What is Full Spectrum CBD? What You Need to Know…
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
September 27, 2021
These days, it seems like everyone is talking about CBD oil and the benefits it can provide. Yet, if you have never used CBD before, you may find yourself wondering what it is and whether it truly does what people claim.
CBD oil (or cannabidiol) is one of the chemical compounds (also known as cannabinoids) that is present in the hemp plant, renowned for its healing properties.
CBD has been purported to treat a variety of conditions including chronic pain and inflammation, anxiety, epilepsy, and more.
CBD is particularly popular as, unlike THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana that causes the “high” associated with its use), CBD does not have any psychoactive properties, making it a great option for those who want access to the healing powers of the cannabis plant without its mind-altering effects.
Yet, as you begin researching CBD and the products that are currently available, you may become confused by terms you will see in product descriptions such as CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD. While both of these products contain CBD derived from industrial hemp, the name indicates whether or not additional compounds are present as well.
While CBD isolate contains pure CBD extract, full spectrum CBD contains all the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp from which CBD is extracted. Full spectrum CBD can then provide additional benefits over CBD isolate due to the presence of these additional compounds.
Remember, full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less per federal law).
If you are new to CBD and want to explore the benefits it provides but are unsure which products are right for you, here is an overview of what you need to know about full spectrum CBD.
Is Full Spectrum Better Than CBD Isolate?
This is a frequent question people ask about CBD oil, and it is a topic that has been studied and debated a great deal in recent years. However, as more research is done into how CBD products interact with the body, evidence has begun to indicate that full spectrum CBD has the potential to be more beneficial than CBD isolate.
In particular, a recent study in Jerusalem found full spectrum CBD to be more effective at treating pain and inflammation than CBD isolate. This is believed to be due to the fact that full spectrum CBD contains over 100 cannabinoids naturally occurring in the industrial hemp from which it is derived. Not only do each of these compounds have the potential to provide their own unique health benefits, but also, it is believed that these compounds work together synergistically, potentially becoming more beneficial when working together. This is known as the CBD entourage effect.
The CBD Entourage Effect Explained
While it may sound complicated, the CBD entourage effect merely refers to the synergy achieved by all the compounds in the cannabis plant when they are able to work together. Each of the cannabinoids in the hemp from which CBD is extracted work together in order to enhance the overall benefits of the plant, amplifying their therapeutic properties (versus using each of these cannabinoids individually).
However, this does not mean that CBD isolate isn't useful; it just means that many people have found CBD to be more effective when paired with the other cannabinoids found in full spectrum CBD products.
Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Get You High?
One of the biggest concerns people have about full spectrum CBD is that it will get them high. However, while full spectrum CBD does contain trace amounts of THC, there is not enough of this compound present in CBD oil to cause the high associated with marijuana use.
While full spectrum CBD does contain THC since it contains all the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, CBD oil that is made from industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC.
This small amount of THC is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects. However, it is important that you are careful when buying CBD oil if you live in a state where marijuana use is legal, as some CBD products may contain higher levels of THC if they are marijuana-derived.
While hemp-derived full spectrum CBD oil won't get you high, there is a chance that the traces of THC present in these products could show up on a drug test. Definitely something you should consider when choosing a CBD product.
Can You Find Full Spectrum CBD That Doesn't Contain THC?
If you like the idea of receiving the benefits of the entourage effect but you are concerned about using a product with even trace amounts of THC, you may find yourself wondering if there are any full spectrum CBD oils that do not contain THC.
Unfortunately, for a CBD product to be considered full spectrum, it must contain all of the cannabinoids naturally occurring in hemp, including trace amounts of THC.
CBD products that contain all the other cannabinoids naturally occurring in hemp but have had the THC removed are referred to as broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum CBD can be a great option for people looking to benefit from the entourage effect but who don't want to risk having THC in their system due to testing at their job.
Do You Need a Prescription for Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
A common question people ask is whether or not they need a prescription to purchase full spectrum CBD oil. Fortunately, no prescription is needed to use hemp-derived CBD products.
With the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, people in all 50 states can now buy hemp-based CBD products online, and in many states, you can even buy CBD products in local health stores and pharmacies.
However, CBD oils derived from marijuana that contain higher levels of THC may require medical authorization if marijuana use has only been legalized for medical purposes in your state. In states where adult use of marijuana is legal, marijuana-based CBD products can easily be obtained without a doctor's recommendation or a prescription.
Full spectrum CBD oil may help provide superior relief for a variety of ailments from chronic pain to anxiety because of the way it interacts with other cannabinoids found in hemp. The entourage effect is in full swing!
That said, trace amounts of THC found in full spectrum CBD oil may be problematic for some people. In these cases, going with a broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate is the best course of action.
Psst! If you are still uncertain about what CBD products would best suit your specific needs, use our awesome CBD product finder!
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