According to one survey, approximately 1 out of 7 Americans have tried, or are currently using, CBD products. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the CBD industry has grown significantly over the past two years with a variety of different product offerings appearing almost everyday. It doesn’t matter if you are a first time CBD customer or a well-experienced user, the language used to differentiate between one CBD product and another can make your head spin. Two terms that are commonly used in the CBD industry that may be confusing to consumers are Full Spectrum CBD and Broad Spectrum CBD


Full Spectrum CBD

Hemp plants produce a whole host of beneficial cannabinoids – the most popular are CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Other cannabinoids such as CBG (Cannabigerol), CBN (Cannabinol), and CBC (Cannabichromene) are also becoming more popular and scientists have begun studying their beneficial uses. Cannabinoids are more effective when multiple are present. This is called the entourage effect. A good Full Spectrum product contains all of the cannabinoids that the plant naturally produces, with the THC below the legal limit (0.3% THC). 

The amount of THC found in a Full Spectrum CBD product that is derived from Hemp is not enough to cause a “high”. THC plays an important role in the entourage effect and has been shown to have many promising benefits such as reducing chronic pain, insomnia, nausea, and anxiety. Due to the small presence of THC, it is possible to fail a drug test while using a Full Spectrum product. 

There are many potential benefits of Full Spectrum CBD products. Here are just a few of the potential benefits.

        • Improved Sleep Cycle

Unlike Melatonin, CBD will not cause you to be drowsy. Instead, many users have reported getting a more restful night’s sleep while consistently using CBD products.

        • Manage Everyday Stresses

Life can be busy and stressful. As CBD helps your body find homeostasis by interacting with your endocannabinoid system, you will be better prepared to take on the challenges of each new day.

        • Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation such as that caused by arthritis can be painful and limit your daily activities. CBD is believed to greatly reduce inflammation, which will allow you to stay active and do more of the things you love. 

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad Spectrum, like Full Spectrum, contains a host of beneficial cannabinoids with the exception of THC. Although THC is an extremely beneficial cannabinoid, not everyone is able to take a product with THC due to their job or other circumstances. There are several names used to describe products that are made with Broad Spectrum CBD oil: THC-Free, Non-Detect THC, or Broad Spectrum. Note, not all products that are THC-Free are made with Broad Spectrum CBD oil. Several THC-Free products are made with an isolate. CBD Isolates only contain CBD and lack other beneficial cannabinoids. The best way to determine what type of CBD oil a product contains is by looking for third-party lab test results. All CBD companies are required to provide test results on their products.  

One of the benefits of Broad Spectrum products is you are not likely to fail a drug test while using the product. Although THC plays an important role in the entourage effect, Broad Spectrum products still provide many of the same positive benefits as a Full Spectrum product, including improved sleep cycle, reducing inflammation, and supporting everyday calmness. 

Here is a sample test result for a product containing Full Spectrum Oil. Note that CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, and THC are all present in addition to other minor cannabinoids.

Here is a sample test result for a product containing Broad Spectrum Oil. Note that CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC are present but there is no THC. 

*Limit(s) of Quantitation (LOQ): The minimum levels, concentrations, or quantities of a target variable (e.g., target analyte) that can be reported with a specified degree of confidence.

Here is a sample test result for a product containing an Isolate. Note, the only cannabinoid present in the product is CBD.

Which CBD Oil is right for you?

When it comes to deciding between a Full Spectrum CBD or Broad Spectrum CBD product there are a couple of important questions to ask yourself:

    • Do I need to regularly pass a drug test?
        • If yes, Broad Spectrum is most likely a better option for you.
    • What is my goal in taking CBD?
        • If your goal is to help with chronic pain, insomnia, nausea, or anxiety, Full Spectrum is a better option. 

In summary, the main distinguishing difference between Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD oil is whether or not THC is present. There are plenty of potential benefits for both Full and Broad Spectrum products; it all comes down to picking which one best fits your particular needs. Whether you decide to purchase Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum, it is important to take it daily to see desired results.