test-The Difference Between CBD Isolate & Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Extract
Vitamins & Supplements
The Difference Between CBD Isolate & Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Extract
Lindsey Toth, MS, RD • June 23, 2022

How CBD Isolate and Full-Spectrum CBD Hemp Extracts Differ

Plenty of health-conscious people are interested in exploring the exciting world of CBD hemp extracts, but at first glance it can be a little overwhelming.

There are countless companies offering a wide variety of CBD hemp extract-based products in all forms, including hemp-derived CBD oils, and it can be difficult to decipher the differences and know which ones are trustworthy.

When searching for the best CBD hemp extract product, you may see the words “CBD isolate” or “full spectrum CBD” come up often.

These are two different types of hemp-derived CBD, and understanding how they differ will help you get that much closer to picking the right CBD hemp extract product for you.

Hemp Plant Components

First things first: the hemp plant is a member of the cannabis family and contains a variety of phytochemicals including cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds.1

CBD is just one of the cannabinoids present, but it’s typically bioavailable in the highest quantities, as compared to other cannabinoids.

The process by which CBD is extracted from the plant is what classifies a product as either CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD.2

CBD Isolate

Like its name suggests, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD hemp extract.

Via a vaporization process or chromatography, CBD molecules are isolated from all other cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp plant to deliver a 99% pure CBD with low to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.

CBD isolate products typically come in the form of a white powder or a mix of the powder and a carrier oil like medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil to help you digest it more efficiently.

Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Extract

On the other hand, full spectrum CBD hemp extract honors the natural composition of the hemp plant and distills all occurring cannabinoids (including CBD) and terpenes.

Different full spectrum CBD hemp extract products, including hemp-derived CBD oil and hemp-derived CBD gummies, can contain varying amounts of CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes because not all hemp plants, nor how they are processed, are uniformly identical.

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If you found this article to be helpful, you might also enjoy The Science of the Endocannabinoid System and 8 Ways to Use Hemp for Mind, Body & Home. Also, be sure to sign up for Swanson Health Emails to get expert wellness advice and our best promotions in your inbox

Lindsey Bristol, Swanson Health Products

About Lindsey Toth, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health Products

Lindsey is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for pie. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food.

Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


1. The Plant of a Thousand and One Molecules. National Library of Medicine. Read source

2. Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum, vs. CBD Isolate. CBD Origin. Read source