Deciding Between Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD
Browsing a selection of hemp-derived CBD products can be a lot of fun. There are just so many ways to add the health and wellness potential of the plant's extracts to your daily routine. You'll find an assortment of versatile tinctures, delicious gummies, soothing balms, and more. Shopping for your first CBD product, on the other hand, can be a little intimidating, especially if you're still trying to make sense of some of the industry-specific terminology.
If you've spent any amount of time trying to narrow your options, you've likely noticed that some CBD products are made with full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extract, while others are made with pure CBD isolate. Which should you choose? That depends. If you're most interested in using CBD on its own, there's only one option, CBD isolate, the purest form of CBD you'll find. When you'd rather take advantage of the many additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients produced in the plant, you'll want to decide between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD.
What Is Full Spectrum CBD?
Full spectrum plant oils are obtained through an extraction process that ensures high concentrations of each chemical and active compound. When done correctly, the natural ratios of the various elements produced in the plant are not affected (Jacobs, 2016). Products made with the full spectrum oil extracted from the aerial plant parts of hemp have high concentrations of CBD (cannabidiol), plus all the advantages of numerous plant terpenes, essential vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and more than 140 potentially beneficial minor cannabinoids (Jenkins, 2018). The list includes CBN (cannabinol), CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), CBC (cannabichromene), and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) (Komarnytsky et al., 2021). The natural 20:1 CBD to THC ratio produced in the plant ensures there's no risk of intoxication.
What Is Broad Spectrum CBD?
Broad spectrum CBD products have many of the same active components, but there's one crucial difference. They have non-detectable levels of THC. However, not all broad spectrum products are made the same way. Some companies start with pure CBD isolate powder, then add small amounts of a select number of minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other ingredients to the mix. Other brands keep their broad spectrum products as close to their natural origins as possible by removingthe THC from full spectrum CBD oil through a process called chromatography (Ashton, 2022). Although both options give you more active plant components than you'll get when using CBD on its own, broad spectrum products made with a base of CBD isolate powder tend to be far less complex.
How Do Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD Products Compare?
Whether you choose full spectrum or broad spectrum products, the CBD and other minor phytocannabinoids in the plant extract interact with the receptors of your endocannabinoid system (ECS). As the largest regulatory system in your body, ECS function plays a role in nearly every essential process involved in overall health and wellbeing, from sleep cycle regulation and stress responses to digestive processes, muscle movement, and the perception of pleasure and pain (Mouslech & Valla, 2009). Based on what the research shows so far, plant-derived cannabinoids help support ECS function in a way that helps maintain homeostasis (balance) (Sallaberry & Astern, 2018).
However, many CBD users feel full spectrum products are the more potent option. Why? Because of the way the combined effects of the plant's many minor cannabinoids and terpenes help maximize the impact of each active component. It's a property unique to cannabis plants commonly known as an "entourage" effect (Nahler et al., 2019). Although high-quality broad spectrum products also have the additional cannabinoids and terpenes needed to trigger an entourage effect, some people feel the impact is somewhat diminished without the THC (Wilkins, 2022).
Should I Choose One Spectrum Over the Other? – Which Is Better?
Although many people claim they get the best results using full spectrum CBD products, no two CBD users are exactly the same. Instead of choosing your products based on what might work well for someone else, it's far more important to select the option best suited to your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Many CBD users notice little, if any, significant difference in potency when comparing the effects of full spectrum and broad spectrum products.
If you're comfortable with the small amount of THC (less than 0.3%), you might want to start with a full spectrum product based on its reputation for overall potency alone. If you'd prefer avoiding the cannabinoid, you'll likely find the non-detectable levels (.01% or less) in broad spectrum CBD far more appealing. When THC isn't a concern one way or another, consider investing in a CBD Oil Starter Set so you can try both and compare your results.
Selecting the CBD Product That's Right for You
Based on an internal survey of nearly 2000 CBD users, adults of all ages report positive results using CBDistillery® hemp-derived products for relaxation, better sleep, discomfort after physical activity, and more. As you're browsing our selection, you'll find an impressive number of products made with your choice of full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extract. Once you've decided which form is best suited to your needs, its' much easier to refine your search and focus your attention to finding the products most likely to fit seamlessly into your daily routine. The following descriptions could help you compare some of your options.
A Versatile CBD Oil Tincture
CBD oil tinctures are made with a blend of full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extract (or CBD isolate) and a carrier oil. CBDistillery® Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures and Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures are made with fractionated coconut oil (MCT oil) to help ensure maximum cannabinoid absorption. You can add a serving of your tincture to foods and beverages or hold the oil beneath your tongue for 10-20 seconds before swallowing.
A Jar of Delicious CBD Gummies
Great for home use and travel, CBDistillery® Full Spectrum Gummies have a delicious, mild strawberry flavor selected to complement the terpene profile of our naturally cultivated hemp extract. Our Broad Spectrum Anytime Gummies have a delightfully tropical flavor. Whether you prefer full spectrum or broad spectrum gummies, you'll get 30mg of CBD in each serving and 30 gummies in every jar.
The Convenience of CBD Softgels
Whether you choose CBDistillery® Full Spectrum CBD Softgels or our Broad Spectrum CBD Softgels, you'll get a precise, concentrated serving of hemp extract in an easy-to-swallow gelatin shell. Both options are available in 30 and 60-count bottles. Like our gummies, you'll get 30mg of CBD per serving, an amount that seems to work well for most CBD users. Softgels are sure to please just about anyone who values portability and convenience.
Get Creative with CBD Powders
CBDistillery® CBD powders are specifically formulated to add the health and wellness potential of hemp-derived cannabinoids to cookies, cakes, candy recipes, smoothies, and more. That makes them a great choice for anyone who enjoys a few hours of kitchen creativity. Each 1-gram jar gives you 850+ mg of highly concentrated Full Spectrum CBDelicious CBD Powder.
Still Can't Decide? Consider a Personal Consultation
At CBDistillery®, we're committed to providing high-quality hemp-derived products, fair prices, and the information you need to make informed decisions. Our full spectrum hemp extract is CO2 extracted to ensure the same cannabinoid, terpene, and phytonutrient ratios as the original plant source. You'll also find similar concentrations in our broad spectrum products, but the THC is reduced to non-detectable levels (less than .01%) through chromatography.
To learn more about the many potential benefits of supporting ECS function with our high-quality hemp-derived CBD products, visit CBDistillery® to download our Ultimate CBD User Guide, browse our Blog, or take our CBD Product Quiz. If you're intrigued by our selection of products but still not quite sure where to start, set up a personal consultation with an expert. You can shop with confidence knowing CBDistillery® has more than 2 million satisfied customers, our products have over 38,000 5-star reviews, and every product we offer is third-party batch tested and backed by a no-hassle satisfaction guarantee.
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Komarnytsky S, Rathinasabapathy T, et al. (2021) Endocannabinoid System and Its Regulation by Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Full Spectrum Hemp Oils. 22(11) Int J Mol Sci 5479. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115479
Mouslech Z, Valla V. (2009) Endocannabinoid System: An Overview of Its Potential in Current Medical Practice. 30(2) Neuro Endocrinol Lett 153-79. PDF
Nahler, G, Jones T, et al. (2019) Cannabidiol and Contributions of Major Hemp Phytocompounds to the "Entourage Effect"; Possible Mechanisms. J Altern Complement Integr Med 70(5) PDF download
Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator
Wilkins T. (2022) What Is the Entourage Effect? How This Enhances CBD Effects. Marijuana Takers.