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  • by Nicola Boulton August 30, 2022 5 min read

    What Makes Full Spectrum CBD Different from Broad Spectrum CBD Oil?

    Full-spectrum CBD (whole plant) has all the elements of the hemp plant; terpenes, flavonoids, THC, and CBD. Broad-spectrum has all the elements except THC, while isolate is the pure form of CBD.

    CBD oil is offered in full-spectrum (whole plant), broad-spectrum and isolate (pure). The three are the types of CBD oil differentiated by various elements obtained from organic hemp plant extracts or cannabis sativa. CBD oil types' main elements are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), flavonoids, and terpenes. However, CBD and THC are the main elements found in the hemp plant. Terpenes and flavonoids are found in other plants, including vegetables and fruits. Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil are the most popular with various elements. Understanding their differences is important for potential health benefits and risks since they share similarities.

    Full Spectrum CBD Oil

    The hemp plant has gained popularity due to its potential therapeutic benefits. But, which part of the hemp plant is useful? Full-spectrum, called the whole plant, is manufactured using hemp leaves and roots. Little or no extraction is done for full-spectrum CBD oil. It comprises all the organic chemical compounds of the plant. However, not all the elements of hemp seem to be safe. According to Fattore & Fratta (2011), the hemp plant has intoxicating side effects that can get you "high" in high potencies.

    The 2018 Farm Bill legalizes the production of hemp-based restricted THC levels to 0.3% in all CBD products due to the psychoactive side effects of THC, including CBD oil. Marijuana-based CBD is illegal since the plant's THC levels are over 10% more intoxicating. However, not every researcher finds THC less effective due to its potential side effects. According to Gallily et al. (2018), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is useful if taken in considerable amounts. Besides its potential health benefits, THC remains why CBD products are still restricted in various states.

    Full-spectrum CBD is useful for various health benefits due to active elements such as terpenes, flavonoids, and THC due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Since it has more elements than a broad spectrum, it is better for the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the ability of multiple therapeutic chemical compounds to work together to offer more health benefits.

    Broad Spectrum

    Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum have the slightest difference but are significant. They share a lot in common, including the entourage effect. Broad-spectrum also has multiple chemical compounds from hemp; terpenes, flavonoids, and CBD. It doesn't have THC, the main difference in the full spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD is suitable for entourage effect without fear of THC's possible intoxicating side effects. Unlike THC, CBD is safe for use unless abused.

    Like any medication, overdosing has impacted. According to Liu (2019), too much CBD oil can result in dizziness, diarrhea, and a change in appetite. Therefore, the absence of THC in broad-spectrum CBD oil shouldn't trick you into using too much of it. Broad-spectrum is suitable for various health benefits due to its entourage effect. According to De Assis et al. (2021), it is considered a suitable alternative to minimize pain and anxiety but in considerable amounts.


    However, it will serve you best if you are only interested in CBD health benefits. Pure CBD or isolate comprises cannabidiol only. Besides broad-spectrum, isolate CBD oil is suitable for people avoiding THC intoxicating side effects. Therefore, it can be effective for specific CBD health benefits. According to Schoedel et al. (2018), CBD is used to treat epilepsy and is approved for benefit by the FDA. Watt & Karl (2017) suggested that CBD is suitable for reducing psychoactive side effects. However, the research is yet to be approved. More clinical trials need to be done on the claimed health benefits of broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and isolate since the only approved is for treating epilepsy.

    Is CBD Oil Legal?

    Broad-spectrum and isolate CBD might not be a great concern, although full-spectrum should be due to the intoxicating side effects of THC. However, they did not base on the types during the legalization of CBD products. CBD oil is legal, but with regulations. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products are only legal in the US if their THC levels are below 0.3%. Marijuana CBD is illegal due to its high THC levels, which can easily make you "high."

    The Farm Bill legalized hemp-based products within the US, although it rested restriction mandates on the federal government. Some states restricted the use of hemp-based products within their territories, even for health benefits. Therefore, before traveling with CBD oil in states like Idaho, confirm whether they have uplifted the regulation to avoid violating state laws.

    Is Buying CBD Oil Online Safe?

    People opt to order full spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil online, although it might not be the safest place unless you are careful. The following guidelines will help you choose the best products;

    The Lab Results

    The lab results are the main and mandatory requirement of any hemp-based product sold online or in a physical store. All hemp-based manufacturers should offer lab results, from an IOS or FDA-certified lab, for customer verification of potency and purity levels. Avoid CBD products without lab results since they are likely fake or of poor quality.

    The Price

    Online has the best deals that are nearly irresistible. Poor quality won't deliver the suggested health benefits. Therefore, before falling into the trap of poor quality to save, confirm its quality by the lab results. Most cheap products are unfit for use or won't deliver the health benefits. Best CBD oil invest a lot in production, directly impacting prices to avoid losses.


    The full spectrum of the whole plant has all the hemp plant's chemical compounds, including THC. THC is an exception in the broad spectrum. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum are fit for entourage effect due to various elements and are all legal. Isolate is unique in broad-spectrum and full-spectrum since it has a single element (CBD). Consider tips on determining the best before buying CBD oil online. The best CBD oil is manufactured with organic ingredients such as MCT oil and hemp plant. Only buy from transparent brands who readily avail the lab results for customer verification on purity and potency levels. Also, go for reasonable prices to avoid being lured into poor quality by extremely cheap products.


    Fattore, L., & Fratta, W. (2011). Beyond THC: The New Generation Of Cannabinoid Designer Drugs. Frontiers In Behavioral Neuroscience, 5, 60.

    Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., & Hanuš, L. O. (2018). The Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Terpenoids From Cannabis. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 282-290.

    Liu, T. (2019). What Is CBD Oil? Learn The Facts: Uses, Benefits, And Side Effects.

    Schoedel, K. A., Szeto, I., Setnik, B., Sellers, E. M., Levy-Cooperman, N., Mills, C., ... & Sommerville, K. (2018). Abuse Potential Assessment Of Cannabidiol (CBD) In Recreational Polydrug Users: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial. Epilepsy & Behavior, 88, 162-171.

    Watt, G., & Karl, T. (2017). In Vivo Evidence For Therapeutic Properties Of Cannabidiol (CBD) For Alzheimer's Disease. Frontiers In Pharmacology, 8, 20.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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