Full Spectrum CBD Vs Broad Spectrum CBD: What's The Difference?

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Full Spectrum CBD Vs Broad Spectrum CBD: What's The Difference?
If you've browsed the Orange County website, you'll notice that we offer our customers three different types of CBD: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.
But what are the differences between them, and which type of CBD is the best choice for you? 

What is full spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD contains a full profile of beneficial cannabinoids (along with CBD, terpenes and flavonoids) is THC - but CBD products available from Orange County (and across the UK) only contain this in very, very small doses.

If you don't already know, THC is the compound found within the cannabis plant that has psychoactive properties, and is responsible for the 'high' that is so often associated with the plant. 

Here at Orange County, full-spectrum CBD product will contain trace amounts of THC which, way under the 0.3% legal limit within the UK. This means that you get the benefits from this cannabinoid, without feeling any of the psychoactive effects from it whatsoever.

What is broad spectrum CBD?

A broad-spectrum CBD product, however, contains 0% THC.

Whilst these broad-spectrum products still contain a full profile of beneficial cannabinoids, because the THC has been completely stripped out they tend to be less strong than our full-spectrum products.

What is CBD isolate?

Finally we have the most basic form of CBD: CBD isolate. This contains nothing but pure and isolated CBD, and there are no other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids. 

So, which type of CBD should I pick?

First of all, all types of CBD are beneficial to the human body.

However, there is an 'entourage effect theory' that suggests that taking both CBD and THC together, along with terpenes and flavonoids, may be more effective than taking either cannabinoid alone. 

Let's investigate this a bit more...

What exactly is The Entourage Effect?

If THC won’t have any of its most notable psychoactive effects in UK legal CBD products, why do people still purchase full-spectrum CBD? 

Well, trace amounts of THC is included in our full-spectrum products for the same reason that other cannabinoids are included in our broad-spectrum products: the entourage effect.

The entourage effect is a principle that revolves around the idea of cannabinoids working in harmony with each other. Essentially, it is believed that 'layering' a number of different cannabinoids will enhance the effects of CBD and result in more wellness benefits.

Though based largely off anecdotal evidence, it has been noted that having a larger spectrum of different cannabinoids in your CBD makes it more beneficial. So, with that in mind:

  • Full-spectrum CBD is thought to have a stronger effect than broad-spectrum CBD which doesn't contain THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD is thought to have a stronger effect that CBD isolate, which contains no cannabinoids other than CBD. 

Why choose full spectrum CBD?

Unless you're undergoing regular drug tests, we always recommend using our full-spectrum products first as they tend to give the best results. Here are some reasons why full-spectrum CBD might be a good choice for you:

  • you need stronger relief from a number of different ailments
  • you want to enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect
  • you like the earthy flavour profile
  • you want a more natural, and less refined product

Why choose broad spectrum CBD?

If you take CBD regularly these trace amounts of THC can build up in your system - and whilst they will never make you feel “high”, they may flag up on a workplace or sports drug test - which is why we offer a number of broad-spectrum CBD products her at Orange County. Broad-spectrum might be the best choice for you if:

  • You want to avoid THC completely but still want to enjoy the benefits of other, non-psychoactive cannabinoids available 
  • You still want to enjoy that earthy flavour profile
  • You want as natural product as possible without THC


Why choose CBD isolate? 

Some drug tests, believe it or not, not only test for THC, but also for cannabinoids in general - which is why we've designed our CBD isolate range to ensure that people who undergo more serious drug tests regularly can still enjoy the benefits of CBD. 

With CBD isolate, you’ll miss out on any perks from the entourage effect, but research from 2015 does suggest that taking pure CBD alone is still beneficial. So, CBD isolate might be the right choice for you if:

  • You want a flavourless and odourless product
  • You want to avoid other cannabinoids except for CBD because you have to undergo regular cannabinoid drug testing
  • You want to take large doses of CBD without worrying about taking too much THC 

Applications & uses

In general, here at Orange County we use full-spectrum CBD across our range of premium CBD oils to give our customers that chance to get all of the potential wellness benefits from their CBD, if they want them! 

We tend to use broad-spectrum CBD on a wider range of products than full-spectrum, including most topicals, the more flavour-focused CBD oils, pure extracts and our range of CBD gummies.


The question of full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum CBD is a straightforward one to answer: in the end, the only real difference is THC content. There’s a lot more dividing these two from CBD isolate than there is from each other.

Yet, because THC is such a core issue in the history of CBD use, this question has come to dominate much of the talk within the CBD community.

Both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD benefit from the entourage effect, helping to enhance your CBD experience. Many people prefer one over the other, but many consider them virtually interchangeable, only choosing one over the other based on whether or not you want to consume trace levels of THC or not.


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