If you’re a pet parent who enjoys staying up to date on the latest and greatest advancements in holistic wellness, you've likely heard of CBD. 

With that said, with the recent rise in popularity comes more and more companies manufacturing CBD products that may not be entirely up to the expected standards. They may use confusing jargon or fancy wording to make potential customers think their product is the very best when it simply isn't. 

In this article, we will cover the important differences between CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD Oil. 

Some websites may use the terms “full spectrum” and “broad spectrum” loosely, and they definitely shouldn't. As a CBD user, you want to make sure you find the very best products on the market for yourself and, of course, for your furry friend. One that will completely deliver on each and every potential health benefit. 

The only way to do so is by having a clear understanding of what certain terminology truly means. So let’s dive in and cover what you need to know! 

What is CBD Oil?

A pomeranian leaning on a table where CBD oil and hemp plants are.

Before we begin, let’s cover a brief overview as to what CBD is for those who may still have reservations regarding all it entails. 

CBD stands for “cannabidiol,” which is a cannabinoid found in species of the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. Some of these compounds can promote normal healthy function in the human body and in animals as well. 

While CBD can be derived from both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant (both of which are in the cannabis family), the hemp plant actually produces twice as much CBD as the marijuana plant. 

When purchasing CBD oil for your dogs and or for your cats, pet parents must ensure that it is derived from the hemp plant. CBD from the marijuana plant could have a high THC content, which can be harmful to animals. 

For people living in most parts of the country, this won't be an issue due to the fact that medicinal marijuana is still not legal. 

However, if you live in a state such as California, it is imperative that you solely purchase hemp-derived CBD for your four-legged friends.


The major difference between CBD and THC is the psychological effects they have on an individual. 

When people think about the stereotypes around marijuana, such as “getting high,” they’re referring to THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol), which causes psychoactive effects. This isn’t to say that THC doesn't have potential health benefits for humans or animals. It’s just that many people still solely acknowledge THC in terms of its recreational use.

On the other hand, CBD (short for "cannabidiol”) contains no more than 0.3% THC. In other words, CBD does not contain the psychoactive properties that give users a "high" feeling. Therefore, when administering CBD oil to your furry friend, you don't have to worry about it altering their personality or ability to function.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil

The terms CBD oil and hemp seed oil are often used interchangeably. In many cases, this is in large part due to the misconceptions surrounding terminology. 

Some people still consider CBD to be solely related to marijuana. In their minds, marijuana = drugs = bad. Therefore, some companies brand their CBD oil as some type of hemp oil in an effort to not scare off potential customers. 

But the truth is that hemp seed oil is completely different from the usual CBD oils. Unlike CBD oils, hemp seed oil, which is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, contain zero CBD. 

What is CBD Isolate?

A collection of different types of CBD oils in vials of varying sizes.

CBD isolate refers to pure CBD when it is separated from its other cannabis compounds. Basically, these products isolate CBD from the other cannabinoids and compounds found in hemp. This process is especially effective for users who have sensitivities to other types of cannabinoids, such as THC. The result is a product that’s usually 99% or more CBD. 

For many years, experts thought that this made CBD isolate more potent than full spectrum CBD. They viewed CBD isolate products as more concentrated and therefore thought it had a greater therapeutic benefit. 

However, this thought process was proven incorrect in a 2015 study, which proved that a full spectrum CBD product can have a significantly more positive impact on the body as well as relieving effects. 

Benefits of CBD Isolate

CBD isolate still has its benefits. We are certainly not saying that isolated CBD is useless. 

Some people who use pure CBD isolate may still see potential health benefits. 

Why Do Companies Use CBD Isolate?

Information proving that full spectrum CBD is more potent than CBD isolate is readily available. So why do so many companies manufacturing CBD products choose to use CBD isolate? 

It's simple. Purified CBD isolate is cheaper. Many companies are using CBD isolate but keeping their price point competitive with companies using full spectrum CBD. In this way, they are able to make a much higher profit due to CBD isolate being cheaper to purchase.

We know... it's messed up. That's why we always advise our readers to ask to see a Certificate of Analysis before purchasing a CBD product. The Certificate of Analysis (or COA) will show exactly how much CBD and what kind of CBD the product contains. Any reputable company should be able to easily provide it.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

That's where full spectrum CBD comes into play. 

Full spectrum CBD oil, as its name suggests, contains all of the beneficial cannabinoids found within cannabis. In addition to CBD, it also contains powerful cannabinoids like Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabicyclol (CBL), and Cannabichromevarinic Acid (CBCVA). 

All of these cannabinoids work together to provide more substantial results when compared to CBD isolate. 

Why Choose Full Spectrum CBD: Our Salad Analogy

This may sound silly, but it's one of our favorite ways to explain CBD isolate versus full spectrum CBD: the salad analogy.

Think about having two bowls of salad on your table. 

In the first bowl, the salad is made solely of leafy greens (this is CBD isolate). 

In the next bowl, the salad not only contains all of the leafy greens, but also tomatoes, cucumbers, and other healthy vegetables as well as a delicious dressing. This is the perfect picture of what you get with full spectrum CBD.

Both "salad bowls" contain potential health benefits, of course, just like both CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD oil certainly both have advantages. 

However, when choosing the very best product, we encourage our readers to only purchase a full spectrum product. Just like the salad with the vegetables and dressing will react differently with your taste buds, full spectrum CBD reacts differently with the cannabinoid receptors of your endocannabinoid system, helping it to operate at a more efficient level. 

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD Oil: A Final Thought

A brown-haired woman in a cream sweater laying on the floor and playing with her Siberian Husky puppy.

There are certainly pros and cons that come along with a product like CBD gaining so much attention.

On the one hand, CBD is readily available and that’s wonderful! Only a few years ago, many pet owners had no idea what CBD was, let alone where to purchase it. Now, you can subscribe to your pet's favorite CBD oil simply with the click of a button. (Yay, internet!)

However, in the same breath, there are definitely negatives that are associated with the rise in popularity of CBD. 

As we previously mentioned, there are quite a few companies that are manufacturing the product with one thing in mind: a nice payday. It’s cheaper for them to use CBD isolate rather than full spectrum CBD, so oftentimes, these companies will use terminology that is confusing to consumers who are buying CBD oil for the first time. 

It's really unfair when you think about it. Pet parents are going out of their way to choose a safe, holistic product that they hope will truly benefit their furbaby. However, their hopes and expectations will never be met if they inadvertently purchase CBD oil that is not up to the necessary standards.

For this reason (among many others) we encourage our readers to solely purchase full spectrum CBD oil. When it comes to your pets, you want to ensure they have the very best product. 

In addition to that, here are just a few other things to look out for: 

  • Make sure that the CBD comes from a respected, reputable company that’s in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.   

  • The CBD should be organic, non-GMO, soy free, 100% natural, and human grade. It should also be made from the hemp plant.

  • Only select CBD products for your pet that are certified with the NASC. Companies with a certification from the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) undergo rigorous quality audits to ensure they're meeting the highest current standards in the animal health product industry. Purchasing CBD from an NASC-compliant company ensures you're doing business with a company that is both ethical and 100% dedicated to providing you with safe and high-standard products. This is significant, considering the alarming number of CBD products on the market today that actually contain ZERO CBD, according to a recent study.  

  • Finally, only purchase CBD that has been lab tested to ensure quality and safety. The company you do business with should be able to furnish you with a certificate of analysis (COA) upon request, which is a laboratory report of the product’s chemical make-up. This allows you to make sure that the THC levels in the CBD product are low enough to not affect your canine friend. 

Here at Honest Paws, we’re completely transparent about what goes into out CBD products. In fact, we’re proud to show the exact ingredients we use and the quality assurance you can expect from us! 

Honest Paws Quality Seals Big Banner

We use 100% pure full spectrum CBD hemp oil from hemp plants cultivated in Colorado. Made in the USA and thoroughly lab tested, we guarantee the quality of our products. 

Our CBD products are human grade, organic, 100% natural, and completely vegan. Additionally, they’re non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, corn free, and gluten free as well!  

And we’re extremely proud to be certified with the National Animal Supplement Council for all our products. The organization came into existence when it was clear that no one was regulating the animal supplement industry. We know your animal companion is a part of your family, though, and should only receive the best quality when it comes to health and wellness. Our NASC certification is part of our dedication to ensuring we only provide you with the safest and highest standard of products. 

Not many companies can say the same about their products!

At the end of the day, we know that you want the very best for your four-legged best friend. We hope this article helped provide some clarity for you as you continue your journey toward a better understanding of the world of CBD. Knowledge is power, and knowing what the best options are for you and your dog will make a world of difference!

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum CBD Oil FAQs

When it comes to CBD, what is a full spectrum oil?

What’s the difference between full spectrum CBD and CBD extract or isolate?

What is the top CBD oil for dogs?

Hemp oil vs CBD for dogs. What’s the difference?

Does pure CBD for dogs have any potential benefits?