See the Full-Spectrum

As cannabis consumers grow more educated on the therapeutic potential and medicinal value of cannabis compounds, they’ve also grown to appreciate not just popular cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the role of other components like terpenes as well. While isolates led sales and consumer interest early on in the cannabis compounds industry, emerging research on secondary cannabinoids and synergistic interactions like the Entourage Effect are bringing broad- and full-spectrum products onto center stage.

While isolates have the natural edge in terms of product potency and concentration, broad- and full-spectrum formulations have several advantages of their own. In this post, we go over the differences between broad- and full-spectrum products, as well as their respective upsides when compared to isolates.

 

Broad-Spectrum Formulations

Broad-spectrum hemp oil is a cannabis oil with lower single cannabinoid concentrations than isolates. Unlike the latter, which contains only one compound, broad-spectrum formulations contain several cannabinoids and terpenes. This makes it a more complete product that can tap into the benefits of the Entourage Effect when providing relief from a variety of acute and chronic conditions. Because of the absence of THC — which is still technically considered a controlled substance by the DEA — broad-spectrum products are legal in all 50 states.

Broad-spectrum formulations are made from the entire hemp plant, not just the flowers. They contain as many as hundreds of phytocannabinoids including CBD, cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG), along with terpenes like myrcene and limonene. The synergistic combination of these compounds work together to provide relief from a variety of conditions, including chronic anxiety, mood, pain and sleep disorders.

 

Strain Profile Formulations

Many cannabis compound product manufacturers offer formulations that imitate the cannabinoid or terpene profiles of specific strains of cannabis. These can arguably be classified as broad- rather than full-spectrum products because many of the most popular profiles are of high-CBD, low-THC strains. For these profiles, manufacturers prefer to source their cannabinoids and terpenes from botanical sources like fruits and vegetables rather than hemp or marijuana, in order to forego legal red tape in states where recreational cannabis is not yet legal.

Even for consumers who aren’t cannabis devotees, strain profiles are a good way to access beneficial terpenes with the added benefit of cannabinoids. For instance, strains plentiful in humulene terpenes include Candyland, Death Star and Super Sour Lemon. These can be vaped, dabbed or infused to make use of not only the therapeutic potential of humulene, but the Entourage Effect as well.

 

Full-Spectrum Formulations

Full-spectrum hemp oil is distinguishable from its broad-spectrum counterpart in that it contains a “complete” range of cannabis extracts including up to 0.3% THC, which is the maximum allowable concentration for full legality under existing federal regulations. Full-spectrum hemp oils contain cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other secondary compounds — providing a more authentic cannabis experience for consumers.

While isolates have the advantage of superior cannabinoid concentrations and broad-spectrum formulations tap into the synergy of cannabis compounds (minus THC), full-spectrum products make full use of the cannabis plant’s therapeutic and medicinal value to a point. Depending on the product manufacturer, full-spectrum oils can be sourced from both botanical sources and cannabis plant matter.

For cannabis enthusiasts and DIYers, full-spectrum formulations are the medium of choice for vaping, dabbing and infusion. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, some full-spectrum products can exceed the 0.3% THC threshold, so it’s worth checking the label before making a purchase.

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