August 26, 2022 5 min read


According to Li et al. (2021), CBD oil is a popular health and wellness supplement with multiple anecdotal wellness benefits such as pain and anxiety relief. It is manufactured by infusing hemp compound extracts with organic carrier oils.

There are three main strains of CBD oil; CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD oil. The difference mainly lies in the component profile of each. CBD isolate contains pure CBD, while full and broad-spectrum CBD oils contain additional compounds and terpenes from the hemp or cannabis plant. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains the psychoactive compound THC, while broad-spectrum CBD oils typically lack THC. This article compares the pure CBD isolate oil against the more comprehensive Full-spectrum CBD oil.

CBD Isolate

It contains pure CBD as the sole hemp-based compound, although some isolate products may contain additional nutritional components that are not hemp-related. It is a highly processed product to ensure the total purity of the CBD extract from any form of contamination. Notably, extraction methods such as the CO2 extraction method are preferred in the manufacturing of CBD oil to ensure clean, potent uncontaminated extracts. CBD isolate oil is strictly non-psychedelic, as it exclusively contains pure CBD with no trace of THC. This product offers the exclusive benefits of CBD oil with no potential additional benefits. It is the perfect choice for people who prefer the pure CBD experience or first-time CBD users who require pure CBD effects without the interference of other components.

Full-spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains every natural chemical compound, terpene, and cannabinoid found in the hemp plant, including delicate natural components. This includes compounds such as CBN, CBG, CBC, and CBD. The full-spectrum CBD oil also contains psychoactive THC in minimal amounts. Legal law restricts THC content in hemp products to 0.3%. Essential terpenes such as myrcene, linalool, and pinene are also contained in full-spectrum CBD oil. They work together to deliver collective wellness benefits. This results in the entourage effect. Full-spectrum CBD oil mostly utilizes the hydrocarbon extraction method, allowing the tweaking of hemp extracts.

CBD Isolate vs. Full-spectrum CBD Oil

CBD isolate oil is good for a pure CBD experience. CBD users are curious to explore the effects of CBD without interference from other compounds; CBD isolate oil offers the exclusive benefits of CBD. However, CBD isolate oil is subjected to extensive processing and refinement. The upside is that you get clean, uncontaminated CBD in the isolate oil. On the other hand, the downside is that most of the delicate natural hemp-based components related to CBD are eliminated. Full-spectrum CBD oil is subjected to very little processing. As a result, it retains most of its natural and delicate inherent compounds. The minimal processing also ensures that the product remains largely natural, closer to the raw plant extract. This explains the strong, earthy taste and odor of full-spectrum CBD oil, which is the opposite of the plain, almost tasteless nature of CBD isolate oil.

Komarnytsky et al. (2021) indicated that Full-spectrum CBD oil holds more potential wellness benefits than CBD isolate oil. This is because the multiple inherent compounds provide varied potential benefits. These compounds work together to produce comprehensive effects in a single dose, called the entourage effect. CBD isolate oil lacks the entourage effect, unlike the full-spectrum CBD oil, but it only contains a single hemp-based cannabinoid. In addition, full-spectrum CBD oil is more potent in dosage than CBD isolate oil. This is mainly attributed to the wide phytocannabinoid profile of full-spectrum products. CBD isolate oil requires larger doses to potentially feel the effects of CBD for various ailments, such as pain relief. This may prove quite extravagant compared to full-spectrum CBD oil, which is effectively efficient at moderate doses. Therefore, full-spectrum CBD oil is the better option if you need to use your CBD oil sparingly and still get the most effects out of it.

According to Madras (2016), full-spectrum CBD oil contains THC, typically psychoactive, and poses a possible risk of substance dependency. The THC content in full-spectrum CBD products is insignificant and generally harmless. Still, if you prefer zero THC intake, choose CBD isolate. On the other hand, if you prefer the multi-beneficial effects of full-spectrum CBD oil but want to keep the THC intake at bay, consider trying out broad-spectrum CBD oil, which is technically a middle ground between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil.

Broad-spectrum CBD Oil

De Assis et al. (2021) outlined the health benefits of broad-spectrum CBD oil for CBD users. Broad-spectrum CBD oil is typically THC-free whole-plant hemp CBD oil. It contains most of the components found in full-spectrum CBD oil, but it is characteristically stripped of THC content. Broad-spectrum CBD oil is processed to remove tetrahydrocannabinol so one can obtain whole-plant hemp benefits without any exposure to potential psychedelic effects or intoxication. Trace amounts of THC may be found in broad-spectrum CBD oil. This type of CBD oil is designed to offer the benefits of full-spectrum CBD for people who are THC-intolerant.

How to Choose CBD Oil

Quality and safety are the most important factors when choosing a CBD oil product. Whether CBD isolate or full-spectrum, poor quality CBD oil delivers weak or no effects. Moreover, poor-quality CBD oil may have immediate and long-term adverse reactions for you. Always look for well-priced CBD oil with COA-backed evidence of additional testing for quality and safety by an ISO-certified independent lab. CBD oil affects individual users differently. Do proper background research to pick the right type and potency for your needs.


Full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate oils are among the major types of CBD oil. They differ mainly based on component structure. CBD isolate oil contains a single hemp-based cannabinoid, CBD. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains a variety of other cannabinoids from the hemp plant, including THC, in legally regulated quantities. It also contains beneficial terpenes such as myrcene and beta-caryophyllene. CBD isolate oil offers only the benefits of pure CBD, while full-spectrum CBD oil offers a wide variety of potential hemp plant benefits. Full-spectrum CBD oil is less processed; hence it is more natural than CBD isolate oil, which is extensively refined. The dosage potency is higher in full-spectrum CBD oil than in CBD isolate oil. This makes it more efficient in smaller doses, making it a more economical option. Both CBD oils are effective supplements depending on your desired benefits, provided you get a quality product.


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