Forms of CBD

Full vs. Broad Spectrum CBD: Comparing Their Effects & Benefits

If you’re new to CBD and trying to figure out which product is right for you, you’ll come across a lot of unfamiliar terms and acronyms. I get it. You probably weren’t anticipating a chemistry class when you’re just trying to find something to help you relax. However, different forms of CBD can give you varying effects. Although more clinical trials need to be done, more and more research is indicating that different forms of CBD can help supplement treatment for anxiety, pain, nausea, or sleeplessness. [1]

Read on to see the differences between full spectrum vs broad spectrum CBD to get a sense of which type is right for you.

Differences at a Glance

Full Spectrum CBD contains all of the compounds within the cannabis plant including trace amounts of THC (no more than 0.3 percent to comply with federal regulations [2]). With its THC content, it can produce a balancing “entourage effect” that can actually enhance CBD in helping relieve pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

Broad Spectrum CBD contains almost all of the cannabinoids and compounds of the cannabis plant except for THC. You’ll only get the effects of CBD without the typical cannabis “high” but it won’t give you that entourage effect you get with full-spectrum.

CBD Isolate only contains CBD with no other cannabinoids.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum CBD is just a fancy term for hemp. Yes, that same hemp you’ve seen or used for arts and crafts projects is composed of cannabis plant fibers. Full spectrum is sometimes referred to as “whole plant CBD,” meaning it contains a wide range of compounds found within the cannabis plant.

Because it hasn’t been chemically altered or had any cannabinoids extracted, full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC. It’s not enough to make you feel high the way a potent THC product would, but the presence of it helps create an “entourage effect.” This means that the CBD, THC, and other cannabis compounds found in full spectrum work together, giving you more balanced effects of all of the cannabis compounds found within it. Researchers think that the entourage effect enhances CBD’s specific benefits in terms of helping alleviate symptoms of anxiety, sleeplessness, and chronic pain.[3]

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad spectrum still contains compounds such as essential oils and terpenes (the scent molecules that give cannabis its distinctive aroma) plus other cannabinoids such as CBC and CBN.

The one thing it doesn’t contain is THC. That means there’s virtually no chance broad spectrum CBD could give you a ‘marijuana high.’ However, it also means that broad spectrum CBD won’t give you the entourage effect that full spectrum does.

Both broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD come in a wide variety of products such as edibles, supplements, topical creams, and CBD oil you can take under the tongue.

What About CBD Isolates?

CBD isolate is just as its name implies: it’s CBD only with no other types of cannabinoids and absolutely no THC. When extracted from cannabis plants, CBD isolate usually ends up in a solid crystal that looks like large chunks of salt or like a fine powder that resembles confectioner’s sugar. However, it can also be processed into liquids and oils, making it easier for you to take orally. Like broad spectrum CBD, CBD isolate contains absolutely no THC and won’t give you the entourage effect.

You can take CBD isolate like you would any other form of CBD like oil, supplements, edibles, or topical creams. Some brands even carry CBD isolate powder you can take sublingually (under the tongue).

What About Other CB’s (Cannabinoids) like CBN, CBC, and CBG?

Though they’re not as common as broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD, you can also seek out other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBC, and CBG in products depending on the types of targeted effects you want:

CBN: CBN can be a natural sleep aid similar to how you would use melatonin. [4]
CBG: CBG can help alleviate pain related to glaucoma and headaches. [5]
CBC: There’s still a lot of research being done in terms of its actual clinical benefits for humans, but initial results from studies on mice indicate that CBC may be able to help with feelings of anxiety. [6]

Which Type of CBD is Right for You?

It all depends on how you want to feel. To summarize: Full-spectrum CBD is great if you want a balanced entourage effect and don’t mind a little THC getting into the mix. CBD isolate and broad spectrum will only give you the benefits and effects of CBD but no entourage effect since there’s no THC.

As you’re shopping for CBD products, be sure to look out for products made with clean, high-quality ingredients grown from 100% hemp (the cannabis plant.) At Everscore, we make it easy for you to find quality CBD products from the most innovative cannabis brands nationwide. Plus, all the products we carry have a certificate of analysis which means they’re third-party lab tested for your safety.

And as always, talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about taking CBD in any form. While it has a great range of benefits, CBD may interact with prescription medications.