Full Spectrum Vs Broad Spectrum CBD

Posted by Toshamalla McCloud on

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, has been making waves in the health and wellness industry for the potential health benefits it brings. If you've heard of CBD, you must also know that there are different types of it, including full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. 

Understanding the differences between these types can be incredibly helpful in allowing you to make an informed decision about the CBD product that might best meet your needs.

Although they are part of the same family, they are not the same, and each type encapsulates a blend of different compounds, possessing unique characteristics with their own sets of advantages and drawbacks.

If you are a newcomer to the world of CBD, understanding whether full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD is a good fit for you can seem like an intimidating task. However, once you understand the meaning of the terms, the benefits and potential drawbacks of each type, and the reasons why you might prefer one type over the other, it will become far more manageable.

Key Takeaways:

  • Full-spectrum CBD includes all-natural compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC, which can cause a 'high' feeling with large doses and possibly result in a positive result in a cannabis drug test.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD has all the beneficial components of the cannabis plant but lacks THC. This means it won't cause intoxicating effects, which may be preferable for those who want to avoid the mind-altering impacts of THC.
  • The 'entourage effect' refers to how all compounds in the hemp plant (including THC) interact to enhance the effects of CBD. This can be partially experienced with broad-spectrum CBD and fully experienced with full-spectrum CBD.
  • Both types of CBD have their unique advantages and potential drawbacks. For instance, while full-spectrum CBD could lead to a 'high' feeling due to the presence of THC, broad-spectrum CBD doesn't have this risk but may be less effective due to the absence of THC.

Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD: The Main Difference

One might wonder, what truly sets apart full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD? Consider the metaphor of a rainbow full of various colors: the full-spectrum CBD is representative of this full array, encapsulating all the compounds inherent to the hemp plant, including THC.

Now imagine that the same rainbow is devoid of the color red. This rainbow with one less color is your broad-spectrum CBD, brimming with all the benefits associated with CBD but entirely absent of THC. 

CBD oil bottle

The removal of THC from broad-spectrum CBD allows the user to benefit from other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids inherent in hemp without being exposed to the intoxicating effects of THC.

In your research on full-spectrum CBD, you may encounter the term 'entourage effect'. This refers to the way all the compounds in the hemp plant interact to enhance the effects of CBD. As broad-spectrum CBD does not contain THC, it doesn't provide the complete 'entourage effect.' However, it is still a viable option for those who prefer to avoid THC while enjoying the advantages of CBD.

What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

When it comes to cannabis, there's more to the plant than just CBD. Full-spectrum CBD is a variant of CBD that includes all the natural compounds found in the cannabis plant. This includes a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils, as well as trace amounts of THC.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum offers all the benefits of the cannabis plant. This includes the "entourage effect", where elements like phytocannabinoids, including CBD and THC, flavonoids, and terpenes work together. A 2011 study suggested that these components might help reduce pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

However, there are negatives as well. One major concern is that consuming a large dose of a strong full-spectrum CBD product could lead to a 'high' feeling because of the THC content. Although it's not likely with low-dose products, it's still something to remember.

Lastly, full-spectrum products have THC, which could lead to a positive result in a cannabis drug test.

person taking CBD oil drop

What is Broad-Spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum CBD essentially provides a middle ground between full-spectrum and CBD isolate, containing all the beneficial components of the cannabis plant, excluding THC. This CBD variant includes a high concentration of cannabidiol and a lower amount of other cannabinoids. It comprises valuable compounds such as cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene, and terpenes like myrcene, limonene, and pinene.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Broad-Spectrum CBD?

While considering the unique properties of broad-spectrum CBD, it's essential to understand both its advantages and potential drawbacks. The most important advantage is that it won't have an intoxicating effect. Since there's no THC, you won't experience the 'high'. This proves to be a major advantage for those who desire the benefits of CBD, sans the mind-altering impacts of THC.

However, the removal of THC could potentially affect the overall effectiveness of CBD adversely. This is due to the entourage effect, which proposes that CBD and THC work optimally together.

Still, broad-spectrum CBD still includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids with benefits that extend beyond merely CBD.

Why Opt for Broad Spectrum Over Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

For those who want to steer clear of any potential intoxication, a product like broad-spectrum CBD oil could be the perfect addition to your wellness regime. Broad-spectrum CBD products derived from hemp have had THC entirely removed from the final formula.

This means that you can relish the wellness benefits of CBD without the risk of any intoxicating effects that can take place with full-spectrum products.

Plus, broad-spectrum CBD oil is legal across all 50 states, unlike full-spectrum CBD oil derived from marijuana. For those who are apprehensive about drug testing or have sensitivity to THC, broad-spectrum CBD oil provides a safe and effective alternative.

Why Opt for Full Spectrum Over Broad Spectrum CBD Oil?

Unlike broad-spectrum CBD, which does not contain THC, full-spectrum CBD includes all cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including trace amounts of THC. This is enough to allow the 'entourage effect,' or the theory that all cannabis elements work together to enhance their positive effects.

So, if you're not apprehensive about the potential presence of THC and you're interested in capitalizing on the complete array of cannabis compounds, full-spectrum CBD oil might be the better choice for you.

Types of CBD Products

CBD products come in various types besides oils. You can try CBD edibles like gummies, topical solutions for direct skin application, and even CBD-infused teas. 

CBD Gummies are a tasty, easy-to-consume option that comes in a variety of flavors and strengths. They're on-the-go friendly and can promote relaxation and better sleep. 

CBD product and cannabis leaf

Seeking local relief? CBD Topicals could be the answer. Applied directly to the skin, they offer targeted muscle soreness, joint pain, or skin problem relief. 

CBD Oils, derived from hemp, help with various health conditions. Full-spectrum oils offer a more holistic approach, while broad-spectrum oils exclude THC. 

On the other hand, CBD Teas integrate CBD benefits with the health effects of tea.


In conclusion, both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD has its own set of unique characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks. Full-spectrum CBD, which contains all the compounds of the cannabis plant, has the added advantage of the 'entourage effect', where all compounds work together to maximize their benefits, which includes potentially reducing anxiety and inflammation.

However, it contains THC, which can lead to a ‘high’ feeling, and trace amounts could lead to a positive outcome in a drug test. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD, which is devoid of THC, eliminates any risk of psychoactive effects or traces in drug tests. However, it may not provide the complete 'entourage effect'.

Both have potential therapeutic benefits and choosing between the two often comes down to personal preference and individual needs. From gummies to teas, consumers have an array of CBD-infused products to choose from, regardless of their preference for full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD.

← Older Post Newer Post →