What Actually Is Full Spectrum CBD Oil? [Explained for the Rookie]

Understanding the difference between CBD and Full Spectrum CBD
Jeff Yauck Jeff Yauck / Updated on June 20, 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

full spectrum cbd

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

full spectrum cbd oil

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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54 comments
  1. Janet French
    Much Better CBD

    Okay, so full spectrum CBD oil definitely seems to be better than the normal one. What is the best brand to get it from if I am to buy online in California? I heard CBD oils from UK are the best, is it true, or just a myth?

  2. Jason Alden
    Cannabis or CBD Packaging

    CBD oil is incredible in treating pain in human, dogs, and cats. It also has the ability to treat epilepsy and seizures. The packaging is very important for these CBD oil. Custom CBD packaging boxes are customized in unique shape and design with color printing and logo printing as per to the demand.

  3. Joyce
    Need educated help

    Will someone please steer me straight? I have been using CBD since January. I started off way too big. It was 1000 mg of 30 ml. Had BAD headaches and nausea. Did more reading went to 500 mg of 30 ml. Got better results. Then bought that in full spectrum. Couldn’t sleep through the night. Still had leg cramps still some anxiety and depression and back pain. Was advised to up it to 750 mg of 30 ml. Have been using this for a little more than a month. Legs cramp awful at night still, and anxiety and depression are better I guess but need alot of improvement still have quite a bit of back pain.
    Where do I go from here? Up again or would you recommend a different brand? I am using Hempworx.

  4. TJ
    A grain of salt

    Your statement about cannabis being illegal is misleading. Cannabis is the plant/herb itself. The difference in what is legal vs illegal to all states is the flower of the herb containing THC. Anything < 0.3% is regarded as HEMP as the constituents lack enough of the THC compound to create the psychoactive effect. MARIJUANA is known for the psychoactive effects. They are both forms of CANNABIS.

  5. Brian Hill
    Good work

    This is helpful. My first experience with CBD was sadly not a good one as I bought online and wasn’t aware f what I was buying into – it is posts like this that educate.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Lorie
      Seller Recommendations

      John,
      I am overwhelmed by the number of CBD products available and am not sure which one to buy. You seem very knowledgeable about CBD products and companies. I would really appreciate your help with some specific product/ company recommendations.
      Regards,
      Lorie

    2. 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?

  8. Scott
    Urine Test

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Donnie Y
    Full spectrum is the best

    Don’t go for anything else!

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