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Broad-Spectrum CBD Vs. Full-Spectrum CBD

August 31, 2022 5 min read

Broad-Spectrum CBD Vs. Full-Spectrum CBD

Broad-Spectrum CBD Vs. Full-Spectrum CBD

CBD has gained popularity due to its benefits. It is a compound in the cannabis plant. It also has different types with varying formulations.

CBD is available in three types: broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all the natural chemical compounds found in cannabis, such as terpenes and flavonoids. However, it is void of THC. THC has psychoactive effects that make its users high. On the other hand, full-spectrum CBD products comprise all the natural compounds in the cannabis plant, including 0.3% of THC. This article highlights the differences between broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD.

What is CBD?

According to Mead (2019), CBD is a cannabis compound obtained from the cannabis hemp plant containing a small amount of THC. Although CBD comes from a cannabis plant, it does not cause high because it lacks psychoactive effects.

CBD is popularly known and used in dealing with different health conditions such as pain-relieving, reducing symptoms associated with mental health problems, alleviating certain cancer-related symptoms, treating neurological disorders, improving heart health, and many other potential benefits.

Ways of Extracting CBD

CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant using several ways, some of which are pure and safe while others are at risk.

Solvent Extraction

Luca et al. (2020) explained that a liquid solvent is the first method used in extracting CBD. This is the most commonly used method, and it is done using a liquid that can evaporate like ethanol. The plant matter is put into a machine containing an evaporable liquid. Cannabinoids are obtained from the plant matter by running the evaporable liquid over the plant, which strips cannabinoids from it. Because ethanol is evaporable, it will evaporate and leave CBD concentrate in the form of oil.

Carbon Dioxide Extraction

This is another way of extracting CBD where CO2 is used in a supercritical form. The advantage of using this method is that CO2can exist as a liquid, solid, or even gas form by just adjusting the temperatures and pressure to extract the CBD.

When using the CO2 extraction method, there are three chambers. In the first chamber, highly pressurized CO2 in the form of liquid is present, and the temperatures are controlled so that the CO2 remains a highly pressurized liquid. The second chamber contains plant matter. The CBD is extracted from the plant matter using a machine that pumps CO2 into a second chamber at very high pressure. The CO2 extracts CBD from the plant matter using its dense gas, effectively removing the CBD from the plant matter. This process is repeated until all the cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis plant.

After the extraction of the cannabinoids, CO2 together with cannabinoids goes to the final chamber where the pressure is relieved hence CO2 is converted into gas dropping the matter it picked in the second chamber giving us the cannabinoid oil.

There is another method of extracting CBD where the hemp is boiled together with the oil. The manufacturer can also heat the hemp plant to activate chemicals in the plant matter. Then olive oil is used to extract the cannabinoids. This method is not commonly used in large-scale manufacturers of cannabinoids because it does not scale well.

What is Broad-Spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum CBD products are made of different chemical compounds in the Sativa plant, such as terpenes, cannabidiol, cannabichromene, and flavonoid. Although THC compound is present in the cannabis plant, broad-spectrum CBD does not contain it. The THC compound is separated from the other compounds during the extraction of CBD. Removing THC from the other compounds may not be 100% so that you may find a few traces of THC.

Advantages of Using Broad-Spectrum CBD

  • Broad-spectrum CBD products don't cause high because they don't contain THC in them.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD products contain other cannabinoids such as terpenes and flavonoids. Therefore, it will give the entourage effects benefits.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD gives you all the benefits of CBD, but it will not show in drug tests if the right dosage is used.

What is Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD means that the product contains all the compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC. It is believed that using full-spectrum products gives you better results than using CBD alone. This is because our bodies contain an endocannabinoid system that interacts with cannabinoids, showing positive impacts.

According to Panagis, Mackey & Vlachou (2014), the endocannabinoid system is made of core receptors responsible for regulating different body functions such as relieving muscle and joint pain, improving our mental health, and reducing stress. So, if full-spectrum CBD is used instead of pure CBD, it will be more beneficial when it comes to its benefits because every receptor will have support from the different cannabinoids.

Advantages of Using Full-Spectrum CBD

The biggest benefit of using full-spectrum CBD is that it gives an entourage effect to the users, as explained by Anderson et al. (2021). This is because different components of cannabis work together to give more benefits. Moreover, using phytocannabinoids and terpenes together helps relieve pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

Disadvantages of Using Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD products can make one high when taken in high doses. This is because full-spectrum CBD products contain all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including THC, which has psychoactive effects. This disadvantage can be overcome by taking a small amount of full-spectrum CBD products. Another disadvantage of using full-spectrum CBD products is that they can show in a drug test.

Comparing Broad-Spectrum and Full-Spectrum

  • The broad spectrum is made of all-natural compounds found in the cannabis plant except for THC, which has psychoactive effects. This means that, broad-spectrum CBD does not contain 100% CBD because it has other cannabidiol compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids so it is considered to be in the middle between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD.
  • Full-spectrum CBD contains all the natural chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, including some THC. The amount of THC federally allowed in the U.S is less than 0.3%.


The right type of CBD depends on your body's desires. If you are looking for a CBD product that will boost your health without THC effects, then broad-spectrum CBD is the correct choice. This is because broad-spectrum CBD products give entourage effects because of the presence of other cannabinoid compounds. If you don't mind the effects of THC, full-spectrum CBD products are best for you. Full-spectrum CBD products will give you more benefits than broad-spectrum CBD products because of the presence of THC compound which is omitted in broad-spectrum CBD.


Anderson, L. L., Etchart, M. G., Bahceci, D., Golembiewski, T. A., & Arnold, J. C. (2021). Cannabis constituents interact at the drug efflux pump BCRP to markedly increase plasma cannabidiolic acid concentrations. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-14.

Luca, S. V., Roehrer, S., Kleigrewe, K., & Minceva, M. (2020). Approach for simultaneous cannabidiol isolation and pesticide removal from hemp extracts with liquid-liquid chromatography. Industrial Crops and Products, 155, 112726.

Mead, A. (2019). Legal and regulatory issues governing cannabis and cannabis-derived products in the United States. Frontiers in plant science10, 697.

Panagis, G., Mackey, B., & Vlachou, S. (2014). Cannabinoid regulation of brain reward processing with an emphasis on the role of CB1 receptors: a step back into the future. Frontiers in psychiatry, 5, 92.