Medical CBD cannabis laboratory; CBD oil bottled in a test tube

CBD Isolate vs. CBD Full Spectrum - Differences, Manufacturing & Benefits

Published: 18.04.2023 (Updated: 17.07.2023)
Reading time: Min.
Dr. Harald Stephan
Dr. rer. medic. Harald Stephan
Health expert

CBD isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD - The most important facts at a glance!

  1. Cannabidiol can be produced from the hemp plant in its purest form. The crystals formed in this process are called isolate.
  2. With special procedures, other cannabinoids and terpenes are also preserved in the extract. They are important for the entourage effect.
  3. With all valuable ingredients, one speaks of full-spectrum CBD oil, with reduced content only of broad-spectrum CBD oil.
  4. Dilution in a carrier oil simplifies application in the form of drops.
  5. High-making THC may be present in a designated CBD oil and CBD flower only in harmless amounts.

CBD oil is commercially available as a natural remedy for stress, insomnia, anxiety and other ailments. There are a few things to keep in mind when buying CBD oil: There are not only various oils with different CBD contents on offer, but also CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD. What is this all about?

Why are there special CBD products at all?

CBD oil, CBD flowers... you constantly come across the abbreviation for cannabidiol in the trade. Such CBD products have the special cannabinoid in their name, because when isolating the ingredients from the hemp plant, special emphasis is placed on this very CBD.

But why not just take everything that is in hemp? The female hemp flowers are full of substances that have a healing effect and that humans have been using medicinally for at least 8,000 years.

The other cannabinoids would not only not be a problem, but even welcome - with exactly one exception: tetrahydrocannabidiol or THC. Unlike CBD, it is psychoactive - it can cause hallucinations. Therefore, one wants to get rid of it in the production of CBD oil. What remains at the end is below the legally prescribed limit of 0.2 percent THC. One would have to ingest inhumanly high amounts of such a CBD product to get high.

No matter which CBD products you use: They all contain as little THC as possible and do not make you high. They are still medically effective.

CBD-Destillat Maschine; reines CBD wird gewonnen, THC verdampft

What is a CBD distillate?

Smoking marijuana makes you high because cannabinoids are volatile. This vaporisation is an easy way to remove unwanted THC from hemp extract. This is done by distillation, similar to distilling liquor, where you heat the mash and separate the volatile alcohol in a cooling coil. The boiling points of the different cannabinoids differ enough to separate THC from the others. What comes out is called CBD distillate.

What types of CBD oil are there?

Once you have gotten rid of the THC in the CBD extract, you can continue with the further isolation of cannabidiol: Either you take the purification to the extreme and get pure CBD isolate, or you keep some of the valuable other active ingredients contained in the hemp flowers. Depending on how many these are, one speaks of broad-spectrum CBD or full-spectrum CBD. In the latter, everything is found in the hemp flowers - except THC.

The difference between the CBD products: CBD isolate contains practically pure CBD distillate, broad-spectrum CB D contains other ingredients from hemp and full-spectrum CBD contains the entire range of all cannabinoids.
reines CBD-Isolat zur Herstellung von CBD-Öl

What is CBD isolate?

Chemists are experts in isolating chemical substances. To purify cannabidiol, they make it form crystals. These are formed when CBD molecules arrange themselves in three dimensions. There is no room for anything else in this complex structure. In such a CBD isolate, cannabidiol is present in a highly pure form - analytically pure, as a chemist would say.

For researchers, such pure substances are important. In studies on CBD oil and other cannabinoids, they make sure that the observed effect is solely due to CBD and not to other substances.

What does full spectrum mean for CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains not only pure CBD, but also all other cannabinoids and active ingredients from hemp. That is quite a lot, because in the meantime more than 300 ingredients are known. Therefore, all secondary plant substances such as flavonoids and triterpenes, which also include cannabinoids, are preserved in full-spectrum oil.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is a middle ground between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil: depending on the product, it still contains active substances, but not all of them.

Lucky Hemp CBD-Vollspektrumöle

Why full-spectrum oil and not a pure CBD isolate?

Regardless of whether you want to buy broad-spectrum CBD or full-spectrum CBD, both are CBD oils. What you have painstakingly extracted from the hemp flowers as a CBD isolate is then dissolved in a carrier oil. Oil because cannabinoids are insoluble in water.

This also has practical reasons: Pure CBD isolate is so highly concentrated that you would have to unpack a scale accurate to the milligram every time you want to take CBD. This is far too inconvenient for home use. A solution as CBD oil for application, on the other hand, is totally simple.

What does the percentage of CBD oil mean?

Dissolving in a high-quality oil makes it possible to set a certain CBD concentration. This way, the user knows exactly how much cannabidiol he is ingesting with so and so many drops. This applies to both broad-spectrum CBD and full-spectrum CBD. In other words, dosing CBD this way is child's play.

A simple example: our popular 10% CBD oil contains at least 1000 mg CBD in ten millilitres, 30% CBD oil three times as much. This means: For the same amount of CBD, you only have to take a third of the more concentrated oil. In other words, there is three times as much of the active ingredient in the bottle.

Which CBD oil is the best?

It is not as easy to say as it is in research. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. There is evidence that the combination of all active ingredients in full-spectrum CBD oil helps with stress, anxiety and sleep disorders better than CBD isolate. You could say there is more to hemp than the sum of its cannabinoids, and together they are more effective than CBD alone.

What is the entourage effect?

The more than the sum of all parts is called the entourage effect. It has not yet been conclusively proven, but there is a lot to be said for it. What tastes and works better: chamomile tea made from the flowers or chamomile oil infused with hot water? With cannabis, one should expect something similar. Logically, the entourage effect should be best with full-spectrum oil, as we offer it.

It's the CBD quality that counts!

The bottom line is: the "best" CBD oil is the one with the best ingredients. When it comes to CBD, it makes a big difference whether you extract the entire hemp plant, stump and stem, and call the result full-spectrum CBD oil, as most manufacturers currently do, or whether you go to the trouble of extracting the pure female flowers. This is the case with our patented extraction process.

This is less productive than obscure pseudo-extracts and more expensive, but worth the effort. Because the hemp flowers contain the most active ingredients, and only with them can a true full-spectrum oil be achieved that actually contains all the ingredients you want when you buy it.

Conclusion on CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD and full spectrum CBD oil

Pure CBD isolates are more for studies, and broad-spectrum CBD means sacrificing valuable ingredients. That's why we only stock full-spectrum CBD oil, which are the most likely to be used for the entourage effect. Thanks to our extraction process, Lucky Hemp's CBD oils not only retain all the goodness from the hemp plant, but also the flavour and aroma.

Difficult to decide? We offer you the whole range:

Or if you want to test it first: We also carry trial sets with

and aroma oils with lemon, vanilla and almond, also available in a set with our full-spectrum CBD oils.

Perhaps your pet will also benefit from our CBD oils? We have two CBD oils especially for animals on offer, a bacon CB D oil and a salmon CBD oil. They are a natural alternative for dogs and cats, especially in cases of stress and pain.

Dr. Harald Stephan
Dr. rer. medic. Harald Stephan
Graduate Biologist, Medical Information Processing Officer and Doctor of Health Sciences
About the author

After studying in Saarbrücken, Dr Harald Stephan worked in research and teaching at the Universities of Marburg and Bochum as well as at the University Hospital in Essen before becoming a self-employed publicist in 2016. He sees acquiring and passing on knowledge as his life's work.

In addition to his publications on cell biology and tumour research in renowned specialist journals, hundreds of his articles on health topics can be found on the internet. In them, he explains the causes of diseases, laboratory values, diagnoses as well as traditional and novel therapy options.