Know your terms: CBD Isolate vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD vs. Full Spectrum CBD

Your Your CBD Terms


Knowing the difference between CBD Isolate, Broad Spectrum, and Full Spectrum CBD will be helpful when choosing a CBD product.

CBD isolate - CBD without any other cannabinoids, flavonoids or terpenes

Broad sprectrum - CBD and contains flavonoids and terpenes, but no THC

Full spectrum CBD – CBD and contains flavonoids, terpenes and less than 0.3% THC


The cannabis plant contains more than 500 chemicals including cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids - There are over 100 cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. THC, which is what is responsible for producing the “high” of marijuana, and CBD, an increasingly important substance in health and wellness circles are both cannabinoids.

Flavonoids - Naturally occurring flavonoids, which are the phytonutrients that give cannabis its color; they are also increasingly being studied for their potential therapeutic properties

Terpenes -150+ terpenes, which are responsible for the odor of the cannabis plant but are also thought to have a variety of therapeutic effects.

The most common terpenes in Full-Spectrum CBD are:

  • Pinene—featuring a pine tree fragrance, pinene is thought to aid in respiratory conditions and have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Linalool—floral in aroma, linalool can have a calming effect and promote relaxation
  • Myrcene—spicy and peppery, myrcene is also thought to have calming properties
  • Limonene—associated with citrus flavors, limonene is said to ease anxiety and stress
  • Caryophyllene—found inherbs and spices such as black pepper and basil, caryophyllene is an anti-inflammatory
  • Humulene—earthy and woodsy, humulene is an anti-inflammatory and also has anti-bacterial effects


What is the benefit of Full Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD contains both terpenes and flavonoids, as well as all the other components of the cannabis plant. With full-spectrum CBD, you’re getting all the beneficial parts of the plant.

Isolating just CBD and removing over a hundred other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant means leaving many of the most potentially useful parts of the plant on the table. Full-spectrum CBD is preferred by experts because the therapeutic benefits are amplified through what is referred to as the Entourage Effect.


What is the Entourage Effect?

According to the Entourage Effect, CBD produces better results when it is working in concert with other cannabinoids and terpenes. That’s why it is so important to choose a Full-Spectrum CBD product over a CBD Isolate or Broad-Spectrum CBD product. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) puts it, “The ‘entourage effect’ is the suggested positive contribution derived from the addition of terpenes to the effect of cannabinoids. This means that the entirety of the effect is greater than the sum effects of its contributing parts.”

The NIH describes the “concept of botanical synergy, in which a dominant molecule is supported by other plant derivatives—cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other inactive substances, to achieve a maximal pharmacological effect.” The Entourage Effect has been increasingly tested on “treatment-resistant forms of depression, co-morbid anxiety, other psychiatric disorders and bipolar disorders,” showing real promise in treating a wide variety of mood disorders.