Until relatively recently, CBD oil was unknown to many people around the world. However, now that it has been introduced into the mainstream, potential users are left wondering which products they should use and which have the potential to work best for them.
If you’ve sought out CBD oil in the past, you’ve most likely encountered one of the two main options when it comes to CBD oils: Full-Spectrum or Broad-Spectrum (CBD Isolate is a third option but less popular among regular CBD users).
Understanding the distinctions between Full and Broad Spectrum oils, their ingredients and composition, is very important for a new user, as these will almost certainly influence which option someone chooses to purchase.
Different Options of Cannabidiol
Before discussing any specific details or applications for any of the options, here is a general definition of each.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil: Full-Spectrum CBD possesses all of the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant like CBD and CBG, as well as other plant compounds. This means that Full-Spectrum will contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil: This choice is similar to Full-Spectrum, but with no THC content. It will, however, retain other cannabinoid components of the cannabis plant.
CBD Isolate: These products will only ever contain pure CBD, with no other cannabis compounds present.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
Because Full-Spectrum oils use all cannabinoids and other active compounds, users of this option may experience what is called the “Entourage Effect”. With all of these elements working in tandem, the theory is that Full-Spectrum users can undergo a more intensified experience. They can receive benefits that might otherwise be diluted if each of the ingredients were taken separately.
Other cannabinoids present in Full-Spectrum oils will include CBN, CBG, CBDV, CBDA and CBC. Studies done have indicated that these, along with other cannabinoids and terpenes (compounds that affect scent), can elicit a better response due to the entire hemp plant being used as the compounds work in synergy with one another.
THC & Drug Testing
One of the main hesitations, however, is that with Full-Spectrum CBD you will be introducing a certain amount of THC into your body. Most Full-Spectrum options will contain 0.3% THC or less, a negligible amount that is non-psychoactive and non-toxic.
THC and drug testing is an area which is not full studied or even nearly so. When taking full spectrum CBD oils for example it is unclear whether a urine drug test will show the presence of THC or not for the user. This is because there are various methods of absorbing CBD into the body whether it be vaping, orally taking drops or eating and digesting CBD infused food products like jellies.
Nevertheless, if you are a heavy and daily user of a potent Full-Spectrum oil, these doses may leave tiny amounts of THC in your body’s system. The key is to ensure your product of choice has a low enough THC content, and that the seller you buy from is verified through lab testing. This way you can minimise the threat of being sold a product whose label isn’t reflective of the listed ingredient amounts.
Another reservation people may have with Full-Spectrum is the possibility of failing a drugs test, or the chance of receiving a false positive despite the low amount of THC in the product. So, if someone wants to avoid the chance of this happening, their best bet would probably be to go with a Broad-Spectrum choice.
Another small reason for avoiding Full-Spectrum would be if a user wished to avoid the strong natural taste that these oils can have. There is also a strong hemp smell associated with Full-Spectrum options due to their whole plant source.
Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad-Spectrum, just like Full-Spectrum, also uses Cannabidiol along with all other compounds present in hemp. The one drawback, however, is that during and after the extraction process of cannabinoids from the hemp plant, all THC gets removed. Distinctions like these are important for all CBD users to know.
If you live in an area where the legality of THC products is strict, or if you are employed in a field which has regular drugs testing, then a Broad-Spectrum choice is advised. This, of course, is a much-desired benefit if you are looking to avoid the threat of a failed drugs test, or if you simply wish for there to be no THC content present.
Also, because Broad-Spectrum oils use added terpenes and flavonoids, as well as retaining several cannabinoids such as CBG & CBN, it’s still possible to bring forth the ‘entourage effect’ despite the absence of THC. Thus, whole-plant benefits may still be experienced through this option, though research still suggests that the ‘entourage effect’ may best be felt through the combination of both CBD & THC together. If you’re insistent about availing from these potential results, then a Full-Spectrum choice may be your best shout.
Personal Preferences & Situation
Ultimately, which oil a person opts for will depend on a number of factors. It’s less a matter of competition than of which oil is most applicable for a user’s needs and situation.
With Broad-Spectrum, many users will perhaps receive the best of both worlds. The benefits of the ‘entourage effect’ can still be felt, minus the risk that the inclusion of THC might pose for some users, be it sensitivity to consuming THC, or simply for employment reasons. Broad-Spectrum is also a good starting point if someone is completely new to the world of CBD, and wishes to start slow.
With Full-Spectrum, however, users may be in search of the most potent application that CBD can have for them. They also may not currently be in a situation where the presence of THC is a problem.
In either case, potential CBD consumers need to weigh up their reasons for use. All bodies are different, and some may find that Broad-Spectrum is more than enough, while others may be using Full-Spectrum and still feel like they require more. The essential difference is the inclusion of THC, and asking whether this presents a problem or not will go a long way to deciding which product a person should use.