What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

We often refer to things on our blog, and sometimes we realise that the terminology we use might be a little confusing to our readers if they’re not familiar with the world of CBD. For example, we frequently describe CBD oils or other products sold by certain companies (such as Vitality CBD, Holland and Barrett (Jacob Hooy), Healthspan or CBD Brothers) as “broad spectrum”. In this post, we’ll try to clear up exactly what we mean by that:


What makes a CBD product broad spectrum?


Essentially, a CBD product which is broad spectrum contains cannabidiol (CBD) along with other cannabinoids and goodness found in the plant (CBG, terpenes and lots of other stuff), but doesn’t contain 1 key cannabinoid – THC. All of the THC is removed from the product during the first extraction, leaving it as a THC free product (there may be trace amounts of the compound but this will be negligiblle).


What is the difference between a broad spectrum CBD product and a full spectrum CBD product?


The only difference between a broad spectrum CBD product and a full spectrum CBD product is that the full spectrum product contains THC. It’s only a small amount mind you (usually around 0.2% to be legal), but for us it’s enough to notice a significant difference. This is literally the only difference between the 2.


Do we recommend broad spectrum CBD products?


Here is where it gets a little tricky – we do think that broad spectrum CBD products have their place, for example if you’re an athlete who is tested regularly or you’re tested for your work, then you’ll probably want to avoid THC completely. But for the most part, we prefer to consume full-spectrum CBD products. That little bit of THC makes a big difference to us – when consumed alongside the rest of the plant goodness, we notice an “entourage effect” where all the cannabinoids and other compounds work in harmony to provide us with a blissful sensation. This is why we typically recommend full spectrum over broad spectrum in most cases.


However, we should mention that there is a likelihood that pretty soon, it could get really tricky for companies to sell full spectrum products, due to issues regarding the legality of THC. We’ll continue to buy full spectrum as long as we’re allowed to, but there may come a day where we’ll only be allowed to purchase broad spectrum CBD products. As we mentioned previously, that’ll be totally fine with us as we know that we’ll still be getting a bunch of plant goodness, but we’ll definitely miss that small amount of THC for sure.


How do you know if you’re buying a broad spectrum CBD product?

Lab reports, lab reports, lab reports – there is a reason why we always harp on about lab reports, and it’s because it’s the only way for you to know what is actually in the product you’re buying. If you can’t access lab reports then our rule is don’t buy. Even if the company do show lab reports on their website, make sure they’re from a third-party lab. Even if the brand advertise their products as THC free, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a broad-spectrum product (it could actually be an isolate, which only contains CBD and none of the other plant goodnes., We’ll save those for another time). Do your due diligence and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before you buy CBD products.


Harry is the primary writer at CBD Bible. He has been writing about CBD for more than 5 years and has had his writing featured on a number of high-profile publications. Find him on Twitter @CBDBibleUK