Close up shot of CBD oil

What Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Mean?

What do the terms parallel-path, value-add, and future-proof all have in common? They are all forms of corporate-speak that nobody outside the boardroom understands. Similarly, CBD labels include terminology that often leaves many in a state of bewilderment.

Hemp is still an emerging industry, so commonly used descriptors are not yet commonplace among consumers. And more often than not, people use umbrella terms when they’re really trying to talk about different types of CBD.

People who become more familiar with CBD will learn that hemp products fall under three distinct categories:

  1. CBD Isolate
  2. Broad Spectrum CBD
  3. Full Spectrum CBD

 

Each of these offers unique benefits that appeal to different people for various uses. This article will eliminate any head-scratching you may have about one of those terms – Full Spectrum CBD – and shed light on broad-spectrum and CBD isolate, too so you can determine which is best for your personal hemp needs.

Full Spec Products

Full spectrum products deliver the strongest entourage effect. Try it for yourself!

The Spectrum in Full Spectrum

Many people are now familiar with the acronyms CBD and THC, the stars of the cannabis industry. They are the most abundant cannabinoids found in hemp and recreational and medical marijuana.

Fewer people know there are actually more than 100 other minor cannabinoids in the entire spectrum of cannabinoids. As cannabis study progresses, researchers are discovering new molecules such as CBN and CBC, each serving its own purpose with distinct side effects.

The spectrum also includes terpenes, flavonoids, and other naturally occurring plant compounds. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give oils their fragrance, while flavonoids are associated with color. Terpenes and flavonoids create a unique character profile for various hemp strains that appeal to our senses.

Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

The Entourage Effect

Cast from the show Entourage

The spectrum of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes work in tandem in what is known as the entourage effect. Together they are said to be more effective than they would be alone, like how a band sounds better as a unit.

Jagger was embarrassing without Richards, whose scratchy-sounding guitar riffs gained a deeper resonance held in contrast to Ron Wood’s more polished touch. Full-spectrum CBD products work together similarly, bringing out the best qualities in each other to create different desired effects.

THC, please!

The Full in Full Spectrum

If you’re wondering “Does CBD oil have THC” or “What is full-spectrum CBD oil” here’s the answer:

Full spectrum contains a small amount of THC. “Full” refers to one specific cannabinoid included in the spectrum: THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gives people a “high” feeling.

Legally, the amount of THC in hemp must be less than 0.3 percent. Anything less than 0.3 percent is defined as hemp (legal in all states), and anything over 0.3 percent is marijuana (only legal in some states). Even at this low THC level, a CBD tincture with 0.3 percent THC would still be considered full spectrum.

Full-spectrum oil may also be referred to as whole plant or full-spectrum hemp oil. Whenever you see this language used, you know you’re purchasing a product with a small amount of THC. If you want to avoid THC altogether, you should not use full-spectrum products but can opt for other CBD products that are THC-free.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil = some THC
Similar, but different

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum

Some believe that CBD products are more effective with THC included, while others may want to pass on THC altogether because they want to avoid psychoactive ingredients. This is the reason for the distinction between full-spectrum and broad spectrum CBD.

Broad-spectrum oil still includes a range of cannabinoids, just not THC. It’s why broad-spectrum oil and THC-free CBD oil are used interchangeably. The entourage effect still applies to broad-spectrum CBD, because there is still a gang of other cannabinoids despite the absence of THC.

Broad-spectrum CBD can still help you relax, unwind, or sleep better depending on the cannabinoids used. However, you don’t get any of the psychoactive ingredients that could give you the feeling of euphoria.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil ≠ THC
Party of one

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is pure 99-100 percent pure CBD that comes in a crystallized form. CBD isolate is the most versatile of the three types, and can be used in home formulations, sprinkled on a bowl or joint, or can be added to topicals and tinctures. Unlike broad-spectrum and full-spectrum hemp extract, there are no other cannabinoids in isolate other than CBD.

Isolate = only CBD
The ROYGBIV of the Cannabinoid Spectrum

More Noids

We know there are over 100 cannabinoids that work together to enhance their effectiveness (the entourage effect), and we are familiar with two of those, CBD and THC, but what about the rest of the spectrum? Here’s a closer look at CBD, THC, and their entourage.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD is the most abundant compound in the hemp plant. To understand the CBD meaning, consider its formal definition: Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s more commonly referred to, is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the cannabis Sativa plant.

Unlike THC, CBD will not give the user a “high” feeling that the cannabis plant has been traditionally known for. It is used by consumers to promote wellness. Some people report it has a relaxing or calming effect, while others may feel more energized. It all depends on the user and the mix of cannabinoids used.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is the second most common cannabinoid in the hemp plant. It is also the most desired compound in hemp’s sister plant, the marijuana plant. As mentioned earlier, THC is the compound in the cannabis plant that makes the user feel high.

While full spectrum CBD tinctures and products will contain trace amounts of THC, levels will always be below the 0.3 percent mark. In such small amounts, consumers using CBD products will not feel the psychoactive effects of the THC, it is only present to help increase the entourage effect.

CBG (Cannabigerol)

CBG is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, just like CBD. It’s actually the parent compound of THC and CBD and acts as a precursor to the three main cannabinoid lines: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCa). Enzymes in the cannabis plant will break down CBG and convert it to one of these final compounds.

CBN (Cannabinol)

CBN is a minor cannabinoid that is being studied for its sedative effects. CBN is believed to be the compound in cannabis that generates a relaxing feeling in the user. Many CBN users report having an easier time falling and staying asleep with this cannabinoid as well as waking up refreshed.

CBC (Cannabichromene)

CBC bears the structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids, including THC, THCV, CBD, and CBN, among others. CBC and its derivatives are as abundant as cannabinoids in cannabis. It is thought to reinforce the entourage effect and enhance the overall benefits of hemp extractions.

Recap

Let’s break things down again so you can easily remember the difference between full-spectrum CBD oil and other products you might see online or at your local wellness shop.

Full Spectrum = some THC; Broad Spectrum ≠ THC; Isolate = only CBD
Does Full Spectrum CBD Have THC in it?

Yes. But it should be less than 0.3 percent per the legal limit put forth in the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp and hemp-derivative products. This allows you to purchase full-spectrum CBD products online and have them easily (and legally) delivered to your door in no time.

Can a THC-free product be Full Spectrum? 

No. Products that have 0 percent THC but contain all the other cannabinoids and compounds naturally occurring in hemp oil are termed broad-spectrum. While none of our products including full-spectrum CBD tinctures and oils contain more than a trace amount of THC, less than 0.3 percent, they are still considered full spectrum.

This distinction is important, especially if you’re trying to avoid products with any amounts of THC.

Find what's right for you

Why Choose Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

This boils down to personal preference. Some people may not want any THC in their CBD products.

Full-spectrum extracts contain all of the plant’s naturally occurring cannabinoids, including THC. In fact, THC is one more cannabinoid that reinforces the entourage effect phalanx. They also include terpenes and other plant compounds, which strengthen the extract’s effectiveness as well.

It is possible that regular use of full-spectrum CBD tincture could result in a positive THC drug test, but it is impossible to make any guarantees either way. Anyone concerned about failing a drug test would want to stick to the THC-free CBD oil or CBD isolate. On the other hand, CBD users who don’t mind less than 0.3 percent of THC in their CBD oil or those who want a more effective, potent tincture should consider full-spectrum.

That being said, full-spectrum isn’t necessarily better than broad-spectrum or CBD isolate. Every person has their unique physiology, lifestyle, and needs. Full-spectrum CBD can come in topicals, gummies, tinctures, and capsules, so there is a lot of room for experimenting to discover what works for you.

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