CBD has risen in popularity over the past few years. With so many CBD and hemp oil products on the shelves touting terms like “full-spectrum CBD,” “broad-spectrum CBD,” and “CBD isolate,” it can be hard to figure out what it all means. What Is Broad Spectrum CBD? What Is The Difference Between Full And Broad Spectrum CBD? The Spectrums Of CBD Extracting CBD Broad Spectrum What Does Broad Spectrum CBD Help With? Does Broad Spectrum CBD Get You High? Does Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Work? Types Of CBD Products Final Thoughts Thinking about making the switch Should I buy Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum CBD Oil? What's the difference? We explain the difference in the most simple way to help make your choice easy.
CBD: Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. Isolate – What’s the Difference?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has risen in popularity over the past few years. And now, with so many CBD products on the shelves touting terms like “full-spectrum CBD,” “broad-spectrum CBD,” and “CBD isolate,” it can be hard to figure out what it all means.
Let’s break it down.
Most CBD products are derived from hemp plants. Although hemp is a type of cannabis plant, it contains primarily CBD and very little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for making you feel “high.” In fact, federal law requires that hemp plants contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate are the three main types of CBD. Here’s how they’re different:
Full-spectrum Hemp Oil
In addition to CBD and low levels of THC, hemp contains several other compounds, including other cannabinoids and terpenes. Some researchers believe that multiple components of cannabis may work together and offer more benefits than taking each individually. This is known as the “entourage effect,” but it’s still just a theory.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all components of the hemp plant – nothing is removed. This means that full-spectrum CBD contains some THC, but usually a very small amount.
You may find some full-spectrum CBD products derived from marijuana in certain states. Beware – these products will typically contain higher amounts of THC than hemp-derived CBD.
Broad-spectrum Hemp Oil
Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD, but there’s one important difference. Broad-spectrum CBD usually does not contain any THC. It still provides all the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant, so it may still offer benefits associated with the “entourage effect.” Most broad-spectrum CBD products claim non-detectable THC content, which means that taking the product shouldn’t result in a positive drug test. But it’s always best to play it safe – make sure the broad-spectrum CBD product you choose has been tested and certified to ensure it doesn’t contain a detectable level of THC.
CBD isolate is also known as “pure CBD.” Unlike full- and broad-spectrum hemp, this form does not contain any other compounds found in the cannabis plant. It contains only CBD – no THC, terpenes, or other cannabinoids.
How do you choose the right CBD for you?
If you’re thinking about trying a CBD product, be sure to let your healthcare provider know. While taking a CBD hemp oil product is generally safe, don’t use it to replace any of your current medications without your healthcare provider’s approval.
Your choice of product mainly comes down to THC content. If you want all the compounds found in cannabis (including THC), full-spectrum hemp oil may be a good choice – just make sure this is legal where you live. If you want to stay away from THC, broad-spectrum hemp oil is likely your best option for the benefits of CBD plus other compounds naturally found in cannabis. Although high-dose CBD isolates have certain medical benefits, they do not provide the “entourage effect” that may occur with the less processed broad-spectrum products.
Last but certainly not least, be sure to choose a product that has been independently certified for content accuracy and purity, especially if you’re looking for a product without THC. One study found that many CBD products are mislabeled, and THC was detected in about 21% of CBD products tested.
More and more CBD products are hitting the shelves every day – it can be difficult to keep up. Seek information from trusted resources, such as your healthcare provider, to ensure you make well-informed, safe decisions when it comes to CBD.
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Broad spectrum CBD: What Is It & Is It Better Than CBD Full Spectrum
Thinking about making the switch from full spectrum CBD to broad spectrum CBD products? Or never tried CBD before, and you’re unsure about the types of CBD and which form is best?
If so, then you’re like many others who have questions about hemp-derived CBD products. But we have those answers for you, and more! This way you can make the best decision when it comes to using CBD for health and wellness. Whether it’s for you or your pet.
A cannabis plant has multiple compounds in it that can have several positive effects on health. And the spectrum of your product indicates which of these compounds it contains and what the main difference between them with be.
What Is Broad Spectrum CBD?
Broad Spectrum CBD oils are a more recent form of CBD oil that traditionally completely removes THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the compound in the cannabis plant that causes the high we associate with marijuana. Both a type of cannabis plant, marijuana is defined by its large amounts of THC, where hemp is defined by its low amounts of THC.
The difference in amount is pretty important too! Because the less THC you have in a cannabis product, the less of a high you’ll feel until it doesn’t cause a high anymore. This is why you’ll find most hemp CBD products still contain THC, albeit in very trace amounts.
Is CBD legal? – As long as a CBD oil contains no more than 0.3% THC and is derived from a cannabis plant containing no more than that — termed industrial hemp — it’s legal across the United States and in many places in the world. Please always check your state laws for good measure.
Broad spectrum is not like most cannabis products, however, and is completely THC-free. And there is a big reason for this.
Why CBD Broad Spectrum Products Removes THC
In most cases, the trace amounts of THC that appear in most CBD oils cause no issues whatsoever. In fact, it can actually help provide additional therapeutic benefits even though it no longer causes a high in these amounts. However, some people find that they are sensitive to THC, and even trace amounts leave them feeling slightly off, tired, etc. A broad spectrum tincture can solve that.
Then some find CBD works best at exceptionally large dosages. One reason is CBD can help with insomnia, but it won’t induce tiredness until a certain limit is hit — typically 100 mg and up in humans. When taken daily, remnants of broken down THC can stick around in the body for a bit before leaving, similar to many substances such as vitamins. If daily CBD dosages surpass 1000mg, there is a chance for enough of these THC metabolites to test positive for marijuana on a drug test. A broad spectrum tincture can solve this problem too.
So without THC, you might think all that’s left in a broad spectrum hemp product is CBD or cannabidiol with no additional compounds. But not so fast, because while CBD is one of the compounds in a broad spectrum CBD product, it’s not alone and has some buddies. Cannabis contains several hundred potentially beneficial compounds, and it’s not just the other cannabinoids included in this either.
What Is The Difference Between Full And Broad Spectrum CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a super misleading term because it means several different things. So let’s quickly go over what cannabis is.
Above, we mentioned that both hemp and marijuana are types of cannabis plants defined by how much THC they contain. This is because THC causes the high we associate with marijuana, but only when enough is consumed. There are a lot of products that can come from the cannabis plant, from fibers taken from the stalks to create clothes to protein supplements created from the seeds. But to create our therapeutic ones, such as a CBD oil or a marijuana brownie, we need to go after the resin that covers the flowers and leaves.
Within the resin, we have at least 100 different types of naturally occurring cannabinoids with THC and CBD being the most famous but other cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, and THCV are quickly gaining a lot of attention.
Then we have another family of potentially beneficial compounds called the terpenes. While CBD and the other cannabinoids are fairly unique to cannabis, terpenes help give plants everywhere their natural flavor and aroma. While cannabinoids have the most potent therapeutic effects, the natural terpenes do as well. In fact, these plant compounds are the main agent behind essential oils.
“But if our terpenes aren’t as strong as our cannabinoids, why keep them around? Can’t we just throw them out and double up on our cannabinoids? In fact, why not remove some of the lesser cannabinoids while we are at it. Peer reviewed studies show CBD itself is significantly more potent than many of the cannabinoids, how about we just create a product that features only it?!”
These are all great questions, and, in fact, we do have CBD products that attempt to do these things and more. There is a problem, however.
When we start plucking away some of the compounds with less therapeutic benefits, we disturb the relationship they have with the other compounds. Often when this happens, CBD oils lose some of their overall benefits – even though we make up the difference by adding more CBD in its place. We call this phenomenon the entourage effect and it describes the synergistic relationship between the cannabinoids and terpenes.
“But wait, doesn’t the broad spectrum CBD oil remove THC, and isn’t that a cannabinoid?”
Good question, because this is one of the concerns with broad spectrum CBD oil vs. full spectrum CBD that still contains traces of THC. So let’s look at full spectrum CBD oil and what happens when you only have CBD also known as a CBD isolate.
The Spectrums Of CBD
Besides Broad Spectrum CBD, we have Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate to round out our main three types of CBD. These CBDs are defined by which cannabinoids and terpenes appear in them.
Full Spectrum CBD
To turn hemp into CBD, you run it through different extraction processes that do different things like remove plant matter like chlorophyll that we don’t want. During the extraction process, you can remove any of the individual cannabinoids and terpenes as they have different boiling points. But if you don’t remove them, you get a full spectrum CBD hemp extract at the end. This is the most basic form of CBD, and still the most popular form around.
This is because the entourage effect is fully intact when all the cannabinoids and terpenes are left together.
In particular, THC stays in, and while unable to cause a high in small amounts, it can still offer additional therapeutic benefits that are very significant to have. This happens because THC works with the body slightly differently than CBD does which works slightly differently than CBG does. And this goes on and on through the several hundred different cannabinoids and terpenes. When left together, this creates one incredibly well-rounded CBD oil with incredible potency.
Because of the above, full spectrum CBDs are greatly preferred for humans, dogs, cats, and other furry pets. As well, many full spectrum CBDs for pets have less than 0.3% THC.
Before broad spectrum CBD products, there was CBD isolate. Think of broad spectrum CBD oil as the middle child between the main types of CBD. A CBD isolate is just that, the cannabinoid, cannabidiol, isolated away from every single other compound. Goodbye to all those other helpful plant compounds. Seems wasteful, doesn’t it? Well, turns out, it kind of is.
We isolated CBD away from the other plant compounds because in studies it appeared to be the star player. This is why CBD isolates are around 90-99% pure CBD and considered the purest form of CBD. However, the problem is while CBD is a stronger cannabinoid than many of the others; it popped out so much because, after THC, CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis.
Most of the cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis appear in microscopic amounts. We are still discovering new cannabinoids and terpenes to this day. However, as you saw with THC in full spectrum, even when a cannabinoid or terpene appears in low amounts, it doesn’t mean it can’t improve the overall benefits of our CBD oil.
While the only form of CBD approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), CBD isolates simply don’t compare to either full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD. The reason only a CBD isolate has been approved is because it’s significantly easier to get one compound approved than it is hundreds. Especially when it is from something as notorious as cannabis.
While the purest form of CBD, pure CBD isolates’ benefits are often uneven where some people find it may help their pain, but others find it doesn’t. One reason this happens is that the body struggles to absorb CBD when it’s by itself, and the person will often need a precise dosage.
This is why it is rare to find CBD isolate products for dogs or cats. Since our pets can’t talk, finding the best dosage for them for when administering CBD isolate is so difficult.
The other reason CBD isolate effects are case to case dependent is that the other compounds in cannabis simply work with the body in different ways. As well, some appear to team up and work better together than by themselves.
Another Type of Broad Spectrum
All of the cannabinoids and terpenes appear to have ways they can heal the body. And while some go off on different routes to help, some hog up the same routes. A much rarer form of CBD broad spectrum seeks to eliminate the latter. Its goal is to remove some of the less therapeutic plant compounds that don’t offer help to the other compounds, thus creating the most potent CBD oil.
This concept can also create a CBD product that caters to specific illnesses, creating variations like CBD for Anxiety, Hemp for Pain Relief, or A Peaceful Night’s Rest with Cannabis. For these products, we would remove cannabinoids or terpenes that don’t contribute to our desired illness. By freeing up space, we have room to add more of the cannabinoids and terpenes that do help.
These are really great concepts, and while we are learning about the different benefits many of the cannabinoids and terpenes offer, there is so much we don’t understand. Especially with how they play off each other or what the ones that occur in non-existent amounts do.
Extracting CBD Broad Spectrum
There are several extraction methods for creating CBD, whether it’s a full spectrum or broad spectrum product. Commercially, the most popular method is CO2 solvent extraction, which combines our cannabis plant material with carbon dioxide in air-tight chambers. Then different temperatures and pressures are used to cleanly and safely break off the trichomes of the plant.
While a solvent, CO2 results in a solventless extract as all traces of it are removed before it comes to you.
What Does Broad Spectrum CBD Help With?
The goal of broad spectrum CBD is for it to provide all of the traditional benefits expected with a full spectrum CBD oil, but with the added benefit of no THC.
This means a broad spectrum CBD can potentially help with anxiety, pain, inflammation, arthritis, nausea, digestive issues, seizures, and overall health and general wellness. However, because THC is removed, the entourage effect is not as complete as it is with a full spectrum CBD oil. This means there is a chance it may not help out with one or more conditions to the same degree a full spectrum CBD product can.
This is one of the reasons, like with CBD isolates, we’ve taken a step back from broad spectrum CBD oil for pets and use full spectrum for the great majority of our CBD aids.
Does Broad Spectrum CBD Get You High?
Broad spectrum CBDs typically have all of the THC removed, meaning there is no chance they can cause a high. However, THC doesn’t cause a high in small amounts, meaning full spectrum CBDs that are limited to no more than 0.3% THC won’t cause a high either. So just because a cannabis product isn’t THC-free, doesn’t mean it can’t be used safely.
While there are a few other cannabinoids in cannabis that can cause a high if there was a lot of them, they naturally occur in very microscopic amounts.
Does Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Work?
Unlike CBD isolate, broad spectrum CBD oils work great for the majority of people. However, unless you have a reason to be concerned about the nearly non-existent amounts of THC that appear in full spectrum CBD, you should stick with full spectrum. Full spectrum currently provides the strongest entourage effect that naturally occurs in cannabis, giving this form the ability to successfully help with the greatest range of illnesses and disorders.
Whether buying broad spectrum CBD or another form like CBD full spectrum, always make sure it’s derived from organic and non-GMO hemp.
Types Of CBD Products
There are several different types of nonprescription CBD products, from your traditional CBD oil and dog treat to a CBD tincture that’s created through alcohol extraction.
If you’ve never tried CBD before we always recommend the oil form first. However, you can’t wrong with it in food form, for taking it on the go or surprising your pet with a delicious and healthy treat.
Along with the above products, it now becoming more common to find CBD placed with vitamins and minerals for specialized support. All of these items can be used together, just make sure to always calculate up the dosages if that’s a concern. For most, it’s not.
Meet hemp oil. While it has anti-inflammatory and a few other properties similar to CBD oil, it doesn’t contain any of the cannabinoids that have an incredibly unique and potent way to offer a long list of health benefits. However, don’t write off hemp oil and its potential benefits just yet.
More appropriately called hemp seed oil, this hemp extract is created by cold pressing the seeds. Unlike a cannabis extract that relies on the cannabinoids and terpenes, hemp seed oil’s health benefits come from them being a great source of protein, fiber, essential omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and several vitamins and minerals. Like most broad spectrum CBDs, hemp seed oil is THC-free.
Hemp seeds are great for nutrition and ensuring a lot of the building blocks of health have the essential nutrients or building blocks they need. While you’ll find hemp seeds in everything from protein supplements to skincare items, you can also find it in both CBD broad spectrum and full spectrum products where it fills the role of the carrier oil.
A carrier oil is simply fat that greatly assists the body in absorbing the cannabinoids because they are fat soluble.
One way to tell the quality of your CBD product is to check the carrier oil used. Often you’ll find a low-quality MCT oil mixed with the CBD extract. Even when it’s a higher quality MCT oil like coconut oil, daily consumption of saturated fats can lead to health issues from weight gain to digestive issues like diarrhea. And some of the pets we give CBD products to may more easily see the side effects of over-consuming an MCT oil like coconut oil. However, while hemp seeds have a lot of health benefits and it makes a fantastic carrier oil, most people overwhelmingly prefer CBDs.
Hemp seed oil is significantly less costly to produce, and laws are less strict about it. All of this has resulted in hemp seed oil products inaccurately labeled as CBD products. Avoid this by making sure your CBD, whether broad spectrum or another form, always comes with a Certificate of Analysis (COA).
Because of the range of CBD products alone, making the right choice can feel downright impossible. But at Innovet Pet, our job is making the impossible possible! So here are our quick tips for choosing the best CBD.
Step 1. Never Used CBD Before? – Whether you’re looking to use CBD for yourself or give it to your pet, starting with a full spectrum CBD oil vs. another spectrum or delivery form is best.
Step 2. Confirming Safety and Quality – Regardless if they are CBD broad spectrum or full spectrum products, make sure it follows strict sourcing guidelines. It should be derived from organically grown hemp free of pesticides and heavy metals. As well, make sure the company provides a COA for it — gifted through third-party testing. Last, take a look at the reviews and make sure people are happy with it!
Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil | Which is Better?
Difference Between Full Spectrum CBD and Broad-Spectrum CBD Extract
Understanding the difference between Full Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum Extracts is quite simple. The difference among them is the level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is in the extracted CBD. Although there isn’t a huge difference, the main difference is that Full Spectrum contains 0.3% THC while Broad Spectrum contains non-detectable levels of THC also known as “THC Free” CBD oil.
Something to note about Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum, is that they should contain a “spectrum” of minor cannabinoids, and more importantly terpenes. Although many CBD companies emphasize how their products contain terpenes because it’s “Full Spectrum” or “Broad Spectrum,” it is actually not always true. Click this link to read about what terpenes are and their benefits.
In order to verify a company has terpenes in their extracts one must ask for a third-party lab test which a lab that is fully licensed by the state and is unbiased, unrelated to the company in anyway. Look for the terpene profile content and if it shows “ND,” meaning non-detectable, then it does not contain it at all or contains nothing close to what it needs to be for the added therapeutic benefits terpenes brings.
Full Spectrum Extract CBD Oil
- Contains 0.3% THC per gram of extract
- Can contain anywhere from 10mg of THC to upwards of 100mg or even higher levels of THC in a bottle of tincture depending on the amount of extract
- Can, surprisingly, get you high
- Should contain minor cannabinoids, if not, it should definitely contain terpenes as that’s what the name really emphasizes (“Spectrum”)
Broad Spectrum Extract CBD Oil
- Contains Non-Detectable levels of THC or also known as “THC Free”
- Absolutely no way of feeling any psychoactive “high” feeling
- THC will not show up on drug tests
- Comfortably can take it on domestic and international flights
- Does not contain any CBD Isolate*
What is THC-Free in Broad Spectrum?
THC-Free simply means a product or extract that contains non-detectable levels of THC. There is a difference between non-detectable and zero THC or 0% THC because it’s impossible in a botanical extract; hence, the accurate term being THC-Free.
Does Colorado Botanicals Products Contain THC?
We have the option to have CBD products containing the legal limit of THC. There is nothing wrong with this, however we don’t feel comfortable misusing the term “less than 0.3% THC” because the majority of individuals who use CBD do not want to consume THC.
THC does have added benefits but we would like our customers to have the option of having no THC. If THC is something you are looking for in your CBD, there are options available to you at local stores.
Some other reasons that we push for THC-Free only products:
- We don’t have to dilute our oil in order to meet the legal limit of 0.3% THC as some companies do
- We can confidently say that our customers will not feel any type of high, no matter how sensitive their endocannabinoid system is to cannabinoids
- We have customers from several countries so we don’t have difficulty exporting our products since they don’t contain any detectable THC
- As this topic of “0.3% THC” becomes more known we have a feeling that the government and FDA will not want CBD products containing THC to be sold in major retail stores, as it contains levels of THC in products that can get the user high
Should you buy Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum CBD Oil?
It’s your choice if you want to choose a Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum CBD product because they are both great at doing its job, however, make sure you purchase from a reputable company because the marginal difference of hemp extracts is huge. From the plant it starts from, the extraction method, to the purification method it can make a huge difference at any stage of the process.