What’s the Difference Between Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Hemp Extract?

Written April 16, 2019 by Kat Merryfield

What’s the Difference Between Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Hemp Extract?

You might be considering a few hemp extract products and wondering whether you should buy a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD hemp extract. It can be overwhelming to read these terms without understanding what they mean.

But purchasing hemp extracts isn’t as complicated as it may look. In fact, it’s quite simple.

Full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum vs. CBD hemp extract

Let’s walk through the ins-and-outs of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD hemp extract so that you make the best decision for your lifestyle and body.  

  1. Full-spectrum hemp extract

Full-spectrum hemp extracts contain everything the hemp plant contains: , terpenes, flavonoids, phytocannabinoids, and a wide range of other nutrients. In other words, full-spectrum simply means “the whole plant” — all the different phytochemicals naturally occurring within the plant will be provided in a full-spectrum hemp extract.

Additionally, full-spectrum hemp extracts allow all the cannabinoids and other nutrients to work together, which amplifies their beneficial impact, leading to an entourage effect. This effect is quite a phenomenon, as all the compounds of the hemp plant work together to produce a synergistic effect in the body.

However, the phrase “entourage effect” isn’t a new thing — the catchphrase became prominent when consumers started getting confused about whether the THC or full-spectrum hemp extract was creating a holistic effect. The marijuana industry wanted people to know that components in the cannabis plant produced a stronger effect within the body when each component was working together. This synergistic impact led to the birth of the “entourage effect” — and marijuana companies used the phrase in their marketing efforts to claim that the whole plant was better. It is now being used in the CBD industry as well.

  1. Broad-spectrum hemp extract

Broad-spectrum hemp extract is the same as full-spectrum hemp extract minus the THC. While broad-spectrum is free of all THC, it does deliver the entourage effect, as it contains all other cannabinoids and phytochemicals found naturally within the plant.

You might choose a broad-spectrum hemp extract if you have to take drug tests on a regular basis. Since THC is not present in a broad-spectrum hemp extract, it will not show up on a drug test like it would if you were taking a full-spectrum hemp extract. Be aware, though, that all broad spectrums may not be completely THC free and you may test positive on a drug test even with minute amounts of THC which may build up in the fat cells of the body.

  1. CBD hemp extract

CBD hemp extract is merely a single cannabinoid such as cannabidiol that’s been extracted from the hemp plant and isolated into its purest form. It is free of all other active phytochemicals such as other cannabinoids and terpenes.

You may choose a CBD only hemp extract if you want to be absolutely positive that you will pass a drug test, or you need to consume large amounts of CBD for a particular reason. It is impossible to get large concentrations of CBD in a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum product and not increase the amount of THC at the same time.

Which hemp extract is best for you?

Before you purchase a hemp extract, the first question you have to answer is, “Is it okay if I have THC in my system?” It’s important to understand that while THC has a synergistic relationship with all other cannabinoids and phytochemicals, it’s also the one cannabinoid that testers are searching for when drug tests are issued.

Full-spectrum hemp extract products, though low in THC, can still show up positive on a drug test. Even full-spectrum topicals applied on the surface of the skin can accumulate over time within the fat cells of our body. If you undergo drug tests for school or work, then it’s best to consider a CBD or broad-spectrum hemp extract.

Today, broad-spectrums are making a lot of leaps and bounds, especially if you want all the cannabinoids excluding THC. When broad-spectrum first came on the scene, it wasn’t easy to clear out all the THC. But now broad-spectrum hemp extracts are available and helping consumers enhance their quality of life and benefit from the entourage effect without any THC involved.

Keep in mind, however, that finding a reputable brand is very important when it comes to broad-spectrum hemp extracts in particular. It can be a gamble if the broad-spectrum hemp extract isn’t coming from a trustworthy source, as it might have trace amounts of THC. This mishap can be detrimental if you can’t have THC in their system.

How to ensure you’re getting a consistent hemp extract and consistent results

As mentioned before, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting the right hemp extract — and the most important way to ensure you’re getting a consistent hemp extract product is to review the lab test results for each extract. Reputable CBD hemp companies will always have the lab results available, but be sure to check the date as well as the batch number of each test analysis.

Once you find a credible hemp extract and use it on a consistent basis, it’s important to note that after a certain amount of time, your body gets saturated. This fact means you will need to implement strategies to help you receive consistent results and effects throughout your body.

There are two tactics that I use and personally recommend. Either change the hemp extract you are consuming or stop consuming the hemp extract for seven days.  Taking a break for seven days or changing strains will help the body dump the saturation of cannabinoids within your system.

However, If you can’t take seven days off, simply change your hemp extract from full-spectrum to a CBD hemp extract, and finally, to a broad-spectrum hemp extract. If THC is not an option for you, switching from broad-spectrum to CBD hemp extract, and vice versa, will work just fine.

All in all, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD hemp extracts are much easier to understand than their somewhat complicated names suggest. Determining which hemp extract works best for you is purely based on your personal choices.

Know someone who doesn’t know the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD hemp extract? Share this article with them so they have the full scoop on hemp extracts before they purchase a product!