broad spectrum vs full spectrum CBD oil
broad spectrum vs full spectrum CBD oil

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Explained

People often ask us: “Which is better between full spectrum vs broad spectrum CBD oil?” This is a question that revolves around the THC content of our products. Frequently asked questions on the same topic include: “Do your products contain THC?” and “Are your products THC-free?” We understand this concern.

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate

Before we answer which one is better, let’s get some base definitions of each type of CBD oil:

Full Spectrum CBD oils contain all of the 100+ different cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Since full spectrum extract is the unadulterated extract from the plant, it has all the natural properties of the plant like flavonoids and terpenes. In other words, this is as close to consuming the actual hemp plant as you can get.

Broad Spectrum CBD oils have all the properties of the plant except for THC. Some methods start with a full spectrum oil and remove the THC. Other methods begin with a CBD isolate, then they reintroduce the other cannabinoids minus THC. Either way, it takes the oil a few steps away from being a natural product.

CBD isolate is a white crystalline powder made of the main single CBD compound. It can be mixed into different products or taken by itself. CBD isolate products do not have any other plant properties. Making CBD isolates requires quite a few extra steps after the initial extraction process, and takes it even farther away from its natural state.

Why We Only Use Full Spectrum CBD

At Cornbread Hemp, we only offer full spectrum CBD products. That is, all our products contain a dose of THC that is legal under federal law. We believe that full spectrum products work better, and we won’t put our name on an inferior product just to fill a short-term market niche.

Despite the fact that hemp-derived THC is legal as long as it consists of not more than 0.3 percent of the product, many people who want to try CBD are still apprehensive about THC. Usually, the threat of a drug test hangs over their heads. That’s a real shame. Everyone should be able to use full spectrum CBD products because they are legal under federal law. But certain aspects of society remain stuck in the past. 

Eventually, Human Resource departments will warm up to full spectrum CBD products in the workplace. But until then, this issue remains a challenge. But don’t just take our word for it. 

We interviewed a number of experts in the CBD industry who gave us their thoughts on full spectrum vs broad spectrum. Below, you can read their comments, which are exclusive to the Cornbread Hemp blog. 

Full Spectrum is Worth the Price

John White is the founder and CEO of CNBS.org, which is an educational website devoted to all things cannabis. His site does not sell a house brand, so “we love whatever sells the most each particular month,” John told us. 

In John’s experience, best-sellers in the CBD industry are not always tied to price. In fact, they rarely are. “Price doesn’t always tell the full story… in the case of full spectrum vs broad spectrum,” John said.

“Full spectrum CBD products are more expensive because it maximizes all the plant benefits of cannabis. It literally brings the full entourage effect,” John told us. “It helps maximize CBD oil’s therapeutic effects as a result of the hundreds of compounds within the cannabis plant interacting with the body.”

“If I don’t have cannabis on hand, I reach for the full spectrum,” John said, candidly, “as it’s the closest thing to it.”

The entourage effect that John talks about is the effect of cannabinoids on the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS. This is a recently discovered network of receptors that overlays mammalian nervous systems. These receptors react to cannabinoids produced by the body to balance out all of the different body systems. The cannabis plant has cannabinoids that are similar to the ones our body makes, so taking CBD oil can supplement the ECS. Studies support that using all of the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant has the best effect on the ECS, maximizing the benefits.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil and Drug Tests

Cameron Pullano is a representative of Greeny, which is an online CBD marketplace. Greeny sells multiple CBD brands in its web store with full spectrum and broad spectrum varieties. Here’s his thoughts on deciding between the two:

“For a consumer who’s looking to decide between full spectrum vs broad spectrum, it really depends on your own personal circumstances,” Cameron said. “I would say that the most common deciding factor for these two choices would be the likelihood of being drug tested.”

“Unfortunately, even in many states where cannabis is legal for medical or recreational use, drug testing is a common requirement for employment… Because full spectrum contains trace amounts of THC, it’s not an appropriate choice for people in that kind of situation,” Cameron said, reflecting the sad reality that THC workplace drug testing still prevents millions of Americans from experiencing the effects of legal, full spectrum CBD products. 

“For just about anyone else, though, we would recommend full spectrum over broad spectrum, due to the way that cannabinoids interact with each other to enhance the effects of the product,” Cameron told us. 

Using CBD and Testing Negative for THC

David Kranker, a writer at Green Wellness echoed the sentiments of Cameron from Greeny. 

“We see a greater impact in keeping the product closer to that plant in the ground. That would be a full spectrum,” David told us. “That entourage effect of all the cannabinoids working together provides a greater benefit with less product in terms of active milligrams.” 

“Creating a broad spectrum isn’t simply removing THC. All the cannabinoids are broken apart and put back together… taking you a little further from the plant in the ground,” David said.

“At the end of the day, though, we always say that the best CBD is the one you’d be willing to actually take. If someone needs to steer clear of THC, we certainly wouldn’t want them to write the plant off altogether. They could still see a huge benefit from a broad spectrum [CBD product].”

The Entourage Effect and Full Spectrum CBD

Evan Borowiac from Ministry of Hemp also responded to our question on this subject. Ministry of Hemp is a leading online publisher in the hemp advocacy space. They have worked with dozens of CBD businesses over the past few years.

“Overall, we’re proponents of full spectrum CBD oil,” Evan told us. “The hemp plant contains hundreds of different phyto-chemicals including cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. While there is still more research to be done, there are indications that show cannabinoids and terpenes work together to influence each other. This has specifically been shown between CBD and THC, which are obviously the two most well known compounds from hemp.”

Like our other experts, Evan sees the need for inferior broad spectrum because of the realities of workplace drug testing: “Yet, we also recognize that we live in a society that still puts a lot of restrictions around THC, especially at the workplace,” Evan said.

“We’ve heard from people who have drug tested positive from taking full spectrum CBD… Thus, there are benefits to broad spectrum, in that it is more accessible, especially for those who work in sensitive environments like healthcare.” 

What About CBD Isolate?

“Many people may come under the impression that CBD isolates are superior to both broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD products since CBD isolates contain pure CBD,” said Dr. Kasey Nichols of Rave Reviews. “The problem with CBD isolates lies in precisely what makes CBD isolates appealing, namely that they are products that contain only cannabidiol. The inclusion of other cannabinoids along with CBD has been shown to exhibit an ‘entourage effect,’ in which beneficial properties emerge and are enhanced that are not found in products containing pure CBD.” 

Full spectrum CBD graphic
A handy chart to show the differences between full spectrum vs broad spectrum and isolate.

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum Conclusion

The consensus CBD fact among experts appears to be that full spectrum CBD cannabidiol products are more effective than broad spectrum products. But some people just can’t take full spectrum CBD products because of the risk of losing their jobs if they test positive for THC.

Therefore, until employers in the United States make serious changes to their drug testing policies, there will always be a niche for THC-free products. However, at Cornbread Hemp we focus on quality and effectiveness. Therefore, all our products contain a legal dose of THC for a full spectrum of cannabinoids. Plus, we’ve got the third party lab reports to prove potency on every single batch.

If you are unable to enjoy our products because of your workplace drug testing policy, at least your pets can experience the benefits of our full spectrum CBD! Hemp extract can benefit anyone with an endocannabinoid system, meaning even your dogs and cats can use CBD oil for the same reasons we do. Cornbread Hemp’s Pet Oil is perfectly formulated for your furry companion, and comes in a delicious corndog flavor.

It saddens us that employment drug testing keeps some potential customers away from our full spectrum organic CBD oils. We hope that one day soon, workplaces repeal unnecessary drug testing policies. And put an end to discrimination against those with THC metabolites in their system.

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