If you’ve ever shopped around for CBD oil, odds are you’ve run across labels that said “Broad Spectrum” or “Full Spectrum”. Obviously, there is something different between the two options, but just what do these labels mean, and is one better than the other?
We’re here to help answer your questions.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Full Spectrum CBD oil is pure, extracted CBD oil from the cannabis plant. Not only does this oil contain the naturally occurring CBD, but it also contains the other natural compounds that are in the cannabis plant, including terpenes, essential oils, other cannabinoids, fatty acids, and more. That’s why full spectrum means “whole plant”.
When you use full spectrum CBD oil, you will experience what is called the Entourage Effect. The Entourage Effect is when all of the compounds and elements in the CBD oil work together to create a more therapeutic effect. Basically, this effect shows that a product is more effective when it remains in its whole and natural state. The Entourage Effect is not just a sum of all the parts. Instead, it is a multiplying effect. In nature, the various compounds within the cannabis plant work together to magnify their effectiveness. When CBD oil contains all the same compounds that are found in nature (by extracting all of the compounds and keeping them in the oil), the compounds will continue to magnify each other’s effectiveness and give you more overall therapeutic benefits.
Because full spectrum CBD oil contains all of the naturally occurring compounds from the cannabis plant, this means that full spectrum oil also contains THC. However, when extracted from industrial hemp, the plant’s natural levels (and thus the oil’s level) of THC are minimal, which means that there will only be trace amounts of THC in full spectrum CBD oil. And by trace, we mean .3% or less.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil is very similar to full spectrum in that it contains a variety of additional natural compounds (such as other cannabinoids and terpenes), but it does not contain THC. Because the cannabis plant naturally contains THC, labs and companies have to put their broad spectrum products through additional processing to remove as much THC as possible. Since there are only trace amounts of THC to start with, this can be a difficult process, especially while trying to preserve all of the other terpenes, cannabinoids, and compounds. With such a difficult removal process, some companies choose to start with a CBD isolate base and simply add in other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Because broad spectrum CBD oil still contains additional cannabinoids and terpenes, it can also provide the Entourage Effect, giving you a better and more therapeutic experience.
Which Is Better: Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum?
In short, neither type of CBD oil is better than the other. Deciding which one is better simply comes down to your personal preference and individual needs. To help you decide which type of CBD oil may be best for you, we will review some main pros and cons of each type.
- Offers the Entourage Effect for more therapeutic results.
- While there are trace amounts of THC, the amount is so small, and CBD and other cannabinoids work to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC, that you will not experience any psychoactive effects.
- The final product undergoes fewer processes in production, giving you a more pure and natural product.
- THC content could result in a false positive on a drug test. For more information about this, check out our blog post.
Full spectrum CBD oil may be best for individuals who have more severe conditions they are trying to relieve, or who live in states where THC or cannabis are legal.
- Also offers the Entourage Effect.
- Provides no risk of experiencing THC side effects.
- Does have to undergo additional processing, which may result in the reduction or alteration of remaining compounds.
- There is less research performed and available about broad spectrum CBD compared to full spectrum.
Broad spectrum CBD oil may be best for individuals who are nervous about using products with THC, live in states that have strict laws against THC, or who are sensitive to THC.