Cannabis has long been a darling of alternative medicine, but with legalization, business has never been more profitable, and the claims never more outrageous and diverse. Let’s take the latest marketing buzz-word used to justify claims, “Broad-spectrum CBD”, and dissect the marketing, the claims, and the science.
“CBD”, as any recreational drug enthusiast or resident in a region with legalized cannabis will tell you, refers to cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds found in marijuana. CBD is the famous non-psychoactive one, while THC will give you that high.
“Broad-spectrum” to the average person (especially the average Australian) sounds like a positive thing you see on a sun-screen label. To health professionals and farmers however, it has a slightly less positive connotation, as it means something is effective against a wide range of organisms, such as insects or bacteria. E.g. a broad-spectrum antibiotic. But shhh, they probably don’t want that advertised.
According to CBD School (an actual website, not a euphemism pot-heads are proud to have graduated from), full or broad-spectrum CBD is used to differentiate from between purified CBD, in which everything else contained in the plant matter is removed, including any traces of other cannabinoids such as THC, flavonoids, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more.
One CBD producer, Foria has article on the subject uses some really sales-y language, talking about THC’s Entourage and CBD’s Entourage. Will they go into such colorful detail about the other cannabinoids, their associates? CBL’s retinue? CBV’s caravan?
I won’t discuss their snake-oil claims, because Information Is Beautiful has already done a fantastic job visually ranking popular claims by individual claim and strength of scientific research. They even have a handy “worth it line. Spoiler: only Chronic pain, epilepsy, insomnia and multiple sclerosis claims are scientifically backed.