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What is broad spectrum CBD oil?

What is broad spectrum CBD oil?

You may have noticed that some CBD products are labeled as “full spectrum” or “CBD isolate.”

However, there is a lesser-known type of CBD that is rarely discussed, “broad spectrum” extracts. It's a subtle difference in terms, but an important distinction to make.

Many companies advertise their products as full-spectrum, but upon taking a closer look, these products actually involve broad-spectrum extracts.

Broad-spectrum extracts include many of the phytochemicals present in cannabis, but have been modified from their original ratio. This involves removing THC, but sometimes this requires a complete restructuring of the cannabinoid and terpene profile of the extract.

Full spectrum vs. isolated vs. spread spectrum

Most CBD companies will advertise their products as a full-spectrum extract or as an isolate. The distinction between the two is based on the ratio of phytochemicals.

Full spectrum extracts maintain the full range of phytochemicals found in the hemp plant. This includes its diverse profile of cannabinoids, waxes, esters and terpenes.

In contrast, an isolate contains only one compound in “isolate,” usually CBD. The process involves removing all other phytochemicals, leaving pure CBD.

Where does the broad spectrum come in?

Think of broad-spectrum extracts as a hybrid of the two. It is made by isolating individual compounds from the plant and recombining them to mimic the effects of a full-spectrum extract, with some modifications. Broad spectrum extracts can vary significantly in terms of phytochemical profiles.

Some manufacturers will only remove THC, so they can sell their products in places where THC is strictly prohibited.

While others will start with a CBD isolate and add a handful of terpenes. We consider this method to be misleading when it is labeled “broad spectrum” and consider it to still be an isolate because it does not contain any other cannabinoids.

One of the benefits of creating a broad-spectrum extract is the ability to control specific ratios of cannabinoids (something a full spectrum cannot offer), for greater consistency in your products.

Natural full spectrum extracts cannot offer this as the phytochemical profile of the hemp plant will vary from crop to crop.

How are broad spectrum extracts made?

Broad-spectrum extracts are made similarly to full-spectrum extracts, but with one additional step.

First, raw hemp is treated with a solvent. Although many solvents can be used, the most advanced and widely used method uses CO2 (carbon dioxide). This is the cleanest extraction method and creates a broad-spectrum hemp oil that is rich in CBD and includes all the other components of cannabis.

Next, a common chemical technique called chromatography is used to separate the THC from the rest of the mixture. This keeps all the other phytocannabinoids intact. With this method, you get a THC-free extract that still includes the CBD along with the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients.

Some companies go a step further and separate all ingredients into their individual isolates, before recombining them.

Then we encounter shady practices…

Like taking a CBD isolate and adding terpenes to the formula and then labeling it as full spectrum, don't be fooled, this is NOT a full spectrum extract and at best barely classifies as a broad spectrum extract .

The only way to distinguish these extracts is to look at the certificate of analysis performed by third-party laboratories.

When to use broad spectrum extracts

Broad spectrum extracts are ideal for people who want to avoid ingesting THC altogether. While the amounts of THC present in full-spectrum products are small (0.3% or less), they can be problematic in two cases.

The first case is people who are drug tested for THC.

The first case includes people undergoing drug testing for THC. It is not uncommon in the United States for employees to undergo THC testing to verify that they do not use marijuana. Full spectrum products can trigger a positive result, even if you are using a legal hemp-derived product.

As such, using a THC-free broad-spectrum extract may allow you to maintain the benefits of whole-plant CBD formulations while passing drug tests for THC.

The second case consists of individuals who are extremely sensitive to the effects of THC. Even in small amounts found in full spectrum extracts, especially if they require larger doses.

Using a broad-spectrum extract will ensure that you do not experience any psychoactive effects while maintaining the health benefits of a wide range of cannabis phytochemicals.

When to avoid broad spectrum extracts

For the vast majority of people, it is best to opt for full-spectrum extracts. Although they are almost identical to broad-spectrum products, they will have slightly better effects due to the presence of THC.

THC is a beneficial cannabinoid that shares many of the same effects of CBD and does not cause psychoactive effects when present in small amounts (0.3% or less).

More importantly, THC contributes to the entourage effect: the greater effectiveness of whole-plant cannabis extracts compared to isolated cannabinoids.

Because of this effect, extracts that include all of the natural components of cannabis will have stronger potency than those that do not. In this way, a full-spectrum extract will be slightly more effective than a broad-spectrum extract because it includes small amounts of THC.

If you're wondering why we always recommend clients order these tests, this is a great reason. It's too easy to trick people into thinking they're buying full-spectrum products when they're actually buying a glorified CBD isolate and charging a little more for it.

Should I use broad spectrum CBD products?

As we have described above, there are only two situations in which a broad-spectrum CBD product should be used on a full spectrum:

  • You need to pass drug tests (THC, marijuana).
  • He is a highly sensitive individual to THC

If you don't fall into these two categories, we recommend choosing a full-spectrum CBD product.

While the cost of broad-spectrum and full-spectrum extracts is virtually identical, a full-spectrum product will be slightly more effective thanks to the presence of THC.


"Because prevention is better than cure"

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