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whats the difference between cbd isolate and broad spectrum

The cannabis plant contains 483 known compounds, around 60 or more of which are cannabinoids. CBD is just one of those compounds. And while a lot of research has gone into understanding cannabinoids like CBD and THC, there is still a lot we do not know about the cannabis plant and how it affects the human body.

The entourage effect is a theory that claims that the compounds in cannabis can synergise in the body, producing unique effects. Now, some sources debate the validity of the entourage effect; however, there is solid research to suggest that cannabis’ distinct effects don’t simply come from the individual compounds it contains, but the way those compounds interact in the body.


Research also shows that full-spectrum CBD products tend to offer better relief from some symptoms than isolates. A study [3] from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem compared full-spectrum CBD with isolates in the treatment of pain and inflammation. In all aspects of the study, full-spectrum CBD always came out on top.

For more evidence of the entourage effect, we can look to Marinol, a synthetic, FDA-approved version of THC prescribed for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. For a long time, cancer patients have found that THC-rich cannabis can help reduce the nausea and vomiting that often accompanies chemotherapy. Marinol, on the other hand, is much less effective than its natural counterpart, sometimes even causing nausea rather than reducing it.

Ethan Russo, a well-known cannabinoid researcher, has documented the entourage effect in the past. In an interview with Scientific American, Russo mentioned that as little as 5mg of pure THC is enough to cause psychosis-like symptoms in some people. When taken together with CBD, however, patients can take much higher doses (up to 48mg) of THC without these negative side effects.

Lab Testing

Unlike isolate, broad spectrum CBD contains flavonoids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids (with the exception of THC). The THC is removed from the CBD after the initial extraction takes place.

Best CBD Broad Spectrum Products with Product Info

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We were able to review CBD products that were both in the broad spectrum and isolate categories. They were hand-picked based on some aspects such as the hemp source, the process of which the CBD was extracted from, potency, and others. This information will help you know where your product comes from, what ingredients are inside, and the kind of lab tests they underwent before being released to the market.

Broad spectrum CBD products will typically be oils and tinctures that will be used for pain relief. The bio-availability will be much higher since the oil can be applied under the tongue and can go directly to the bloodstream in a matter of minutes.

The extract must go through a cooling and purification process to obtain a CBD isolate product. Further processing leaves behind a crystalline isolate, or CBD crystals.

Full spectrum CBD also contains terpenes from the cannabis plant. Terpenes tend to give plants their scent.

However, although these terms do carry some meaning, “CBD” and related terms are not heavily regulated, so some manufacturers may use the words interchangeably or misuse them.


CBD is one of many compounds in the cannabis plant. Other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is the most abundant compound in the plant.

The main difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD is which compounds they contain.

However, the levels of THC can increase when the manufacturer creates a concentrate. For example, some tinctures can contain up to 2 milligrams per milliliter of THC, and this can, in some cases, have a euphoric effect.

After extraction, the resulting CBD oil is considered full spectrum. Hemp-sourced CBD will have a THC concentration of 0.3% or less.