Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum & Isolate: What do the different spectrums mean?


As you’re sifting through websites and articles browsing for your soon to be new daily CBD product you see full spectrum on one bottle, broad spectrum on another and isolate on yet another with little to no explanation of what these spectrums are and how to choose. It can be maddening! To help alleviate some of that overwhelmed energy when searching for your best fit let’s walk through what each spectrum contains and why you may choose one over the other.


Let’s start with full spectrum. Products containing a full spectrum extract will contain all phytocannabinoids including .3% or less THC. Something to keep in mind is that there may be some variety in the way companies define “full spectrum”. Meaning, some products will claim full spectrum and contain all phytocannabinoids but may also include the terpenes and other compounds found in the hemp plant. Both are accepted definitions just read a bit to know what you’re getting! Kao offers full spectrum products that include all phytocannabinoids, no terpenes.

When our endocannabinoid systems (ECS) is stimulated by all phytocannabinoids, we experience what is referred to as the “entourage effect”. The entourage effect refers to the synergistic interaction of all phytocannabinoids, which inspires a deeper physiological response than if any single cannabinoid was consumed on its own


Broad spectrum is a fantastic middle ground for many people! Broad spectrum products contain all of the hemp plants phytocannabinoids with the exception of THC. This gives the opportunity for you to experience the “entourage effect” without any weary feelings regarding THC. Also may be more suitable for younger consumers or someone easing into the world of CBD and cannabinoids.


Last but not least (kinda) is isolate, and I say “kinda” because technically a CBD isolate does contain the “least” cannabinoids. Isolate means CBD only, that is the only phytocannabinoid present in an isolated product. Some newbies opt for isolate products as a way to “dip their toe in” before jumping into a full spectrum full force. This is also a safe option for first responders and others in a professional field that does not allow the use of THC and administers drug tests. The entourage effect is phenomenal but keep in mind, CBD is a powerhouse all on it’s own!

Choosing your best fit ultimately boils down to your reason for use and preference. There are many ways to determine what may be best for your specific needs but as always, every body is different. Hopefully this breakdown has helped provide more clarity when browsing for your new CBD/cannabinoid routine. Kao carries products in all spectrums to cater to a bit of everyone. If looking for a bit more guidance, check out the wheel chart below from Leafly!


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