CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD

In this post we explain the difference between CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD and broad spectrum CBD , and list the pros and cons for each. No CBD product is inherently better than another. It all depends on your individual body chemistry and what you would like to achieve. For example, while a full-spectrum CBD product might be especially beneficial for people with severe or complex symptoms, full spectrum CBD is absolutely not suitable for your pets . Why? Read on.

All the Different Cannabinoids

A cannabis plant contains many different cannabinoids. So far, researchers have identified 113 of them, with CBD and THC being the most heavily researched. Each cannabinoid interacts differently with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and many of them work in synergy to produce their beneficial action in the body.

Because the ECS is an elaborate network of receptors and neurotransmitters that maintain important functions such as homeostasis in the body, the effect of single or combined cannabinoids on the body can be far-reaching and complex. What might work for one person, could be terrible for another. For example, THC is highly effective for pain relief, but it can also cause side effects in some people, with anxiety and memory problems being the most common. There is even some suggestion that it can cause atrophy in the brain’s hippocampus.

THC is also the cannabinoid that produces the psychoactive effect. There are a number of reasons somebody might not want to get high, including needing to drive or operate equipment or pass a drug test. Animals are extremely sensitive to THC; at the very least it causes them extreme discomfit and could in some cases be dangerous to their health.

The negative side effects of THC are more pronounced with pure THC. When it is in its natural combination with other cannabinoids, terpenes and phenolics, the possibility of negative effects are mitigated to some degree and its benefits are heightened. This is the synergy or “entourage” effect. Different cannabinoids, terpenes and phenolics each target different neurotransmitters to achieve the same effect; they support each other, so a lower dose of the substance is needed.

Cat with cannabis leaf

The Different Levels of THC in CBD Products

All CBD products are extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant using solvents such as C02. CBD products are extracted from hemp plants and not marijuana by law in order to control the level of THC in the final product. Both hemp and marijuana are classified as cannabis, but hemp is an industrial product rich in most cannabinoids — CBD in particular — but low in THC, up to .3%. Accordingly, the initial extract from the hemp plant can contain up to .3% THC. But as we explain below, this can be processed further to reduce the THC content.

Full-spectrum CBD

The first extract delivers what is called “full-spectrum CBD”. It contains the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenolics including up to .3% THC. Full-spectrum delivers a wide range of powerful benefits because of the entourage effect — how the different cannabinoids and other components work together and with the ECS to boost the effects of the individual cannabinoids.

The initial extract, the full-spectrum CBD, can be further processed to yield two progressively more refined products: a broad spectrum CBD and a CBD Isolate.

Broad Spectrum CBD

A broad spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids except THC. All the other components of the hemp plant are also left intact. Theoretically, you still get most of the entourage effect without any risk of a high.

CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate crystals

CBD isolate is just that — pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids. The CBD content is much more concentrated than for either the full-spectrum or broad spectrum CBD product. For example, here at Pi CBD our isolate is 99.6% pure. CBD isolate is usually a powder or crystals. Pi CBD’s CBD isolate is mixed into premium coconut oil, which contributes to its benefits.

Because there is no THC, there are also none of the negative effects of THC. However, purified CBD has its own set of issues to be aware of. At low doses it is highly effective at relieving anxiety, at high doses it can trigger anxiety. This is because of which neurotransmitters are being affected with different dosages. Pure CBD might also be metabolized quicker without the entourage of cannabis components and so its effectiveness might be shorter lived.

From the descriptions above, you can see that each CBD product has its pros and cons. Which product is right for you, would depend on your particular make-up and what you are using it for. Below we provide a snapshot of some common benefits and concerns for each type.

The Pros and Cons of Full Spectrum CBD


  • Entourage effect
  • Less processed, more natural


  • May show up on drug screening because of the THC content
  • The THC could be a problem for some people, and definitely for pets
  • Has a strong taste and aroma

The Pros and Cons of Broad Spectrum CBD


  • Entourage effect
  • No THC


  • Less research on its effects and benefits
  • Strong taste and aroma

The Pros and Cons of CBD Isolate


  • Concentrate form of CBD
  • No THC
  • Safe for Pets and other sensitive individuals
  • Safe for drug tests
  • Odorless and flavourless
  • Versatile


  • No entourage effect
  • Dosage

Order Your CBD Oil Products from Pi CBD

If you’re ready to place an order, go for it. The Pi CBD Shop https://pi-cbd.com/shop/ offers a number of high quality CBD Oil products for you and your pets as well. We ship anywhere in Canada. If you have any questions, check out our FAQs page, or submit your question through our contact form. We are always glad to help.

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