When it comes to finding the best CBD oil to support your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family, there are several different elements to consider.
Not all CBD oils are made equal and have varying properties depending on the type of CBD extract in them, and how they are produced.
Some types of CBD oil you may have heard of are full spectrum CBD oil and broad spectrum CBD oil. Although the names sound similar, they are actually really quite different. They have different properties and compounds in them.
So, what is the difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oil?
In this article we’ll outline the key differences between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oil, so you can choose the right CBD oil for you.
The difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oil
The main difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oil is the fact that full spectrum CBD oil contains THC, while broad spectrum CBD oil does not.
The term ‘broad spectrum’ means that all of these compounds are present, besides THC. So it does not contain a ‘full’ spectrum of cannabis phytochemicals, because THC is omitted.
How is the THC removed from broad spectrum CBD extract?
Broad spectrum CBD extract has had all the THC removed, and the other plant chemicals found in cannabis retained in the extract.
It is made by taking a full spectrum CBD extract and distilling it to remove the THC. This process also intensifies the CBD, so broad spectrum usually has a higher percentage of CBD than full spectrum extracts.
In addition to this, the distillation process used to make broad spectrum CBD also really reduces the concentrations of the other phytochemicals besides CBD too, such as the terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids.
So while broad spectrum CBD does contain all the phytocannabinoids besides THC, it is not as rich in terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids as full spectrum. It has been processed further, which strips away quite a bit of the organic material, leaving a concentrated CBD extract, with no THC.
Related: Why is CBD Oil Legal?
Why remove THC?
There are several reasons why CBD producers would want to remove THC from the extract completely.
Firstly, since THC is a controlled substance in most of the world, it makes life easier for producers, distributors and users of CBD oil. However, it is important to mention that even though full spectrum CBD oil contains THC, most full spectrum CBD oil contains THC under the legal limit of 0.2%, and so is legal in most parts of the world.
Secondly, removing the THC completely eradicates any psychoactive properties of the extract. However, this is not really necessary as even full spectrum CBD oil only contains trace amounts of THC, and is not psychoactive, although has been found to cause drowsiness.
Related: Can You Give CBD Oil to Dogs?
What are the other phytocannabinoids besides CBD and THC?
We’ve talked about how ‘full spectrum’ means the CBD oil contains all the phytocannabinoids naturally occurring in hemp and cannabis plants. And ‘broad spectrum’ contains all the phytocannabinoids besides THC.
What are phytocannabinoids you might ask? The term refers to all the plant chemicals in cannabis sativa.
They include cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, (of which there are over 100 more lesser known cannabinoids).
As well as the cannabinoids, there are cannabis terpenes, which are the chemicals in plants that create smell and taste. There are also flavonoids, which create colour. Plant terpenes and flavonoids have been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
However, as we’ve already mentioned, full spectrum CBD oil is much richer in these components than broad spectrum CBD oil because it is not as processed and is closer to the plant’s natural state.
Now you know the difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oil, let’s take a look at the different benefits of each.
The benefits of full spectrum CBD oil
As we’ve discussed, full spectrum CBD oil contains a full spectrum of all the plant chemicals naturally occurring in cannabis sativa. That includes the cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, as well as terpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids, amino acids, antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, chlorophyll and a ton of plant fibre.
It is much richer in all these other components than broad spectrum CBD oil because it is less processed and is much closer to the natural composition of cannabis plants.
It contains more plant fibre and chlorophyll, and so has a rich green colour and an earthy smell, and just generally feels, looks, tastes and is more natural.
Full spectrum CBD oil tends to contain lower amounts of CBD than broad spectrum, because it has been extracted straight from the hemp plant without any further processing or purification.
In some ways this can be a good thing, as it keeps things closer to how nature intended. But it does mean that full spectrum CBD oils only tend to go up to 30% CBD maximum. We think 30% is enough to support a healthy body and mind, but sometimes people might want a really strong CBD oil and so need to look into broad spectrum instead.
Related: The Anti-Ageing Benefits of CBD.
The benefits of broad spectrum CBD oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil is a more concentrated CBD extract. It has had all the THC removed, and only contains a little bit of the other plant chemicals we’ve mentioned such as terpenes, fatty acids and flavonoids.
Most of the chlorophyll and plant fibre has been removed completely in the distillation process. This makes the texture and appearance of broad spectrum CBD extract/oil more like a cannabis resin. It is amber in colour, (hence the low chlorophyll, which is the chemical that makes plants green), and has a sticky texture like tree sap.
The more processed nature of broad spectrum does mean that some good compounds have been lost from the extract, which is a con of broad spectrum CBD oil.
But it also means that broad spectrum CBD oil can have much higher concentrations of CBD – up to 80%.
Related: How is CBD Oil Made?
Where to buy organic, whole-plant CBD oils
Our CBD oils, pastes, balms and edibles are always 100% organic, full spectrum, whole-plant extracts made from European hemp.
If you liked this article be sure to check out our blog where we upload new content every week to keep you informed about the world of CBD.