Full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate—what's the difference?

The world of CBD is rapidly evolving. CBD-related technologies and legislation are racing ahead like never before, and research continues to demonstrate the robust benefits of CBD.

New types of CBD products are introduced daily. There are a few different categories of CBD products currently on the market, each manufactured in its own unique way.

The three main categories of CBD products today are:

  1. Full spectrum CBD
  2. Broad spectrum CBD
  3. CBD isolate

So what's the difference between them?

Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD products are the least processed of all—and by extension, they're considered by many to be the "most natural" type of CBD products.

That's because full spectrum CBD contains all native cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including CBDa, CBG, CBN, CBC, and trace amounts of THC.

The total THC content in Circle City Cooperative's full spectrum CBD products will always be below the legal limit of 0.3%—they are guaranteed to be 2018 Farm Bill compliant and federally approved.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD products are relatively new in the world of CBD. Broad spectrum CBD is almost identical to full spectrum CBD in that it contains all native cannabinoids in the hemp plant—but with one key difference: all THC has been removed.

Broad spectrum products are slightly more processed in order to bring the total THC content down to 0.0%. Users of broad spectrum products receive all the benefits of CBDa, CBG, CBN, CBC, and over a hundred other hemp-native cannabinoids without consuming THC.

This may be particularly important for consumers who face random drug testing or who have other reasons to avoid ingesting the psychotropic cannabinoid THC altogether.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate products contain only pure CBD. Isolate is the most processed type of CBD because it involves removing all cannabinoids except for CBD itself.

The draw of isolate products lies in their potency: one serving of isolate often consists of 99% CBD.

For users who are interested in taking pure CBD without the other native cannabinoids in the hemp plant, CBD isolate products are ideal.

Entourage Effect

The "entourage effect" refers to the benefits realized by consuming CBD along with the other native cannabinoids in the hemp plant.

The entourage effect results from consuming full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD products, which contain CBDa, CBG, CBN, CBC, and over a hundred other hemp-native cannabinoids.

The theory is that consuming hemp derivatives closer to their original state offers greater health benefits than consuming cannabinoids like CBD in isolation.


There are some key differences between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate products. Understanding the unique characteristics of each type of CBD can help consumers make more informed CBD purchasing decisions.