Difference Between Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. Isolate

by Matt Weik

Hemp oil, different from hemp seed oil, comes from hemp, a cannabis plant similar to marijuana, however containing less than .3%  tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, which is the chemical that makes people “high”) as defined by the 2018 Farm Bill. By having lower amounts of THC the hemp plant has higher amounts of other cannabinoids such Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN) which all have various health benefits being studied.

In your search for the perfect hemp oil, you may have come across various spectrums of oil, mainly full-spectrum hemp oil, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Understanding these names is essential for you to make an informed choice about what you are consuming and why you are using hemp oil in the first place.

In this article, we will look at the differences between sources, which is best, and why you should consider using it as part of your daily health and supplement routine.

Is Hemp Oil Good for You?

Hemp oil has become quite popular over the years as a remedy for various conditions, including stress and skin issues. It may consist of properties that help reduce the risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to that, hemp oil also has large amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which are unsaturated fats (good fats), and all nine essential amino acids, which help your body recover from things such as exercise and stress.

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate: What’s the Difference?

There are three types of cannabinoid spectrum choices: full-spectrum hemp oil, broad-spectrum hemp oil, and CBD isolate. Each one has its own unique benefits, which all depend on your personal preferences.

If you are using a hemp product, it is one of the most basic steps to know what type of hemp you are searching for. Even though it may seem complicated, the significant difference, for the most part, lies in the extraction process of hemp oil.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

One of the simple ways to keep in mind the difference between full-spectrum hemp oil and, say, for example, CBD isolate is that full-spectrum has the full array of cannabinoids and other essential plant compounds that can be found in the hemp plant.

It is called “full-spectrum” because it has a full range of cannabinoids. Full-spectrum types of CBD extracts are one of the most common types of cannabis used for medical purposes. In full-spectrum hemp oil, nothing is left behind — everything goes in it. It is important to take into consideration that full-spectrum hemp oil may have tiny amounts of THC. However, the amount of THC is way below the legally required 0.3% THC, so it will not cause any type of psychoactive behavior.

The active compounds extracted from hemp and put inside full-spectrum CBD work together to improve the benefits triggered by the individual cannabinoids. When the compounds, along with the cannabinoids, work collaboratively like this, they produce the entourage effect.

What is the Entourage Effect?

Full-spectrum hemp oil contains all the plant compounds that can be naturally found in the hemp plant. You may also find other cannabinoids such as CBC and CBG, along with terpenes, which is a unique smell found in a lot of plants, foods, and flowers. This combination of chemicals is known as “The Entourage Effect.”

It is the combination of all the plant compounds found in the full-spectrum hemp oil that work together to intensify the impact of the compounds. The hemp plant contains more than 400 different compounds. Some may consider this plant to be a superfood if you consume it in its raw state. The Entourage Effect matters a lot because the benefits cannot happen in a single-molecule hemp oil like CBD isolate, where the only compound one can find in the entire product is Cannabidiol.

What is Broad-Spectrum Hemp Oil?

Broad-spectrum hemp oil is a mix between isolate and full-spectrum hemp oil. Similar to full-spectrum, the other compounds found in the plant are preserved in the extract. However, THC is completely removed from broad-spectrum CBD as it contains multiple cannabinoids. It can deliver improved benefits of the Entourage Effect without any risk of psychoactive THC effects.

Whenever you look for broad-spectrum hemp oil, make sure that the product provides third-party batch test results to know precisely what is in the oil. This type of hemp oil offers the best of both worlds as you receive the benefits of the entire CBD extract without any risk of the THC “highness.”

What is Isolate?

In scientific terms, isolate means the purest form of any compound that comes by singularly extracting the compound from its environment. Isolate hemp oil is the purest form of hemp obtained by eliminating all other compounds (flavonoids, plant parts, terpenes, and other cannabinoids).

CBD isolate is mostly extracted from hemp, as it has almost a non-existent THC content. It is generally a higher concentration, but that does not mean it is better or more beneficial. In fact, making an isolate means that there is more processing necessary to get the finished product.

Why is Full Spectrum Hemp Oil better?

In a 2018 study, it was found that full-spectrum hemp oil is more effective for pain than isolate hemp oil is. It is also less processed and more natural than the isolate variety you’ll find on the market.

Full-spectrum CBD extracts have all the compounds that naturally occur in the cannabis plant, which includes trace amounts of THC. This can be beneficial if you are looking for therapeutic benefits of hemp oil but want to avoid the effects of THC.

If you are looking for a health boost from hemp and want to avoid THC, you can go for broad-spectrum. But, if you don’t mind a trace amount of THC and want to get more benefits out of your hemp oil, then full-spectrum hemp oil should be your ultimate choice. The THC present in full-spectrum is less than 0.3%, so you will not have any psychoactive symptoms associated with higher amounts of THC.

When choosing types of hemp oil, neither of the types is better than the others. It all depends on the way the extract has been processed and its overall effect on the body. Full-spectrum hemp oil is the most naturally processed extract of hemp oil, so if you had to choose one to supplement with, you now have your answer.