What is the difference between broad spectrum and full spectrum?

Full spectrum? Broad spectrum? These may sound like very complicated terms that only those who are experts on the subject would understand. This is not the case! These two terms can be understood by everyone with a little assistance. If you know about cannabidiol (CBD) it is likely that you have heard of these two terms. But just because you have heard of a term does not mean that you know what it means. This blog post will narrow down on broad spectrum, full spectrum, isolates and even CBD in general. After reading this you will understand CBD a little bit more and hopefully continues on your CBD journey with confidence. First, let’s get down to the basics. What is CBD?

CBD: the nitty gritty

Before continuing on to read anything surrounding CBD it is important to understand what it is as well as what it is not. What is CBD? CBD is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is just slowly taking off in the research department as it is often confused with THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), another cannabinoid.

It is likely that you have heard of THC over CBD. This is because there is often more news surrounding THC than CBD. Why? Because THC has a psychoactive effect that has been quite controversial. THC and CBD are often found together but can be found without one another. How so, you may ask? CBD and THC are both found in the Cannabis sativa plant, but there are different variations. The marijuana plant contains high amounts of THC and therefore has not been legalized in all fifty states. In the states it is legal, some allow it to be used recreationally as well as for medicinal purposes.

Another variant, the hemp plant, has very low amounts of THC (.3% or less to be exact) and high amounts of CBD. This small amount of THC does not cause users to get the “high” effect that marijuana products do. As of 2018, the hemp plant is legal to grow and sell in the United States because of the Farm Bill.

The two main questions we get regarding CBD is 1) Is it legal? Yes! 2) Will it get me ‘high’? No! CBD may be a great way to increase your wellbeing while keeping it natural and holistic. Now that we understand what CBD is what does broad spectrum mean?

Broad spectrum

A broad-spectrum CBD product is full of most of those 113 cannabinoids that we mentioned earlier. The only cannabinoid that is not present is THC. This has been extracted out of the cannabinoid profile. Pretty simple, right? But wait, what about full spectrum?

Full spectrum

A full spectrum CBD product contains all of the 113 cannabinoids. This includes that .3% of THC that CBD products are able to have without giving an inebriating effect. So, this could be seen as the purest form of the hemp plant as it has had nothing extracted from it. This is not too difficult to understand, right? Now, what about an isolate?


Isolate CBD products may sound difficult to understand, but they are not. It is just what it sounds like! An isolate is a cannabinoid isolated from the other cannabinoids. In our case, that would be CBD. A CBD isolate is CBD and CBD only. There are no other cannabinoids present. This is most likely the purest form of CBD there is because that is all there is in it!

Types of CBD products

Now, you have it. You are an expert on CBD types, right? No? Okay, we will keep going! There are many different types of CBD products available for you to purchase and use. So, here is a list of products that are available and how they work:

  • Topicals: A topical is something that you use on your skin to promote skin health. These types of topicals come in slaves, cremes, lotions, and even hand sanitizers. Topicals are one of the only types of CBD that never reaches the bloodstream. They can, however, be absorbed by the pores in the skin. These are best used liberally and often. A CBD hand sanitizer (we also have hand cleansing creme) is used to kill bacteria on the hands, which is a great health benefit.
  • Tablets: CBD tablets are used sublingually. After being placed in the mouth, they dissolve and are absorbed into the bloodstream from there. This is one of the quickest ways to get CBD into your system.
  • Tinctures: This type of CBD product is similar to tablets in the way they reach the bloodstream. However, tinctures are added to a carrier oil and therefore are an oil like substance. These are easily absorbed into the mouth and then on to the bloodstream.
  • Soft gels: It is more than likely that you have taken a pill or soft gel in your lifetime. CBD soft gels look quite similar to a pill, but it is a clear capsule that is full of CBD oil. These are swallowed and then must go through the digestive system to reach the stomach. After reaching the stomach they are broken down there as the CBD is absorbed into the lining of the stomach and reaches the bloodstream from there. Taking this type of CBD takes a bit longer to feel but has been described to last longer.
  • Edibles: Edibles are similar to soft gels in the way that they reach the bloodstream. Instead of swallowing a capsule they often come in gummies (we have cherry flavored gummies). These are an easy way to administer CBD into your daily schedule and are quite fun as well!
  • Vapes: Panacea Life Sciences does not advocate for the use of a CBD vape, but it is an option. After being inhaled the CBD reaches the bloodstream through the lungs. This is a quick way to get the feeling of the CBD but could cause harm to the lungs.

Broad or full?

The choice is yours! Trying out different types of CBD and different spectrums will allow you to see what the right fit for you is. Check out our shop and find some broad spectrum CBD oil that works for you!