The Difference Between Full Spectrum CBD and Broad Spectrum CBD

Between softgels, gummies, tinctures, isolates, and spectrums there is much room for confusion if you are unaware of the details that make up the fabric of the world of hemp. What is the difference between full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD? What about tinctures and oils? Whether you are new to the CBD market or have been around for a long time, there is always something more to learn and plenty of things to learn about. Keep reading and you might learn a thing or two about the different spectrums of hemp extracts.

The Hemp Plant

In order to explain the differences between the spectrums of hemp extracts, we must start from the beginning. The hemp plant, also commonly known as the Cannabis Sativa plant, is a long-lost relative of the cannabis plant. Just like most of the other plants on the planet, cannabis evolved and branched out into literally millions of different strains. Farmers have been cultivating cannabis for thousands of years, and in today’s modern world we have bred and crossbred strains of cannabis in order to create a breed of cannabis that has a very low THC content, but yields a high CBD content. This plant is now called the hemp plant. Industrial hemp, although is a member of the cannabis family, contains very little THC and therefore can be legally cultivated and processed in the United States.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

The thing that sets hemp plants apart front the rest of the plants is that it produces cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are compounds that make up the essence of the cannabis species. Scientists believe that cannabinoids are in place as a means to help protect the plants from predators and assist them in the general task of survival. In addition to cannabinoids, hemp plants also possess a variety of terpenes and flavonoids that help to maintain the health and wellness of the plant. The cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of the hemp plant are what give it its taste, color, fragrance and help it to attract pollinating insects so that it can continue to evolve. These very same compounds are what bring wellness benefits to the people who use hemp extracts.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Extracts

The quality of the extract starts with the quality of the hemp plant. In a healthy hemp plant, there will be a well-balanced variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavinoids…including a small amount of THC. When it comes to a full-spectrum extract it means that the full spectrum of the hemp plant will be available in the extract. Since the legal amount of THC that is allowed in all of the hemp products in the country is 3%, there will be no more than 3% total THC content in a full-spectrum extract. With that being said, when you hear the term full-spectrum CBD it means that the hemp extract that the CBD is inside of will contain the full spectrum of the hemp plant, including THC.

Broad-Spectrum Hemp Extracts

In the event of a broad-spectrum hemp extract, there are a few extra steps in the process that ultimately remove all traces of the THC from the extract. The extract will have most of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present within, but all of the THC will be removed. When a product is stated as broad-spectrum CBD it means that the hemp extract that contains the CBD has all of the other compounds as a full-spectrum does, but is void of THC.

Isolated CBD Extracts

When you see products labeled as CBD Isolates, it means that there are several extra steps in the process that result in a CBD product where the CBD cannabinoid has been isolated from the rest of the compounds in the hemp plant and forms a pure CBD extract. 


In conclusion, it is simply a matter of whether or not there is any THC in the extract that makes a difference between a full-spectrum and a broad-spectrum extract. Some people have a sensitivity towards THC and can not handle even a little, however, they want to be able to enjoy the rest of the cannabinoids, flavinoids, and terpenes that come with hemp, so they prefer a broad-spectrum extract.