Full spectrum vs. broad spectrum cbd, which is better?

If you’re searching for a good CBD oil, chances are good you’ve come across a lot of jargon and you’re confused. Terms such as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or purified CBD oil are terms which are often thrown around. But what do they mean?  Before you buy your next CBD oil, let’s look at why you might want to consider looking for a full-spectrum CBD above all the others.

Full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum cbd vs. isolate 

full spectrum vs. broad spectrum cbd vs isolate

Understanding the differences between the common CBD terms such as full spectrum vs. broad spectrum is essential before you purchase any CBD product. 

A full-spectrum CBD product contains the full plant extract including all the cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBN, THC, terpenes and flavonoids.

Broad spectrum CBD is full spectrum without any THC 

Isolated CBD or purified CBD contains removes all plant extract aside from the CBD. Nothing else is present. 

Full-spectrum CBD is shown to be the most effective in scientific research

The scientist Ethan Russo, coined the term ‘entourage effect’ - Russo’s theory is that CBD oil works best when in combination with all the other plant compounds.  This means CBD oil works best when combined with all the plant terpenes, flavonoids and other minor cannabinoids including THC present. 

| CBD oil's benefits come from the sum of all it’s parts.

This is certainly backed by studies. In one meta-analysis in 2018 compared full-spectrum CBD (CBD-rich) to purified CBD for treatment resistant epilepsy. In this study, there were more reports of improvement from patients with full-spectrum CBD (71% noted improvement) vs purified CBD (46%). 

The paper concludes that  “
CBD-rich extracts seem to present a better therapeutic profile than purified CBD”

Broad spectrum CBD is a good second choice.

However, full spectrum does come with one big caveat. While trace amounts of THC are legal and will most likely not be picked up by a drug test (due to the tiny amounts present), if you are regularly getting drug-tested for your job for example, you might want to consider  taking a broad spectrum CBD oil. 

It can be difficult however to distinguish a good broad spectrum CBD oil. A “true” broad spectrum CBD oil is just the full spectrum CBD oil where THC has been removed and all the other plant compounds remain intact.

However, many broad spectrum CBD oils are on the market which are not true broad spectrum, they are “fake”. They are in essence isolated CBD (the cheapest) with terpenes and cannabinoids added in at a later date.  This will not have the same benefits as a true broad spectrum oil.

Unfortunately, without talking to the suppliers and understanding what they do, it's often very difficult to know which are true and which are fake broad spectrum oils.

This is a good video which describes broad spectrum oils:


Isolates work, but you need a much greater amount 

It breaks my heart when I see people talking about a “really pure” CBD oil thinking this is the best.  Pure CBD oil is the least effective of all types.  Unfortunately marketers often take advantage of customers not knowing the science and market it as the best CBD for its purity.

Isolated CBD often the cheapest form of CBD and is the most  chemically processed.

While purified CBD oil does have benefits, often the quantity needed to produce the same benefits as a full-spectrum oil is much larger than the other types.

Why we choose full-spectrum oil

We only sell full-spectrum CBD oil at plus120 because that’s what we see works best from the research. BioBloom is a great example of a full-spectrum oil that is really nourishing and contains all plant compounds.