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

What is CBD?

CBD is short for “cannabidiol”- one of the many phytocannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant. A phytocannabinoid is simply a cannabinoid (compound) that is found naturally in cannabis.  These compounds interact with both the mind and body.

Does CBD Make You High?

CBD by itself does not make you high. However, there is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant called “THC” (short for Tetrahydrocannabinol) that is responsible for the high that people associate with cannabis. Oftentimes, there is confusion between CBD and THC, simply because they are derived from the same plant. In reality, these two cannabinoids are very different from one another, and cause drastically different effects when consumed. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a “high” or have any psychoactive (mind-altering) properties. In fact, CBD has actually been proven to reduce adverse side effects of THC. While THC can increase anxiety and decrease focus, CBD is known to reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation, among other benefits.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate refers to purified CBD that has been extracted from the cannabis plant and isolated from the other compounds in the plant. Because CBD isolate separates the CBD from the other parts of the plant, there is no THC or other phytocannabinoids in products with CBD isolate. Unfortunately, some companies do not always sell products that completely match the CBD and THC levels that they claim to have. For this reason, it is important to buy your CBD from a quality company (like Liiv Organics) that will be honest and ensure that you receive the highest quality products with the desired ingredients.

For a quality product containing isolate CBD, try Hempbase’s Mimosa Recover vape pen to provide an almost instantaneous muscle and mind relaxation. Great to use before heading to a stressful meeting or while stuck in traffic.

Additionally, it is important to note that CBD itself does not show up on drug tests. Rather, drug tests search for THC. Some full-spectrum products may contain trace amounts of THC that would cause an individual to test positive for THC. However, no drug tests search for CBD alone. If you are concerned with drug testing, we recommend you use an isolate-based product.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum refers to CBD extract that contains CBD in addition to all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant. As a result, most CBD products labeled “full-spectrum” will likely contain around 0.3% THC or less. This is a very small amount of THC and will not get you high (even if a large amount of full-spectrum CBD is ingested). Although there is no associated high with full-spectrum CBD products, there is still a chance that these products may cause the user to fail a drug test as a result of trace amounts of THC. Email us (at if you have any questions about what products are best for your situation.

Benefits of Full-Spectrum

Many people prefer to use full-spectrum CBD over CBD isolate due to the added nutritional boost of the other cannabinoids that are found in full-spectrum CBD. Full spectrum appears to have additional benefits as a result of the synergistic interactions between the various components of the hemp plant. In fact, research shows that the different plant components of hemp interact with one another to create an enhanced effect. This idea is known as the “entourage effect.”

An example of a high-quality product that uses full-spectrum CBD is Wildflower’s CBD Cool Stick. The Cool Stick is powerful topical for relieving pain and inflammation and is infused with 300mg of full-spectrum CBD.  

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD, since it contains other phytocannabinoids and terpenes, but any trace THC is removed. This means it is drug test safe and corporate safe, as it must contain zero THC. Any CBD products labeled as “broad spectrum” start out as full-spectrum but then undergo a process to remove the THC. As a result, these products may be “THC-free,” yet still contain many of the other cannabinoids and beneficial compounds that are associated with full-spectrum CBD.

For a quality product containing broad-spectrum CBD, try the Fresh Start or Galaxy Night blends by Liiv Organics. These oil tinctures contain 300mg of broad-spectrum CBD and are great for relieving symptoms of anxiety and stress. Since there is no THC, these broad spectrum CBD products are great options for government workers or anyone concerned with a drug test.

Hemp-Derived CBD

Hemp is a strain of cannabis sativa that has been bred for specific purposes including growing fibers for clothing as well as producing oils, ointments, and other products with nutritional benefits. According to the 2018 Farm Bill passed by the U.S. government, hemp-derived CBD is now legal in all 50 states. However, hemp and CBD products cannot contain any more than 0.3% THC. Therefore, in order to be classified as hemp, a strain must contain less than 0.3% THC. The term “hemp-derived CBD” simply means that CBD extract is derived from hemp and therefore contains less than 0.3% THC.

A Quick Summary

CBD isolate refers to CBD that is isolated from the other cannabinoids in cannabis and consequently is THC free and has no terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD refers to CBD that is extracted from the cannabis plant along with all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes (often including a trace amount of THC).  Broad-spectrum CBD refers to CBD that is extracted from the cannabis plant along with all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes, but the THC is removed. Finally, hemp-derived CBD refers to CBD that is extracted from the hemp plant and contains anywhere from 0.3% THC to zero THC. Whether you prefer isolated, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum CBD depends on your personal preference as well as the benefits you are looking to gain from using CBD.


Written by Skylar Angelovic


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