Full Spectrum CBD: Is it the right choice for you?

Is full spectrum CBD the right choice for you? Have you learned all about how CBD is going to benefit you and your particular condition(s)?  Are you ready to get started but have no idea what CBD product to choose? I am happy to help you with that.

I’m Dr. Mary Clifton. I’m an internal medicine doctor and the founder of CBDandCannabisinfo.com.

There are so many CBD products to choose from on the market. It’s mind-boggling. I believe that the best products are certainly going to rise to the surface, over the next decade. I want to share with you a couple of ideas of how to approach the marketplace. You can think about CBD as a full spectrum CBD, a broad spectrum or an isolate. It can also be derived either from the cannabis sativa plant or from a hemp plant. Let’s go over all of these options

Isolate CBD

The CBD isolate is derived from a plant that creates a lot of CBD in its leaves and stems. The CBD isolate is taken out of the plant by a distillation, usually with alcohol. This leaves you with a white powder that is essentially 100% completely CBD molecule. There’s nothing else in there. No other terpenes. No other cannabinoids like CBG, or CBN, or THC. There’s just CBD in a CBD isolate.

If you’re really looking to see, “Does CBD work for me?” a CBD isolate is sometimes a really good selection. You can take it with other supplements. Since you have the pure CBD molecule, you get data immediately on whether that product is working for you.

If you’re a person who is more of a whole plant person, a person who thinks that all of the other things in the plants are important to you, then a broad spectrum or a full spectrum, CBD is probably better.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Many people in the CBD community feel like surrounding the CBD molecule with a selection of naturally occurring terpenes or with other cannabinoids will help to enhance the effectiveness of the CBD. That’s the entourage effect that you’re now basically an expert on. The addition in a broad spectrum product of potentially a small amount of CBN, or CBG, or CBC in combination with your CBD may give you a better result than the CBD alone.

We don’t have great data around that yet. This is just a theory by people who have studied CBD and understand the molecule pretty well. The other thing you’re going to get in a broad spectrum product is some of the terpenes and other plant phytochemicals that help to enhance the experience of the CBD. We always say that the CBD starts the engine, but the terpenes and the other phytochemicals in the plant sort of steer the car.

types of CBD

Types of CBD

Are you looking to find a CBD that’s going to give you more alertness in the morning? Surrounding it with terpenes like limonene, derived from lemons or other citrus, is going to give you more of a calming and clarifying effect. Looking for an effect that will help to put you to sleep at night? Surrounding your CBD molecules with terpenes like linalool will help to sedate and relax.

These broad spectrum products are going to give you some CBD in addition to some other cannabinoids. Some terpenes and other phytochemicals may enhance the experience of that CBD.

Full Spectrum CBD

The full spectrum CBD is an even broader spectrum of chemicals surrounding the CBD plant, and the main difference between full spectrum CBD and broad spectrum CBD is that full spectrum CBD is allowed to have up to 0.3% THC in the formulation.

A lot of CBD plants make a small amount of THC. If you want to completely avoid THC and you’re also potentially at risk for getting tested at work for a THC component in your blood, then it’s very important to avoid these full spectrum CBD products and aim for a CBD isolate instead.

If you don’t have concerns around testing or about a risk for a small exposure to THC, then the full spectrum products are perfectly appropriate and reasonable for you to try. They’re going to give you similar results to the broad spectrum product. You can expect to have the effects of the CBD potentially enhanced by the phytochemicals, the terpenes, and the other cannabinoids that are surrounding the CBD in more of a whole flower experience.

In addition to that, there’s all kinds of different products that you can select that makes sense for administering the CBD.

If you want to use an oil, want to actually find the bud or flower, or if you’re thinking about an edible, I’ll cover those different modes of administration in great detail on the next video and blog.

About the Author


Dr. Mary Clifton is an Internal Medicine doctor with 20 years of experience in both the hospital and private practice. She is a published researcher, national speaker on women’s health and osteoporosis, and author of four books, and two new soon-to-be-released books on CBD and Cannabis – what you need to know, how to use them and a COOKBOOK to support ease of use.