If you’re new to the world of CBD, then it can be tricky to work out what all the new terms and lingo mean! One of the most confusing features of CBD products is whether they use CBD Isolate or Full Spectrum CBD. As a new CBD user, you are unlikely to have come across these terms before, let alone understand what they mean or which you should be taking.

A Guide to Full Spectrum CBD

CBD Isolate and Full Spectrum CBD – What’s The Difference

Hemp is a member of the Cannabis family which also includes Marijuana. Members of this family contain large numbers of cannabinoid compounds, of which CBD is just one. Within the hemp plant, CBD is the most common of the cannabinoids present.
Many CBD oils and other CBD products, such as balms or edibles, use a purified extract that includes only CBD. When a product is stated as containing CBD isolate, this is what it is referring to.

Full spectrum CBD products contain all the cannabinoid compounds found in hemp, of which there are over 80. In many instances, only trace levels may be present. One example being Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in Marijuana.

Which type of CBD product you should use is, of course, down to personal taste. However, there is a growing body of research backed evidence that suggests CBD works better when used in conjunction with other cannabinoid compounds.

What the Research Says

A study, carried out in 2015 by the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology found that the beneficial effects of full spectrum CBD to be higher than those from CBD isolate. The study reported that the CBD isolate plateaued after dosage threshold. However, the full spectrum CBD products worked in tandem to increase the relief felt by the user.

This ‘working together’ of the cannabinoid compounds is known as the entourage effect. Full spectrum CBD has fewer side effects and achieves better results through a process known as phytocannabinoid-terpenoid exchanges. Put simply; the cannabinoid compounds support one another. This means that lower dosages are needed when taking full spectrum CBD than for those using the isolate version.

Why Use CBD Isolate Then?

You may be wondering why any products still use CBD isolate instead of full spectrum.

In many countries, products containing even trace elements of THC are not permitted. THC is the psychoactive compound found in Marijuana, and as such, is covered by zero tolerance drug laws in many places.

Some users are also not comfortable taking a product that contains THC, even at trace levels, and are therefore happy to stick to the CBD isolate version.

Isolate CBD also has no taste, which makes it ideal for adding to edibles, drinks products and CBD e-liquids. Full spectrum CBD has a distinctive flavour which, for some people, can be very unpleasant. Using CBD isolate in an oil makes the product a lot more palatable.


Whether you select CBD isolate or Full Spectrum CBD products will come down to personal preference. Of course, if you live in a country which does not permit any THC, then the decision has been made for you.

Whichever you go for ensure you choose a reputable brand from a supplier you can trust. Check the ingredients carefully and do your research into strengths and dosages. If in any doubt, always seek professional medical advice before starting to use CBD products.