Cannabidiol, or CBD, can be a tricky thing to shop for if the consumer is not informed about the type of product they are looking for. The hemp plant from which CBD is extracted is home to multiple other nutrients and any kind of CBD product will likely contain more than just CBD. There are also legal matters to consider, such as: is full spectrum CBD legal? How much THC is there in full spectrum vs broad spectrum CBD? How are these products differentiated from each other?
There are three types of CBD products that a consumer can choose from – full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. The products can range from oils and tinctures to CBD gummies and edibles. Anyone using CBD must first decide what type of product suits them best. To have a clear understanding of that, let us look at the two of the CBD extract types. Every CBD product will list the type of CBD that is used in its production. For instance, a CBD tincture with full-spectrum CBD will mention that on the product description.
Three different types of CBD
What is the difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD? Cannabidiol is extracted from the hemp plant, but the hemp plant contains multiple other compounds and CBD is only one of those. Each of the three types of CBD is the result of a specific method of extraction that leads to certain compounds from the hemp plant being included or excluded.
To make it simpler, CBD full spectrum contains all the nutrients in the hemp plant such as terpenes, cannabinoids, and other oils. It is neither processed nor filtered and contains CBD, other nutrients, as well as THC. CBD Isolate products contain only cannabinoids and no other nutrients. Broad-spectrum CBD differs from full-spectrum CBD as it does not contain THC. So does full spectrum CBD have THC? Full-spectrum CBD contains THC under the 0.3% limit that is approved in certain places. The 0.3% is a nearly insignificant amount of THC, and the full potential of THC could only be experienced by consuming much larger amounts. For instance, the 0.3% in a full spectrum CBD Tincture 100mg bottle may be near negligible although it may show up on a drug test.
How are Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum CBD made?
Full-spectrum CBD is derived from the hemp plant through the use of temperature, pressure, or even solvents. A widely used method of extracting full-spectrum CBD oil from the hemp plant is by using CO2. The CBD extracted from using this method is generally the safest and purest. The name ‘full spectrum’ is the result of it containing the full cannabinoid spectrum of all compounds present in the hemp plant.
What is broad spectrum CBD and how is the process of acquiring it different? Broad-spectrum CBD is actually derived from full-spectrum CBD. It is a comparatively newer product, thus there may be market variations in different broad-spectrum products. This is due to the process with which THC is removed from the extract. Some methods may use heat which could affect other cannabinoids. It is important to check the product description closely to make sure that the entourage effect will be acting on the product.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains the terpenes and cannabinoids from full-spectrum CBD and is thus useful for consumers who are sensitive to THC but still want to retain the entourage effect of the CBD product. A buyer must make sure that the broad spectrum product is not over-processed or a synthetic variant. Synthetic solvents could also harm the cannabinoids in the hemp plant.
What is the entourage effect?
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in the hemp plant, and the synergy produced by all these compounds can have beneficial and therapeutic effects. Studies have noted that combining terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids can have multiple positive effects on the human body. It was found that the entourage effect could possibly have anti-inflammatory effects. For instance, when comparing isolate vs broad spectrum vs full spectrum CBD oil, full-spectrum CBD may be the ideal choice as it makes the most use of the entourage effect, thus, increasing the synergy between all the components found in the hemp plant.
Benefits of Broad Spectrum CBD
There are a few benefits of consuming broad-spectrum CBD. Most of it is related to the fact that there is no THC in the product. There is a low risk of triggering any drug test or of experiencing a high, especially for those who are unused to CBD products. The wide range of cannabinoids still present in the product will ensure that the benefits of the entourage effect are still present. CBD isolate is the only kind of CBD product in which there is no entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD is not as unrefined as full-spectrum CBD, although it is less processed than CBD isolate. The benefits of consuming CBD, such as its possible anti-inflammatory properties will of course be a part of any broad-spectrum CBD product.
Thus, broad-spectrum CBD is the better alternative for people who
- Are sensitive to THC
- Need to go through drug testing frequently due to professional reasons
- Are new CBD consumers who are unsure about using THC
- Live in places where the consumption of THC is prohibited
Broad-spectrum CBD, in the above cases, can still provide the benefits of CBD and the entourage effect but without any additional problem that may arise from consuming THC.
Benefits of Full Spectrum CBD
Although there is only one significant difference between broad-spectrum and full spectrum cannabis, the addition of THC itself can make a significant amount of difference. Let us look at these benefits in detail:
- Entourage effect: As has already been mentioned, THC can possibly increase the benefits that are reaped through the entourage effect. Both the phytocannabinoids, CBD and THC when combined with terpenes and flavonoids could have a higher potential. Full-spectrum CBD from CBD vape oil may maximize the positive effects of cannabis.
- Reduces side effects: A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology revealed that CBD could inhibit the side effects that are generated with the consumption of THC such as paranoia or any type of memory impairment.
Small doses taken infrequently would not even produce any ‘euphoria’ that is derived from THC. Managing the doses according to the needs and capabilities of the body is very essential when consuming full-spectrum CBD.
Broad Spectrum CBD and the entourage effect
There may be consumers who wish to experience the entourage effect while not consuming THC. Broad-spectrum CBD would be the type of CBD product to look for in such circumstances. But can broad-spectrum CBD produce the entourage effect? Because of the removal of THC, many tend to doubt whether or not broad-spectrum CBD can provide the benefits of the entourage effect in the way that full-spectrum CBD can.
It is true that combining CBD and THC is quite effective as the two tend to synergize well together, and thus, the effect created by full spectrum CBD may be more potent. Additionally, since the THC content will not go beyond 0.3%, there will be none of the intoxication effect of THC, but rather only the benefits of the entourage effect brought about by combining the two phytocannabinoids.
This does not imply that broad-spectrum CBD is completely unable to produce the entourage effect as it still contains various other compounds. This is more beneficial than CBD isolate which would not produce any entourage effect at all as it contains CBD alone.
Broad-spectrum CBD is recommended for those who are looking to reap the benefits of CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD will also not show up on a drug test, so those who are bound by their profession to not consume any THC can still enjoy the benefits of CBD without using full-spectrum products.
However, those consumers who do not mind consuming the slight amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD can get the most benefit out of their CBD product by using full-spectrum CBD products like CBD tinctures or oils. The dosage will vary depending on whether the consumer is a beginner to CBD or is familiar with the product.