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Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD for Dogs: Which is Better?

Aug 23, 2022

The world of pet CBD can be vast and confusing at first. There is a whole language around CBD that’s full of new terms. First, you have all of the components of hemp. There’s CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, and what is that exactly? Then there are terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. How is a person to know what’s important and what’s what when they’re just getting started? Next, you have to contend with all of the different types of CBD. Full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum CBD? Which one is going to be better for your dog? Have no fear—in this article, we will discuss what full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD are, the differences between them, and which one is best for your dog. This will help you make an educated decision about what kind of pet CBD to choose for your dog. (Your pup is so lucky to have you!)

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD contains a full extraction of all of the plant compounds found naturally in the hemp plant. This includes CBD as well as many other cannabinoids that are simply less well-known, terpenes, and other beneficial plant compounds. All of the plant compounds of hemp work together synergistically in what is called the Entourage Effect. This specifically includes how the cannabinoids and terpenes work together to make each other more potent and effective. It may even include the negligible amount of THC found in full-spectrum hemp, even though it is too low of an amount to have any effects on whoever is taking it. 0.3% is the legally regulated amount of THC that hemp can contain, and is considered to be insignificant. 

The health benefits that full-spectrum hemp has to offer outweigh its negligible THC content for most consumers. Because it contains the whole profile of hemp plant compounds, it will have a wider effect on health conditions as well as offer more potent actions through the entourage effect. 

Beware of a full spectrum product advertising itself to be THC-free—that is a good sign of low-quality manufacturing processes or poor quality hemp or both. 

CBD (cannabidiol) This is the main component of CBD oil.
CBG (Cannabigerol) Thought to be anti-inflammatory.
CBN (Cannabinol May stimulate appetite and help to create a sense of calm.
CBC (Cannabichromene) Appears to fight inflammation among other properties. 
CBD-V (Cannabidivarin) It may help with seizure disorders and is considered to be a good treatment for nausea
CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid) A precursor to CBD. May have anti-inflammatory effects.
Terpenes These compounds are potently aromatic, research shows that terpenes may improve the bioavailability and strength of cannabinoids. 

What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as other hemp compounds like additional cannabinoids and terpenes. If the hemp plant is a puzzle, then broad-spectrum CBD has taken that puzzle apart and put it back together a little bit differently. Whereas with full-spectrum CBD where they extract from the whole hemp plant and then use that extract, broad-spectrum takes a different approach. The desirable plant compounds are isolated or removed from the hemp plant and then combined to make the final product. This leaves the undesirable THC behind. Having a zero THC product is the main goal of broad-spectrum CBD. Manufacturers can also use heat to isolate and remove the THC, but this can damage the other delicate plant compounds in hemp. 

Broad-spectrum pet CBD is a good choice for dog owners who want a zero THC CBD product, but who also want their dog to receive a broad range of hemp compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. Since this type of product is constructed, it can offer dog owners consistency, which can be valuable. However, dog owners still need to be vigilant when it comes to broad-spectrum CBD if they want a zero THC product. Some broad-spectrum CBDs could still contain THC, despite packaging claims, which is why you want to verify your broad-spectrum CBD’s THC levels by looking at the company’s certificate of analysis. 

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD: Differences

The main differences between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD are their THC levels and how they are made. The legal amount of THC found in hemp is negligible, about 0.3%. This amount of THC has zero impact on pets because it’s too small. And, oftentimes it’s much lower, to the point of being undetectable. For example, the September 2021 certificate of analysis for Pet Releaf’s USDA organic Hemp Oil 100 shows an undetectable amount of THC in their product. 

When in their final form, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD are similar. When made correctly, both will have a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes, which work together in what’s called the entourage effect. It is these other plant compounds, the additional cannabinoids, and terpenes, that make full-spectrum more effective than an isolate. While there are times for each kind of CBD, in general, full-spectrum is going to offer the most health benefits.

Why? Because when it comes to broad-spectrum vs full spectrum CBD, full-spectrum has more of the naturally occurring plant compounds from hemp. While technically broad-spectrum offers a similar cannabinoid profile, CBD Oil for Dogs, a reputable review site for dog CBD products, tested 18 broad-spectrum CBD oils and found that only 4 of the 18 had enough additional cannabinoids to make them even marginally better than a CBD isolate. 

So, when it comes to broad-spectrum vs full-spectrum CBD, the artificial construction of broad-spectrum products, where compounds are isolated and removed from hemp and put back together, can lead to a less potent product. This means you may lose out on the powerful benefits of the entourage effect as well as the full roster of cannabinoids and terpenes found in full-spectrum CBD.

Here is a table comparing full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD.

Full-Spectrum CBD Broad Spectrum CBD
Contains CBD Yes Yes
Contains CBG Yes Maybe
Contains CBN Yes Maybe
Contains CBC Yes Maybe
Contains CBDA Yes Maybe
Contains CBD-V Yes Maybe
Contains Terpenes Yes Maybe
Contains a negligible amount of THC Yes No, but confirm with their certificate of analysis. 
The heat used in the extraction process Maybe, but many full-spectrum products are made without heat. Likely. Heat is often used to remove the THC.
Full entourage effect Yes May have some

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD: Which is Better for Dogs?

When it comes to full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD for dogs, full-spectrum CBD is best for dogs and the go-to CBD supplement for many dog owners. Full-spectrum CBD contains more of the beneficial plant compounds found in hemp, compared to broad-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum hemp offers the entourage effect, which combines the power of the many cannabinoids and terpenes found in full-spectrum hemp to make a more effective, potent product. Broad-spectrum hemp is often made with heat, and the damaging effects the heat has on the finished CBD product isn’t worth the negligible benefits of removing THC. The THC found in full-spectrum hemp is less than 0.3% and is often undetectable in a full-spectrum product’s certificate of analysis. 

Full-spectrum CBD is far less processed than broad-spectrum CBD, which undergoes multiple processes to extract the desirable components of CBD while leaving the THC behind. Full-spectrum CBD is also widely available, so it will be easier to find a pet CBD product for your dog. 

Whether you choose full-spectrum or broad-spectrum, only purchase CBD from companies that can show you their certificate of analysis, which will show you how many different cannabinoids are in the product along with its levels of THC. This is especially important if you choose a broad-spectrum product; you want to confirm that it contains multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, etc. 

Full Spectrum Pet CBD from Pet Releaf

Pet Releaf makes premium, full-spectrum hemp CBD products for pets. Many of their products are formulated for dogs, including their line of CBD and functional herbal soft chews called Edibites and their CannaCare topical cream. Grown here in the U.S., Pet Releaf’s hemp is farmed using sustainable and regenerative practices. This means that they start with high-quality hemp for their pet CBD products. Their state-of-the-art extraction process takes all of the goodness found in hemp using zero heat, chemicals, or solvents. This means that their products contain pure, full-spectrum hemp with no trace of harmful chemicals. And since they don’t use any heat, all of the delicate cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted intact and bioavailable. 

Experience all the benefits that full-spectrum hemp has to offer your dog with Pet Releaf’s line of USDA organic Hemp Oils. They come in concentrations for small dogs, cats, and other pets, to one made for giant dogs like Great Danes. Or, try their Liposome Hemp Oils, which are made with fish oil and designed for more finicky pets. Your pup is sure to love Edibites, which come in different flavors and are designed for different health issues. Try the peanut butter and carob Calming chews the next time you take your dog to the vet. If you’d like help finding the right, full-spectrum CBD product for your dog, check out this helpful product finder to get started. 

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