Full Spectrum CBD Vs Broad Spectrum CBD:
What’s the Difference?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become somewhat of a buzz word of late. But navigating the wealth of information out there in order to discover the uses and benefits can be more than a little overwhelming. So, let’s get back to basics.

What is CBD?

Whilst the cannabis plant is well known, it’s a compound contained in the plant which is perhaps what makes it so famous. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the component found in cannabis that will typically make a user ‘high’. The lesser-known product of the cannabis plant is CBD, which is fast becoming popular for its potential health benefits. Unlike its neighbouring component, CBD has no psychotropic effects.

Confusion surrounding the CBD and THC compounds can often be increased when the words cannabis, hemp and marijuana are added to the mix, seemingly interchangeably. Hemp and marijuana are both species of the cannabis plant, however, CBD is found in the hemp plant alongside much lower concentrations of THC. This makes it the ideal plant for CBD extraction.

Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum: what’s the difference?

Put simply, one contains THC, the other shouldn’t. Full-spectrum CBD can contain very small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol due to the extraction of all components from the cannabis plant, alongside the CBD. Full-spectrum products often contain up to, and in some cases more than, 0.3% THC and the other controlled cannabinoid CBN, making them illegal. It is almost completely removed from broad-spectrum CBD products.

How does the extraction process differ?

Again, this comes down to the THC. The initial extraction process can be the same for both full and broad-spectrum CBD, the most popular being CO2 extraction. The extracted oil contains CBD and other components of the cannabis plant. This mix of compounds is important as it is a crucial factor in the ‘entourage effect’. The refinement process can remove these compounds if desired, but the combination of the varying cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and omegas is reported to have a greater effect when left behind and experienced together.

The removal of the THC in broad-spectrum CBD still allows for the potential benefits of the entourage effect without any unwanted side effects that may be experienced with its full-spectrum counterpart.

Is broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD oil better?

Full-spectrum CBD is illegal in the UK. This is due to the naturally occurring THC. However, broad-spectrum CBD contains a mix of compounds from the cannabis plant, with the THC and CBN removed during the refinement process. The potential benefits can still be seen without the THC or CBN, but with the advantage of no psychoactive effects.

What’s the difference between whole plant CBD and Pure CBD?

Our whole-plant CBD is a broad-spectrum oil that contains the wax and oils from the hemp plant. It is thicker than standard broad-spectrum oil and this can make it more difficult for use in typical CBD products. However, many see whole plant CBD as the best of the best. The premium quality of a more natural product with its high number of naturally contained cannabinoids produces a more desirable oil. The THC and CBN are removed, as with all genuine broad-spectrum CBD oils, but the purity of the hemp plant remains. 

Pure CBD lies at the other end of the scale. It is CBD in its purest form. Cannabinoids and plant compounds, including THC, are removed, leaving an oil, which in our products contains over 98% pure CBD.

And finally, what is full spectrum CBD distillate?

This term is in fact a complete contradiction, describing two different processes and products. Distillation is a process in which components of a liquid are separated, resulting in complete separation, or a higher concentration of a particular component. In this instance CBD with some secondary cannabinoids.

So now you know! And now you can shop our full range of CBD products safe in the knowledge that you are buying the best that is out there. If you have any other questions about anything CBD related, get in touch. And if you’d like to receive regular updates from the exciting world of hemp extracts, join the EthicaCBD community and engage with us on social media.

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