January 22, 2022

Full-Spectrum CBD In Depth

You’ve just come across a bottle labeled “100% Organic 5000mg Full-Spectrum CBD Oil.” You’re intrigued. You’ve never tried CBD, but you’ve always wanted to.

You’re interested in full-spectrum CBD but not quite sure what it really means.

Have you heard the terms full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD thrown around and are still confused by the difference? Don't worry, we're here to break it down for you.

Read on for:

  • An in-depth explainer on full-spectrum CBD
  • Its benefits
  • How it's different from other types of CBD
  • Where to find it

What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD is, as the name suggests, CBD made from the cannabis plant with all of the naturally-occurring compounds left in. This includes all the flavonoid, terpenes, other cannabinoids, and phytochemicals present in that marijuana or hemp plant.

This means that in addition to the CBD, you’ll find some amount of THC in your full-spectrum CBD oil. And the many other cannabinoids! So you may discover that your CBD also features CBG, CBN, CBC, or other cannabinoid sidekicks.

Hemp-Derived Vs. Marijuana-Derived Full-Spectrum CBD

Now, any full-spectrum CBD will have some amount of THC in it. How much exactly depends on the particular breed of cannabis and whether that CBD was sourced from hemp or marijuana.

Hemp has a high CBD content and lower THC content, whereas marijuana has more THC and less CBD.

So if your full-spectrum CBD oil was sourced from hemp — the THC content will likely be less than a full-spectrum CBD oil sourced from marijuana.

The only way to know the exact cannabinoid breakdown in your CBD oil is to buy from products that do third-party lab testing. You'll know if a company does lab testing if they can provide you a certificate of analysis (COA).

Full-Spectrum CBD Benefits

CBD oil is known for a range of health benefits.  And full-spectrum CBD oil is no different.

Some of the potential benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil include:(1)

  • Anti-stress effects
  • Pain relieving
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-seizure
  • Addiction management
  • Neuroprotection
  • Nausea reducing

Like all types of CBD, it can come in different product forms from full-spectrum CBD gummies to full-spectrum CBD tinctures.

Types of CBD: CBD Isolate Vs. Full-Spectrum Vs. Broad-Spectrum

So, what's the difference between isolate and full-spectrum CBD? This is one of those CBD FAQs we get all the time. Here's a quick breakdown for ya.

  • Full-spectrum CBD. CBD oil with all the native cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds left in.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD. This CBD keeps all the naturally-occurring cannabis compounds except for the THC.
  • Isolate CBD. CBD that has been processed to only contain the single cannabinoid, cannabidiol. No other compounds.

For more deets check out our in-depth guide: Different Types Of CBD: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum & Isolate

Why Choose Full-Spectrum CBD Vs. Isolate CBD Or Broad-Spectrum CBD?

The type of CBD you should seek depends on what you want to get out of the CBD.

So, why would someone opt for full-spectrum CBD? For any of the following reasons.

Entourage Effect

Full-spectrum CBD may be more effective than other types of CBD. This is due to something called the entourage effect. In the entourage effect, it's thought that all the cannabinoids and other compounds in the plant work together to produce benefits that are greater than any one of them on their own.

This may make full-spectrum CBD products more beneficial since all the cannabinoid power is working synergistically together. (You’ll still — likely — get this cool perk from broad-spectrum CBD, if it has enough THC. But the impact may be more pronounced with full-spectrum CBD.)

Higher THC Content

This one's obvious. If you want THC content in your CBD, full-spectrum CBD is the way to go. THC and CBD share many similar benefits, but through the entourage effect, THC may enhance the benefits of CBD.

Since it’s psychoactive, THC also has euphoric effects. When you’re looking for a CBD product with a high kick — full-spectrum is where it’s at.

Less Processed

Full-spectrum CBD preserves the inherent compounds of the cannabis plant. Because of this, your full-spectrum CBD oil may be less processed than a broad-spectrum CBD or isolate CBD.

This gives you a product base that’s as close to the cannabis plant as possible. (But bear in mind that the finished CBD product you’re buying may still be highly processed.)

Is Full-Spectrum CBD Legal?

Good question. This depends on a few factors:

  • Where you are. Different states have different laws surrounding cannabis, CBD, and THC content.

  • The CBD source. Federally-legal CBD must be derived from hemp. Marijuana-based CBD is illegal at the national level, but legal in some states.

  • THC content. The federally-legal limit for THC is no more than 0.3%. Again, some states permit higher-THC CBD.

Definitely get your eyeballs over to our page on CBD Laws (Is CBD Legal in the United States? (2021 CBD Laws) for more information on state-specific statutes.

Bottom line: Get to know not only the federal laws around cannabis, but your state laws and the laws of any states you frequently visit.

Also, regulation surrounding cannabis is in constant flux. So, what’s illicite today may be A-OK in the future. If you’re interested in full-spectrum CBD — but it’s not currently allowed where you live — it may be soon! Def something to keep tabs on….

What Are The Cons of Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD has a lot going for it, but there are a few reasons why it may not be the thing for you.

  • You may get high. Now this can be a pro or con depending on what you want out of your CBD. But if you DON'T want to feel any psychoactive effects, avoid full-spectrum CBD.
  • You might get unfavorable drug screening results. Because of some THC content, you have a higher chance of getting a positive test result.
  • It’s against the law (for you). You may live in a state where full-spectrum CBD products are illegal.
  • Your product will likely have a "weed-y" odor and flavor. Because full-spectrum CBD is less processed, it will smell and taste closer to the plant it came from. (Again could be a pro if that's what you want!)

If you don't want the potential for any of the above, you likely want to opt for broad-spectrum CBD or isolate CBD.

Where To Buy Full Spectrum CBD

You're probably wondering where you can get your hands on some full-spectrum CBD.

You can easily find full-spectrum CBD online from retailers who source their CBD from hemp. Luckily, in this day and age, you have a plethora of choices at your fingertips. To legally ship across the country, these full-spectrum CBD oils will have a THC content of 0.3% or less.

You may also have brick and mortar options if your state allows. If you live in a state where cannabis products are legal, you'll likely locate many options among dispensaries or other shops in your area.

So how do you choose a full-spectrum CBD product?

How To Buy Full-Spectrum CBD

Since CBD doesn't come in standardized amounts, you'll have many products to choose from.

For example, you may see products labeled 2500mg full-spectrum hemp oil or 5000mg full-spectrum CBD capsules.

The amount of active ingredient can vary, so take a look at the product labels and ingredients to make sure what you're buying has the cannabinoid potency you want.

Some things to look for when shopping for full-spectrum CBD oils:

  • Make sure the product is labeled full-spectrum CBD and not isolate or broad-spectrum CBD.
  • Check for a COA to verify the THC and other cannabinoid content in your CBD. You want to make sure you're getting what you pay for (and that you’re within the legal limits for your area!).
  • Opt for USA-grown, organic full-spectrum products for purity and quality.
  • Read the ingredient labels to ensure there are no other weird additives or fillers in the product.

Full-Spectrum CBD: A Whole-istic Approach

Full-spectrum CBD is one of the three types of CBD out on the market. With all the cannabis compounds intact, it’s as close as you can get to the plant as possible.

Full-spectrum CBD may be a good option if you want the potential goodness of CBD plus the entourage effect, a less processed product, and/or the psychoactive zing of THC.

If you’re interested in trying full-spectrum CBD, be sure to brush up on your state laws surrounding full-spectrum CBD. And always go with a retailer you can trust.



  1. Caporuscio, J. (2020). 7 benefits of CBD oil. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cbd-oil-benefits

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