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  • by Nicola Boulton August 29, 2022 5 min read

    Full-spectrum CBD Explained – How Does it Differ from Other CBD Types?

    CBD Is being used all over the world after being legalized in 2018. Individuals are using it for different reasons. With many CBD products in the market, most people have choices on which type of CBD product they want, how they consume it, and the potencies and concentration levels of the products. With the different types of CBD products in the market, this article explains what Full spectrum CBD is and how it differs from the other types of CBD.

    CBD products are found in different potencies and types. And the individual in need of such a product has many options to suit their needs. In 2018, the Farm Bill in the United States was signed that legally allowed the cultivation of hemp-based plants. This plant was used to extract CBD of different kinds. Manufacturers, through different extraction methods, can be able to extract CBD in different types and forms. CBD can be extracted as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates. The differences between the types of CBD are the level of potency and concentration. Individuals can choose between the types, considering the intended purpose of use. Most CBD products should contain 0.3% THC levels to be termed legal. Most legal CBD products are extracted from the hemp plant as they contain low THC levels, unlike marijuana, which contains high THCs and low CBD content.

    What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

    Full-spectrum is a substance that contains all the extracts from the cannabis plant, which includes terpenes, flavonoids, and THC in small amounts, which are responsible for the psychoactive effects related to the high feeling. In recent years, the Full spectrum has been popularized to help alleviate several health conditions such as pain, inflammation, epilepsy, and anxiety, but these claims are anecdotal. CBD is one of the hemp plant extracts and does not make an individual feel high, unlike THC, a psychoactive substance resulting in the euphoric feeling associated with marijuana.

    How It Works

    Full-spectrum CBD contains two major compounds, CBD and THC, that are seen to work on different parts of the brain. With the limited research about the full spectrum, it has been seen the two cannabinoids help regulate the general body ECS. This system is responsible for most of the body's functioning like immune and nervous system regulation and response to inflammation, mood, and sleep cycle. The ECS can correct any imbalance in an individual's body through receptor activation. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in the cannabis plant: terpenes, cannabinoids, phenol, flavonoids, and fatty acids.

    CBD Isolate Vs. Full Spectrum

    CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD as it contains no other cannabis compounds. The main differences between isolate CBD and full-spectrum CBD come from the composition of each CBD form. With full-spectrum, it contains all the compounds that can be found in a cannabis plant. Wakshlag et al. (2020) explained that they could also contain 0.3% levels of THC. Although it is found in a small amount and is not strong to bring about some psychoactive effects on an individual, it is not advised for use. CBD isolate contains only CBD. It is extracted from the hemp plant, which contains low THC levels. It is a crystal form of CBD in powder form on ground level. Individuals can also call it CBD crystal. But both products are extracted using the same extraction method, with CBD isolate subjected to a more advanced extraction process. CBD isolate is suitable for the novice interested in experimenting with the potential health benefits of isolating CBD without cannabinoid compound interference. Unlike the full spectrum CBD, isolate CBD is tasteless and odorless. Maayah et al. (2020) noted that, with the health benefits related to CBD isolate, it has fewer effects that can be noticed than when using Full spectrum CBD. Hyson (2022) argued that individuals consuming CBD isolate benefit from pain and inflammation reduction, in contrast to products of the full spectrum where the effects increase when the dose increases.

    Broad Spectrum Vs. Full Spectrum

    Broad-spectrum CBD is another type of CBD differentiated because of its content composition. It is related to the full spectrum CBD as it contains all the compounds from the cannabis plant but is free from THC. Unlike the other types of CBD, Stuyt (2018) indicated that Broad-spectrum CBD has the highest chance of keeping an individual mind clear as it does not make one high. But it is not as effective as with Full-spectrum, where THC and CBD can combine to help increase the benefits. The entourage effect can be felt without THC as it contains other cannabinoids like cannabinol, terpenes, and Cannabichromene. Individuals using broad-spectrum CBD can also have some health benefits. With CBN contained, Elanne et al. (2020) stated that individuals using broad-spectrum CBD can use it as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiseizure. A drawback of this type of CBD is the lack of THC; thus, it does not have many benefits like full-spectrum CBD. Individuals can also test positive during drug tests when CBD-related products as a broad spectrum may have some THC traces.

    Benefits of Full Spectrum

    Since full spectrum CBD contains all the compounds in Cannabis, it turns out to be more potent compared to CBD isolate and Broad-spectrum CBD. Berman et al. (2018) added that with full-spectrum CBD, the health benefits would be prominent as multiple compounds from the cannabis plant are present and are termed the entourage feeling. Individuals using full-spectrum CBD can reduce chronic pain instances, anxiety levels, and depression. Kerna et al. (2022) explained with the entourage effect is seen as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.


    When using such a product infused with CBD, individuals should be keen. Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD provides an entourage effect to an individual. Although one has all the compounds while the other lacks THC, individuals should be careful when purchasing such products. Individuals interested in trying products free of THC and other cannabinoids apart from CBD are advised to use CBD isolate. With the unregulated CBD market, chances are CBD products may contain traces of THC within their composition even when there are labels on the products. Each type of CBD has its advantages, and individuals should be keen when choosing the product to prevent adverse effects that may occur. Before making a purchase, an individual should seek a doctor's prescription for accurate dosages.


    Berman, P., Futoran, K., Lewitus, G. M., Mukha, D., Benami, M., Shlomi, T., & Meiri, D. (2018). A New ESI-LC/MS Approach For Comprehensive Metabolic Profiling Of Phytocannabinoids In Cannabis. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1-15.

    Elanne, C. G., Adriana, I. T. D. O., Juliana, F. M. D. S., & Raphael, S. P. (2020). Biological Properties And Therapeutic Applications Of Cannabidiol. Journal Of Medicinal Plants Research, 14(6), 283-291.

    Hyson, P. (2022). Best CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis: Top Hemp Brands For Joint Pain. ORDER, 2, 00.

    Kerna, N. A., Flores, J. V., Chawla, S., Brown, S. M., & Anderson, I. I. (2022). J, Carsrud NDV, Holets HM, Roberson R, Nwokorie U, Pruitt KD. "A Desktop Primer And Practical Review Of Cannabis-Containing Compounds And Their Entourage Effects". EC Neurology, 14, 49-57.

    Maayah, Z. H., Takahara, S., Ferdaoussi, M., & Dyck, J. R. (2020). The Molecular Mechanisms Underpin The Biological Benefits Of Full-Spectrum Cannabis Extract In Treating Neuropathic Pain And Inflammation. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis Of Disease, 1866(7), 165771.

    Rudroff, T., & Sosnoff, J. (2018). Cannabidiol To Improve Mobility In People With Multiple Sclerosis. Frontiers In Neurology, 9, 183.

    Stuyt, E. (2018). The Problem With The Current High Potency Of THC Marijuana From The Perspective Of An Addiction Psychiatrist. Missouri Medicine, 115(6), 482.

    Wakshlag, J. J., Cital, S., Eaton, S. J., Prussin, R., & Hudalla, C. (2020). Cannabinoid, Terpene, And Heavy Metal Analyses Of 29 Over-The-Counter Commercial Veterinary Hemp Supplements. Veterinary Medicine: Research And Reports, 11, 45.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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