Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD Oil – What Are The Differences?

Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD

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Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD

Trust us, it would be useful if many of the companies selling CBD were a little more precise about their labelling.

For instance, what exactly does ‘pure’ relate to? Is it trying to say that an oil is an isolate, or is referring to the manufacturing process being organic?

All you need to do is look around and it takes no time at all to realise the very indiscriminate and non-standardised way products are labelled and described.

Where this agreement is when it comes to the difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD.

Unlike CBD isolate which is literally 99%+ ‘pure’ (there we go again) CBD; both of the aforementioned contain some level of additional terpenes and cannabinoids. Naturally, this makes the descriptive process even more confusing!

But there are clear lines of demarcation, so let’s look at each in turn and then compare the differences.

What’s Full Spectrum CBD?

Full Spectrum CBD OilRegarded by some purists as being the closest to the cannabis plant as an extract can get, these oils aim to retain all the other terpenes alongside dozens of additional cannabinoids (CBG/CBN in particular).

Even though they may comprise just a tiny percentage of the overall plant, these trace elements are believed to be essential in helping the core extract be effective.

A term that is often thrown about regarding full spectrum extracts is the ‘entourage effect’ which describes how the various elements are all interrelated.

The problem is that regardless of how pure, organic and lovely the extraction process may be, it can (not always) retain a bit more THC than usual.

Rarely does this peak above 0.3% but for heavy users of very high strength product, there’s a small chance it could register on a drugs test. In theory. We have never heard any anecdotal proof of this being solely attributed to CBD but that doesn’t make it impossible.

As may understandably be expected, full spectrum tends to also carry over a considerably stronger taste of hemp. This may not be to everyone’s palette, but if you want a truly entourage oil that’s what has to be expected.

What’s Broad Spectrum CBD?

Broad Spectrum CBD OilYou may be tempted to think that this is somewhere perfectly placed between full spectrum and isolate. Sadly – you’d be wrong!

This is far closer to full spectrum with the only difference being that it’s gone through extra refinement to further reduce the THC level. Whether or not this is actually necessary – that’s a personal choice – but of course, it’s inevitable that during this process more additional extracts are also removed.

As counterproductive as that might sound, some companies take the effort to then add the lost extracts back into the core CBD.

Quite how effective this can be varies wildly. If you’re considering a brand that claims to be broad spectrum please take the time to check out independent lab results. Most quality companies will have these available on their website or upon request via their customer services.

Critics of broad spectrum say that there’s something a little artificial about this kind of CBD oil – but if it works and is fully composed, then frankly what does it matter?

Only the extreme purist would turn their nose up at a quality broad spectrum CBD oil.

Final Thoughts

So, as we can see the key difference comes down to how much of that pesky THC needs to be removed.

We’re talking minuscule amounts even in the most ‘hempy’ full spectrum. CBD oil must not contain more than 0.2% of THC to be legal in the UK anyway!

So if taking that low a quantity of THC is an issue, the only reason for it being so must come down to personal intolerance – and we’d like to hear how on earth that was diagnosed!

In our opinion, both of these varieties are superior to ‘pure’ isolate CBD simply because they do retain those extra cannabinoids and terpenes.

The difference between the two really comes down to personal choice.

I’m Thomas Jones. I graduated from The University of Aberdeen in 2016 with an MSc in Industrial Biotechnology. I’m currently reading for a PhD at The University of Glasgow. I started using CBD in 2017 as a result of finding it in my local vape shop. My experiences in using these products inspired me to undertake my current doctoral research. You can find out more about me and this site here.