Full Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate

Full Spectrum CBD includes all the natural cannabinoids found in hemp, whereas CBD isolate is CBD separated from all other compounds found in the plant. A 2015 study found full spectrum CBD to be capable of offering greater levels of relief without the dosing caps encountered when using CBD isolate.


CBD products typically are formulated from either Full Spectrum or CBD Isolate. But what’s the different between the two, and is one better than the other?

Full Spectrum CBD is a full plant extract, with all its natural components. Research shows that the therapeutic effects of CBD are underscored when using a Full Spectrum extraction due to the ‘entourage effect’. This refers to the natural interaction of molecules within the CBD plant observed when it is smoked whole.

CBD Isolate is a mechanically separated extract of the CBD compound only. There are a number of pros to using an isolate, such as being flavourless with no THC or other components. This makes isolates ideal for those wanting a pure product, or wanting to create their own formulations.

With this in mind, there are benefits to using one over the other for specific uses. In terms of overall effectiveness per dose, recent studies have shown that Full Spectrum extracts are more effective when compared to an isolate. This points to the benefits of the ‘entourage effect’ that are currently being researched further.

Additional information noted in this same study, shows that CBD isolates have an efficacy cap, unlike Full Spectrum extracts. For those needing a higher dose of CBD, this can have an impact on selecting one over the other.

Sources & Further Reading

“Full-spectrum cannabis extracts VS CBD isolate.” [Fundacion Canna]

“Overcoming the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol.” [Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Pharmacology & Pharmacy – Vol.06 No.02 (2015)]

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