July 18, 2019

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate

CBD Livity

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate

Jul 18, 2019

What’s the Difference between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate?

If you have been looking around at CBD products, you will have quickly seen that there are a variety of formulas to choose from. “Full spectrum,” “broad spectrum,” and “isolate” are all types of CBD products which provide unique benefits. We will compare each type and determine the reasons that a buyer might choose one over the others.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum, otherwise known as whole plant CBD, is a product which is comprised of CBD, as well as other substances found within the cannabis plant. In addition to other cannabinoids, these products can include other essential oils, and terpenes, which are responsible for the extract’s flavor and scent.

The term “cannabis spectrum” refers to the range of cannabinoids that exist within a cannabis-derived product. The coordination of these chemicals creates the products’ unique characteristics.

By definition, a full spectrum CBD derived from Hemp is limited to THC content of 0.3 percent or less. This is a low amount which could engender a nominal psychoactive response.

Broad Spectrum

For CBD users who prefer not to consume THC, a broad spectrum product like our Marley & Me Broad Spectrum is a happy medium between full spectrum and CBD isolates. Broad spectrum CBD contains all compounds which may be found in a full spectrum product, with the exception of THC. Such formulas are beneficial for people who cannot or do not want to ingest THC because even trace amounts of the chemical are removed. If THC shows up “ND” (none detected) our lab results, it should not be detected on yours either. The absence of THC alters the characteristics of the product, so users may notice a difference in the way it interacts with their body.

There are a couple of ways to produce broad spectrum CBD. The first method is to begin with a CBD isolate and add other compounds which are commonly found in full spectrum products, excluding THC. The second method is to begin with the raw plant substances that contain naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, then simply remove THC from the batch. At CBD Livity, we choose the second method for all of our broad spectrum products.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate refers to products which are comprised only of CBD (Usually 99.9%), without additional substances. To create isolates, all of the plant’s oils, terpenes, waxes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids (including THC) are extracted away from the finished product.

During the initial years of CBD isolate research, some scientists thought that these chemicals were the most powerful version of CBD. However, a 2015 study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem found that this is not necessarily the case.

Further research is currently being conducted to clarify whether CBD concentration directly impacts its potency. So far, research seems to suggest that the collection of compounds that are contained within full or broad spectrum CBD heightens the properties of the CBD. This is called “the entourage effect.”

That said, some people may find that CBD isolate is their preferred solution. For example, those who react well to CBD, but have a sensitivity to other cannabinoids. CBD has especially been found to counteract the anxiety-inducing effects of THC. CBD isolate can also be a good option for individuals who are concerned with having THC in their system because they are required to pass a drug test.

The best way to find out which solution is best for you is to try a couple of different options! Enjoy the process of discovery as you see how CBD benefits your life.


Bergamaschi, Mateus Machado, et al. “Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis Sativa Constituent.” Current Drug Safety, vol. 6, no. 4, 10 Oct. 2011, pp. 237–249., doi:10.2174/157488611798280924.

Cadena, Aaron. “CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD: What's the Difference?” CBD Origin, 2019, cbdorigin.com/cbd-isolate-vs-full-spectrum-cbd/. Maroon, J., Jeff Bost, P. A. C., Mathyssek, C., & Steelers, N. P. (2015). Nutritional & Medical Applications for Cannabidiol: Hemp Health Benefits without THC. Anti-Aging Therapeutics Volume XVII, 17.

Ruggeri, Christine. “CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum CBD: Is One Better Than the Other?” Dr. Axe, 24 Mar. 2019, draxe.com/cbd-isolate-vs-full-spectrum/.

Russo, Ethan B. British Journal of Pharmacology, Aug. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/.

Schubart, Christian D., et al. “Cannabis with High Cannabidiol Content Is Associated with Fewer Psychotic Experiences.” Schizophrenia Research, vol. 130, no. 1-3, 17 May 2011, pp. 216–221., doi:10.1016/j.schres.2011.04.017.

“What Is Broad Spectrum CBD?” CBD School, 26 Sept. 2018, www.cbdschool.com/what-is-broad-spectrum-cbd/.

We encourage you to discuss CBD with your physician or healthcare practitioner if you have any specific health related questions or concerns. There are also many independent research studies about CBD available on the internet.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease.

Recent Posts

CBD Livity

July 18, 2019