Full spectrum, raw, broad spectrum oil what do these terms mean?


Quality matters !

When you wonder what CBD oil to buy, you are faced with a number of industry terms that may be incomprehensible to an ordinary user – and it is worth getting to know them to know what and how to choose well.

We do not undertake an assessment of which type of oil is the most valuable from the therapeutic point of view, because it is best to test different types of oils and determine which works best for you or consult a specialist. However, in order to facilitate the best and informed choice of a product, we decided to introduce users to the terms most often appearing when purchasing hemp products.

Which oil to choose?

And they include:

  • Extraction – It all starts with the dried hemp plant, which is subjected to extraction, i.e. the process in which cannabinoids and other substances contained in the dried material are extracted, i.e. they “pass” from the dried to the solvent – most often into alcohol or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2). Then, after removal of the solvent and purification, the concentrated extract is diluted with vegetable oil or another, e.g. MCT, to the appropriate concentration, as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Hemp seed oil – otherwise known as hemp oil, it is formed during cold pressing of hemp seeds, it is naturally free of cannabinoids. Most often used as a food or cosmetic product.
  • CBD oil – it is a mixture of vegetable oil, e.g. hemp seed oil, olive oil or MCT oil, with pure CBD of natural or synthesized origin.
  • Full spectrum oil – it is an oil characterized by the content of a full profile of cannabinoids with proportions “similar” to those found in the plant. This type of oil should contain at least a few cannabinoids (most often CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDV), often also terpenes, thanks to which it has a pleasant “hemp” smell. Most often it undergoes the decarboxylation process, i.e. the transformation of acid forms (precursors, e.g. CBDA, THCA) into active cannabinoids (analogously, e.g. CBD, THC). The composition of such an oil can be very different due to the different types of cannabis it can be made of. Because some varieties of cannabis are rich in cannabinoids, while others are quite modest in this matter.
  • RAW oil – A type of full spectrum oil, raw hemp extract, not subjected to the decarboxylation process, i.e. having acid forms of cannabinoids such as CBDA, CBGA, THCA. Acid forms undergo decarboxylation, i.e. the carboxyl group is detached at temperatures above 70 ° C and naturally – over time, therefore these types of oils have a relatively short expiry date and it is worth keeping them in the refrigerator – this slows down the decarboxylation process.
  • Broad spectrum CBD oil – a type of full spectrum oil, but devoid of THC. Removing THC is a complex process that starts with the extraction stage and often ends with preparative column chromatography.


Finally, it is worth mentioning the isolate:

  • Isolate – It is most often pure CBD or CBG of synthetic or natural origin, very often used as a raw material for the production of CBD oils. It is a white, odorless, water-insoluble powder, soluble in alcohols and oils. As a pure substance, it is not possible to distinguish between natural and synthetic CBD as it is the same compound. The only trace would be synthetic by-products, but a properly purified synthetic product is indistinguishable from natural. It is worth mentioning that there are currently no synthetic forms of acid cannabinoids such as CBDA or CBGA on the Polish market.


Unfortunately, there are no “official” definitions of the above-mentioned terms, it is also difficult to find uniform terms in the English-language scientific literature, while their interpretation has been left mainly to companies producing oils, e.g. CBD / CBG.

Therefore, it is worth checking the composition of the oil on your own, e.g. on our website to find out what a given seller meant when writing “full spectrum” on the packaging.

Our laboratory, as an opinion-forming body, can only recommend the purchase of only certified products with a known composition, instead of a pig in a poke, but the final decision is in your hands!