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  • by Nicola Boulton August 31, 2022 4 min read

    Is Full Spectrum CBD Better Than the Other Types?

    CBD products are available in three different formulations: full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolates. This article highlights the pros and cons associated with full-spectrum CBD, compared to broad and isolate spectrums.

    The effects of CBD products in the body depend on multiple factors. First, the three CBD spectrums, full, broad and isolate, dispense different compounds to the body. For instance, full-spectrum CBD contains all cannabis derivatives including traces of THC. These compounds dispense a higher range of influence compared to the broad-spectrum CBD. In contrast, the isolates provide the essential CBD albeit with limited impacts. Other factors that determine the impact of CBD to the body include; consumption method, body weight and existing health conditions.

    Types of CBD

    There are three CBD spectrums; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. The isolate spectrum is preferred by users who dislike the psychoactive THC, or other cannabinoids like terpenes. The isolate crystals or powder is often found is the highest processed CBD. It undergoes several processes to isolate all the cannabis derivatives except CBD. as aforementioned, the isolates dispense limited products to the body, hence considered less effective (Özkara et al.,2016).


    Broad spectrum contains all the cannabis derivatives except THC. However, it may contain trace amounts of THC left during the purification process (Özkara et al., 2016), Broad-spectrum may also lose essential derivatives during the purification process, making it less effective compared to full-spectrum. A major shortcoming of the broad-spectrum CBD is the strong unpleasant flavor. Notably, broad-spectrum CBD is less inaccessible.

    Full-spectrum CBD

    Also called whole-plant, the full-spectrum contains all essential cannabis derivatives. Ferber et al. (2020) suggested that all the compounds in the full spectrum are active; they can work together to bring about the entourage effect. A high dose of full-spectrum causes euphoric effects due to the presence of THC. Notably, full-spectrum can give a positive result when taking a drug test. 

    Pros of Full-spectrum CBD

    • It comes with the entourage effect; thus, enhancing the range of effects.
    • All the compounds in the full-spectrum CBD are active; compounds like terpenes, and flavonoids give it flavor and fragrance that to its therapeutic effects.
    • Lower doses of full-spectrum can provide a better result compared to other spectrums. Learn more about can you take cbd with alcohol?

    Disadvantages of Full-spectrum CBD

    • It might show up in a drug test. 
    • Has the hemp flavor, which at times leaves an awful smell.
    • THC presence may bring about legal issues as some states prohibit the use of THC. Learn more about is cbd safe for driving?

    Benefits of Using Full-spectrum CBD

    Contains Anti-inflammatory properties that Relieve pains and Inflammation

    The full-spectrum CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to suppress pain. Wallace et al. (2020) observed that the presence of THC compound alters the functions pain signals found in the body, thereby suppressing pain. Similarly, the inflammation properties help deal with issues such as arthritis pain. 

    Treats Insomnia 

    Insomnia refers to sleeplessness at night. Notably, insomnia is a function of multiple stressors including, but not limited to pain, stress and anxiety. Full-spectrum CBD has some calming effects that relax the mind, reduce pain and inflammation minimizing the difficulties associated with sleep. At times, insomnia may be brought about by anxiety and stress. When the full-spectrum CBD deals with these issues, it may assist in bringing the sleeping patterns back to normal.

    Minimizing Addiction

    According to Rosenthal (2010), the full-spectrum CBD may suppress the craving for substance dependency. The interaction between CBD and the body’s ECS suppress addiction to drugs and substance. While the effectiveness of CBD on reducing addiction is anecdotal, existing data shows that it could be an effective rehabilitative drug.


    Full-spectrum is the least processed CBD compound. Hence, it contains all the compounds in the cannabis plant, which work synergistically to suppress certain imbalances in the body. The nexus among full-spectrum compounds provide a wider range of effects to the body, compared to the isolates. However, the full-spectrum contains unfavorable scent and flavor, making it unpleasant to many users. In addition, elevated levels of THC can make the user fail in a drug test. The usage of CBD products depends on an individual’s tests and preferences. Hence, the desired effects determine the best choice of CBD spectrum to use.


    Wallace, J. E., Kogan, L. R., Carr, E. C., & Hellyer, P. W. (2020). Motivations and expectations for using cannabis products to treat pain in humans and dogs: a mixed-methods study. Journal of cannabis research, 2(1), 1-12.

    Rosenthal, E. (Ed.). (2010). The big book of buds: More marijuana varieties from the world's great seed breeders (Vol. 4). Ed Rosenthal.

    Ferber, S. G., Namdar, D., Hen-Shoval, D., Eger, G., Koltai, H., Shoval, G., ... & Weller, A. (2020). The "entourage effect": terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Current Neuropharmacology, 18(2), 87-96.

    Özkara, A., Akyıl, D., &Konuk, M. (2016). Pesticides, environmental pollution, and health. In Environmental health risk-hazardous factors to living species. IntechOpen.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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