The Difference Between, Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum and CBD Isolate

In your search for CBD, you’ve probably noticed products labeled as full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate. Even though these terms sound similar, they are quite different. In short, they explain which type of CBD is in the product. Understanding the differences can help you choose the right CBD for you.

Neither is better than another. Each has its own characteristics. For instance, some people are put off by the strong flavor and scent of hemp in full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD. Whether you have a sensitivity to the trace amounts of THC, less than .3% by law, or don’t want any THC in your system, knowing the difference can inform your choices based on the type of CBD concentrate used.

Here’s a guide to understanding more about full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate.


Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD extract is closest to CBD as it exists in nature. Extraction for full-spectrum CBD oil preserves the naturally-occurring phytocannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. CBD is one of hundreds from the hemp plant. At Lazarus Naturals, we use food-grade ethanol alcohol to extract the cannabinoids from the whole hemp plant to make full-spectrum CBD. Something to note: full-spectrum tinctures are dark in color and have a hempy taste. We carefully select flavors that blend well with the distinct flavor of full spectrum CBD and partner with foods and beverages.

Some research indicates the combination of compounds in this “whole plant profile” may offer benefits not found with a cannabinoid on its own. This principle is known as the “entourage effect.” It refers to the combination of cannabinoids (including CBD), terpenes and terpenoids that may have the ability to work together synergistically.

Our full-spectrum products contain THC, although it occurs at levels of less than 0.3 percent, keeping in line with federal laws prohibiting THC. However, full-spectrum CBD products could cause a “fail” on a drug test.

Check out our wide range of full spectrum CBD products including: tinctures, capsules, topicals and pet products.

Key Takeaways:

  • Offers whole plant benefits known as the entourage effect.
  • Has distinct hemp flavors and scents.
  • Even small amounts of THC, less than .3% by law, can trigger a positive drug test.


CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. Typically appearing as a white, crystallized powder, you could think of CBD isolate as super-extracted CBD. The tincture is clear and tasteless. This concentrate lacks the other compounds found in the whole plant profile. For that reason, CBD isolate does not offer the entourage effect. In lieu of that, CBD isolate usually has a potency of 99 percent or more.

CBD isolate starts from a full-spectrum hemp extraction and undergoes extensive high-intensity filtration, distillation and winterization that removes lipids, chlorophyll, and remaining plant matter.

The end result is purified CBD devoid of THC and other compounds found in hemp. If you’re looking to avoid THC for any reason, including concern about a positive drug test, this is an option. However, THC-free doesn’t guarantee a drug test won’t still show positive for traces of THC. Some drug screenings show CBD as THC, or cannabis metabolite.

We offer a wide range of CBD Isolate tinctures, capsules, bulk isolate and pet products that are THC-Free.

Key Takeaways:

  • No risk for those sensitive to THC
  • Minor risk of a positive drug test result
  • Free of any hemp scents or flavors
  • Comprised of 99 percent CBD

Broad-Spectrum CBD

At Lazarus Naturals, we currently don’t make broad-spectrum CBD products. In the spirit of understanding CBD better, we are including an overview of broad-spectrum CBD here.

Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD, except trace amounts of THC have been removed. The objective is to provide a CBD with features of phytocannabinoids and terpenes, yet effectively free of THC. This is ideal for anyone highly sensitive to THC or who wants to assure compliance with a drug test.

Currently, producers use one of two approaches to make broad-spectrum CBD. One involves taking full-spectrum CBD extract through complicated physical and/or chemical processes to remove THC.

Another approach begins with CBD isolate and involves adding terpenes and minor cannabinoids. This approach is likely to contain traces of THC at or below the 0.3 percent level that is allowed by federal law.

Relatively recent developments allowing for the creation of broad-spectrum CBD concentrate likely will become more refined. There remains opportunity for further innovation of technologies in search of the best ways of producing THC-free products with profiles with terpenes and phytocannabinoids.

Key Takeaways:

  • Offers whole plant benefits known as the entourage effect.
  • Has distinct hempy flavors and scents.
  • Even small amounts of THC, less than .3% by law, can trigger a positive drug test.

Which type of CBD is right for you?

With a better understanding of each type of CBD, you can choose what’s best for you. Each of the three main CBD concentrates offers benefits that are unique and have value. The best concentrate is whichever fits your needs and situation best.

If you’re concerned about failing a drug test, there is a possibility of a false-positive with any CBD products. Factors that contribute to a positive test include weight, metabolism, and genetics, among others. Discontinuing use, as well as exercise and drinking plenty of water, will help remove traces of THC within the body.

As research grows, guidance attuned for each may emerge. Until that time, experimenting with each might be the most enlightening approach.

Share your experience with different types of CBD. Drop us a line in the comments section and be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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