If you have come across this article, you probably know a thing or two about CBD, but are looking to know more. That makes you like one of the millions of Americans, as CBD has become one of the most popular supplements out there.
CBD only became legal in the aftermath of the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which formally removed CBD from the Schedule 1 list of drugs, making it commercially available. Since that time, a variety of scientific evidence and personal testimonies have noted that CBD has the potential to help people deal with a variety of physical and emotional ailments.
However, it’s important to note that all CBD types are not created equal, and within the CBD community, a considerable debate rages about which CBD form is better: Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum.
So, what are the differences between the two? Is one really better than the other?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a compound that is produced from the hemp plant. The compound itself is processed from the hemp plant and turned into CBD.
The way in which the CBD is processed ultimately has a significant impact on the type of CBD that is produced. CBD is processed, then placed into a variety of other substances (such as vaping juice, edibles or topical creams) in order to achieve a desired chemical formula.
CBD itself is a cannabinoid, and the amount of CBD in the product that you purchase varies. However, CBD products come with chemical compounds, including:
It is important to note that in all countries where THC levels are limited in every country where CBD is legal. Many European countries have limits of .2%, while America has a limit of .3%. As such, the amount of THC which is available in legally sold CBD is not nearly enough to get anyone high (marijuana commonly has 20% THC).
However, it is THC which makes a critical impact in terms of the discussion of Full or Broad Spectrum CBD.
Full Spectrum CBD contains all naturally occurring chemicals, including terpenes, flavonoids, and THC. However, Broad Spectrum CBD contains no THC.
Is one form better than the other? That depends on who you talk to. Some people swear by Full Spectrum CBD, arguing that CBD is most effective when it contains all naturally occurring compounds, including THC.
The impact of THC in CBD is also referred to as the “Entourage Effect.” The theory behind it is basically the CBD version of the expression, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” In other words, the idea behind the Entourage Effect is that CBD is most effective because all of its naturally occurring components interact with each other to create a better experience and stronger impact for its users.
There is evidence which cuts both ways in terms of the effectiveness of the Entourage Effect.
On one hand, a study in Frontiers in Plant Science examined already existing literature and studies on the Entourage Effect and found evidence to support the idea that CBD is more effective at reducing pain when it is combined with THC than when it is without this cannabinoid. Further examination discusses the theorized chemical mechanism by which THC works: It is believed that the THC itself actually bonds with cannabinoid receptors (something CBD does not do) and that when this effect is combined with the cannabinoid-enhancing effects of CBD, it produces a more powerful effect.
However, this idea was dismissed by a recent study in bioRxiv, which found no that the presence of THC did not significantly alter CBD’s ability to cause cannabinoids to bind with receptors.
The only thing which is clear about the debate over CBD’s effectiveness is that more research needs to be done to determine whether or not THC truly makes an impact. However, additional factors are also at play.
The decision about whether or not to use Full or Broad Spectrum CBD ultimately comes down to personal considerations. On an anecdotal level, some people report that Full Spectrum CBD makes them feel more relaxed. Some people also don’t like this sensation, and as such, they stick with Broad Spectrum CBD.
However, there are other considerations to keep in mind. Marijuana drug tests work by determining the amount of THC in someone’s body. If the level of THC tests above a certain threshold, the test will come back positive.
Though unlikely, it is possible to test positive for a drug test if you take Full Spectrum CBD. This depends on a variety of factors, including:
If drug tests are a concern for you, it is absolutely preferable that you still with Broad Spectrum CBD. Even then, make sure to only purchase CBD which has a lab test available that can confirm that no THC is in the product. Unfortunately, some CBD vendors have been shown to mislabel their products, and this means that it is possible for you to ingest ingredients like THC without realizing it. A lab report can confirm the ingredients in a product, and you should never purchase CBD without reviewing the lab report first.
There is evidence for and against the idea that the Entourage Effect can give you a better experience with CBD, and some people have found that they prefer one version of CBD over the other. Your best bet is to purchase high-end, independently verified Full and Broad Spectrum products, then compare your experiences with each.
Ultimately, the decision about which product to buy comes down to your personal preference and experience.