Broad-spectrum extracts include many of the phytochemicals present in cannabis but have been modified from their original ratio. This involves removing THC, but sometimes this requires a complete restructuring of the cannabinoid and terpene profile of the extract.[…]

Some manufacturers will only remove THC, so they can sell their products in places where THC is strictly banned.

While others will start with a CBD isolate and add a handful of terpenes. We find this method misleading when it’s labelled as a “broad-spectrum” and consider this still to be an isolate because it does not contain any other cannabinoids.

One of the benefits in creating a broad-spectrum extract is the ability to control specific cannabinoid ratios — something a full-spectrum can’t offer — for more consistency in their products.
Natural full-spectrum extracts can’t offer this as the hemp plant’s phytochemical profile will vary from one crop to the next. […]

When to Use Broad-Spectrum Extracts

Broad-spectrum extracts are ideal for individuals who want to avoid THC altogether. Although the amounts of THC present in full-spectrum products are small (0.3% or less), they can still be problematic in two cases.

The first case includes individuals who are drug-tested for THC. […] Full-spectrum products may trigger a positive, even if they’re using a legal hemp-derived product.
As such, using a THC-free broad-spectrum extract can allow you to maintain the benefits of whole-plant CBD formulations while passing THC drug tests.

The second case consists of individuals who are extremely sensitive to the effects of THC. Even in trace amounts found in full-spectrum extracts, especially if they require larger doses.
Using a broad-spectrum extract will ensure that you do not experience any psychoactive effects while maintaining the health benefits of a wide range of cannabis phytochemicals. […]

Comparing Lab Tests

Most companies will inform you if their product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. However, there is a more effective way to confirm that you’re buying a broad-spectrum extract — third-party lab tests.

Unfortunately, displaying these tests aren’t legally required (yet), but any reputable CBD brand will post the results of these tests conducted by independent labs on its website. Third-party labs verify the company’s marketing claims, helping customers better understand their purchase.

If you want to purchase a broad-spectrum CBD extract, you should look for two things.

First, check to see that the extract contains more than CBD. It should contain trace amounts of minor cannabinoids such as CBC, CBN, CBG, and CBDA.

Second, look at the THC row and make sure that it reads ND (not detected) or 0. Note that some labs will separate THC into its smaller parts — THCA, exo-THC, Δ8-THC, Δ9-THC, and THCV — All of these should read ND or 0.

Summary: Should I Use Broad-Spectrum CBD Products?

As we’ve described above, there are only two situations in which a broad-spectrum CBD product should be used over a full-spectrum one:

  • You need to pass THC (marijuana) drug tests
  • You’re an individual who is highly sensitive to THC

If you don’t fall into these two categories, then we highly recommend purchasing a full-spectrum CBD product instead.

Although the cost of broad and full-spectrum extracts are virtually identical, a full-spectrum product will have marginally higher effectiveness thanks to the presence of THC.

You can read more about Broad Spectrum CBD on the following articles: