Full Spectrum CBD .v. Broad Spectrum CBD: How To Choose Made Simple

Full Spectrum CBD .v. Broad Spectrum CBD: How To Choose Made Simple

You might think it doesn’t matter much, because they’re both CBD. But sometimes it matters a great deal.

Let’s start with some definitions, so we’re all on the same page!


  • CBD = Cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid, a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants (also known as hemp plants).
  • THC = Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is another cannabinoid and comes from the same plant family as CBD. It is the psychoactive compound, the one that can make users ‘high’.


  • Full spectrum CBD = all the natural compounds are extracted from a high-CBD cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC.
  • Broad spectrum CBD = same as full spectrum, minus the THC.
  • CBD isolate = only CBD (it’s been isolated from everything else), sometimes mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil.

So which formulation of CBD should I choose?

  • Full Spectrum CBD Oil is ideal for folks with a need for a specific THC to CBD ratio and for those who want the optimum results from their CBD. The THC helps optimize those effects.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD Oil is ideal for new users and those who need to pass drug tests and those who don't want any intoxicant in their bodies.
  • CBD Isolate is ideal for folks who require accurate doses of CBD. Here, the extraction process goes to the greatest length to ensure the end product is non-euphoric.

Which “versions” of CBD do we use in our Go Hemp products?

  • Full spectrum = all our CBD oils
  • Broad spectrum = all our other products (except for the gum and gummies)
  • CBD isolate = our gum and gummies.

Why do people choose Full Spectrum CBD oil?

Full Spectrum CBD oil includes, as you’d expect from the name, the full spectrum of all the elements extracted from the raw hemp. That includes cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids, but also terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils and THC, up to the federally-mandated maximum of 0.3 percent. This 0.3% is a very small trace of THC and is not enough to cause an intoxicating effect, but it is enough to contribute to the synergy of the “entourage effect”, as it’s known.

The entourage effect is what scientists call the biological process by which many of the elements in the cannabis plant work together to enhance the effects of the other elements. Together, they give you a better result than they would on their own. For example, the presence of the THC is generally believed to make the CBD more effective.

Want to know a secret? Until 1992, nobody knew about one of the most amazing systems that your body uses to keep you well.

In Biology 101, we learned that the amazing human body has many systems that keep you alive, healthy and well. The circulatory system, the endocrine system, the digestive system, to name just three.

But the one body system nobody knew about until 1992 was the endocannabinoid system (often abbreviated to ECS). It’s like the central controller of your body’s health.

Your ECS sits at the center of a vast network of receptors distributed throughout your body. It sends health maintenance messages to two main types of receptors, CB1 and CB2. That’s cannabinoid receptor type-1 and cannabinoid receptor type-2, in case you were wondering.

The CB1 receptors are mainly found in your brain and spinal cord, and they mostly interact with THC, the chemical that affects your mental state. That’s how THC creates feelings of relaxation and euphoria (’high’).

Worth noting — just because you’ve ingested some THC doesn't mean you’ll feel high. Some folks do, some don't, depending on the amount taken and your body’s physiology among other factors.

Thinking of it in simple terms, we’ve got:

THC → CB1 receptors → euphoria/feel relaxed (and other mental effects).

Now what about your CB2 receptors?

CB2 receptors are mainly located in your immune system and they mostly interact with CBD. That’s why CBD can have an impact on inflammation, sleep, immunity and pain.

Again, in simple terms we’ve got:

CBD → CB2 receptors → health effects

[As a company providing CBD products to the American market, we are not allowed to make medical claims about CBD.]

Tell me more about Broad Spectrum CBD

One way to think about broad spectrum CBD is to see it sitting between full spectrum CBD (which has “the works” so to speak… the full spectrum of hemp compounds) and CBD isolate (which is just the CBD on its own, maybe delivered in a non-psychoactive carrier oil).

Broad spectrum CBD is Full Spectrum CBD minus the THC. So it still has much of the synergy that happens when all of its constituent compounds work together, but not all of the synergy. Why? Because when the psychoactive THC gets removed, its contribution to the synergy is (obviously) removed. However all the other compounds continue to do their collaborative thing, enhancing each other’s impact. 

The THC removal is normally done during one additional step in the processing.

Why are most Go Hemp products described as Broad Spectrum CBD?

During the extraction process that we use, the THC is isolated and removed. However at times the removal process leaves a minute trace of THC behind. Maybe just 0.1 percent or even 0.2 percent. This is rare but it does happen occasionally. Because of our commitment to transparency, we can not honestly say zero THC. Which is why we label most of our product range as broad spectrum!

For example, our soft gels. They’re produced using broad spectrum CBD. Soft gels are an easy and fun way (and efficient too) to incorporate the life-enhancing benefits of CBD into your daily routine in consistent serving sizes.

Why does the distinction between Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum matter (and who does it matter to?)

This is an especially important distinction for those who need to pass drug tests, which are most commonly for employment purposes but can also be for other personal reasons. Most often it is urine that is tested, but tests can also use samples of saliva or blood, or more rarely hair.

Most standard drug tests are only looking for THC, the intoxicant molecule. But science tells us that THC and CBD can remain in your body for weeks, stored in your fat cells.

The THC will show up in a drug test, yes, but what about the CBD? Even weeks after ingesting it, trace amounts of CBD might still be detectable in your blood.

And if that’s important to you, don't just take the company's word for it that there’s no THC. Check what’s reported in independent laboratory tests. Look for zero THC in their report.

And if there are no third party testing reports, find another CBD company to buy from.

In that regard, be sure to check the Lab Reports section of our website here.

And the takeaways are...

If you’re looking for the optimum benefits available from CBD, learn more about our Full Spectrum CBD oil

If you’d rather avoid THC completely, try our yummy zero-THC Gummies.


By WriterGary.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.*


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