The Difference Between Full Spectrum And Broad Spectrum CBD
The decision to try CBD probably came easy. After all, it’s natural, it’s legal, and incredibly accessible. But finding the right CBD formula for you involves a lot more than picking a pretty packaging.
You may find yourself at a confusing crossroads when it’s time to consider full spectrum vs. broad spectrum CBD.
The short answer is this: full spectrum has THC and broad spectrum does not.
A word of caution: there’s a lot more that goes into making the decision between full spectrum and broad spectrum.
If you plan to introduce CBD into your life, it’s best to do so with all the facts. Here, we aim to break it all of the essentials down for you.
Spoiler alert: you’ll also learn about a third kind of CBD. Read on and discover the reasons why CBD remains to be the it wellness product.
What Exactly is CBD?
It’s not enough to call something a CBD product. To do so is misleading. A true CBD brand will be transparent about what’s inside, which can include various types of naturally occurring chemicals called cannabinoids. CBD is just one of these cannabinoids.
If you’re thinking that “cannabinoids” sounds awfully close to “cannabis,” then you’re absolutely right.
The cannabis plant comes in many varieties. One of them is marijuana, the other is hemp. Marijuana is legal in some states, but hemp is legal at a national level. It’s this plant that CBD is extracted from.
So CBD Comes From Hemp?
While all cannabis plants have CBD within them, hemp is the top purveyor of CBD oil. Why? Because, unlike marijuana which is packed with THC, hemp has a higher concentration of CBD.
In addition to oodles of CBD and less than 0.3% THC in the plant, there are hundreds of other chemicals at play, including terpenes and essential oils.
These chemicals give the plant its properties–taste from terpenes and scent from essential oils–but the cannabinoids are in charge of the therapeutic effects.
While scent and taste are important properties for any plant, those terpenes and essential oils within CBD also help to enhance the properties of CBD.
Think of how you might reach for lavender and chamomile for calm. The elements within hemp-derived CBD oil is a direct-to-source approach.
While terpenes are important, the cannabinoids are what set hemp apart from other plants, and why it’s used in a healing capacity.
Commonly known naturally-occurring cannabinoids (ka·NAH·buh·noydz) include CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, but there are hundreds of others.
While CBD and THC get most of the press, the other cannabinoids play an integral role in the effects received from the plant.
Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD
When it comes down to CBD oil, full spectrum and broad spectrum are the two options that dominate the CBD industry.
Though they share many similarities, they’re more like sisters than twins. In both, CBD is the star of the show, and joined by all of those helpful cannabinoids in the plant.
However, the vital differentiation is THC. There is no THC in broad spectrum, whereas THC is present in full spectrum CBD.
THC is practically synonymous with marijuana because it’s responsible for the change of consciousness (read also: high) when you consume weed.
But there are hundreds of other naturally occurring chemicals that are consumed through weed–and the same goes for hemp.
Both hemp and marijuana fall under the category of “cannabis,” but have distinct differences. When you use a CBD product, it’s almost certainly derived hemp.
The amount of THC present in hemp pales in comparison to what’s in marijuana. In fact, a defining property of hemp is that the THC content is less than 0.3%.
So while all hemp plants will have trace amounts of THC in it, full spectrum will preserve that small concentration, while broad spectrum CBD oil will have removed any and all THC.
The trace amounts of THC found in hemp plants–and full spectrum products–is not enough to elicit a high. Still, there’s plenty of reason users may want to avoid THC all together, and that’s what makes broad spectrum CBD oil a saving grace.
What About The Other Cannabinoids?
When CBD is initially extracted from hemp, so are all of the other cannabinoids that are present in the plant. When you buy a full spectrum product, you get the whole hemp plant kit and kaboodle. This includes CBG, CBC, and THC.
Of course, there are ways to separate the cannabinoids further, as is the case for THC removal in broad spectrum products.
However, the idea of broad spectrum CBD is to have those other cannabinoids remain. While they have their own intrinsic properties that can benefit the body, their main task is to support CBD in its role.
Are The Other Cannabinoids Essential to CBD?
Yes and no.
There are many reasons you might reach for CBD, but the clear common theme is for relief. It could be from anxiety and sleeplessness to pain or troubled skin.
CBD inherently aims to help all of that, but as mentioned before, it does its best work when it has the support of the other cannabinoids.
In essence, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is the entourage effect.
Is THC Necessary For The Entourage Effect?
Finally, a clear cut answer: No!
While THC in such small quantities certainly isn’t enough to induce a high, some people still prefer to avoid it all together.
It might be because of a job or just a lifestyle; whatever your reason to avoid, we respect it, and the answer for that is broad spectrum CBD.
Broad spectrum CBD aims to preserve the strength of CBD and its parts, sans THC.
CBD Isolate vs. Full Spectrum CBD
There’s another CBD product that offers you the chance to avoid THC, and that’s CBD isolate. The name says it all here: this is a form of CBD that truly stands on its own.
CBD isolate and full spectrum are basically polar opposites. Full spectrum packs in everything the plant has to offer, while isolate is a minimalist approach to CBD.
Like with broad spectrum, the benefit of CBD isolate opposed to full spectrum CBD is that you avoid any exposure to THC.
Isolates are also some of the highest concentrations of CBD you can get, making it a viable option for those who are seeking a strong dose.
However, when it comes to CBD isolate vs. broad spectrum CBD, only the latter will offer the benefit of the entourage effect.
What Can Broad Spectrum CBD Do For Me?
We’re so glad you asked! Broad spectrum CBD can be applied in all the forms full spectrum CBD can. This includes as a tincture, topical, facemask, bath bomb… the list goes on!
That means, whether you just had an intense interview or you’re preparing to dance the night away, broad spectrum CBD can come in handy.
Ultimately, broad spectrum beats full spectrum (or even isolate) because, we believe, it’s the version of CBD oil that’s just right.
You don’t have to worry about getting cheated out of natural cannabinoids, nor do you have to worry about THC in your system. It’s a win-win.
Which CBD is Best For Anxiety?
There is strong evidence that suggests CBD can help to combat anxiety. There’s really no doubts about that. But when you consider the difference between full spectrum vs. broad spectrum CBD or even full spectrum and isolate, science has a few answers.
You or a friend may have experienced it yourself after partaking in a toke. But thanks to broad spectrum CBD, you can explore the relaxing effects of CBD without having even a drop of THC present.
When you put broad spectrum against isolate, it’s practically a no brainer. Broad spectrum gives you all of the feel-good CBD boosted by the benefits of other cannabinoids, thanks to the entourage effect.
While CBD isolate is often the most potent dose, it’s just not as effective if it could be through the entourage effect.
Which CBD is Best For Pain?
Pain comes in many forms. Scientifically speaking that can be neuropathic (damage or inflammation in the nerves), acute pain (tissue damage or broken bones), and the very real centralized pain like fibromyalgia.
While we err on the side of caution regarding any blanket statement for pain treatment, there might be some promise in using CBD for pain.
Again, this question isn’t fully answered until you consider full spectrum vs. broad spectrum CBD for pain. While there is some evidence to suggest THC is good for pain, the same can be said on its effects for exacerbating it.
Ultimately, when dealing with pain, you want the effect of relief that comes from CBD. You get that in broad spectrum, as it's boosted by the other cannabinoids and leaves THC out of the mix.
Which CBD is Best Overall?
There is absolutely no one-size-fits-all when it comes to CBD. However, when you consider the calming effects of CBD, the possible side-effects of THC, and the force of the entourage effect, we stand firmly in favor of broad spectrum.
Broad spectrum is as welcoming to beginners as it is for seasoned CBD veterans. At Heeld, we aim to open the door for all types of CBD shoppers to find the relief they need.