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Meaningless Marketing? How To Sift Through the Jargon

Written by Petar Petrov

The science behind cannabidiol (CBD) and the intricate extraction methods that unlock and channel its various properties are nothing short of amazing–but that doesn’t mean a regular consumer should need a science degree to navigate the CBD market. While some terms for CBD products are very important in practice for consumers to know, other jargon tends to become a little too specific and relevant only in theory.

Necessary Terms

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate refers to pure CBD extract. It contains no other cannabinoids or terpenes and does not induce an entourage effect.

CBD Distillate

CBD distillate has a very high amount of CBD, in the ballpark of 80%, and also contains other cannabinoids and terpenes.


Raw CBD has the least amount of CBD and the highest amount of other cannabinoids and terpenes compared to other types of CBD extracts.

Redundant Terms

Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and THC-Free

Individually, these terms exist for a reason, but collectively, they are redundant.

Full-spectrum CBD means a product’s contents span the entire “spectrum” of the cannabis plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Broad-spectrum CBD products also cover the entire spectrum with the exception of THC, which means there is place in the world for only one term for a CBD extract that doesn’t contain THC–THC-free.

Is an Umbrella Term for CBD Full/Broad-Spectrum Products Useful?

One argument against having one single term for a category is workplace drug tests in relation to cannabis. Some people are concerned that trace amounts of THC, as in under 0.3%, can show up on tests.

The most common workplace drug tests are performed with urine, and, to be detected, THC has to be at a concentration of 50 ng/mL.[1] Considering that full-spectrum CBD must contain no more than 0.3% and that it’s mixed into your body’s entire system, it’s highly unlikely that THC would show up on a urine test.

And with blood and hair tests being quite outside the workplace drug tests norms, the chances of “getting flagged” for using full-spectrum CBD are pretty slim. However, there is no absolute certainty that a CBD product would not test positive, as a lack of regulation in the industry can often lead to mislabeling. For now, THC-free, and perhaps even broad-spectrum CBD should be reconsidered, as the terms are somewhat subjective and always evolving.

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1. Kulig K. Interpretation of workplace tests for cannabinoids. J Med Toxicol. 2017;13(1):106-110.

About the author

Petar Petrov

Petar is a freelance writer and copywriter, covering culture, art, society, and anything in-between that makes for a nice story. And as it so happens, cannabis is a great element to add to each of those conversations.

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