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If you’re familiar with cannabidiol (CBD), you might know it as one of the main active compounds in cannabis. You might also know that unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another of the main active compounds, CBD doesn’t produce a “high” sensation.
People increasingly turn to CBD as a natural remedy for relief from pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and more.
This rising popularity means you’re likely to come across more CBD products than ever before. But along with plenty of choices for CBD brands and products, you also have a few different types of CBD to choose from:
If you’re new to CBD, you may find it a bit mystifying to sort through your options and figure out which product may work best for you. But we’re here to help.
Below, learn how broad-spectrum CBD compares with other types and get the lowdown on our top broad-spectrum product picks.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain almost every compound found in the cannabis plant. But there’s generally one key element missing: THC.
The absence of THC makes broad-spectrum products different from full-spectrum products, which do contain a little THC.
Broad-spectrum products are also different from CBD isolate products. CBD isolate is pure CBD, with no other cannabis compounds.
Now that you know the ins and outs of broad-spectrum CBD, you might be curious about which products to try. We’ve rounded up a handful of choices to get you started.
We selected these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:
- is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025 compliant lab
- is made with hemp grown in the United States
- contains no more than 0.3% THC, according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
- is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA
We also considered:
- company certifications and manufacturing processes
- product potency
- overall ingredients
- indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as:
- customer reviews
- whether the company has been subject to a
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter
- whether the company makes any unsupported health claims
|Product||Price||CBD type||CBD potency||Count||COA|
|Joy Organics CBD Gummies||$||broad-spectrum||10–25 mg per gummy||30 gummies||available online|
|CBDfx Mixed Berry CBD Gummies||$$||broad-spectrum||50 mg per gummy||60 gummies||available online|
|Receptra Seriously Relax + Arnica Body Oil||$||full-spectrum||200 mg per 4-oz bottle||—||available online|
|Joy Organics Premium CBD Bath Bombs||$||broad-spectrum||25 mg per bath bomb||4 bath bombs||available online|
|Level Select CBD Oil Drops||$$$||broad-spectrum||5,000 mg per 60-mL bottle||—||available online|
|Calm by Wellness Lavender CBD Lotion||$||broad-spectrum||200 mg per 4-oz bottle||—||available online|
|cbdMD Broad Spectrum Oil Tincture||$||broad-spectrum||1,500 mg per 30-mL bottle||—||available on product page|
|Zatural CBD Oil Drops||$||broad-spectrum||1,500 mg per 30-mL bottle||—||available on product page|
You might prefer broad-spectrum products if you want to avoid THC but still enjoy a broad range of benefits. Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all the compounds from the cannabis plant, except THC, including cannabinol (CBN) and terpenes.
Experts continue to study the benefits of CBN, and existing research on this compound is limited. Some
If you want to get all the benefits the cannabis plant has to offer, full-spectrum CBD may be a better choice than broad-spectrum CBD. On the flip side, if you’re only interested in CBD, isolate may be your best bet.
CBD is a sibling of the arguably more well-known cannabinoid THC.
CBD isn’t psychoactive, and it may offer some health benefits.
- help ease pain and anxiety
- contain anti-inflammatory properties
- help improve sleep
- help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy; Epidiolex for seizures is the only prescription CBD product approved by the FDA
Broad-spectrum CBD, in particular, may offer additional benefits. Broad-spectrum CBD includes potentially beneficial compounds like terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds naturally found in many different types of plants, including cannabis.
You might consider broad-spectrum CBD a good choice if you want to avoid THC.
It’s important to note, though, that some CBD products, including broad-spectrum products and those that claim to be THC-free, may still contain trace amounts of THC.
Experts also caution against using any CBD products — whether they contain THC or not — when pregnant or nursing.
Another potential downside of broad-spectrum CBD relates to the suggested entourage effect.
According to the entourage effect theory, the many compounds in the cannabis plant have a stronger effect when taken together rather than taken separately. So, opting for broad-spectrum CBD over full-spectrum CBD means you might miss out on some potential health benefits.
Keep in mind, though, that this is just a theory. Older evidence, including a
Currently, the FDA doesn’t guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. That means it’s possible to buy CBD products that are misrepresented or mislabeled.
To avoid this, consider following a few best practices when you shop:
- Check for current comprehensive COAs: The COA should show that the product isn’t contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, or molds. It should also confirm the product actually contains the amount of CBD and THC the label claims it does.
- Buy from transparent companies: You shouldn’t have any trouble finding out where a company grows their hemp and how they make their products. If a visit to the brand’s About Us page or a quick internet search doesn’t reveal this information, you may want to consider a more transparent brand.
- Avoid products and brands that promise grand results: While many people report that CBD helps them in some way, it’s not a miracle product or cure-all. Research on CBD’s effectiveness does show promise. That said, it has yet to find conclusive evidence for any of its benefits, beyond treating some forms of epilepsy.
- Be prepared for a little trial and error: Just like anything else, you might have to experiment a little until you find the right type and dose of CBD that works for you. If the first product you try doesn’t have much effect, experiment with different forms, ingredients, and dosages.
The way you use CBD will depend on what type you try.
- You can take gummies or capsules by mouth.
- You typically place oils and tinctures under your tongue or add to foods or drinks.
- You can massage topicals like salves, lotions, and creams into a specific area. You may experience warming, cooling, or even tingling sensations, depending on the mix of ingredients in the product.
Dosages vary from person to person and depend on a range of factors, including body weight, the condition being treated, body chemistry, and the CBD concentration in each product.
In general, it’s best to start with a small amount and then slowly work your way up, depending on how you feel after using the product.
It’s also important to use caution when taking edible CBD products along with high fat meals. A
It’s best to talk with a qualified advanced healthcare professional before trying any CBD products, especially if you currently take any prescription or OTC medications or supplements. CBD may interact with some medications.
Your doctor may also offer dosing recommendations. Generally, it’s best to start with a low dose to gauge results and slowly increase until you notice effects.
If your symptoms don’t improve after trying CBD, you may also want to ask your healthcare team about other natural remedies or additional treatment options.
Does broad-spectrum CBD contain any THC?
Broad-spectrum CBD may contain traces THC. It also has components of the cannabis plant in it. Keep in mind, though, that some broad-spectrum CBD products do have trace amounts of THC. If you want to avoid THC entirely, a CBD isolate product is your best bet.
Does broad-spectrum CBD make you feel sleepy?
CBD isn’t a sedative, but some people find it does help them get to sleep more easily. Some products also have additional ingredients, such as melatonin, to promote that effect. Supplements are not regulated so be careful when taking a CBD product that includes melatonin.
What’s broad-spectrum CBD best for?
Broad-spectrum CBD is best for people who want to avoid THC but still benefit from the additional compounds in the hemp plant, including terpenes and cannabinoids. Because it has these extra compounds, broad-spectrum CBD may offer similar effects as full-spectrum CBD, even without THC.
How strong is broad-spectrum CBD?
Potency will vary depending on the product and the brand. You can find broad-spectrum CBD products that range from low to high potency.
Broad-spectrum CBD is a good option if you prefer not to take THC but still want to reap the benefits of terpenes and other cannabis compounds.
You can find broad-spectrum CBD in many forms, like gummies, topicals, and capsules. Just pay close attention to the labeling, dosage recommendations, and quality of the brands you select to make sure you’re getting the product you want.
And as a good first step, it’s wise to check with a healthcare professional before trying CBD.
Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.