Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD: What’s the Difference?

By October 14, 2019 October 17th, 2019 No Comments
Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD: What's the DIfference?

There are several different types of CBD. Full spectrum vs broad spectrum, how are they different exactly? You’re probably more familiar with full spectrum and isolate products, which we have covered in the past. Canna Trading Co. uses broad spectrum hemp CBD extract in most of its products. We’ll explain the differences and similarities in this simple guide.

Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD refers to extractions from hemp plants that leave all of the naturally present cannabinoids and terpenes intact, including THC. The refinement process is minimal in order to leave all of these components intact. Only chlorophyll, plant matter and unwanted compounds are removed. What is left is a clean, cannabinoid-rich liquid.

Full spectrum CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC to be legal under FDA and USDA guidelines as outlined in the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, also known as the Farm Bill. Congress reviews this Act every 5 years. Improvements, changes and new sections can be implemented at this time. In 2014, the Farm Bill allowed for pilot hemp cultivation programs to take place in states that chose to adopt them.

In 2018, Congress went a step further and removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. It has finally been separated from cannabis and is now deemed an agricultural crop. The hemp and CBD industry are awaiting regulations from the FDA. The USDA is currently reviewing proposed regulations from individual states for their specific programs. Individual states must submit their proposed regulations to the USDA for approval before they can take effect. Not all states have submitted their proposed rules yet.

Three states have not changed their definitions of hemp nor have they adopted legislation to legalize hemp in their states. Those states include Idaho, South Dakota and Nebraska.

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad spectrum hemp CBD extract is what Canna Trading Co. uses. It’s really quite similar to full spectrum. Broad spectrum hemp CBD extract has had all or most of the THC removed. All of the other naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids remain. In some cases, during the refinement process, terpenes can be lost. Terpenes are often added back to the base hemp CBD extract to encourage the entourage effect.

Broad spectrum CBD can get confusing though. Sometimes it is CBD isolate with terpenes/cannabinoids added to it but remains THC-free. In other cases, it starts as full spectrum but goes through an additional process to reduce the amount of THC, or remove all of it but leave all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes intact.

If it includes THC, why isn’t it full spectrum? It’s often argued that broad spectrum hemp CBD extract has zero THC. However, this is not always the case.

Canna Trading Co.’s broad spectrum hemp CBD extract contains a miniscule amount of THC, far under the 0.3% THC allowed by federal guidelines.

Canna Trading Co product line

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum

When it comes to deciding between full spectrum vs broad spectrum, which one should you look for? Full spectrum and broad spectrum derived from full spectrum are superior to broad spectrum derived from isolate and isolate. This is because the cannabinoid and terpene profiles are left intact.

A product cannot be full spectrum if any cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the hemp plant has been removed. A variety of cannabinoids is not the full or complete spectrum of cannabinoids. This is where broad spectrum comes into play. A cannabinoid and/or terpene may be lost and not reintroduced, leaving a “broad spectrum” of cannabinoids left in the extraction.

Due to the low concentrations of other cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants, it’s not feasible to add these cannabinoids back as they are not available in abundant quantities. Doing so would increase product prices, putting them out of reach for most budgets.

Canna Trading Co. does offer full spectrum CBD capsules.

Canna Trading Co. CapsulesThe Entourage Effect

The entourage effect refers to all of the cannabinoids and terpenes in hemp and cannabis plants working together in the body creating synergy. When a major cannabinoid, such as THC, is removed from an extraction the entourage effect is no longer possible.

It’s been argued that a variety of cannabinoids in a formula can still create the entourage effect, but seeing as a major cannabinoid is missing (THC), this interrupts the equation.

We have referred to your body being a puzzle and missing a piece – this leaves your body out of balance. The same reference can be used regarding the entourage effect. When there is a piece of the puzzle missing (a single cannabinoid like THC) the equation is no longer complete. The original composition of the plant is no longer intact.

THC structure

Structure of THC

Choosing the Right CBD Product for You

When it comes to using CBD, it’s important to understand what your body needs. You might not know exactly what it needs, so trying a few different types of CBD might be needed. If your job requires that you submit to drug screenings and there are no protections in place for medical cannabis users or hemp product users, you’ll likely be restricted to using just CBD isolate.

CBD companies cannot guarantee that you’ll pass a drug test while using their products, even if they are tested and proven to be THC-free. If you do see a company or product that guarantees that you’ll pass a drug test, it’s best to steer clear. These tests look for THC and its metabolites. There are, however, more complex tests available now that are designed to detect cannabinoids in general. This means that since cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, it would show up on a general cannabinoid screening. These tests are not used often because they are far more expensive.

When choosing which type of CBD is right for you, consider all of the factors. Even that small amount of CBD that is in broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD products can leave metabolites behind. They can stick around in your body’s fat cells for a while. All of these things need to be taken into consideration when choosing between full spectrum vs broad spectrum vs isolate. If you are not sure if your CBD product contains THC, it’s best to purchase an at-home drug screening urine test and test yourself.

Closing Thoughts

From the information here, when it comes to full spectrum vs broad spectrum, the difference is small – it’s really just the presence of or amount of THC in the product. The entourage effect is important, but there are people whose bodies respond well to CBD isolate as well. When possible, speak with your physician about which type of CBD might be best for your individual needs as well as if it’s an option for you.

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