The definition of full spectrum CBD is simple -- it means the product contains many cannabinoids beyond only CBD, along with other elements of the hemp plant, including naturally-occurring terpenes, essential vitamins, fatty acids, proteins, and more. Every cannabinoid and terpene found in a hemp plant has a specific biochemical effect, and studies have indicated there is a greater benefit when all the compounds work together in what is known as the “Entourage Effect.”
Good CBD oil is manufactured using the whole plant, ensuring that the oil contains the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the hemp plant, not just CBD. These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that work synergistically with CBD, making the range of benefits far greater than they might be with CBD alone. Check the labels on the products you’re considering to determine whether the manufacturer uses the whole plant. You should also be able to check their websites for this information. Some brands use the term “Whole Plant” and others use the term “Full Spectrum.”
Most people don’t know that CBD oil comes in varying degrees of strength and quality. Generally speaking, there are three types of CBD oil:
This type of oil is almost black in appearance (or dark green) because once it has been extracted from the raw hemp material, no further purification processes have been implemented. Therefore, your oil will contain terpenes and chlorophyll along with other parts of the plant (which is a good thing).
CBD oils that have been decarboxylated are similar to Raw CBD oils except that the active compounds have gone through additional processing. In the raw plant material, both THC and CBD exist as acidic molecules (THC-A and CBD-A, respectively), but the chemical process of decarboxylation removes the acid, which improves bioavailability. These oils are also unfiltered, so they also have a dark green or black color similar to the raw tinctures.
This is the CBD oil that most manufacturers make and that most people consume. A light golden color, the CBD oil has undergone both decarboxylation and filtering processes, removing the parts of the plant that were left over from the initial extraction process.
There are more than 100 compounds known as cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Common cannabinoids you may come across are:
Cannabicromene (CBC): anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer properties
Cannabidivarin (CBDV): anti-convulsion, anti-inflammatory, and anti-nausea properties, as well as its impact on pain and mood disorders. It’s particularly effective in providing symptom relief for Crohn’s, HIV/AIDS, and MS.
Cannabigerol (CBG): anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-tumor properties. CBG has exhibited positive effects for cancer, glaucoma, inflammation and skin diseases.
Cannabinol (CBN): sedative effect, along with anti-convulsant and anti-inflammatory properties
The major benefit of full spectrum CBD oil is the positive effect when all the compounds work in unison. 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. 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.
What Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Contain?
Cannabinoids: While you are probably aware of the impact of THC and CBD on 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:
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 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 & Proteins: 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.
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 better, 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.