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Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum make up two of the three most common types of cannabidiol extract. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has been gaining an increasing amount of attention in recent years for it’s ability to help with pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, sleep, and more. 

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD each have several unique distinctions that can help explain the different effects they have on the body. In this article, we’ll be covering all you need to know about full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD, alongside the advantages and disadvantages for each. 

What is Full-Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD contains the entirety of contents found within the cannabis plant. This includes terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, and many other active compounds found within the plant. 

When comparing the two types of cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most important compound to take note of. Federally legal full-spectrum cannabis products do have trace amounts of THC present, although always at concentrations of 0.3% or less. For the vast majority of people, this minuscule amount of THC is insufficient to cause a psychoactive or ‘high’ effect. 

What is Broad-Spectrum CBD? 

Broad-spectrum CBD is a cannabidiol that contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and many other medicinally beneficial compounds. 

The main difference between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD is that broad-spectrum does not contain THC. Before being used in products, the THC is removed with an extraction process. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Full-Spectrum CBD?

As it contains trace amounts of THC, full-spectrum CBD products will also contain other beneficial compounds that broad-spectrum CBD does not. This accounts for perhaps the greatest benefit associated with full-spectrum. 

When multiple components of the cannabis plant are given the chance to work together, such as flavonoids, terpenes, and phytocannabinoids, they create what is called the ‘entourage effect.’ This effect is theorized to reap more benefits for the user and maximize the time spent interacting with CBD. 

The entourage effect may produce the following benefits:

  • Improved ability to treat depression and anxiety 
  • Mood-stabilizing effects 
  • Improved treatment for brain related disorders and skin conditions

The only con to consider when it comes to full-spectrum CBD would be the small chance the user may get high while taking it. Although it is extremely unlikely, in certain cases if the dosage is large enough, psychoactive effects may be possible. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Broad-Spectrum CBD? 

The first advantage for cannabis users to consider when using broad-spectrum CBD is that there is no chance for a ‘high’ feeling. This can help with clarity of mind when taking a CBD product to treat pain or illness. 

Pros for broad-spectrum CBD will be similar to full-spectrum, and can include the following:

  • Antibiotic solution to treat illness 
  • Anti-seizure treatment 
  • Anti-inflammatory application

The fact that broad-spectrum CBD doesn’t contain THC can be both a pro and a con. It may prove to be a disadvantage in the way that broad-spectrum users will miss out on the ‘entourage effect.’ It is speculated that for this reason, broad-spectrum may not have as many benefits as full-spectrum CBD.


Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD have some incredible health benefits to offer the human body. They each prove to have profound effects on improving inflammation, sleep, depression, and more. The main difference between the two is that full-spectrum contains a small amount of THC, while broad-spectrum does not. 

If you are looking for more information on the best CBD products on the market, be sure to check out all we have to offer at Formulated Wellness. We have a wide selection of both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products to fulfill all your health-related needs!

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