What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?
When shopping for CBD, it’s likely that you will have seen a variety of new terminology. Isolate, full-spectrum CBD, pure-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum, and a variety of other adjectives. If you feel confused, you’re not alone.
The terms above all refer to the number of different cannabinoids and plant materials found in the product. At one end of the ‘spectrum’ is CBD isolate, which is nothing but pure CBD. At the other end is full-spectrum CBD, which contains a variety of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.
Let’s check out the advantages of a full-spectrum CBD product so that you can determine which product is right for you.
What Does Full-Spectrum CBD Mean?
A full-spectrum CBD product undergoes less processing than isolates. Manufacturers use dried hemp plant matter to extract cannabinoids. Usually, a method called supercritical CO2 extraction is used to draw out these plant compounds. The result is a full-spectrum CBD oil that contains all the cannabinoids that hemp has to offer.
For other products, like broad-spectrum or isolates, manufacturers filter and process the oil more extensively until it contains only the desired cannabinoids.
Full-spectrum CBD is sometimes called pure-spectrum. These two terms mean pretty much the same thing, so don’t worry about getting confused between the two. Whatever name it goes by, here are some of the cannabinoids you can expect to find in a full-spectrum product:
Cannabidiol (CBD): No CBD product would be complete without CBD! This non-psychoactive cannabinoid is the most sought after for its wide range of daily uses.
Cannabigerol (CBG): Another key cannabinoid, CBG is the precursor to other cannabinoids (like CBD). It’s an essential compound, and research suggests it may have benefits of its own. It’s typically found in quantities of less than 3% in pure-spectrum oils.
Cannabichromene (CBC): CBC is another one of the six most abundant cannabinoids. However, you’ll usually only find small amounts of CBC in a full-spectrum product.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): Only found in tiny quantities in full-spectrum products.
Some users are concerned about full-spectrum products containing THC. THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid, is only found in quantities of less than 0.3% in industrial hemp. As a result, reputable manufacturers will ensure that all full-spectrum CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC.
Of course, a full-spectrum CBD product doesn’t have to be a tincture. You can also get full-spectrum capsules, gummies, and even full-spectrum CBD vapes.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil vs. Isolate
CBD isolate is pure cannabidiol, all by itself. The product comes with nothing other than 99% CBD. You will often see isolate in the form of CBD powder CBD crystalline. But how do these products differ from a full-spectrum CBD oil?
In 2011, Dr. Ethan Russo published an article in the British Journal of Pharmacology suggesting that cannabinoids have a synergistic effect. In a nutshell, this means that they work better together rather than as isolates by themselves. He coined this effect as the ‘entourage effect.’
Some users prefer full-spectrum products because they can trigger the entourage effect. With multiple cannabinoids and terpenes working together, the results and benefits experienced may be greater than the results of a CBD isolate. Terpenes are believed to play a significant role in the entourage effect – perhaps even more so than cannabinoids!
That said, CBD isolate powder does have its own advantages. While you don’t get to enjoy the entourage effect, you can rest assured that you are definitely not consuming any THC. For those in jobs that require random drug testing, users might want to stay away from THC completely.
The Advantages of a Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
CBD alone could provide specific benefits. It interacts with a biological system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), helping it to run smoothly by encouraging the body to produce compounds called endocannabinoids. The ECS has the role of maintaining homeostasis, making it vital for a variety of purposes.
You can achieve this effect with a CBD isolate. However, the entourage effect suggests that full-spectrum products could have an even more extensive array of benefits. Currently, scientific research into other cannabinoids is limited. Scientists aren’t entirely sure what these other cannabinoids could do, but initial results are encouraging.
Terpenes are also beneficial. Terpenes, the aromatic molecules produced by plants, are often used in aromatherapy. Specific terpenes may induce particular impacts. For example, linalool may work to influence natural sleep patterns. Since linalool is prevalent in lavender, the plant is often recommended to those who are struggling to sleep.
By leaving the terpenes in a full-spectrum CBD oil, there is potential for users to benefit from these compounds in addition to the phytocannabinoids. Common terpenes in cannabis include myrcene, pinene, humulene, limonene, and caryophyllene. Each one has its own potential effects that you may benefit from.
Overall, full-spectrum products appear to be more effective simply due to the entourage effect.
Side Effects of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
New users often wonder about the side effects of CBD. No matter whether you use a full-spectrum product or a CBD isolate, there are always risks for negative effects.
Of course, CBD hemp products in general are regarded as safe and tolerable – as is CBD isolate. Nothing works better than simply listening to your body. Whether you’re taking an oral CBD oil, gummies, capsules, or some other product, pay attention to any changes you may feel, and adjust your consumption as necessary.
Final Thoughts on the Advantages of a Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
Although intimidating at first, CBD terminology is not too confusing to wrap your head around. Full-spectrum products are pretty simple – they are CBD products that contain a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. Many users find this preferable because they seek the entourage effect, which suggests that full-spectrum CBD is more effective.
You can find full-spectrum CBD in a variety of products, including tinctures, capsules, gummies, vapes, and much more. You will find yourself spoiled for choice when shopping! Be sure to check out third-party lab reports, especially if you are concerned about the THC content of pure-spectrum products.
The choice between full-spectrum and an isolate is a personal decision. You might want to try both and see which one works best for you. Most CBD users prefer full-spectrum, or at least broad-spectrum, CBD. We would love to hear your take on the matter! Drop us a comment below to let us know which product wins out: Full-spectrum CBD vs CBD isolate – what’s your preference?