Broad-Spectrum CBD vs. Full-Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate: Which is Better and Why?

Broad-Spectrum CBD vs. Full-Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate: Which is Better and Why?

Over the past several years, the CBD industry has ballooned to almost $5 billion in value, and projections indicate that this number will only continue its rapid rise. Despite this, public understanding of CBD-based products has continued to lag behind, and many would-be customers are left wondering whether a CBD product might improve their lives and, more importantly, how to choose the best one for their situation.

In this article, we'll outline the most important differences between the three types of CBD most commonly used in over-the-counter products today in an attempt to settle the debate of broad- and full-spectrum CBD vs. CBD isolate.

By the time you're done reading, you'll have all the information you need to move forward and find the best CBD products the industry has to offer.

CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum: Pros and Cons

CBD products generally use one of three types of CBD to achieve their effects, and it's important for you to understand the pros and cons of each before deciding what type of CBD supplement to purchase.

CBD Isolate

Put simply, CBD isolate is pure CBD without any of the THC, terpenes, or other cannabinoids that you would find in broad- or full-spectrum CBD products. While this is neither strictly worse nor better, it may offer certain benefits and drawbacks depending on your needs.


  • Has a milder, more pleasant flavor than either broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD
  • Contains fewer overall ingredients to minimize potential reactions
  • May be better for those with sensitive stomachs
  • Is completely THC-free and cannot give false positives on drug tests


  • Does not produce the "entourage effect"
  • May require slightly higher doses to achieve effects

Full-Spectrum CBD

Products like full-spectrum CBD oil contain all of the naturally-occurring cannabis compounds outlined in the section above, including a non-negligible amount of THC. Although this can mean more pronounced effects, it also comes with certain drawbacks that you should consider before buying a full-spectrum CBD product.


  • Generally more potent due to the "entourage effect"
  • Takes effect slightly faster than CBD isolates


  • Usually has a pronounced earthy or bitter flavor
  • More likely to produce side effects due to the presence of multiple compounds
  • More likely to produce a false positive on a drug test

Broad-Spectrum CBD

A product like broad-spectrum CBD oil falls squarely between CBD isolate and full-spectrum options. Like full-spectrum products, broad-spectrum CBD contains multiple terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. That said, broad-spectrum CBD, by definition, does not contain any THC.


  • Produces the entourage effect, though in a weaker way than with full-spectrum CBD
  • Will not trigger a false positive on drug tests


  • Comes with the same strong, unpleasant flavor as full-spectrum CBD
  • More complex compound list may increase side effects
  • Rarer and typically more expensive than either CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD

What Plant Compounds are in the Cannabis Plant?

Over the past several decades, scientists have begun to identify the different compounds within the cannabis plant responsible for its profound health benefits. Even so, understanding among the general public is typically limited to CBD and THC.

To improve your knowledge of the various cannabis plant compounds, we'll give a basic description of each.


CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the primary compounds found within the hemp plant. Unlike THC, CBD produces no psychoactive effects, which is one of the reasons why hemp-derived CBD has been legalized at the federal level since 2018.

While it does not give the "high" associated with THC, CBD does offer extensive health benefits ranging from seizure prevention to reducing anxiety and regulating pain. For these reasons, many companies have begun offering CBD products to address a variety of common health conditions.


THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most widely recognized of the 113 cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. While it has documented medical benefits for things such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and suppressed appetite, its legality still varies depending on state law and is illegal under federal law.

Still, full-spectrum CBD products are allowed to contain up to 0.3% within the United States before they become illegal to sell.


Terpenes are chemical compounds responsible for giving trees, flowers, fruits, and other plants their smells. Historically, terpenes have been used to produce perfumes and other fragrant oils, and therapeutic essential oils have seen a massive rise in popularity over the past several years.

Even beyond most other plants, however, cannabis is especially terpene-dense. As research continues into the potential value of cannabis compounds, more discoveries are being made about specific terpenes and the health benefits they may offer.


Flavonoids are antioxidant-rich compounds commonly found within fruits and other plants and are divided into six distinct categories: flavonols, flavan-3-ols, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, and anthocyanins. While specific functions vary depending on category and source, flavonoids generally work to regulate the function of cells, prevent inflammation, and boost antioxidant levels.

Other Cannabinoids

Studies into cannabis are still fairly new, and other cannabis plant compounds are being explored with growing intensity. As time goes on, it may be that researchers identify other cannabinoids or combinations of them with medical uses, but it's best to stick with CBD products that use only the safest, most well-researched ingredients.

What is the Entourage Effect?

In scientific terms, the entourage effect is when terpenes and cannabinoids work together to produce greater benefits than either compound would on its own. While this generally means a more potent effect than that provided by products using only CBD, it also introduces more chemicals and, therefore, a greater risk of potential reactions.

What to Look for in CBD Products

No matter what type of CBD you ultimately choose, it's essential to look for companies and brands that meet certain standards. In our experience, the following are some of the most important features when deciding whether to trust a line of CBD products:

US-Based Sourcing

Unfortunately, many CBD companies outside the US maintain looser standards and safety regulations than are ideal. For that reason, we suggest only purchasing your CBD from US-based companies with a proven track record of providing high-quality service and products.

Organic Ingredients

Just like with the produce you would buy from your grocery store, it's best to choose CBD extracted from organically grown hemp. That way, you avoid any pesticides or harmful chemicals that may taint a company's final product.

Third-Party Testing

When it comes to ensuring potency and purity, nothing comes close to the value of third-party testing—which is every product in our line of Süth CBD supplements undergoes rigorous testing in third-party labs.

Transparent Labeling

Often, companies will attempt to mislead or confuse potential customers with long, unnecessarily wordy labels and ingredient lists. While this may look impressive on packaging, it's usually done to hide sub-par quality or flaws, so look for products with transparent labels and branding.

Minimal Additives

As with any kind of supplement, unnecessary additives are something to avoid when shopping for CBD products. Look for brands that use no fillers, no sugar, and only the most useful ingredients when designing their formulas.

Why Wellgenix Uses CBD Isolate

While developing our Süth line of CBD supplements, we could have taken the easy way out by using full-spectrum CBD. It would have been easier to source, less expensive for us to produce, and simpler to package. That said, our research told us that many would-be customers were trying—and struggling—to find clean, reliable products that used only CBD, whether because they were concerned about the effects of trace THC or had experienced negative side effects with full- and broad-spectrum brands.

Today, each of our Süth products uses only the purest CBD isolate possible in doses substantial enough to produce powerful benefits. By focusing on purity, we can provide you with some of the best results and lowest risk possible.