In this article we will try to clear up any confusion, focusing the major part of the post around CBD.
What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
CBD has become quite popular over the last couple of years but despite what you might think, it is only one of the 100+ compounds that have been identified in the Cannabis Sativa L plant. Full Spectrum CBD oil, unlike CBD isolate products, includes a wide range of cannabinoids present in the cannabis or hemp plant. Depending on the condition and what you are looking to achieve, it can provide a greater effect than CBD alone as all the cannabinoids work together in what is known as the entourage effect (more on that later).
Full spectrum CBD also contains a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, terpenes, flavonoids, and fiber. When referring to CBD in the hemp plant, it’s important to understand that hemp contains a large number of cannabinoids (in trace amounts), but the main compound is cannabidiolic acid (CBDa). As CBDa is more abundant in the hemp plant, firms must decarboxylate the oil. This process heats the oil and changes CBDa into CBD.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD products contain an array of cannabinoids and terpenes but zero THC. Think of Broad Spectrum CBD as Full Spectrum without the THC. To create Broad Spectrum CBD, manufacturers will put their products through additional processing to isolate and remove as much trace amounts of THC possible while preserving the other natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Broad Spectrum CBD is an excellent choice for individuals that can’t have any traces of THC in their system, whether for medical, personal or legal reasons.
CBD Isolate is typically the CBD product of choice for those who are sensitive to other cannabinoids such as THC. Isolates are just that – CBD isolated from all other cannabinoids. During the CBD isolate extraction process, everything contained in the plant matter is removes, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more. What’s left is 99+% pure CBD. When looking at isolate, it’s very important to verify the purity. While many are in the 99.9+% range with no identifiable amounts of THC, there are lower purity options (such as 99.5% of lower) that may still have trace amounts that will show up in a lab test. This small a percentage of THC is usually negligible, but it’s still something to be aware of for those seeking the purest CBD Isolate they can find.
The Benefits of the Whole Plant
One of the most important studies relating to full spectrum CBD oil took place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Hadassah School in 2015. It compared the performance of a full spectrum extract with one that contained CBD only. The study concluded that full spectrum was more effective when fighting pain and inflammation.
While CBD only is somewhat effective, the whole plant extract not only provided faster and better relief, but the effects also lasted longer. This is why an increasing number of companies in the CBD industry are selling full spectrum CBD oil as a rule.
The aforementioned entourage effect is the main reason behind the efficacy of whole plant extracts. There are over 100 ‘identified’ compounds in the cannabis plant. While most of these compounds have their own therapeutic benefit, they combine synergistically to provide far better performance than any single compound alone, and that includes CBD. Here are a couple of examples of conditions that benefit from the entourage effect:
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: While THC improves your appetite, adding CBD to the mix can help with issues such as anorexia and nausea.
- Anxiety Disorders: THC alone can make matters worse, but CBD counteracts the effects of THC to alleviate the symptoms of stress, PTSD, and more.
- Neurological Disorders: Although THC can help patients with Tourette’s, the addition of several other cannabinoids can ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Why Is Full Spectrum CBD Different to CBD Only Oils or Isolates?
While full-spectrum CBD oil contains a huge array of cannabinoids, terpenes and much more, oils or isolates with CBD only are separated from other compounds in the plant. There was originally a school of thought that CBD was more effective by itself, but the 2015 Israeli study mentioned above debunked that idea.
What Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Contain?
While most readers are probably aware of the impact of THC and CBD on their health, there are plenty of unheralded cannabinoids that offer relief.
Also known as the ‘stem cell’ cannabinoid, most CBG is transformed into cannabinoids such as CBD and THC by the plant. As a result, most processed plants have a low level of CBG.
The degradation of THC leads to CBN. While there is usually a low amount of it in the fresh plant, the decarboxylation process typically raises the level of CBN. It offers a slight psychoactive effect and has a greater affinity for the CB2 receptor compared to the CB1 receptor.
It is probably the least studied ‘major’ cannabinoid even though it is rather abundant in certain marijuana strains. As such, there isn’t enough data available to suggest it offers the same remarkable benefits as THC and CBD. However, the research that is available suggests that CBC has antidepressant, pain relieving, and anti-anxiety effects.
Lesser known cannabinoids include:
- Cannabicyclol (CBL)
- Cannabitriol (CBT)
- Cannabicitran (CBT)
- Cannabifuran (CBF)
Terpenes are chemicals that give the cannabis plant its unique scent. Even in tiny amounts, terpenes work extremely well with cannabinoids to heal the body. Here are some well-known terpenes:
- Limonene: This stress reliever also helps boost your mood. It may also assist with gastric issues.
- Pinene: It could potentially improve your memory and boost alertness. It is also anti-inflammatory.
- Linalool: This has a sedative effect and works to help patients with depression, insomnia, and stress.
- Caryophyllene: This terpene is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps relieve the symptoms of pain. It is also useful against insomnia.
- Humulene: This is another pain-relieving terpene which has antibacterial properties and also works as an appetite suppressant.
Vitamins & Minerals
Full spectrum CBD oil contains vitamins A, C, & E along with complex B vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. An increasing number of people don’t consume beta-carotene, but it is abundant in full spectrum oil. Crucial minerals contained in this oil include zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
Essential Fats & Protein
If all of the above wasn’t enough, full spectrum CBD oil contains up to 20 amino acids including the nine essential ones. Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6, which help promote better heart health, are also included in the optimal 3:1 ratio. Hemp oil is even a good source of protein which helps repair and build tissues.
Final Thoughts on Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Although it may be better to consume CBD alone than nothing at all, it may not offer you the same range of positive effects as full spectrum CBD oil. With full spectrum CBD, not only will you get adequate CBD, but you’ll also consume dozens of beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. As a result, your body will receive more than enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Not only can full spectrum CBD oil help to relieve pain, reduce stress and help you sleep, but it is also thought to keep your body strong, fit and healthy. Forget about painkillers or the hundreds of prescription drugs on the market, full spectrum CBD oil is apparently the real deal when it comes to attaining good health.
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum or CBD Isolate – Which One Is Right For Me? There is much debate on which form of CBD is best. Some studies, like this 2015 study, leans in favor of full spectrum CBD oil products. Many people believe that other cannabinoids, especially THC, are necessary to activate every benefit the cannabis plant has to offer. Those in favor of a more holistic approach to medicinal cannabis treatment may favor Full Spectrum CBD for this reason. Ultimately, however, each CBD user is different. Each user must determine for themselves whether Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate is better for their individual needs and concerns.