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What is Full-Spectrum CBD?

What is Full-Spectrum CBD?

A lot of people want to know, “What is full-spectrum CBD oil?” 

In a rapidly transforming industry with so many moving parts, it’s hard to stay up to date with the ever evolving landscape. Even people who have used hemp extract products before don’t fully understand what they are consuming or if that product is the best one available for their specific needs.

Decades ago, the hemp plant was mainly utilized for its fibers to produce useful appliances like paper and rope. Today, many people use it as a wellness item. The expanding hemp industry is already very diversified and includes various products such as CBD gummies, smokable hemp flower, CBD capsules, CBD topicals, etc... 

Full-spectrum CBD oil is the hemp-derived additive to these products that gives them their therapeutic benefits. In this blog, we'll see how it works and how it compares to other CBD and hemp products. 

 

What is full-spectrum CBD oil?

Full spectrum hemp CBD oil is the honey-like substance that contains all the desired compounds of the hemp plant. Like its name indicates, full spectrum oil has the entire spectrum of cannabinoids that are present in the plant. Full spectrum oil relies on its blend of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes to deliver its therapeutic benefits.

During the extraction process, the manufacturer will make sure that these compounds are preserved so the user can benefit from all the ingredients of the hemp plant. Hemp experts refer to full-spectrum oil as the most wholesome and effective version of hemp plant products.

Here is a closer look at the main components that make up full-spectrum CBD oils:

Cannabinoids 

These are probably the best wellness substances found in nature. Unfortunately, they are very rare and are only found in marijuana/hemp plants. While there are more than 100 different cannabis compounds within the hemp plant there are 5 main cannabinoids that are being explored for their therapeutic benefits. There is, most popularly, CBD and THC, but there is also CBG, CBN, CBC. You can achieve numerous benefits by using these other minor cannabinoids, for example CBN has been shown to be the main reason for the drowsy and lethargic feeling people experience with marijuana and hemp products making it a useful cannabinoid for people looking to sleep better.

Terpenes 

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are present in every plant and even some animals! Every strain of hemp has its own terpene profile which is responsible for giving the plants their specific smells and taste. Terpenes have been found to play a huge role in the effects cannabinoids and flavonoids have on the body and are one of the most critical components of achieving the entourage effect.  

Flavonoids

These are other compounds that can be found in vegetables, fruits, flowers, and every other plant. The name is a little misleading, however, as the flavonoids only play a minor role in the taste of hemp products. Flavonoids are responsible for protecting plants from stressors and help them filter UV sunlight, fight against microbes and funguses, and help to signal other internal defense mechanisms. Like terpenes, flavonoids carry a vast array of therapeutic and physical benefits and have been linked to helping prevent the development of Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer, weight loss, and more through its anti inflammatory and anti oxidative properties. 

The other types of medical hemp oils, such as isolates and broad-spectrum hemp oils, are missing different components of the hemp plant and as a result, their potential benefits are reduced and less potent. Broad spectrum oils are missing the cannabinoid, THC, altogether and through the refining process also loses most to all of their terpenes and flavonoids. Isolates have nothing else from the plant other than one specific, isolated, compound, usually just one of the cannabinoids.

Full-spectrum CBD oil is produced by extracting oil from the hemp plant, but not every extraction process is the same. There are multiple extraction methods, but the most common are CO2 extraction, ethanol extraction, and butane extraction. Each method has its respective pros and cons, however, when it comes to maximizing quality and purity, the CO2 extraction process is hands down the best. This is because the extraction process uses CO2 as the solvent for pulling out all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids which is not toxic, doesn’t leave behind any residuals, and is very chemically non-reactive so doesn’t denature any compounds rendering them useless.

Once a company has full-spectrum CBD oil, there are several things they can do with it: 

    • Sell the oil by itself. This is usually done at the manufacturing level of the industry as the oil alone is unpleasant tasting, hard to measure/dose correctly, and extremely sticky making it hard to work with. Manufacturers will turn it into more appropriate means of consumption.
    • Infuse it with a carrier oil such as MCT oil, grapeseed oil, or hemp seed oil. This is how tinctures are made and is the closest way for a consumer to get hemp oil in its rawest form.
    • Further refine the oil. This is how broadspectrum oils and isolates are made. By taking the raw full spectrum CBD oil with everything in it and subjecting it to various lab processes, chemists can pull out whatever compounds they want and use those as precursors for the end products.
    • Integrate it with other ingredients to make edibles, topicals, sprays, and other methods of consumption. Ingesting CBD and other cannabinoids doesn’t have to be a chore and with Sivan CBD’s versatile product line, you can ensure that you’ll find a product that turns the chore of treating your condition into a treat to look forward to.

What are the differences between medical hemp oils?

As mentioned before, in addition to full-spectrum hemp oil, there are also products that feature isolates and broad-spectrum oil. Generally speaking, each category of oil seeks to have a similar impact on the end user, but variations in effect usually arise and are a result of causes such as missing cannabinoids/flavonoids/terpenes, or might be based on the mediocre quality of the oil itself that was harmed during the extraction process. 

Here is how each one of these oils works:

Full-spectrum CBD oil

Full spectrum oils are as close to the hemp plant as one can get and as a result are the most natural and least refined products on the market. Full spectrum oils feature every cannabinoid present in the hemp plant while still limiting THC to a 0.3% threshold and help to activate the entire endocannabinoid system through the “entourage effect” resulting in the most effective experience.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil

Broad spectrum oils incorporate a larger variety of cannabinoids into products and therefore consumers can get exposure to other useful compounds found in hemp like CBG and CBC. While only present in smaller quantities, the mere presence of these other cannabinoids helps to activate more biological receptors in the body, increasing the benefits and potency of the hemp extract. The thing broad spectrum products lack is the trace levels of THC. Broad spectrum products contain 0.0% THC which is good for people very skeptical of consuming any whatsoever, however, this results in an end product that is more comprehensive and effective than isolate products, but lacking of the full benefits hemp has to offer. 

CBD isolate

These are, as the name implies, isolated compounds. Usually found in powder form, these products offer you one and one cannabinoid only. The most commonly found isolate is CBD isolate, but there are isolates for every cannabinoid, including THC. This category is ideal for those who want to focus on one specific hemp compound and don’t want anything else. Hemp isolate products used to be very popular but have been on the decline as scientists continue to study the entourage effect.

 

What are the benefits of full-spectrum CBD compared to other oils? 

The thing that makes full spectrum CBD unique is the entourage effect.

The cannabis plant is still a relatively young plant as a candidate for therapeutic/medical benefits and as a result is still undergoing research. However, based on all the initial data and current findings, scientists have shown the plant to be linked to anti inflammatory, anti oxidative, and anti nausea properties and have also observed the plant to be effective against preventing seizures and as a therapeutic for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. One of the things scientists have noticed is that cannabinoids and terpenes provide more benefits when you use them together; this is referred to as the “entourage effect”. 

Organic hemp is an example of just one plant that interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Other common plants that contain cannabinoids are cacao, black pepper, broccoli, carrots, and the list goes on. We can find cannabinoids all around us, but they are most highly concentrated in the cannabis/hemp plant. Certain cannabinoids are able to bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors which make up the endocannabinoid system. By doing so, they can help your body regulate certain biological processes like sleep, pain sensation, stress management, metabolism, immune function, and numerous other things. 

 

What are the drawbacks of full-spectrum CBD compared to other oils? 

Even though full spectrum CBD oils deliver better results to consumers, there are some things to consider when using full spectrum products. 

The biggest concern, which is also to the products’ advantage, is the presence of THC. All hemp products on the market legally are regulated to be capped at 0.3% THC and if consumed in normal quantities, will not have any cognitive effects. Going substantially over recommended dosages, however, can cause the end user to have a psychoactive experience similar to eating THC edibles. The best way to prevent this is to follow the recommended serving size as noted by the company.

Another problem, often much more pertinent, is how the presence of THC affects drug screening. The 0.3% threshold for hemp products is low enough for non heavy full spectrum users to register negative for presence of THC on drug tests, however certain industries may administer extra sensitive tests which can blur the line between appearing negative or positive for THC. If you're working in a sensitive industry, the military, or with pharmaceutical products, you may be subject to more rigorous testing where full spectrum products can pose some issues. If you fall into this category you should consider using a broad spectrum product as there will be zero chance of registering positive for THC on drug screenings, no matter how sensitive they may be.

 

What are the common side effects of full-spectrum CBD?

The World Health Organization and the World Anti-Doping Agency both categorize CBD as a safe substance. While the product is regarded as safe on a general level, that doesn't mean CBD can’t cause any side effects in certain individuals. Due to its strong anxiolytic properties, consumers that use a very high dosage might experience effects such as drowsiness, low blood pressure, and in extreme cases dizziness. CBD can also affect your metabolism, which can cause a reduction in appetite and lead to weight loss. In some individuals, depending on the method of consumption, CBD has been linked to diarrhea.

The chance of experiencing side effects increases as you increase the dose and is based on individual body compositions. This is why you need to figure out what type of application and dosage size works best for you. Someone who is very sensitive to CBD and has a history of digestive issues might opt for the 1000mg pain relief cream rather than the 3000mg pain relief tincture whereas someone who has a history of skin problems but doesn’t notice CBD side effects would opt for the 1500mg calm tincture over the 1000mg calm moisturizer cream.

 

Do you need a prescription? 

If a product is hemp-derived, it does not require a prescription as long as the THC concentration is less than 0.3%. If a product is marijuana derived and/or contains more than 0.3% THC, then it is categorized as a federally illegal substance and the laws for obtaining such products are dependent on the state that you live in. We suggest getting acquainted with your state and local laws beforehand.

 

 

References:

Moltke, J., Hindocha, C., (2021), Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems, Journal of cannabis research, London, the UK

Outline: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7893882/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-flavonoids#1 


Cox-Georgian, D., Ramadoss, N., Dona, C., Basucorresponding, C., (2019), Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes, Nature Public Health Emergency Collection

Outline: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7120914/ 

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