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CBD Oil: Broad Spectrum vs Full Spectrum – What are the Differences?

You may have noticed the surge in popularity of CBD oil in recent years, as its medicinal benefits become more and more widely known and acknowledged. According to a study conducted by Wowcher, sales of CBD oil in the UK surged by 99% in 2019 and that trend certainly hasn’t buckled this year, with more and more products readily available on the market.

With interest and sales increasing, anyone purchasing CBD oil must be familiar with the difference in the types of products available. The two main types you should familiarise yourself with are broad and full-spectrum, while it is also useful to be aware of CBD isolate and how that differs. You will find each of these types of CBD oil in the UK and we recommend reading reviews before purchasing any oil, just as you would with any other product.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, having been extracted from its environment with all other compounds removed. This means that terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids are not present in CBD isolate.

As well as the listed compounds above, you will find no trace of THC, which is responsible for the ‘high’ effects of cannabis. This is why CBD isolate is usually extracted from Hemp, due to its low THC content. It was thought that CBD in its isolate form was most effective, due to its higher level of concentration, until a 2005 study from the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD differs from isolate as, rather than removing all of the compounds found in the plant upon extraction, cannabinoids remain in the final product. What the broad-spectrum does have in common with the isolate version is that THC is completely removed, meaning that you can use the CBD oil without the prospect of any sort of high, which could result in legal complications.

What you do get with broad-spectrum CBD, due to the presence of the compounds, is what is known as an ‘entourage effect’. This is the increase of health benefits and therapeutic effects of the cannabis, without any of the psychoactive effects that come with THC.

Full Spectrum CBD

As you might have guessed by now, full-spectrum CBD has its name because the product has all the compounds of the cannabis plant and THC present. This type goes through fewer processes but can potentially be the reason why anyone that uses it could fail a drugs test as THC has not been removed, which may also cause psychoactive effects.

The full-spectrum CBD is, therefore, only recommended to users with higher severity conditions that isolate and/or broad-spectrum CBD oil has little to no effect in treating. Full-spectrum CBD oil is also known to have a stronger smell attached to it so, if you are uncomfortable with odour and/or taste, you are better to stick to using either isolate or broad-spectrum CBD oil.

Buying CBD Oil in the UK

Although cannabis itself is illegal, it is legal to buy CBD oil in the UK and is available from most chemists and pharmacies, but only if there are no traces of THC. That means that to legally use CBD oil in any part of the UK, it should either be isolate or broad-spectrum CBD unless it has been prescribed by a doctor, which only happens in very rare circumstances.