Types of CBD: Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

Not all CBD is created equal


With so many different types of CBD on the market, it can be helpful to know how your CBD products are made.

Isolate, full spectrum, and broad spectrum are the three most common types of CBD, and they’re each created with a different extraction method.

If you’re not sure which type is best for you and your needs, this article will cover the extraction process, concerns about drug testing, the entourage effect, and the benefits of whole plant medicine.

After reading all the way through, you’ll be ready to make informed decisions when shopping for CBD here at Thistle Therapies.




Explaining Extraction

CBD is one of the most abundant, naturally-occurring compounds in the hemp and cannabis plants. Unlike the THC compound, CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it won’t get you “high.”

While THC is still illegal in many states, CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC are federally legal and nationally available.

Extraction is the process that turns the whole hemp plant into a CBD product, whether that’s CBD oil, topicals, tinctures, sublingual sprays, etc.




Isolate, Full spectrum, Broad Spectrum: The Different Types of Extraction


These different types of CBD refer to a plant’s cannabinoid profile.


Isolate CBD

Isolate refers to an extraction process that, you guessed it, isolates CBD from the rest of the compounds in the cannabis plant.

After CBD concentrate is extracted and separated from the rest of the compounds in the plant, it then goes through a winterization process, which extracts any remaining waxes, terpenes, or cannabinoids. This creates a CBD product that tests as high as 99.9% pure CBD.


Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD, on the other hand, extracts a full profile of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. Sometimes referred to as whole plant CBD, full spectrum will contain trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%), but nowhere near enough to get you “high.”

Note: While full spectrum CBD and whole plant CBD are very similar, whole plant CBD is less refined than full spectrum and will contain fats, waxes, and other fibrous materials from the hemp plant.


Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD is the middle ground option between isolate and full spectrum CBD. It begins as a full spectrum oil, with the full range of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes, but it then goes through a refinement process to remove all THC compounds.