What Is Broad-Spectrum CBD?

The CBD industry has evolved considerably over the last decade. At first, crude extracts made with Chinese or European hemp were the only types of CBD oil available, and they tasted terrible and were full of contaminants.

As the American hemp industry was resurrected, hemp quality increased. It wasn’t until the advent of CBD distillates, however, that cannabidiol extracts became both tasty and refined.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is a newer type of hemp flower distillate that has gotten a lot of attention over the last few years. Learn why broad-spectrum CBD has become so popular, and discover the benefits of this unique type of extract.

1. What is broad-spectrum CBD oil?

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is a type of hemp flower extract that contains undetectable concentrations of THC. While highly refined, broad-spectrum hemp extract still contains the terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids that are naturally present in CBD-rich hemp extract.

For CBD consumers who are concerned about ingesting even the tiniest amount of THC, broad-spectrum hemp extract is ideal. As a distillate, this type of CBD extract does not contain any chlorophyll, waxes, or undesirable lipids. Resultantly, both its taste and aroma are milder than less-refined extracts.

2. Is broad-spectrum CBD refined?

It is impossible to remove the THC from hemp extract without using a process that refines the entire extract. Broad-spectrum CBD becomes a highly refined distillate during the THC removal process.

Extractors can refine CBD-rich hemp extract without removing the trace amounts of THC that are naturally present in CBD flower, so broad-spectrum extract isn’t the only form of CBD distillate. If you’re looking for a type of CBD extract that’s guaranteed to be refined and distilled, however, broad-spectrum hemp extract is a safe bet.

3. How is broad-spectrum hemp extract made?

It takes a few steps to produce finished broad-spectrum hemp extract:

  • First, CBD-rich hemp flower must be harvested
  • The flower is then usually dried and cured prior to extraction
  • A crude extract is produced by removing all of the oils and water-soluble substances from the hemp flower
  • Then, a targeted distillation process is used to remove unwanted substances like chlorophyll, waxes, and THC
  • The resulting substance has a honey-like consistency, and it is called “broad-spectrum distillate”

The primary objective of broad-spectrum CBD extraction is to produce an end substance that is as similar as possible to conventional CBD extracts while eliminating THC. Extractors take considerable care to leave the terpenes and flavonoids naturally present in hemp flower intact to the greatest degree possible.

4. What does broad-spectrum CBD taste like?

Connoisseurs who have used CBD tinctures and edibles since the early days of the CBD-rich hemp industry can’t help remembering orally ingestible CBD products that tasted downright funky. Since they contain chlorophyll and other unappetizing components of hemp flower, the types of unrefined extracts that dominated the industry until recently have unavoidably unsavory flavors.

As a highly refined type of CBD-rich hemp extract, however, the taste of broad-spectrum CBD is mild. It isn’t overwhelmingly bitter like unrefined extracts, and it mainly exhibits the sharp, somewhat-chemically flavor inherent to cannabinoids.

Let’s not forget, however, that broad-spectrum CBD also contains an abundance of natural terpenes. Each terpene tastes different, but experts universally agree that these beneficial plant oils are naturally delicious.

5. Does broad-spectrum hemp extract contain THC?

Broad-spectrum CBD does not contain any detectable amounts of THC. Honest CBD producers, however, recognize that it’s impossible to remove every single THC molecule from hemp extract.

By saying that broad-spectrum hemp extract contains undetectable concentrations of THC, we simply mean that mass-spectrometry, the primary analytical technique used in the hemp and cannabis industries, cannot detect THC in broad-spectrum CBD. It’s inevitable that any considerable quantity of broad-spectrum hemp extract will contain a few THC molecules here or there.

If broad-spectrum hemp extract doesn’t contain enough THC to trigger a positive reading during mass spectrometry testing, however, it also doesn’t contain enough THC to cause any degree of intoxication or make you fail a drug test. As a result, many producers of broad-spectrum CBD advertise this type of extract as “THC-free.”

6. Does broad-spectrum hemp extract contain terpenes?

Broad-spectrum CBD contains an abundance of terpenes as well as flavonoids, which are two categories of aromatic substances naturally present in Cannabis sativa. Each terpene and flavonoid has unique properties, and in some cases, these properties diverge from the observed benefits of cannabidiol.

Limonene, linalool, and terpineol, and a variety of other terpenes have been researched for their potential antimicrobial properties. Practically every known terpene has been studied for its potential antioxidant benefits.

While terpenes are only present in broad-spectrum extract in concentrations under 1% each, research indicates that these aromatic, flavorful, and beneficial compounds might contribute considerable additional benefits to CBD products. As a result, the terpene-richness of broad-spectrum distillate is considered to be a major selling point.

7. Does broad-spectrum CBD offer the entourage effect?

The entourage effect is a theorized form of synergy that may occur when multiple cannabinoids and terpenes are used together. From a hypothetical perspective, broad-spectrum CBD extract checks all of the boxes necessary to provide the entourage effect.

This type of CBD extract contains an abundance of terpenes, flavonoids, and minor cannabinoids, which might work together to provide enhanced benefits. According to proponents of the entourage effect, the presence of minor cannabinoids in CBD extract might result in considerably increased benefits even if they’re only present in concentrations under 1%. 

8. What is broad-spectrum CBD good for?

You might find broad-spectrum CBD to be ideal if you:

  • Want to avoid consuming even tiny traces of THC
  • You’ve found the flavor of crude CBD extracts to be too strong
  • You’re disappointed in the effects of isolate CBD
  • You want to experience the benefits of the entourage effect

The benefits of CBD have been researched in the context of dozens of different conditions. If research has indicated that CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, or any other type of CBD might be effective for a certain purpose or condition, broad-spectrum will provide similar or even increased effectiveness.

9. Does broad-spectrum CBD show up on a drug test?

Broad-spectrum CBD will not show up on a drug test for THC. At present, there are no drug tests that specifically target CBD. Since this cannabinoid is becoming progressively more legal, not less, it is unlikely that any drug tests targeting CBD will be devised in the future.

If a broad-spectrum CBD product contains THC levels so low that they don’t show up in a mass spectrometry test, then that CBD product certainly won’t test positive for THC in urinalysis. To ensure that you’re using genuine THC-free broad-spectrum extract, check the third-party lab report for the specific batch of a broad-spectrum CBD product you’ve purchased.

10. Is broad-spectrum CBD safe?

There are a lot of factors that can impact the relative safety of a broad-spectrum CBD product:

  • How the hemp from which broad-spectrum extract was derived was grown
  • The extraction process used to make the crude extract from which the broad-spectrum extract was distilled
  • The distillation process used to refine the broad-spectrum extract
  • The production facility where the finished broad-spectrum extract was made
  • Additional ingredients included in the finished broad-spectrum product

Abundant, recent research has indicated that the CBD molecule itself is remarkably safe for human consumption. There’s a lot of room for human error, however, in the process of producing broad-spectrum CBD products.

Carefully vet the company from which you’re considering purchasing broad-spectrum CBD. Check their lab results, and contact customer service if necessary.

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