Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD: How Do They Differ?
Health and Wellness

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD: How Do They Differ?

In today’s rapidly expanding CBD market, terms like “full-spectrum” and “broad spectrum” are ubiquitous on product labels, yet their distinctions remain elusive to many consumers. While these terms may appear interchangeable at first glance, understanding their nuanced differences is crucial for making informed CBD purchasing decisions.

The terms “full-spectrum” and “broad spectrum” are often included on labels to describe the type of CBD used within the product. However, without additional research into CBD, most consumers may struggle to define what those descriptors mean. To many, those terms may even mean the same thing. 

That’s why we’ve created this guide on the difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD. Our goal is to empower consumers everywhere to understand which CBD products are the best for their needs. 

What is Full Spectrum CBD? 

When you purchase a CBD oil product, you may think that the ingredient only includes two things: CBD and oil. However, that is often not the case, and many CBD oils contain various cannabinoids and phytochemicals found in cannabis. 

Full-spectrum CBD is a form of CBD extract that contains all the phytochemicals found in cannabis. So, full-spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as its essential oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. This includes THC. However, it should be noted that for CBD to be legally sold, it must contain only trace amounts of THC. You’ll never feel high after using full-spectrum CBD, but if you take a large enough serving, you may fail a drug test. 

Beyond CBD and THC, the full-spectrum extract contains a variety of cannabinoids that are rising in popularity among consumers and researchers: 

  • Cannabinol (CBN) 
  • Cannabigerol (CBG) 
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV) 
  • Cannabidiol acid (CBDA) 
  • Cannabichromene (CBC) 

Benefits of Full Spectrum CBD 

The main benefit of full-spectrum CBD is the entourage effect. This means that the various cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils work together to enhance each other. In a way, the entourage effect means that the extract’s effects can be more significant than the simple sum of each ingredient’s characteristics. 

The entourage effect has been demonstrated in scientific research. This 2011 study, for instance, helps show that when cannabinoids and terpenes are taken together, they can better help those dealing with stress or pain. 

If you’re looking to maximize the effects of CBD and neither you nor your workplace, mind the presence of minimal amounts of THC in your system, then you should consider full-spectrum CBD.  

Disadvantages of Full Spectrum CBD 

The main disadvantage of full-spectrum CBD is the presence of THC within the product. Again, for CBD products to be legally sold in the United States, they must contain no more than .3% THC by dry weight. This is a small enough amount that you’ll never feel the psychoactive effects of THC.

Of course, this isn’t to say that all full-spectrum CBD products hit the legal limit of THC content. Some may fall short of it. It’s best to check the packaging or a test analysis on the company’s website that produces the CBD products and see exactly how much THC it contains.

If you live in a state that’s legalized recreational cannabis, this may not be an issue. However, employers are still allowed to use failed drug tests as a reason to reject employment, and there can be legal consequences if you’ve specifically been told to forgo cannabis use.  

What is Broad-Spectrum CBD? 

Broad spectrum CBD is similar to its full-spectrum counterpart. The difference, while small, is also critical for those who cannot risk failing a drug test: Broad-spectrum CBD contains no THC. 

This form of CBD extract will contain all the other cannabinoids, as well as some essential oils and terpenes found within the cannabis plant. So, you’ll experience some amount of the entourage effect with broad spectrum CBD, but the lack of THC means you can use the product without fear. 

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Broad-Spectrum CBD 

The most significant benefit of broad-spectrum CBD is that it provides almost all of the positives of full-spectrum CBD without the THC. Those that live in states where recreational or medical cannabis are still illegal can use broad-spectrum to help them relax, manage pain, or whatever else they use CBD for. 

If there is a downside to broad-spectrum CBD, there’s a belief that CBD works best when it’s paired with THC. The entourage effect can still occur with broad-spectrum CBD, it just may not be quite as strong as full-spectrum CBD. 

Still, if failing a drug test is a concern, that’s not really a good reason to pass over broad-spectrum CBD products for the full spectrum variety. The extracts aren’t necessarily in competition with each other, both exist in harmony to help those with different lifestyles and needs. 

What is CBD Isolate? 

If you’re looking for CBD products that contain only CBD and no other cannabinoid, terpene, or essential oils from the cannabis plant, then you should keep an eye out for CBD isolate. This CBD extract is pure CBD. This means you won’t receive the entourage effect as you would with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, but you do gain the advantage of a pure product. 

Stop By Fluent Today For Your CBD Needs 

Whether you’re new to CBD or already have a preferred brand and product, Fluent is here to help with all your cannabis needs. Our menu contains a diverse selection of high-quality CBD products, including capsules, tinctures, and vape cartridges. 

Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is happy to help you find the right product for your needs or answer any questions regarding our products. Just stop by one of our Fluent dispensaries today!

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