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Isolate vs Full Spectrum

Chances are you've heard the terms isolate and full spectrum being tossed around somewhere these days. These two terms most commonly reference cannabis products but what's the difference between isolate and full spectrum? It sounds confusing and can be, but it doesn't have to be.

The science behind how these two types of cannabis products come to be is complex. Let’s take away some of the confusion behind the science to make these two terms make sense. Together, we’ll explore isolate cannabis and full spectrum cannabis to discover the differences between the two.

First, we’ll dive into the short of what isolate is. Next, we’ll explore full spectrum to see what all it has to offer. You’ll find links to some creditable studies on both isolate and full spectrum highlighted in the terms throughout this article. Get ready, it’s time to learn what isolate and full spectrum are.


The process to make CBD isolate starts the same as other extraction methods but requires a much more detailed process. Isolate cannabis products are pretty much what it sounds like, it’s isolated cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the compounds found in cannabis like THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and others. Most commonly, cannabidiol or CBD is the compound in cannabis that is isolated. This gives manufacturers of CBD products the ability to take cannabinoids like THC, CBG, CBN, and others out of the equation altogether. When CBD is produced into isolate, the end result is 99% pure CBD.

CBD isolate has been considered to be the gold standard for research for many years. Science looks at it as CBD in its isolated form creates the grounds to understand what the compound is capable of. This seems logical but, what if by isolating CBD, you hamper its ability to work optimally? This is where the idea of many different cannabinoids working together comes into the picture. When a cannabis product contains a wide variety of cannabinoids it is referred to as full spectrum.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum is the term used to reference cannabis products that contain many different cannabinoids. A full spectrum cannabis product will be rich in THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, CBV, and other essential cannabinoids found in cannabis. For those who have concerns with THC or those who can’t have THC in their system because of work, full spectrum products are out of the question.

New research suggests that full spectrum cannabis extract may be more efficient than isolate cannabis at helping consumers achieve their desired goals. Full spectrum cannabis products are not only rich in cannabinoids, but they’re also rich in valuable terpenes too. Together, terpenes and cannabinoids work to facilitate a healthy endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for helping many essential body functions. Experts are even refereeing to the ECS as the “bridge between mind and body”.

In conclusion, isolate cannabis is a product like CBD that is 99% pure. Full spectrum cannabis refers to cannabis products containing terpenes THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and other cannabinoids. If you have to avoid THC, avoid full spectrum cannabis products. Otherwise they are highly recommend as they have much more to offer than products that only contain a single isolated compound.