Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD

Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD, What’s the Difference?

The chances are that you have seen, heard, or read about CBD products. That is because CBD is currently a hot topic.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion over specific phrases. Full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum CBD is one such area. So, what’s the difference?

The main difference between full and broad-spectrum is the number of compounds.

Both full and broad-spectrum CBDs contain several chemical compounds. However, the broad spectrum is completely devoid of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound is what causes a high in cannabis.

To fully understand the difference between full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum tinctures, you must learn more about the types of CBD. Knowing the difference will help you pick the right product. This article delves deep into the meaning behind these terms and explains which is best for your needs.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

As the name suggests, full-spectrum CBD contains all the natural compounds found in cannabis.

Researchers estimate that cannabis plants have more than 400 compounds. CBD is just one of these many components. Full-spectrum CBD contains small amounts of each component, including THC. Legally, the THC content should never exceed 0.03%.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound that causes a high. It has psychoactive properties and stimulates parts of your brain that respond to pleasure. However, some of the chemical entities in cannabis have opposing effects.

For instance, while THC causes euphoria, CBD is thought to cause a calming effect and general well-being. The balance of these chemical entities has to be perfect to get the desired effects.

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, you get full-spectrum with higher THC content. However, exceeding these limits means there is a chance you will fail a drug test.

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Pros and Cons of Full Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD is deemed superior to broad-spectrum CBDs and isolates. As a result, a lot of products are labeled full spectrum. Here are some of the pros and cons of full-spectrum CBD.


  • Entourage Effect: The chemical entities in cannabis work better when they are working together. This is known as the entourage effect. Due to the synergistic effect, full-spectrum CBD is better for pain relief, preventing nausea, and reducing seizures.
  • Pleasant Smell: The presence of Terpenes in full-spectrum CBD adds some aroma to CBD oils. The aromatic molecules can also be used in aromatherapy. Availability of all nutrient profiles is also a plus for your body.
  • Bioavailability: The cannabinoid receptors in the body absorb some compounds in groups. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the natural compounds making absorption easier. This guarantees 100% absorption and greater health benefits.


  • Trace amounts of THC: The biggest concern with full spectrum CBD is the presence of THC. Full-spectrum products sold in some states have about .03% THC Though unlikely, there is a chance of getting high. The other problem is that it might show up on a drug test.
  • Intoxication: In addition to the possibility of slight mental fog and possibly failing a drug test, THC can also cause intoxication. If you take alcohol and full-spectrum CBD, the THC can interact with alcohol to cause extreme sedation. This can be a problem if you are working or operating machinery.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

The broad spectrum contains most of the compounds in cannabis. The only difference between broad and full-spectrum is THC content.

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Generally, broad-spectrum CBDs don’t contain THC. This makes them an excellent option for people with reservations over the psychoactive effects of the compound.

However, some broad-spectrum CBDs have trace amounts of THC. In addition, the extraction process for a broad spectrum is more extensive. As a result, broad-spectrum CBD products usually cost more than full spectrum alternatives.

Pros and Cons of Broad Spectrum CBD

Many people prefer broad-spectrum CBD products to the full spectrum. This is because they have all the health benefits of the full spectrum without the risks.

Here are some of the pros and cons you should know about before buying broad-spectrum CBD products.


  • THC Free: With broad-spectrum CBD, you don’t have to worry about the psychoactive effects of THC. There is also no chance of failing a drug test after using the product. Lastly, the absence of THC means you can use the product and still enjoy alcohol without the risk of intoxication.
  • Entourage Effect: Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the natural goodness of cannabis. The only compound that is filtered out is THC. These different compounds work together for maximum effect. Only isolates don’t benefit from the entourage effect.


  • Slightly inferior: While broad-spectrum CBD is as good as full spectrum. It just falls shy of the mark because it lacks THC. This is some broad-spectrum CBD products compensated by adding trace amounts of THC. CBD needs THC to bind to specific receptors and improve the overall absorption of the product.
  • More expensive: Processing broad-spectrum CBD requires more resources and time. Common extraction, such as flash chromatography, requires specialized equipment and solvents. In the end, the final product ends up being more expensive than full spectrum CBD.
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Full vs. Broad Spectrum: Which is Right for You?

Both full and broad-spectrum tinctures have the desired health benefits. Although the full spectrum is thought to be more effective, many people opt for the broad spectrum alternative.

If your work requires regular drug tests, then you are safer off with the broad spectrum. Typical examples are athletes and military personnel.

However, if you want more out of your CBD, then the full spectrum is the way to go. First, however, you should check with your doctors if it’s safe. It also helps to check with human resources to avoid unforeseen problems.

Hopefully, this article clears the air on the difference between full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum CBD. The main difference between the two is the THC levels.

Admittedly, the industry is still largely unregulated. Therefore, you may also have to experiment with different products and dosages to find what works for you. Either way, you still get to enjoy the health benefits of CBD.

Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD, What’s the Difference?

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