Advantages and Disadvantages of Full-spectrum Vs Broad and Isolate

Although CBD is fairly new, brands have wasted no time in producing a vast array of CBD-containing products. Products like CBD oils, balms, lotions, vaporizers, powders, and even edibles are all very common, and these are just a few examples. With so many choices, choosing the right product for you can be difficult.

And if all these options didn’t make deciding what to buy hard enough, categories like full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates further add to the confusion. While it’s easy enough to figure out the differences between, say, CBD lotions and edibles, the differences between full-spectrum and CBD isolates aren’t so obvious.

Continue on below for all you need to know about the different types of CBD, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD is probably the most common type of CBD on the market today, and also the most popular. Full-spectrum means that the CBD you’re looking at contains all of the different compounds originally found in the hemp plant it was extracted from. These compounds include cannabinoids like THC and CBD, terpenes, flavonoids, and other various plant materials.

The main selling point of full-spectrum CBD is that the combination of all these different compounds results in what is referred to as the “entourage effect.” Some research suggests that this effect results in better effects over what’s achievable from CBD alone.


  • Less processed than other forms
  • The entourage effect
  • Contains terpenes and flavonoids


  • Contains small amounts of THC
  • May show up on a drug test
  • Has a strong flavor

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum, except that the THC (cannabis’ main psychoactive component) has been removed. For people that are worried about possibly failing a drug test, or who simply don’t like THC, broad-spectrum may be preferable over full-spectrum.

Since the other compounds found in hemp remain, you still may benefit from the entourage effect.


  • Not as processed as CBD isolates
  • The entourage effect
  • No psychoactive effects


  • Not as heavily researched
  • Has a strong flavor
  • Harder to find than full-spectrum and CBD isolates

CBD Isolate

CBD isolates are the result of specialized extraction processes, which result in a product containing pure CBD, and nothing else. CBD isolates are perfect for people who want to try CBD but don’t want to expose themselves to any of the other compounds found in hemp.

No THC means you won’t feel any psychoactive effects and don’t have to worry about failing a drug test. There are still plenty of benefits to be had from CBD isolates, even without the entourage effect.


  • The most concentrated form of CBD
  • No chance of failing a drug test
  • No psychoactive potential
  • No flavor or smell


  • No entourage effect
  • More processed than other forms of CBD
Wrapping Up

There’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing between the different types of CBD. While full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD have the added benefit of the entourage effect, if you’re worried about failing a drug test, a CBD isolate is preferable. Regardless of which you chose, CBD offers plenty of potential benefits, which make it at least worth a try.