The Difference Between Isolate, Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum CBD

Feeling unsure about the difference between isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD? The essential difference between them is their composition, which changes their effects and how they show up in your system. It can be confusing, but we have everything you need to know right here.

What is full-spectrum CBD oil?

Full-spectrum CBD oil has not had any cannabinoids removed, meaning it still maintains psychoactive compounds from THC. This means you still get the ‘entourage effect’, which is when all of cannabis’ chemical compounds work together, including THC. We’ll explain more about the entourage effect later. 

The level of THC in full-spectrum CBD oil is still below the legal limit of 0.2%, but if you take it regularly it can build up in your system and show up on a drugs test. This is despite it being a legal substance, so this risk is well worth keeping in mind for users with regular drug testing at work. 

What is broad-spectrum CBD oil?

The difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil is the refining process. During this process, many manufacturers opt to remove THC from the CBD oil while keeping the other cannabinoids in the formula. This means you still get the benefits of the other cannabinoids and achieve the entourage effect without the risks associated with THC – plus there’s no risk of it showing up on a drugs test because it is fully legal and doesn’t contain any THC. 

What is isolate spectrum CBD oil?

Finally, there’s isolate spectrum CBD oil. This goes a step further than broad-spectrum CBD by using the same refining process to make 99%+ pure CBD. This is a great choice for anyone particularly sensitive to cannabinoids, giving you many of the benefits for broad-spectrum CBD oil and cannabidiol without any THC or chemical byproducts. However, this will not achieve the entourage effect. 


What is the entourage effect?

Put simply, the entourage effect is what happens when all the components of cannabis work together to enhance the benefits of the cannabis plant. The three main cannabis compounds which lead to the entourage effect are:

  • Cannabinoids
  • Terpenes
  • Flavonoids

Which CBD oil is right for me?

As full-spectrum CBD has no cannabinoids removed it achieves the entourage effect. However, it is the only option which still has THC in it. The legal limit of THC is 0.2%, and while full-spectrum CBD oil will have this limit or below, THC can build up in your system after repeated uses. 

There is a common misconception that broad-spectrum CBD does not achieve the entourage effect because it has been more refined than full spectrum CBD. This is untrue because the only element which has been removed is the THC, which means you’ll still experience the entourage effect with broad-spectrum CBD without the THC or psychoactive effects, making it a safer and preferred option.

That said, if you are regularly drug tested at work it is safest to get isolate spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate CBD oils are all legal in the UK, but isolate CBD provides relief without the feeling of getting high and without any risk of it showing in drug tests due to the lack of THC and cannabinoids. 

To choose the right CBD oil for you, you should take into account why you want to use CBD oil, how you react to cannabinoids and other factors like whether you have regular drug testing at work. Here at Pharma CBD we have a wide range of fully certified CBD options for you to choose from to suit your personal needs and help your overall wellbeing. 

Find out more about CBD oil in the UK and what it can do for you on Pharma CBD’s news page. 

Be sure to also follow @THEPHARMA.CBD on Instagram to keep up to date with the latest offers and CBD products.