CBD seems to be on everyone’s lips these days – often literally! Whether it’s a local CBD cafe opening up or CBD-infused beverages and edibles on local shelves, its popularity is skyrocketing.
However, there are often potentially confusing words attached to some CBD products:
Chief among them, “full spectrum.” If you’re not in the know, that doesn’t really mean anything…
So, what is full spectrum CBD? Is it better than regular CBD oil? And why would you take it?
In this article, we’ll find out:
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a type of cannabinoid. These are organic compounds, 113 of which are currently known to exist inside the cannabis plant.
These cannabinoids are so-called because when you ingest them, they interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. This creates all kinds of effects.
In CBD’s case, these effects are thought to include:
- Being an anti-inflammatory
- Pain relief
- The reduction of anxiety and depression
- Anti-nausea and vomiting
- May act to protect neurological functions
There are also several other effects which are currently under investigation or which are commonly related by people anecdotally.
What does full spectrum CBD mean?
Many CBD products are created from cannabidiol which has been isolated and extracted from the cannabis plant. These are often referred to as CBD isolates.
Full spectrum CBD, on the other hand, is created from the material of the entire plant. For this reason, you may see full spectrum CBD referred to as “full plant” or “whole plant” CBD.
This means that it also contains all of the other cannabinoids found within the plant. Some of these have excellent beneficial effects of their own:
- CBC (cannabicromene) – has anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and anti-fungal properties as well as being beneficial for cancer patients.
- CBDV (cannabidivarin) – has anti-convulsion, anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties and may provide pain relief. Sufferers of Crohn’s Disease, HIV/AIDS and MS may also gain relief from it.
- CBG (cannabigerol) – has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-tumor properties.
- CBN (cannabinol) – has anti-convulsion and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being of benefit to people who have trouble sleeping.
Full spectrum CBD will also contain all of the other compounds found in the natural plant, such as:
- Terpenes (the organic compounds responsible for giving the plant its unique flavor and aroma)
- Essential vitamins (A, C, E and B) and phytonutrients
- Essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6), good for heart health
Of course, this does mean that if a full spectrum product was to be made from most strains of cannabis, it would also contain significant quantities of another cannabinoid – THC.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabinoid which is responsible for cannabis’s psychoactive effects. That’s why most full spectrum THC products tend to be made from hemp (hemp is a type of cannabis more often used for industrial purposes like fiber-making, and which contains much higher quantities of CBD and lower or negligible THC levels).
What is the entourage effect?
One of the major benefits of the full spectrum approach, apart from it being far more natural, is that it allows all of the different parts of the cannabis plant to work together to create something called the “entourage effect”.
The entourage effect is the term used to describe the way which all of the different parts of the cannabis plant work together in synergy to boost their various effects if taken at the same time rather than in isolation.
This means that a person taking a set quantity of CBD isolate on its own will experience less relief than if they took the same amount as part of a full spectrum product. This is supported by research on CBD’s effects on inflammation conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Which is the best CBD oil? Isolate or full spectrum?
The “best” CBD oil out of a choice of CBD isolate (which contains just the CBD molecule extracted from the plant) and full-spectrum CBD (which is made from the entire plant) will largely be down to personal taste.
In almost all cases though, full spectrum CBD will be the superior product. The combination of the entourage effect and the presence of all of the other beneficial compounds found within the cannabis plant working in unison will almost always provide better results than CBD acting in isolation.
The only case where you might prefer an isolate might be if you are concerned about the quantity of THC in your CBD product – and here, it is worth noting again that almost all (if not all) full spectrum CBD products are made from hemp, which has low THC levels.
Many producers also have their products tested to ensure they are below the federally-legal 0.3% THC limit on hemp products.
What is full spectrum CBD oil found in?
You can commonly find full spectrum CBD oil in all kinds of products. For instance, in the K.I.N.D range, we prefer full spectrum products because most people tell us they get better results from them. This means the overwhelming majority of our CBD products are full spectrum.
Some products which regularly contain full plant CBD include:
In the world of K.I.N.D., CBD tinctures come in numerous different flavors suitable for almost any tastes – including an unflavored version ideal for adding to edibles you don’t want to affect the taste of.
Tinctures are taken sublingually (you place your daily dose beneath your tongue using a pipette) or are often added to edibles and beverages.
CBD capsules are quick and easy to take. This method is great for the newcomers to the benefits of CBD as well as people who prefer to take their daily dose in a subtle manner – perfect for the workplace or in public.
Topicals are creams and lotions containing CBD. They are designed to be rubbed onto spots on the body which are the source of pain or discomfort.
Where to buy full spectrum CBD oil
As with all cannabis and marijuana products, you should always look for full spectrum CBD oil for sale in licensed dispensaries.
Before buying any CBD oil you find for sale, be sure to check the label to see where it was grown and how it was manufactured so you can be sure of the quality.
Now, knowing what you do about what full spectrum CBD oil means, you will be ideally placed to make the right choice.