January 23, 2021

Different Types of CBD: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum & Isolate

Not all CBD is created equal. To be a savvy buyer, it’s a good idea to know what to shop for. To be a smart CBD user, it’s absolutely critical that you know what you’re consuming.

That’s why we’ve prepared this CBD primer. You’ll learn:

  • What the three different kinds of CBD are.
  • About the pros and cons of each type of CBD.
  • Why you may want a particular kind of CBD over the other types.


CBD, A Brief Overview

Before jumping into the different varieties of CBD, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page as to what CBD is.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of at least 400 cannabinoids that’re found in the Cannabis sativa L. plant species. (THC is another cannabinoid; you may have heard something about it….) While CBD can come from the hemp or marijuana varieties of cannabis, it’s more abundant in hemp.

In addition to cannabinoids, CBD is chock full of other good stuff. Like terpenes and flavonoids. All of these compounds can produce therapeutic benefits. Studies, while limited, are continually finding new evidence showing how CBD may help with a vast array of mental and physical health conditions.

There are three types of CBD. Each kind has unique properties — like how much THC and other cannabinoids it contains. These differences result from how the CBD’s processed.


CBD Type #1: Full-Spectrum CBD

Its name pretty much gives you a huge clue about this kind of CBD. Nothing’s taken out. Full-spectrum CBD has a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

Most notably, in addition to CBD, full-spectrum contains a certain amount of THC. The amount of THC depends on the CBD’s source. CBD sourced from marijuana has more THC than its hemp counterpart. Because full-spectrum CBD contains THC, it could exceed the federal THC allowance of 0.3% or less.

Pros of Full-Spectrum CBD

One of the biggest benefits of full-spectrum CBD is that its effects might be more potent than other types of CBD. This is attributed to what’s known as the “entourage effect.” This is just a fancy term that suggests that your CBD may work better when teamed up with all the other compounds in the CBD.

  • This synergy could boost the cannabidiol’s effectiveness for some people or conditions.
  • This form of CBD might also be beneficial for or desirable to those who like or want the effects of THC.

Another positive is that full-spectrum CBD may be less processed than other forms of CBD. This is because the manufacturer is trying to preserve the THC (and other compounds) in the CBD oil. Minimal processing could also mean that your CBD is less adulterated and is closer to its natural form. (Processing often involves adding chemical or mechanical processes that can degrade the quality of the CBD or introduce other elements — like impurities — that you don’t want in your CBD.)

There are plenty of full-spectrum CBD products on the market. So, the sheer availability of this kind of CBD might be a good thing to you.

Cons of Full-Spectrum CDB

Remember all that lack of processing? Well, by not taking out other substances from the CBD, you’re also retaining the elements that can influence the CBD’s flavor and smell. Full-spectrum CBD can have a strong taste and odor — sometimes described as weedy, skunky or “natural” — which may be a turn off for some. It also means that full-spectrum CBD may be harder to disguise in recipes.

Plus, with the THC still in the CBD extract:

  • Your products may not be legal.
  • You might feel the “high” associated with THC. This is an unpleasant or undesirable sensation for lots of folks.
  • Your chances of having a positive drug test increase.


CBD Type #2: Broad-Spectrum CBD

Again, the name kind of gives it away. Like full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD has a diversity and abundance of cannabinoids and other compounds. The major difference between the two kinds of CBD: the quantity of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD is manipulated to remove or reduce the amount of THC.

Pros of Broad-Spectrum CDB

The absence of THC is an attractive feature for many consumers. Processing the THC out of broad-spectrum CBD is done for a few key reasons:

  1. It keeps the CBD extract within the federally legal 0-0.3% THC allowance. This can make it easier to travel with your CBD products. It may also reduce the possibility of a positive drug test.
  2. It maintains the “synergistic effect.” By reserving a tiny amount of THC and/or the many other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids still packed into the CBD, your broad-spectrum CBD products could work more efficiently and effectively.
  3. It eliminates the potential for psychoactive effects. With little or no THC, you won’t get “high.”.

Additionally, broad-spectrum CBD is less processed than Isolate CBD.

Cons of Broad-Spectrum CDB

The two main drawbacks to broad-spectrum CBD are similar to the cons of full-spectrum CBD. And, they’re somewhat subjective. Broad-spectrum CBD can:

  • Have unappealing flavors or aromas. Broad-spectrum CBD doesn’t weed out all the compounds — terpenes and flavonoids — that determine the smell and taste profile of your CBD.
  • Still be illegal in some states. You need to check laws in your state and any states you might travel to with your CBD products.

Consumers who like the psychoactive effects of THC might also give broad-spectrum CBD a thumbs down.

Pure Craft’s Premium Broad-Spectrum CBD

All of Pure Craft’s CBD products are made with their nano-optimized (making the cannabinoids smaller for max absorption) broad-spectrum CBD. Our CBD comes from high-grade American hemp and is repeatedly tested for quality. This is a boon for you because you’re getting:

If all that weren’t enough, how about this? Pure Craft also offers great value for your CBD dollars, excellent service and generous policies. You’ll enjoy our great CBD products and your online shopping experience!


CBD Type #3: Isolate CBD

Isolate CBD is CBD all by itself. It’s the cheapest and easiest type of CBD to produce because only one compound is being extracted. Perhaps because of this, isolate dominates the marketplace.

Pros of Isolate CDB

With all the benefits of CBD’s fellow cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, you may wonder why anyone would choose the version with all that good stuff stripped away? Here are some upsides to isolate CBD:

  • There’s no THC. So, no psychoactive effects, no risk of a positive drug test.
  • It’s also free of other impurities. The processes used to isolate the CBD separate out all the other components so you’re left with just the crystalized cannabidiol.
  • It’s relatively tasteless and odorless. Without the terpenes and flavonoids, this version of CBD is fairly bland and versatile. This can make it easier to tolerate or incorporate into products or recipes.

Isolate CBD can be a good option for those who don’t want or can’t have other compounds found in full- or broad-spectrum CBD. CBD “beginners” sometimes gravitate towards isolate because it seems simpler.

Cons of Isolate CDB

The negatives associated with isolate CBD aren’t shockers. Isolate CBD:

  • Is highly processed. There are different methods for sequestering the CBD, but all transform the CBD so that it’s farther from its natural state. Furthermore, not all extraction methods are of equal caliber.
  • May not be as effective as other forms of CBD. Isolate doesn’t have an “entourage effect.”
  • Could be illegal in your state. Just like with broad-spectrum CBD, isolate may be federally legal while still being illicit in certain states.
  • Cheapest priced CBD on the market. Due to its ease of extraction and simple manufacturing process.

Another thing to be wary of is false or misleading product labeling. You need to make sure that something tagged as Isolate CBD is truly devoid of THC and other substances. Also Isolate CBD being claimed as full or broad spectrum CBD.



There are three main types of CBD:

  • Full-spectrum: Contains all the cannabinoids (including THC), terpenes and flavonoids
  • Broad-spectrum: Contains all the cannabinoids (excluding THC), terpenes and flavonoids
  • Isolate: Contains just cannabidiol

They differ in the amount of THC and other cannabis compounds that accompany the CBD and the extraction techniques used. These differences yield CBD that may be more or less appropriate or desirable for your unique needs and preferences.

In addition to THC content, the various forms of CBD diverge in other ways like:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency
  • Legality
  • Smell and taste
  • Versatility
  • Cost
  • Availability

Our recommendation for shoppers is to figure out what you want and need from your CBD, then look around the marketplace for best-of-class products. If quality focused, highly absorbable, broad-spectrum CBD is for you, give Pure Craft’s superior products a try — you’ll be delighted!



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