Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil

Within the last few years, hemp oil has gone from a virtually unknown substance, to now garnering the attention of the beauty, fitness, and wellness industries — and for good reason. Its benefits and versatility are compelling, but choosing between full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp oil can be confusing.

While broad spectrum and full spectrum hemp oil contain a multitude of phytonutrients, there is a slight difference between the two. To clarify between these differences, we first need to answer a few questions, the first being: what does “full spectrum hemp oil” mean?

What is Full Spectrum Hemp Oil?

By definition, full spectrum hemp oil contains all the phytochemicals that naturally exist in the hemp plant. These phytochemicals include:

  • Phytocannabinoids – including 0.3% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • Flavonoids
  • Terpenes
  • Fatty acids
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Phenolic compounds

In order for hemp oil to be considered “full spectrum”, the phytochemical profile must not be altered during the extraction process. This means that phytocannabinoids like THC (which naturally exists in the hemp plant) will be present in the final product. While this may be alarming for some pet owners, it’s important to know that the hemp plant contains only trace amounts of THC — 0.3% or less. This amount is not enough to cause a psychoactive effect, especially when it’s coupled with high ratios of CBD.

In fact, combining these phytocannabinoids and other hemp compounds creates the “entourage effect” –– that is, when phytochemicals work synergistically, they enhance their therapeutic benefits.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Benefits

Although scientific evidence is lacking regarding the benefits of full spectrum hemp oil for dogs, cats, and other beloved pets, there are a few studies that showcase full spectrum hemp oil as being potentially therapeutic. In fact, studies involving mice suggest that full spectrum hemp oil reduces stress and improves emotional wellbeing. Other, more rare, studies involving dogs suggest that full spectrum hemp oil lessens the pain in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, and reduces the recurrence of seizures in idiopathic epileptic dogs. Some studies even indicate that THC produces powerful pain relieving properties in some animals.

As for anecdotal evidence, pet owners attest to full spectrum hemp oil’s ability to stimulate their pet’s appetite, lower inflammation, and improve their pet’s overall wellbeing.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil for Dogs and Other Animals

Amazingly, in the two studies involving osteoarthritic dogs and idiopathic epileptic dogs, no adverse or negative side effects from full spectrum hemp oil were observed or recorded. That said, the overall safety profile of full spectrum hemp oil seems well tolerated for humans and dogs alike.

As for our other furry friends, more studies are needed. Due to the fact that each animal’s biological makeup is different, some animals are more sensitive than others to certain phytocannabinoids. In fact, some animals may do better with broad spectrum hemp oil, which leads us to our next question: What does broad spectrum hemp oil mean?

What is Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil?

In truth, there is no definitive definition for the phrase “broad spectrum hemp oil”. In fact, “broad spectrum” originated from within the CBD industry. It all started when CBD manufacturers discovered they could successfully remove any trace amounts of THC from their final hemp oil product, thus creating broad spectrum hemp oil. The phytochemical profile of broad spectrum hemp oil includes:

  • An array of phytocannabinoids, minus any trace amounts of THC
  • Terpenes
  • Flavonoids
  • Fatty acids
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Phenolic compounds

In order for hemp oil to be considered “broad spectrum”, only THC is removed from the phytochemical profile during the extraction process. This means broad spectrum hemp oil has everything that full spectrum hemp oil contains, but without any trace amounts of THC.

Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil Benefits

Broad spectrum hemp oil offers the same entourage effect that’s linked to full spectrum hemp oil. While we know that THC contains therapeutic benefits, our beloved pets are much more sensitive to THC’s psychoactive effects than humans are. This is partly because they contain more receptor cells in their brains than humans.

Removing THC may give pet owners peace of mind, but full spectrum hemp oil contains only trace amounts – less than 0.3% THC. Hemp containing greater than 0.3% THC is not legal to be sold in retail pet stores and should given only with the guidance of their veterinarian as every.pet reacts and responds to hemp oil differently. Broad spectrum contains no potential psychoactive compounds, yet still contains other therapeutic phytocannabinoids like CBD, CBG, CBC, etc.

Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil for Dogs and Cats

While the fear of THC toxicity is not present in broad spectrum hemp oil, it can be tough to determine the best broad spectrum hemp oil for dogs, cats, and other pets.

Unfortunately, some hemp companies place the term “broad spectrum” on the labels of their hemp oils when they actually contain trace amounts of THC or no CBD at all. This is why it’s imperative to seek out reputable hemp companies that have their lab test results and COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) available for pet owners to view prior to purchasing. You can even research broad spectrum hemp oil products a bit further by contacting the hemp company and asking questions like:

  • What’s the phytocannabinoid content?
  • What other ingredients are in your broad spectrum hemp oil?
  • How often do you test your broad spectrum hemp oils?
  • What’s the recommended dosage?
  • How often should broad spectrum hemp oil be given?

Whether your pet is a hemp oil veteran or just starting out, choosing the right spectrum (i.e. “broad” or “full) boils down to a couple of factors:

  • Your personal preference –– Whether you feel comfortable with minimal THC or not. Many people want the full therapeutic benefits of hemp oil containing all the constituents, including THC; however, some veterinarians and more cautious folks new to these products feel more comfortable with broad spectrum.
  • Your pet’s response –– How well does your pet do on full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp oil? Do they respond better to one than the other?

Anytime you introduce a new supplement or substance to your pet, it’s key to observe them closely. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian before introducing hemp oil to your pet, especially if they are currently on any medications.