CBD Isolate VS. Full Spectrum: What is the 'Entourage Effect'

Updated: Apr 2

If you are somewhat familiar with Cannabidiol (CBD) then you have probably heard terms like ‘isolate’, ‘full spectrum’ and ‘entourage effect’. These terms are tossed around constantly by salespeople, marketing materials and brand ambassadors but what do they actually mean? We at RopaNa are here to help make these terms clear and concise for all to easily understand!

Getting To Know CBD Isolates

CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like: CBD isolated from hemp plants reaching purity of 95-99.9%. Isolate is as pure as CBD can get and it contains essentially nothing else at all, no contaminates and no additional plant compounds including other cannabinoids (THC, CBN, CBG, CBC etc.). This material is a white crystalline/powder in consistency and looks nothing like most plant extracts.

Benefits of CBD Isolates

CBD isolate looks different because they undergo a more complex production process that results in a higher purity, more refined product. There are a few reasons that people prefer CBD isolate over full spectrum, but the most abundant reason is the fact that CBD isolate products are 100% THC free.

THC is the active component of cannabis that is intoxicating. Full spectrum hemp products are allowed to contain up to 0.3% THC as defined in the 2018 Farm Bill. As such people who are drug tested for their job or any reason can use a CBD isolate product without any concern of failing a drug screen.

Another advantage of being THC free is that people who are very sensitive to THC and experience sleepiness or slight intoxication from even a very small amount of THC can use an isolated product without any of those issues.

What Are Full Spectrum Extracts?

Full spectrum extracts (FSE) refers to an extract of hemp that contains a wide range of bioactive components including minor cannabinoids like CBN, CBG and CBC; terpenes, fats, waxes, chlorophyll and many other compounds. Full spectrum CBD extract contains anywhere from 60-75% CBD with the remaining percentage being made up of the molecules previously mentioned.

The Entourage Effect At Play

Cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are just a few compounds found in cannabis.

There is a phenomena called ‘the entourage effect' that’s currently being studied. This idea postulates that cannabinoids—when combined with the other compounds in cannabis like terpenes, fats, chlorophyll and waxes—all work together synergistically so that full spectrum extracts are more effective than CBD isolate. That’s why we often hear people take lower doses of Full Spectrum CBD extract products when compared to CBD isolate based ones.

Terpenes are one of the most beneficial compounds preserved in a FSE. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants that imbue them with their distinct smells and characteristics. They form the basis of aromatherapy and are responsible for all smells and flavors on earth. Found abundantly throughout nature, terpenes are also the reason why certain activities like forest bathing are so therapeutic.

Full Spectrum Considerations

It is important to note that full spectrum products can contain up to 0.3% THC. Unfortunately the trace amounts of THC in a full spectrum product can potentially trigger a positive drug screen. This is important to consider for many individuals whose job depends on passing a drug test. That being said, the trace amount of THC along with the other cannabinoids undoubtedly make a difference in the user experience. I would say that full spectrum products are a more full bodied and personally it is an overall more noticeable relaxation.

There is a lot of misinformation out there stating that CBD isolate is ineffective and that you NEED some THC to 'activate' the CBD. You do not need THC by any means to activate CBD. However CBD works much better when you do add some THC to the mix due to the entourage effect.

If you have to worry about drug testing or are incredibly sensitive to THC then an isolate product is what you are looking for. Essentially everyone else can give full spectrum CBD oils a try without any worries at all! Another tip, if you have tried isolate and find that it did not work for you, I strongly encourage you to try full spectrum based products and see if that makes a difference.

PSA: Always consult your physician when starting a new supplement especially if you are already taking other medications as CBD can interact with many pharmaceutical medications.

Thanks you for reading.

Blessings and Love,




None of these statements or products have been evaluated by the FDA. Nothing is intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. Per FDA regulations, we cannot recommend specific doses or uses to customers. To read more on this visit our Educate page. 


Ropana LLC

Phone: 203-228-3433

Email: Ropanaconsulting@gmail.com

RopaNa LLC