Understanding what Full Spectrum CBD means

What Full Spectrum CBD means?

What Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Mean? 

If you’re looking into CBD products for the first time, you may get overwhelmed by all the different names on the label. What is whole-plant? What’s the difference between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD? What is ‘pure’ CBD?

Let’s assuage some confusion and break down the three different types of CBD oil on the market right now, and take a look at how they differ from another:  

The three different types of CBD oil are: 

  • Full spectrum CBD oil: Contains all compounds of the cannabis plant, including traces of THC
  • Broad spectrum CBD oil: Contains several compounds of the cannabis plant, except for THC. (It’s sometimes described as ‘THC-free distillate’)
  • CBD isolate: Contains only CBD –  this is perhaps the most in-demand CBD-derived oil as it is the most ‘pure’ of all the oils. 

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

As you can see, Full Spectrum CBD varies from the others because it contains all of the compounds of the cannabis plant including traces of THC, which is the psychoactive compound. This means that if you take a product that has the label ‘full spectrum,’ then take heed, because you may feel different than if you were to take a CBD-derived product that has no THC or other compounds.

The cannabis plant contains a few different types of compounds, including:

  • Cannabinoids: There are more than 100 known cannabinoids, including CBD and THC.
  • Terpenes: Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give oils their fragrance; they can also have therapeutic benefits to the user. 
  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids aren’t only found in cannabis; in fact, they are found in all sorts of plants, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. Flavonoids are associated with color, and can have anti-inflammatory effects on the user. 

Full spectrum CBD includes small amounts of all of these compounds, including THC (unlike the other CBD types).


Researchers have found that full spectrum CBD has stronger therapeutic effects than the other types because it’s combined with the other cannabis compounds, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes -- all of these compounds are responsible for boosting health in a number of ways. This combination creates what is called the ‘entourage effect.’ Together all of the compounds are believed to be more effective than they would be alone. Additionally, full spectrum CBD is actually less processed than the other CBD-derived products, making it the more natural alternative of the three.

Another benefit is the availability of full spectrum CBD on the market. It’s easier to find -- thanks in part to the 2018 Farm Bill -- plus there are different types of products for everyone: there are gummies, topicals, oils, sublinguals, pills, and more. Of these options, there are also different flavours, textures, and doses to choose from. 

Another thing to note is that while full spectrum CBD does contain THC, it still doesn’t cause the “high” feeling because it should contain less than 0.3 percent THC, as that is the legally permitted amount. If you end up taking a larger dose or if the brand has misappropriately labeled the product, then you may feel different effects than expected. A word of caution: it’s not uncommon for brands to mislabel their CBD products. This is why it’s important for you to always read the label, research the company, and do your own research before you try something new. 


One of the main benefits is also one of the downsides: not everyone wants to have all of the cannabis compounds in their CBD. Indeed, many users may strictly want CBD isolate only, which is CBD-derived oil that only contains CBD, and nothing else. Although the legal amount of THC in CBD products is 0.3% in the U.S., some CBD products may be derived from ‘marijuana’ and may therefore have more than 0.3% THC. Some people may also want to stick to CBD-only products when they’re driving or operating machinery.

How to decide if full spectrum CBD is right for you 

Ultimately, it’s really a matter of personal preference. If you want a CBD product that doesn’t have any THC or other compounds in it, you may not want to use full spectrum CBD. 

If you’re looking for a more potent and effective product, then you might want to consider taking full spectrum CBD. If you opt for full spectrum CBD, keep in mind you can take it in so many different ways -- from oils to gummies, you’ll be able to find something that works for you. 

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