What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil? [Complete Guide]
April 10, 2019
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What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil? [Complete Guide]

Understanding the difference between CBD and Full Spectrum CBD
Jeff Yauck Jeff Yauck / Updated on April 10, 2019

full spectrum

While cannabidiol (CBD) is all the rage at present, it is often hard to understand what you are getting. Furthermore, with so many different CBD products on the market, it’s hard to tell which are full spectrum, which are not and which products are made from CBD cannabis or CBD hemp.  In this article we will try to clear up any confusion, focusing the major part of the post around Full Spectrum CBD oil.

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.

Just one last thing before we explain the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil; it’s important to understand that CBD from cannabis is only legal in medical or recreational states, while CBD hemp oil is legal in all 50 states under the 2014 US Farm Bill. While it may not be able to treat all conditions, it has been known to assist with a variety of medical conditions including anxiety, depression and acute pain.

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?

Cannabinoids

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.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

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.

Cannabinol (CBN)

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.

Cannabichromene (CBC)

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

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.

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47 comments
  1. Kayla Porter
    Full Spectrum is more effective

    Full spectrum CBD is much better than the other version. I tried CBD for about 3 months, for energizing my body, but to no result. However, then I switched to the full spectrum version, and it is something that is really effective.

  2. John
    Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is a true Miracle

    What a great article. I have learned a lot on CBD/Hemp. I personally have testimonials that prove that it works and changes lives. My father for one has anxiety and it has helped him tremendously. There are so many benefits but not enough time to mention. I do know it works but I also know not all are equal. There are 5 things you really need to look for when picking one.
    1. Full Spectrum Hemp oil
    2. Sourcing
    3. Extraction
    4. Stability
    5. Bioavailability

    The company I am with has hit all these things. If you are currently using or looking I suggest dropping a little in water and see what happens. It floats and our body can’t ingest oil very easily. Ours is water soluble, 85% Bioabsorbtive, and many other properties I do not have time to mention. If you would like more information to let me know. I wish you the best on your journey.

    1. Bryan
      I'd like to learn more about full spectrum CBD oil.

      I am just learning about full spectrum CBD and would like to learn a lot more from someone who is highly knowledgable about the product. John, you mentioned you are able to provide many more details than what you listed in your post. Would it be possible to get together outside of this forum?

  3. Scott
    Urine Test

    So…I’ll fail the urine test I have coming up at work soon??? OMG

  4. Dave H
    correction needed

    The video constantly refers to “photo”cannabinoids. Can you correct this please. Most cannabinoids I know of don’t like their picture being taken.

  5. MARTHA REYNOLDS
    A few concerns.

    I just received my bottle of Full Spectrum CBD Oil, a couple of days ago. I’m very skeptical about taking it, as my job has a very strict rule. Any slip, trip, fall or accident, and one is immediately drug tested. Just wondering; will this Full Spectrum CBD Oil show up on a drug test?
    Also, I am anxious to try it, but don’t want to have any problems falling asleep.
    My main problems are; joint, knee and back pain and stiffness due to Osteoarthritis.

    1. Rachelle
      THC FREE CBD will not fail a drug test!

      Hi Martha, Yes you will be subjected to failing a drug test with full spectrum CBD! I am partnered with 1 of the 13 top cbd companies with the US Hemp Authority. It is 100% pure cbdoil, hempseed oil and 2 flavors extracted from the real source of either the peppermint plant(peppermint) or cinnamon trees (cinnamon).
      We have a full spectrum in either flavor.
      We offer a 100% THC FREE peppermint that you will not fail a drug test with! Let me know if this helps you or if you have any questions. Wishing you good health!

    2. Tj
      Positive Test

      Yes a full spectrum cbd oil will give a positive test result.

  6. Donnie Y
    Full spectrum is the best

    Don’t go for anything else!

  7. Katie
    Can this be vapored

    Was wondering if you can vapor with 1OZ RELEAVES 250MG CBD FULL SPECTRUM TINCTURE I had a cannabis oil vapor will on vacation that someone shared. Didn’t need to take sleeping pill or pain pill before bed.

  8. Henry Chin
    Only full spectrum

    It’s the only one that works for me

  9. Teri

    I purchased Ananda professional full spectrum Extract 600 20/mg/ml CBD oil. I started with .5ml dose the first night right before bedtime. I did not sleep well. I tried the same dose the following evening, and again, poor sleep. I tried it for two more nights and had the same results. I’m very sensitive to steroids and will only use them as a last resort, but the way I felt after taking the CBD oil, reminded me of how poor my sleep is on steroids. Or how vitamin B12 can affect me if I take it too late in the day. I have a lot of inflammation and pain and hoped the CBD oil would help. I am quite surprised at my reaction to it. Anyone else have trouble sleeping when taking it?

    1. Rachelle
      Not sleeping right with your CBD oil? Please read

      I am partnered with one of the top 13 cbd companies with the US Hemp Authority. I have become pretty knowledgable on cbd. I was reading your comment & wanted to share with you my experience also with taking the cbd just before bed. For one if it has peppermint in it for the flavor, peppermint is a stimulant & can interfere with your sleep! If you take a cbd product with peppermint than I would suggest taking it at dinner time instead:) Don’t give up on cbd all together, It is amazing when you learn the right way to take it. My company also has a natural flavored or a cinnamon flavor that is extracted from the cinnamon tree, Not artificial flavors! Please let me know if you have any questions! Whether somebody buys cbd from me or not, I want people to know what is actually in the product they are purchasing. Not all cbd products are equal. Hope this helps you! Wish you good health;)

    2. JV
      Tested positive for THC

      @martha – I just started taking an organic full spectrum oil (from a highly reputable and recommended company) for the last two weeks and decided to take an at-home THC urine test for the same concerns you have and I tested positive. I’m now a little nervous since my employer facilitates random drug screenings frequently. Here’s an article with more details: https://www.marijuanabreak.com/failed-drug-test-after-taking-cbd-oil/amp

    3. RG
      high dosage for insomnia relief

      I had the same results using low doses then I was told to up my dosage. Essentially you have to take a very high dose to help with sleep. I am using all the way up to 50 mg (1.5 ml since I am using 1000 mg for 30 ml bottle) and it seems to be working for the last couple of weeks

    4. f potpalm
      trying CBD for the first time

      tried 5 drops of CBD full spectrum oil last night for the first time and had a tough time trying to sleep, had to go back to taking my Xanax

    5. Sm

      Yes, B12 will definitely affect your sleep.

  10. Ron Mason

    I should be interested to know if any of the CBD products has any substantial effect dealing with Parkinsons disease particularly a hand tremour?

    1. Susan Cook
      Research low dose naltrexone for Parkinson's and other autoimmune disorders and Cancer

      Read up on Low dose Naltrexone for Parkinson’s, autoimmune disorders and Cancer.

  11. Dawn

    I was wondering if full Spectrum or just cbd oil is best for Graves Disease symptoms?

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