EducationWhat is broad spectrum CBD? A beginner’s guide

What is broad spectrum CBD? A beginner’s guide

7 min read

Sam North

What is broad spectrum CBD? A beginner’s guide
With CBD products on the rise in the past few years, you are likely to have come across various types of CBD. If you are new to CBD, all the different types available on the market might make you quite confused and uncertain about which one might be best suited for your needs. In today's article, we are going to focus solely on broad-spectrum CBD products, and help you gain a full understanding of what the term relates to. 


So, what is broad-spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum products contain every component of the cannabis plant with one key element, THC, missing. If you are interested in learning more about this CBD type, continue reading to get the lowdown on the possible benefits broad-spectrum CBD might have, along with the potential side effects.

What is broad-spectrum CBD?

Broad-spectrum CBD products do not contain THC, but they do hold the rest of the chemeical make up of the plant. Short for cannabidiol, CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids found in both the cannabis and hemp plants. This compound, together with other cannabinoids and terpenes, makes up broad-spectrum CBD. This type of CBD does not cause a ‘high’ effect, unlike similar products that do contain THC.

Unlike THC, CBD is totally non-intoxicating.

Extraction method

Broad-spectrum CBD and full-spectrum CBD products are pretty similar in structure. They both use all of the chemical components of the entire plant, with one distinctive difference. That is, broad-spectrum CBD products lack THC.

In order to produce a broad-spectrum CBD product, the full-spectrum CBD needs to undergo an extraction. Such an extraction process is known as liquid chromatography. During this extraction method, the THC is removed from the plant at very low temperatures while keeping the other components, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and amino acids.

Namely, after the psychoactive component is removed, broad-spectrum CBD the entire cannabinoid profile of the plant plus the flavonoids and terpenes.

The entourage effect and broad-spectrum CBD

As we mentioned above, cannabidiol is not the only component that makes up broad-spectrum CBD. In addition to this cannabinoid, there are additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds found in the hemp plant.

Namely, when these components are introduced into the body, they act in the so-called “entourage effect". Through the entourage effect, such components act on the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) to increase their effectiveness.

The ECS is responsible for many biological processes, such as appetite, memory, pain response, and sleep. Thus, the synergistic action of broad-spectrum CBD may also act in a therapeutic direction and may help reduce inflammation and pain.

Broad-spectrum CBD vs. other CBD types

Now that you have a basic understanding of broad-spectrum CBD, let’s quickly look at how they differ from the other types of CBD. At first glance, all types of CBD look the same, but there are significant differences. To make it easier to understand, we will look at the similarities and differences between broad-spectrum CBD and other CBD types.

Broad-spectrum CBD vs. CBD isolate

CBD isolate products contain only CBD and nothing else. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD, in addition to cannabidiol, contains all the additional components found in the cannabis plant, without the THC, that complement the effect of CBD through the entourage effect.

Broad-spectrum CBD vs full-spectrum CBD

Many people need clarification on these two types of CBD products. Namely, both types of CBD-containing products have the ability to produce the so-called entourage effect due to the presence of many cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. However, unlike broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD has the presence of THC. Namely, this psychoactive component can be found within certain limits (1 mg or less per container), and at this level, there will be zero intoxicating effects.

Benefits of broad-spectrum CBD

Now that you know what broad-spectrum CBD products are, it’s time to look at the possible benefits of this CBD type.

CBD products should not be taken as a substitute for regular therapies prescribed by a doctor. However, many scientific studies have shown that CBD products may have the potential to effectively improve certain health conditions. For this purpose, we will see what the benefits are and where there are positive results from using CBD.

Pain management

CBD has shown the potential for positive results in people with chronic pain. Namely, in a clinical trial involving 253 participants from clinics in Southern California, this cannabinoid showed promising results. Many respondents confirmed that they noticed an improvement in the levels of pain felt after the CBD treatment, while some stated that CBD helped them reduce their regular medications.

Anxiety relief

CBD has shown promising potential to help patients with increased anxiety and disturbed sleep. In one study, where 103 subjects were included, improvement in sleep and anxiety reduction was observed in 79% of the respondents.

How to take broad-spectrum CBD

If you are new to cannabis or hemp products, you may not know that they can be administered in several ways.

Oral: CBD products can be found as gummies or capsules that you can take orally.

Sublingual: You need to be prescribed a CBD tincture for this method. Drops are placed under the tongue for about a minute before swallowing. 

Topically: Lotions and creams containing CBD are applied for this purpose. Such products are massaged directly into the skin, where they are slowly absorbed.

Inhaling: Vaporisers allow for the safe inhalation of CBD products.


Dosage is something that must be discussed with you prescribing doctor, as there are a range of factors that can, and will, affect the specific dosage for your needs. These factors include health status, metabolism, weight, age, and the concentration of CBD in the product.

Also, as a general rule, it is best to start with the lowest dose and slowly increase it until you feel the effect of CBD.

Side effects

In addition to the numerous benefits that broad-spectrum CBD has, you still need to be careful about side effects. Hemp and cannabis products, like most other medical options, can harm your health if taken incorrectly.

Always pay close attention to the dosage recommendation. Improper dosing can lead to side effects such as diarrhoea, fatigue, dizziness, decreased appetite, concentration, and memory problems.

In addition, be careful with broad-spectrum CBD products if you are using certain prescription pharmaceuticals. Some of the ingredients in certain medications are processed by the body in the same way as broad-spectrum CBD, which can lead to negative interactions, causing a potential risk to your health. If you have a chronic disease, you should also pay special attention when planning to take CBD products.

Remember that cannabis and hemp products are not intended to cure or treat diseases. They have shown promise in effectively reducing the symptoms of certain health issues. Always consult a doctor before consuming new cannabis products.

The legality of broad-spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD products are legal in the UK because they do not contain an intoxicating component. The same applies to full-spectrum CBD, which has trace amounts of THC.

Therefore, any medicinal cannabis or hemp product with a THC of 0.2% or less is legal. Keep in mind that not all CBD products are created equally. This is especially true in the current market, as many CBD products are legal for over-the-counter sale. Some of these products have yet to be tested and approved by the regulating authorities.

Always source your CBD products through a prescription to ensure you are receiving medicinal options that have been lad tested through a third party. 


We hope the article has helped you fully understand the intricacies of CBD, and broad spectrum CBD in particular. Although these medicinal cannabis products might prove beneficial, you must be careful when consuming them.

Please pay attention to the type, the concentration of CBD, and its dosage. Also, remember that such products are not intended to treat an illness or replace regular therapy prescribed by a doctor, but as an addition to current treatment plans.

Releaf is committed to helping you access the benefits of a medical cannabis service. Our monthly packages are tailored to your cannabis prescription, and we offer specialist consultations for medical cannabis and a unique medical cannabis card for protection.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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Sam North, a seasoned writer with over five years' experience and expertise in medicinal cannabis, brings clarity to complex concepts, focusing on education and informed use.

Our articles are written by experts and reviewed by medical professionals or compliance specialists. Adhering to stringent sourcing guidelines, we reference peer-reviewed studies and scholarly research. View our editorial policy.

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