress responses more effectively.

3. Highest improvement on sleep quality: Many users report that Full Spectrum CBD helps in improving mood and promoting better sleep. The various chemical compounds working together contribute to its potential as a sleep aid and mood stabilizer.

4. Enhanced mood improvement: Terpenes present in Full Spectrum CBD, such as myrcene and limonene, are known for their potential to promote relaxation and uplift mood. These compounds, in conjunction with cannabinoids, contribute to a more comprehensive stress-relief experience.

5. Anti-Anxiety Effects: Some cannabinoids present in Full Spectrum CBD, such as CBD itself and others like CBG, have shown promise in studies for their potential anti-anxiety effects. The combination of these compounds might create a more pronounced calming effect, aiding in relief of anxiousness, although more studies need to be performed.

Due to its comprehensive nature, Full Spectrum CBD boasts a variety of potential benefits, establishing it as a versatile option for many.

Drawbacks of Full Spectrum CBD

However, bear in mind that Full Spectrum CBD, despite its allure, does have potential downsides. The presence of THC, albeit in trace amounts, may be a concern for some individuals. Those sensitive to THC or seeking to avoid its psychoactive effects may need to consider other options.

Furthermore, for those who are subject to regular drug testing, Full Spectrum CBD may not be the best choice. Despite the low THC content, there’s still a potential for it to show up in drug tests. When deciding on Full Spectrum CBD, these considerations are worth taking into account.

Understanding Broad Spectrum CBD

An container of Broad Spectrum CBD showing "No on THC"

If you’re wary of THC but still want to reap some of the benefits of the entourage effect, Broad Spectrum CBD might be the ideal choice.

This type of CBD is often seen as a middle ground between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. It contains various cannabinoids and terpenes, similar to Full Spectrum CBD, but without the THC.

Despite the aim to remove THC entirely, some products may contain minimal traces. However, the primary goal of Broad Spectrum CBD is to cater to individuals who wish to abstain from THC consumption.

Benefits of Broad Spectrum CBD

When comparing Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD, it’s important to note that Broad Spectrum CBD has a lot to offer.

1. THC-Free Option: Athletes, individuals undergoing regular drug tests, or those living in areas where THC is illegal may find Broad Spectrum CBD products, also known as broad spectrum products, particularly fitting.

2. Potential Entourage Effect Minus THC: While lacking THC, broad spectrum CBD may still harness part of the entourage effect by combining multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, offering potential synergistic effects similar to Full Spectrum CBD, albeit the effects are not as strong.

3. Support for Sensitive Individuals: Some people might be sensitive or intolerant to THC, even in trace amounts. This will potentially reduce the likelihood of adverse reactions associated with THC sensitivity.

Remember, individual responses to CBD products vary, and it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or treatment regimen.

Drawbacks of Broad Spectrum CBD

Despite its benefits, Broad Spectrum CBD does come with a couple of potential downsides. It’s considered less effective than Full Spectrum CBD due to the absence of THC.

Also, while Broad Spectrum CBD is formulated to be free of THC, it may contain minimal traces due to the breakdown process of the raw materials. This could potentially result in a positive drug test.

Therefore, when opting for Broad Spectrum CBD, it’s advisable to thoughtfully contemplate these factors.

The Entourage Effect Explained

Cannabinoid molecules explaining the entourage effect

The entourage effect is a proposed theory that all the compounds in cannabis work together, and when taken together, they produce a better effect than when taken alone.

This concept was first introduced in 1998 by renowned scientists Raphael Mechoulam and S. Ben-Shabat, who suggested that the endocannabinoid system demonstrated an "entourage effect" in which a variety of "inactive" metabolites and related molecules could enhance the activity of the primary endogenous cannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.

In the context of CBD, the entourage effect highlights the increased effectiveness of products containing a mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds found in cannabis, as opposed to a single isolated compound.

This synergy results in various therapeutic benefits, such as stress relief, sleep aid, and improvement of onset and duration.

Interestingly, this effect could actually be two effects in one:

  • The intra-entourage effect, or the interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids.
  • The inter-entourage effect, or cannabinoid-cannabinoid and terpene-terpene interactions.

What The Experts Say about the Entourage Effect

This research reveals that Full Spectrum Extracts have an an increased effect when the plant compounds work together. Nature knows best.

Understanding CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD, with a composition that consists of 99% cannabidiol. It is obtained through a meticulous extraction process (usually carbon dioxide extraction), where cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds are systematically removed.

The outcome? A crystalline powder that is considered to be free of THC, flavonoids, and terpenes, making it a choice product for those who want only the effects of CBD itself.

This form of CBD is favorable for individuals who are sensitive to other cannabinoids, such as THC, or for those who have been recommended a high dose of CBD.

While CBD Isolate is pure CBD, the efficacy pales in comparison to the other spectrum CBD oils.

Although, it can still offer potential benefits, such as mild stress relief, body ache recovery, and subtle improvements in sleep.

As it lacks other cannabinoids, it may require higher doses to achieve the same effects as Full Spectrum CBD products or Broad Spectrum CBD products.

Choosing the Right CBD for Your Needs

Choosing between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate is not a one-size-fits-all decision.

It largely depends on your personal preferences, THC sensitivity, legal restrictions, and specific needs.

Each type possesses unique characteristics and potential benefits, so these factors should be taken into consideration when making your selection.

In the debate of Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons, but if you're looking for CBD oil products that utilize all the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant and produce the best effects, then Full Spectrum products should be your best match.

Most brands in the CBD industry would agree.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your CBD Hemp Extract

When choosing between Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD, there are several factors to consider.

  1. Determine your specific needs: Are you looking for optimal general wellness support, enhanced stress relief or heightened assistance with a specific condition? Then Full Spectrum CBD extract is your match.
  2. Research the source and quality: Ensure that the CBD product is sourced from organic hemp and undergoes third-party testing for purity and potency.
  3. Consider the THC content: Do you want to avoid THC completely due to sensitivity or drug testing issues? Then CBD Isolate is your match.
  4. Read customer reviews: Look for reviews and testimonials from other users to get an idea of the product's effectiveness.
  5. Consult a healthcare professional: If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medication, it's important to seek advice from a healthcare professional before starting CBD.

Popular CBD Product Types

A table with all of the popular CBD product types on top of it, including gummies, oils and capsules

CBD comes in various forms, each with its unique characteristics and benefits. Popular types of CBD products include:

Each of these offers varying strengths and dosages, catering to different needs and preferences.

For instance, CBD oils and tinctures are great for those looking for a versatile, potent product, while gummies and capsules are a more convenient option for those on the go.

If you are looking for CBD for your pet, we recommend CBD Isolate so you can completely avoid THC, minimize adverse reactions, control cannabinoid variance and maintain a good tasting CBD dog treat so your pup will actually consume it.

It’s worth noting that the strength per dose can be determined by dividing the total strength by the number of gummies or capsules in the packaging. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the right dosage for your needs.

Quality and Safety Considerations

Emphasizing the quality and safety of CBD products, a key indicator of quality is the Certificate of Analysis (COA), which certifies the product’s safe consumption.

An up-to-date COA on a credible lab results page serves as confirmation of the product’s quality and safety.

Moreover, before using approved nonprescription CBD products, it’s advisable to consult healthcare professionals.

This is particularly critical for certain groups, including pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, and those taking regular medications. Keeping these considerations in mind can help ensure a safe and positive CBD experience.

Legal Aspects: The Difference Between Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum

The legality of Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD are the same, the source of the cannabis derived compounds is what is important.

In the United States, hemp derived CBD products, including both Full Spectrum CBD oil and Broad Spectrum CBD oil, are federally legal if they contain less than 0.3% THC, as per the 2018 Farm Bill.

However, CBD derived from marijuana remains federally illegal, although it may be legal under specific state regulations.

Since you can extract CBD from both hemp and marijuana, ensure the products you purchase are hemp-derived so they are not considered controlled substances.


Navigating the world of CBD can initially seem overwhelming, but understanding the differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum CBD and Isolate CBD can significantly simplify the process.

Both Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum offer potential benefits through the "entourage effect", with the main difference being the presence or absence of THC.

Full Spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including THC, while Broad Spectrum CBD offers the same benefits but without a material amount of THC.

Choosing between Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD ultimately depends on personal preferences, THC sensitivity, legal restrictions, and specific needs.

If you are looking for optimal efficacy, then use a Full Spectrum CBD product.

If you are looking for suboptimal efficacy, with minuscule traces of THC, then use a product with Broad Spectrum oil.

If you are looking for an an option with the lowest CBD potency, without all of the cannabinoid compounds and completely THC free, then use products with CBD isolates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better Full or Broad Spectrum CBD?

Full Spectrum CBD is thought to have a stronger effect than Broad Spectrum CBD due to the presence of THC, but for those sensitive to THC, Broad-Spectrum CBD might be a better option. Consider your sensitivity to THC when making a choice.

Is Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD or Isolate better for dogs?

Isolate is better for dogs as it does not come with a bitter taste from the added terpenes and it provides the lowest risk of cannabinoid fluctuation.

Which form of CBD is most effective?

The most effective form of CBD is Full Spectrum as it contains all compounds that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system which enhance the product's effectiveness.

Can Full Spectrum CBD show up on a drug test?

Yes, Full Spectrum CBD has the potential to show up on a drug test due to its low THC content. So does Broad Spectrum CBD as it can contain trace amounts.

Ready to fight the Sunday Scaries? Shop our CBD Gummies for FocusCBD CandyCBD Treats for DogsCBD GummiesCBD Oil TincturesCBD Sleep OilExtra Strength CBD Gummies, Delta-9 THC Gummies, CBD Edibles, and Vegan CBD Gummies online today!

  • Best Seller
    Stress Relief
    A 20-count bottle of Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies with tropical flavors and 10mg CBD per gummy

    CBD Gummies

    Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
    1,029 Reviews

    CBD Gummies

  • Best Seller
    Sleep Aid
    A 1 fluid ounce bottle of Sunday Scaries Big Spoon CBD Oil with vanilla cream flavor and 30mg CBD per dropper

    CBN + CBD Sleep Oil

    Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
    297 Reviews

    CBN + CBD Sleep Oil

  • Stress Relief for Dogs
    A 20-count pouch of Sunday Scaries FOMO Bones CBD dog treats with bacon flavor and 5mg CBD per bone

    CBD Dog Treats

    Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars
    62 Reviews

    CBD Dog Treats