Why does Spectrum Matter?


When it comes to CBD products, the selection seems endless.  When it comes to tinctures and oils you usually have 3 options: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolates.  There are key differences between these products explained below.  

A legitimate worry about CBD products is the THC content.  Since cannabis is still faux pas by today’s societal standards and laws, some customers have concerns with the THC content of CBD products.  Legally, all CBD products (individual state laws may differ) must be below the 0.3% THC threshold.  To achieve this and to give customers the option, companies make ISOLATE products which contain 0% THC.  I will tell you that nothing is fool proof.  Therefore, always check the certificate of analysis provided by the company to be sure.  

During CBD isolation, valuable compounds are removed from the final product.  First, CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids of value to your health (Yes, THC does offer valuable health benefits). Besides CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids removed when isolating CBD, very beneficial compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids are also removed (I promise to blog about the benefits of these awesome compounds in more detail later).  So, why does this even matter?

Have you ever baked a cake without adding baking soda or a little salt?  You may still get a tasty cake, but is a flat cake really what you desired to make?  It’s the same concept with the benefits of using cannabis.  CBD, THC, Terpenes, Flavonoids, and Fatty Acids all work together (synergistically) to help you reach the health benefit you desire.  It’s called the “Entourage Effect” (also another blog for later).  For instance, CBD helps to relieve some of the undesired side effects of THC.  This is one of the reasons a lot of patients don’t tolerate the prescription drug Marinol very well.  It contains synthetic THC suspended in sesame seed oil.   THC alone helps relieve nausea and pain, but without the CBD present, it can cause anxiety and dysphoria.  

Full Spectrum products contain varying amounts of all the plant compounds depending on the strain of cannabis and extraction process used.  Broad Spectrum is typically a product in which the company created an isolate to remove the THC then added back the terpenes and flavonoids, etc.  I recommend the use of full-spectrum products when possible.  However, some CBD is better than no CBD.

Dr. Kathy Jo Brocious

Dr. Kathy Jo Brocious

Dr. Brocious earned a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Mississippi. Kathy has helped numerous patients make important decisions about their healthcare from choosing the best vitamins and supplements to advice on medications and lifestyle choices.