Differences in Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD

Full vs broad spectrum cbd oil

Full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD both contain a range of cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from the cannabis plant, including cannabidiol (CBD). If you’ve ever seen a product listed as full spectrum vs. broad spectrum, you may wonder what makes them different.

The main difference is that full spectrum CBD may contain THC, while broad spectrum CBD does not. The difference between the two types is very minor, but some full-spectrum CBD extracts will still have a slight psychoactive effect.


What is Full Spectrum Extract? 

Full spectrum CBD extract takes the therapeutic components from the cannabis plant while leaving other components like plant matter and chlorophyll behind. 

There are two main types of compounds present in a full-spectrum extract:

Cannabinoids: CBD is the most desirable therapeutic cannabinoid. However, full spectrum extracts also contain other cannabinoids,  tetrahydrocannabivarin (CBDV), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol and cannabichromene. These compounds are believed to work together to enhance the therapeutic effect of CBD.

Flavonoids: Flavonoids are healthy substances abundant in plants. They have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and may also help prevent a range of illnesses, from cancer to cardiovascular disease.


What is Broad Spectrum Extract?

In a broad spectrum extract, full spectrum CBD is processed to remove THC — the cannabinoid responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis. In other ways, broad spectrum extracts are very similar to full spectrum extracts; they still provide all the potential benefits of CBD, from combatting nerve pain, to treating depression to helping manage diabetes.


Full Spectrum Hemp vs. Cannabis

Any full spectrum extract may contain trace amounts of THC. However, full spectrum extracts derived from hemp contain so little that it won’t affect most people. Hemp is cannabis that has been bred to have 0.3% THC or less. Our CBD products contain little or no THC, and are not likely to cause psychoactive effects.

Full spectrum cannabis extracts that contain higher amounts of THC are only sold in states where cannabis is legal. Many of these still have a high ratio of CBD to THC and have excellent therapeutic benefits.


cbd oil extraction process

Other Factors in CBD

With extracts from low-THC plants, full spectrum vs. broad spectrum generally matters less than other factors about the product, such as:

  • Quality: Look for CBD extracts sourced from trusted growers. Industrial hemp extracts may not have the same quality controls as organic extracts from a dedicated cannabis farm. 
  • Extraction: CO2 extracts are free of any harmful chemical residue that may be present in certain other extraction methods.
  • Potency: A higher dose of CBD or the balance of other cannabinoids and terpenes may make a particular extract more effective for you personally, or enhance certain effects. Elixinol Create CBD Powder is formulated for morning use, so you can stay focused and energized all day.
  • Dosing method: Tinctures like Papa & Barkley CBD Hemp Drops are absorbed sublingually. The CBD enters your bloodstream more quickly, for a faster therapeutic effect.
  • Other ingredients: Special-purpose CBD extracts may contain extra ingredients to enhance the benefits of CBD. For example, the Humble Flower Co Arnica + Clary Sage Relief Balm contains essential oils, which give it a soothing smell and help nourish your skin and enhance pain relief.

Other products have ingredients to help treat specific conditions. CaniBrands Can I Sleep Sublingual Oil contains melatonin in addition to CBD, which makes it more effective for treating insomnia.

For more information, contact us, or read, What to Look For When Buying CBD.



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Interested in using cannabis as an alternative treatment? Get
your cannabis card with a licensed physician.