Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD: Which is Better?

Not all CBDs are created equal. In this article, you’ll learn the difference between full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD, and which one you should be taking.

What’s the Difference between Full Spectrum CBD and Broad Spectrum CBD?

Our first reveal—What is the difference between full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD?

The short answer to that question: one has THC, one does not.

And yes, we’re talking about the same THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that is infamously known for getting people high.

However, full-spectrum CBD only has up to 0.3% THC, which will not give you the same psychoactive properties as high-THC cannabis.

On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD has zero THC (zip, nada, none).

The beautiful thing about both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD is that the 100+ cannabinoids and 120 terpenes (the natural compounds that give hemp its unique aroma) work together to maximize the blissful benefits for you.

The technical term for these maximized benefits is called the entourage effect.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect was first coined by Professors Raphael Mechoulam and Simon Ben-Shabat in 1998 when they discovered an increase in the cannabinoid activity of anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (two major members of the endocannabinoid family).

From this discovery, numerous studies have come about…

In a 2010 study, scientists measured the pain relief experienced by 177 patients with advanced cancer who were given either THC and CBD or just THC.

60 patients were given the THC:CBD extract, 58 were given THC, and the remaining 59 were given a placebo.

After just two weeks, studies showed that twice as many patients taking the THC:CBD concoction showed a reduction of more than 30% from the baseline pain of the Numerical Rating Scale score, compared to the patients who took the placebo (23 patients vs. 12). And patients who were just taking THC showed no signs of improvement.

In short, the entourage effect ensues when the entirety of the hemp plant is used. This means all cannabinoids and all terpenes (with the exception of THC, however. The entourage effect can be experienced when taking either broad or full-spectrum CBD).

By now you may be wondering, “How do terpenes play a role in my health? Don’t they just give hemp its noteworthy smell?

What’s interesting is that terpenes provide more than a potent aroma. Based on their ability to increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier and their interaction with neurotransmitter receptors, they may enhance the health benefits of cannabinoids.

Something to always take note of when purchasing CBD is whether it’s CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Isolate: contains just one cannabinoid—CBD
  • Broad Spectrum: contains all 100+ cannabinoids and terpenes, minus THC
  • Full Spectrum: contains all 100+ cannabinoids and terpenes, including THC

Which One Should I Be Taking?

When it comes to whether you should take full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD, it depends on both your lifestyle and what you’re taking CBD for.

If you’re in a profession that involves medicine or law enforcement or driving trucks, you may want to opt for a broad-spectrum CBD like our Organic Fresh Mint Broad Spectrum CBD Oil so that you can be 100% sure you’ll pass a drug test. Because even though full-spectrum CBD has trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%), there is always a possibility.

However, if you’re not in those professions and are experiencing excruciating pain, a full-spectrum CBD like our Organic Fresh Lime Full Spectrum CBD Oil is your best option.

Final Thoughts on Full Spectrum CBD and Broad Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD both tout their own benefits.

The two takeaways for you to walk away with are:

  1. Full-spectrum CBD has THC (never more than 0.3%), whereas broad-spectrum CBD has zero THC.
  2. CBD and THC are quite the power couple—they create a type of cannabis synergy that THC and/or CBD cannot do alone. When they’re paired, there is greater efficacy in pain management and homeostasis.

No matter what, always do your due diligence in reading the label. For instance, our broad-spectrum CBD products say “THC Free”, so you can rest assured that you won’t be consuming any psychoactive properties.


Disclaimer: Thryv Organics is not suggesting CBD as a cure or medical treatment. Please consult a healthcare professional before starting the use of CBD.

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