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Full Spectrum vs Broad spectrum
You’ll find CBD products in two forms: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum
- Full-spectrum CBD: Full-spectrum CBD contains small amounts of all components of the cannabis plant. That means it can have trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Federally legal full-spectrum products will always have less than 0.3 percent THC. In states where cannabis is fully legal, you may also be able to find full-spectrum products with higher levels of THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: This type of CBD does not contain THC. It does contain other components of the cannabis plant, though, so it won’t be 100-percent CBD alone. Consider it the middle child of the three CBD choices.
One of the biggest benefits of full-spectrum CBD is that you’ll get what’s known as the entourage effect. This is a theory that says when multiple components of cannabis work together, you reap more benefits than when taking each individually.
These components include phytocannabinoids (like CBD and THC), flavonoids, and terpenes (compounds that affect cannabis’s scent).
However, a potential downside to full-spectrum CBD is that if you take a large enough dose of a potent enough product, you may feel “high” due to the THC.But that doesn’t mean that all full-spectrum products will make you feel intoxicated. Small doses of lower potency products are unlikely to produce any euphoric effects.
Finally, since full-spectrum products contain THC, you may run a higher risk of testing positive should you take a drug test.
One potential plus of broad-spectrum CBD is that you keep a clear mind — no THC means no “high” feeling.
A drawback, though, is that CBD sans THC may not be quite as effective as the two together. More research is needed, but the entourage effect suggests they may work best together.
That’s not to say broad-spectrum products won’t give you any of the entourage effect benefits at all. Broad-spectrum CBD still contains some other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, which may offer benefits beyond the CBD alone.