What is Broad Spectrum CBD?

April 19, 2021

It’s 2021, which means CBD’s public emergence (courtesy of the Charlotte Figi story) is almost 9 years old. Amazing how time flies, huh?


Thankfully things have only gotten better with time’s passing. Today consumers have a myriad of different CBD products and delivery methods available. They even have 3 different types of CBD!


Those three types, in case you’re wondering, are full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate.


We’ve taken in-depth looks at full spectrum and isolate extracts in the past…so now it’s time to look at broad spectrum extracts, a more recent subtype of CBD that might just offer the best of both worlds.


The Drug Testing Problem


It all started with concerns over drug testing.


Many people wanted to take full spectrum CBD, but were either a) stigmatized against THC and/or b) concerned that even trace amounts of THC would make them test positive for ‘marijuana’ — and thus be at risk of losing their job.


The worst part about it? Option b isn’t all that far from the truth. Some people have lost their jobs over full spectrum CBD, and though THC might not actually be to blame, the demand for a THC-free substitute was warranted.


A Strict Definition

In other words, broad spectrum CBD is characterized and defined largely by what it lacks. It’s a hemp extract that contains CBD, some trace cannabinoids, and some terpenes…but no THC whatsoever. It may also be lacking in other trace cannabinoids, especially those whose molecular weights are close to THC’s (that’s the nature of fractional distillation for you).To add another layer to all this, low-quality CBD extractors often aim to yield full spectrum extracts…and yet they often fail.


The result is a broad spectrum extract which lacks THC, some of the more sensitive terpenes, and other volatile compounds.We wouldn’t be surprised if many of the products labeled “full spectrum” on the market today are actually broad spectrum products in disguise. That’s just one more reason why lab testing is so important!So while broad spectrum CBD contain no THC — that part’s established — it’s still worth noting that both full spectrum and broad spectrum isolates aren’t yet fully standardized.


The Pros


  • No THC
  • More stable
  • Possibly less risk of ‘false positive’ drug tests

The Cons


  • Possibly less powerful
  • Possibly reduced entourage effect
  • Possibly less mental upliftment

As you can see, broad spectrum CBD does have cons…but few, if any, of them are sure things. You may or may not experience fewer benefits with this type of extract — and there’s only one way to find out.

Between a Crystal and A Good PlaceIn the void between CBD isolates and full spectrum extracts, full spectrum CBD really does present the best of both worlds. It’s unlikely to have any of the downsides of THC… and equally unlikely to have any of the downsides that come with CBD in isolation.

READING Check out our original content