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What is Full Spectrum CBD?

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

It would be impossible for CBD to exist in a monoculture because of just how available it is in so many different forms.   CBD can be purchased in any of the following forms

It would be impossible for CBD to exist in a monoculture because of just how available it is in so many different forms.   CBD can be purchased in any of the following forms: Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, CBD isolate, CBD oil, CBD edibles, CBD bath bombs, CBD muscle gels, CBD lotions, CBD creams, CBD face masks, etc.

The fact that CBD is currently available in so many fun and different forms is truly a beautiful thing, right?

Yet,  it’s also because CBD is now so widely-available in all these various forms that many today, with a peaking curiosity about CBD, tend to get confused about it.

How do you know what CBD product is the right one for you?   

Are Full Spectrum CBD products better than Broad Spectrum CBD products?

What works better:  CBD oil or CBD edibles?

How Full Spectrum CBD products are different from Broad Spectrum CBD products really is important when it comes to not just understanding the large-scope of the CBD culture, but also what the best products could be for a beginner to experiment with when beginning a daily CBD regime, etc.

The difference between Full Spectrum products and Broad Spectrum products really comes down to how each is made.    

The difference comes from how many of the active compounds from the cannabis and hemp plants are in the product, but also in how the extract is derived from either the cannabis or hemp plant – level of purification, etc.

Both Broad Spectrum and Full-Spectrum CBD products contain Cannabidiol, the main active compound from both the cannabis and hemp plants.

Legit CBD products on the alternative therapy health market will always contain Cannabidiol.    CBD or (Cbd) is the scientific-shorthand for Cannabidiol. 

Full Spectrum CBD products are generally less pure when compared against Broad-Spectrum products or those made only with CBD Isolate.  

Unlike CBD isolate, which is created with extreme purification processes and only contains Cannabidiol, both Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum CBD products tend to include not only Cannabidiol but also several other of the active, naturally-occurring chemical compounds of the cannabis or hemp plant.

With the cannabis and hemp plants each containing anywhere between 100-200 active chemical compounds, Full Spectrum products on the market tend to contain more of each plant’s naturally-occurring compounds than Broad Spectrum products.

As a result, Full Spectrum products containing many of active compounds from the cannabis and hemp plants, will typically have as much as .03% THC content.  

It comes down to the purification process; Broad-Spectrum products, for example, which are created by way of a much more strenuous purification process, more often than not, tend to contain no THC or 0.0% THC content.

What is the difference between full spectrum CBD and pure CBD?

Full-Spectrum CBD is much more potent than pure CBD.

Science has suggested just how effective CBD can be when it comes providing people with a way to get some relief from a medical condition such as anxiety, but it’s also shown us recently how CBD can also be even more effective as an alternative medicine when several of the active compounds from the cannabis and hemp plants are present instead of just one.  

Pure CBD may be sold as CBD isolate or in other instances, CBD Concentrate.  Isolates and Concentrates generally contain a pretty high concentration of cannabidiol extracted from the hemp or cannabis sativa plants.    

Super high-potency isolates or concentrates may contain as much as 45% to 99.99% percent cannabidiol.  

Pure CBD or CBD isolate or CBD Concentrate can be purchased via:

  • CBD Crumbles
  • CBD Crystals
  • CBD Oil
  • CBD Shatter
  • CBD Wax

Pure CBD / Raw CBD / CBD isolate / CBD concentrate can be very expensive.

And the price will usually reflect how the Cannabidiol is extracted via the extraction process – through a zero heat extraction.  

Proper extraction should be done via: Co2 Method.   

When Cannabidiol is extracted through the Co2 Method much of the original plant remains intact, and the extraction is done without any solvents or Non-GMO chemicals, etc.

Also,  price when it comes to purity will also be contingent on the lack of carrying agent as well present in the product.   Any product that claims to be Pure CBD, CBD Isolate, etc. will not be carried by way of Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, MCT Oil, Olive Oil or alcohol – even though these are very common carriers when it comes to CBD Oil products, etc.

Full spectrum CBD products tend to be called “full spectrum” because unlike broad spectrum products (which do not include any THC)  they contain much more of the plant’s naturally-occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and pigments – which means you get the “entourage effect.”

As a result:  Full Spectrum CBD products may be able to help those when it comes to finding relief from anxiety, depression, stress, sleep apnea, or epilepsy.    

Full Spectrum CBD products are “less-processed” or “less-purified.”   How a compound is processed to any consumer can be important.    

“Less-processed” can mean that the active compound in a CBD product has been less worked, whereas in Pure or Broad-Spectrum CBD products the compound may be “heavily-processed” to filter out a variety of things from impurities to the psychoactive THC, etc.

Another thing that seperates Full Spectrum CBD from Pure CBD is the amount of THC contained within – THC is the psychoactive ingredient of the cannabis plant.  

Pure CBD and Broad-Spectrum CBD tends to be THC Free or contain 0.0% THC, which means that it is non-intoxicating even though users do report experiencing feelings of relaxation or calmness, or experiencing having sensations of relaxation or calmness after consumption. 

Full Spectrum products, because they do contain trace amounts of THC, may find a user experiencing mild to intense feelings or sensations of euphoria, but also side-effects such as increases in appetite or drowsiness.

Pure CBD / CBD Isolate / Broad-Spectrum CBD Products may be taken to help a variety of medical issues:

  • anti-seizure
  • muscle spasm relief
  • anti-anxiety
  • pain relief
  • treatment for psychotic disorders
  • antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory

Full Spectrum Products, or CBD products that may contain <.03% THC, may also help people find relief from the same medical issues, but it’s unlikely that Full Spectrum products are able to provide any kind of legit relief from pain.  

For example: Let’s look at CBD isolate Oil and Full Spectrum CBD Oil.

Full spectrum CBD oil is very different from Broad Spectrum CBD Oil and CBD isolate oil.  The difference comes from the extraction process.

CBD Isolate Oil and Broad Spectrum CBD Oil contain less of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids from the hemp or cannabis sativa plants.    Which means: the extraction process filters out things like THC.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil doesn’t undergo the same filtration process.  

Full Spectrum CBD Oil products contain everything that CBD Isolate and Broad Spectrum products do, but they also include all the other active compounds (including THC), terpenes, and naturally-occuring fatty acids in the hemp and cannabis plants.

What’s the difference between CBD Oil and CBD Tincture?

It comes down to the carrier of the cannabidiol.  Pure CBD Oil is exactly that; however, CBD Oil that is advertised is usually not pure – it has a carrier.   So when a company, in reality, says that they’re selling CBD Oil, what they’re really selling instead is something like a variation on a CBD Tincture.   

The Cannabidiol extract used is mixed with a base before it’s put up for sale either on the internet or in a local dispensary.   Generally, cannabidiol is available in liquid bases – alcohol, coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, etc.

CBD Oil carriers:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Hemp Seed
  • MCT Oil
  • Olive Oil

CBD Tincture carrier:

  • Alcohol

CBD Oil has cannabinoids that are extracted from either the hemp or cannabis sativa plants into oil form.  As we’ve discussed in the past in other articles on, CBD Oil remains the most popular delivery method for CBD as an alternative medicine because of its fast bioavailability.

CBD Tincture is a CBD liquid that features cannabidiol extracted from the hemp or cannabis sativa plants and then infused with alcohol.  What separates CBD Oil from CBD Tincture is how the latter is mixed.  

Cannabidiol extract infuses with oils like those mentioned above, however, when Cannabidiol extract is added to alcohol it must be heated up before the alcohol can take on the properties of the extract added.  Over several hours, the actual alcohol in the base will burn off, infusion occurs and the tincture is born – tinctures have longer shelf life than oils.

Delivery methods vary;  some may prefer CBD oil over a CBD tincture, etc.   Ultimately, it’s important to find what works best for you and ignore what others are doing. 

Which is better: full spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD?

There really isn’t such a thing as “better” when it comes to comparing and contrasting Full Spectrum CBD products with Broad-Spectrum CBD products. After all, both may provide the same positive health benefits to users.  

However, it is possible to determine which of the two may be the most beneficial to someone who’s interested in starting a daily regime to experiment with how CBD can be a significant alternative medicine.

The way that should be determined is by examining a user’s needs vs. desires.

Someone with a curiosity about CBD who may also be suffering from anxiety, for example, may find that broad-spectrum CBD might be more beneficial than full-spectrum CBD once they’ve considering all of the following:

  • Desire state of relief from anxiety disorder symptoms
  • Bioavailability
  • Comfortability with socio-political stigmas

Desired State Of Relief:

What do you hope to achieve with CBD therapy?

Is the goal to find a state of relief from the symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, stress, etc?    If so:  What exactly is the desired state of relief?

Or is CBD therapy being considered as an experimental medicine to see how it can positively affect your life, or restore your quality of life after months or years of having to struggle with symptoms from any of the above disorders?

Or are you considering CBD therapy simply as a non-intoxicating way to help with the daily stresses in modern life; “take the edge off” after a challenging day at the office or after a challenging day as a result of someone else's environment?


The biggest advantage Broad Spectrum CBD products have over Full Spectrum CBD Products is the lack of THC.   Broad Spectrum products have 0.0% THC.  With some Full Spectrum CBD users experiencing the associative side effects of something on par with marijuana,  Broad Spectrum CBD products are not psychoactive – you can’t get “high” from consuming a Broad Spectrum CBD product.    

Bioavailability also gives Broad Spectrum CBD products another advantage over Full Spectrum products.  With Full Spectrum products containing trace amounts of THC, there is the possibility of THC staying in your bloodstream for weeks at a time.  

Broad Spectrum has no THC, so therefore, there can be no signs of any THC in your bloodstream because there never was any introduced into the body in the first place.

Bioavailability also comes into play when you’re trying to figure out the best CBD delivery system for you to experience all the positive benefits and effects that CBD can offer.    A CBD Oil product, for example, will entire your bloodstream much quicker than CBD edibles.  

If you’re in a dire situation where you need to achieve some state of relief from the medical condition you are currently experiencing –  fast relief may be the goal.

Socio-political stigmas

Full Spectrum CBD products do contain <0.03% THC. A full spectrum product, even if it may help you find a state of relief and restore your quality of life, still has potential social disadvantages.    Those against the decriminalization of cannabis in your state may not support or appreciate the fact that you are using CBD products as an alternative medicine.

Recently studies have shown how Full Spectrum CBD products may be more potent when it comes to capitalizing on the hemp and cannabis plant’s medicinal properties.

Can full spectrum CBD show up on a drug test?

Yes.  With traces of THC found in all full spectrum CBD products, consumption may result in urine and/or blood testing positive for THC on a drug test.

How do I know if my CBD is full spectrum?

Full Spectrum products are not THC Free.  If a product in question has a “NO THC” stamp on its label, it is generally-considered to be a broad spectrum CBD product.  Whenever consumers purchase any CBD product it is always in their best interest to also review the product's 3rd party lab test report to verify its quality, potency, and THC content.    

Companies selling CBD products–whether Broad Spectrum or Full Spectrum–that aren’t willing to share their product’s 3rd party lab test reports publicly should be avoided at all costs.  DO NOT PURCHASE CBD FROM THEM.