Full spectrum CBD Vs. Broad Spectrum CBD: A Full Comparison - Glow Bar London

September 01, 2022 5 min read

Full spectrum CBD Vs. Broad Spectrum CBD: A Full Comparison

CBD is available in three formulations: broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolate forms. This article compares the benefits of broad and full-spectrum CBD, the levels of THC, the range of effects on the body, and their potential risk to drug tests.

The main difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD is their level of THC. The broad-spectrum CBD contains all the same compounds as full-spectrum CBD except THC. Notably, Full-spectrum CBD provides a wide range of effects to the body compared to broad-spectrum CBD. However, the full spectrum may contain elevated THC levels that might accumulate in the body to dispense psychoactive effects. While the lower lack of THC makes broad-spectrum less psychoactive, it may not affect a drug test result.

What is CBD?

CBD is a chemical compound in the cannabis hemp plant with little or no psychoactive effects. Shiwnarain (2018) noted that this cannabinoid has potential medical benefits such as treatment of chronic pain, depression, stress, cancer-related symptoms, anxiety, skin diseases, and other conditions. The only approved CBD-infused medicine by the FDA is Epidiolex used in treating seizures in children with rare forms of epilepsy.

According to Shiwnarain (2018), CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system that contain receptors responsible for regulating different body functions. It also has anti-inflammation, antioxidant, and anti-pain properties, which help deal with several health conditions.

Type of CBD

CBD comes in three spectrums:

  • Full spectrum CBD
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • CBD isolate

What is Full-spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD products have all the cannabinoids of the cannabis hemp plant, such as terpenes, fatty acids, essential oils, THC, and other cannabinoids. According to Marinotti & Sarill (2020), the THC content should be less than 0.3% consistent with the US federal laws. The THC content in the full-spectrum cannot get you high. However, using full-spectrum for an extended period can build up in your system and show up in drug tests. Notably, the full-spectrum CBD provides an entourage effect.

After the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp-extracted substances from the Controlled Substances Act, CBD products became widely available in the market, making them much known to the consumers (Marinotti & Sarill, 2020). Still, they should not be marketed as medicines.

Hemp-derived products are handled differently in different states; so you must familiarize yourself with the state's law regarding hemp-derived products to avoid breaking the rules. When traveling, especially to another continent, you must familiarize yourself with the laws concerning hemp-derived products. You can choose broad-spectrum CBD products to avoid legal challenges.

What is Broad-spectrum CBD?

Marinotti & Sarill (2020) observed that broad-spectrum CBD products contain all compounds in the cannabis hemp plant except THC compound, which can get users 'high'. Broad-spectrum CBD can also generate an 'entourage effect' because of terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and other cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG.

According to the above study, broad-spectrum products are the best choice if you wish to get the whole plant benefits without THC. Also, broad-spectrum CBD will not show up in a drug test.

What is ‘the Entourage Effect’?

The entourage effect theory argues that the full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD work synergistically to enhance the benefits of individual cannabinoids. Other cannabinoids work together to boost the general use brought by hemp.

Sanchez-Ramos (2015) noted that cannabinoids, like CBN, created from the oxidized THC, have relaxing properties. Terpenes produce a sweet aroma. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which deal with some health conditions. However, Sanchez-Ramos (2015) suggested that the cannabinoids and terpenes can block or allow other cannabinoid molecules to communicate with the endocannabinoid receptors. Notably, full-spectrum CBD products have more benefits than broad-spectrum.

Which is Better between Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum CBD?

Our body processes CBD differently depending on factors such as physiology, lifestyle, desired goals, and weight. Both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD provides the entourage effect (Marinotti & Sarill, 2020). Choosing your CBD products according to your body health history is essential because some people are highly intolerant to THC compared to others.

Some people consider broad-spectrum CBD products because it provides whole-plant benefits without THC. Those who don't mind getting a little THC in their bodies, use full-spectrum because it provides more health benefits; THC and CBD are more effective together than separately.

Ways of taking Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum CBD

There are different ways of taking CBD. The cannabis derivative can be taken sublingually, as edibles, vapes or topically. These methods manifest differently; some are faster than others.

Taking CBD sublingually involves placing the required amount of CBD under your tongue and holding it there for some time to get absorbed in the bloodstream directly, showing immediate results (Marinotti & Sarill, 2020). Smoking and vaping delivers CBD directly to your lungs; it gets absorbed in the blood streams in two minutes.

In contrast edibles may take two to four hours before showing effects. Edibles like capsules undergo the digestive system before getting absorbed into the bloodstream (Mattes et al., 2020). Although it takes long to manifest, some people choose this method because it is discreet; it will not attract attention when used in public.

Conclusion

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD provide the entourage effect due to the synergistic action of active compounds such as terpenes and cannabinoids. In contrast, full-spectrum CBD may accumulate THC levels in the body, making the user fail a drug test. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD does provide limited benefits, although it does not accumulate in the body to affect a drug test result. Therefore, the choice between full and broad spectrum depends on an individual’s preferences.

References

Marinotti, O., & Sarill, M. (2020). Differentiating Full-Spectrum Hemp Extracts From CBD             Isolates: Implications For Policy, Safety And Science. Journal Of Dietary             Supplements, 17(5), 517-526.

Mattes, R. G., Espinosa, M. L., Oh, S. S., Anatrella, E. M., & Urteaga, E. M. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) Use in Type 2 Diabetes: A Case Report. Diabetes Spectrum, 34(2), 198–201. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds20-0023

Sanchez-Ramos, J. (2015). The entourage effect of the phytocannabinoids. Annals of Neurology, 77(6), 1083–1083. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.24402

Shiwnarain, M. (2018). What Does CBD Stand For? Science Trends. https://doi.org/10.31988/scitrends.16354 

References

Mattes, R. G., Espinosa, M. L., Oh, S. S., Anatrella, E. M., & Urteaga, E. M. (2020).Cannabidiol (CBD) Use in Type 2 Diabetes: A Case Report. Diabetes Spectrum, 34(2), 198–201. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds20-0023

Sanchez-Ramos, J. (2015). The entourage effect of the phytocannabinoids. Annals of Neurology, 77(6), 1083–1083. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.24402

Shiwnarain, M. (2018). What Does CBD Stand For? Science Trends. https://doi.org/10.31988/scitrends.16354

Song, J.-Y. (2016). Feasibility of full-spectrum endoscopy: Korea’s first full-spectrum endoscopy colonoscopic trial. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 22(8), 2621. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v22.i8.2621.