CBD Full Spectrum
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Full Disclosure: Everything You Need to Know About Full Spectrum CBD
Table of Contents
- At a Glance: What is CBD?
- What Are CBD ‘Spectrums’?
- How to Use Full Spectrum CBD
- Pros and Cons of Full Spectrum CBD
- How Many Drops of CBD Oil Should I Take?
- Cannabinoids in Full Spectrum CBD
- The “Entourage Effect”: Our Grand Finale
CBD has well and truly exploded onto the scene, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere! It has now made a name for itself and piqued many people’s interest. Full spectrum CBD is no exception to this, as people are naturally curious about the potential benefits that it can bring to their healthy lifestyle. We will also answer many of your other burning questions: what is full spectrum CBD? Is CBD legal? How do you use full spectrum CBD oil? Stay tuned for all of the answers and information you need to help you make a decision on whether full spectrum is right for you.
At a Glance: What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a trending, all-natural compound obtained from a unique subspecies of cannabis Sativa known as hemp - or ‘industrial hemp’. Since its discovery in the 1940s by American scientist Roger Adams, CBD has gained steady recognition due to its fascinating chemistry and potential benefits. Following CO2 extraction, the oil is a strong amber in colour before it is often blended into popular supplements, such as CBD gummies and skincare products.
How is CBD Made?
So, how is CBD made? CBD comes from the leaves, stems and flowers of licenced hemp crops. The most common production method is ‘supercritical CO2 extraction’ - which experts perform using specialist equipment in a controlled lab setting. This complex process involves applying pressure to dried hemp material,which manipulates the temperatures and using CO2 to transport CBD extract particles between gas and liquid states.
CBD and the Law
At this point, you may be wondering: Is CBD legal? As we know, raw cannabis and hemp is far from legal in the UK. Thankfully, CBD extracts are permitted in the UK and many other countries - provided that manufacturers ensure their products contain no more than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) each (1 mg of THC per container). As a result, these extracts cannot get you “high”. If you’re unsure about the legality of CBD where you live then we advise you to do your own research before you try making a purchase.
What Are CBD ‘Spectrums’?
So, what are CBD spectrums? As an extract, it’s available in different forms depending on the extent to which manufacturers chemically process it. When we talk about the ‘spectrum’ of a CBD product, we’re placing the cannabis extract it contains into one of three categories:
As you may guess, CBD isolate is an isolated form of CBD extract. Thus, it’s also the most processed, since manufacturers who seek to make it must strip away all of the other naturally occurring substances present in the hemp plant. Once these processes are complete, the emerging extract lacks the distinctive ‘earthy’ taste and smell that we often associate with hemp. This is a popular product with CBD newbies, as the complete removal of THC can be comforting.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD is less processed than CBD isolate. While it still contains many organic compounds that emerge straight from the hemp plant, manufacturers employ some additional efforts to remote THC compounds. As a result, broad spectrum CBD should theoretically contain 0% THC. Essentially, broad spectrum CBD is created by removing the THC from full spectrum CBD extract using the winterization process to remove unwanted compounds from the final product.
What is Full Spectrum CBD?
Full spectrum CBD is the least processed version of CBD extract, and manufacturers work to maintain as much of the original hemp plant’s chemistry as possible. Consequently, it carries a full-bodied aroma and features a potentially rich profile of botanical compounds. To get candid with cannabinoids, terpenes and the natural phenomenon that scientists refer to as the “entourage effect”, keep on reading!
How to Use Full Spectrum CBD
There are five main methods of consumption:
- Sublingual: This means that you will be placing the drops of CBD oil on the soft tissue underneath your tongue. Hold the oil there for a maximum of thirty seconds before you swallow. The capillaries under your tongue allow for quick absorption of the cannabinoid.
- Edibles: This refers to adding the CBD oil to your food or drink or purchasing ready-made products. Popular choices include gummies, brownies and protein bars. This is not the fastest acting form of consumption (as it needs to travel through your digestive tract before reaching your bloodstream), however the effects can be long-lasting. What’s more, this is a great way of masking the natural taste of CBD oil if you’re not a fan.
- Oral: Oral CBD consumption typically refers to CBD capsules. These are a simple way of dosing CBD, in addition to being handy for consuming the cannabinoid while you’re out and about – all you need is a drink of water.
- Topical: Applying skincare products infused with CBD is referred to as topical application. This can also include massage oils, balms and creams. The CBD is absorbed into your skin as opposed to your bloodstream. This is a great method of application for targeted relief.
- Vaping: Finally, you can also vape full spectrum CBD. This is the fastest way of feeling the effects of CBD, as you’re inhaling the compounds through the lungs. The CBD then diffuses into alveoli (small sacs), allowing the molecules to enter your bloodstream. You will need to purchase a vape kit to get you started, this includes a cartridge, battery and a vape pen.
Can Full Spectrum CBD Oil Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Did you know that some high-street CBD brands may contain up to ten times more THC than the legal limit? Consuming uncertified CBD products (i.e. those without a Certificate of Analysis) could potentially risk exposing you to excessive amounts of THC. Therefore, you should always choose a CBD product with a COA wherever possible. If your workplace has a zero-tolerance drug policy (for example, if you’re a professional athlete), it’s probably best to choose a different variety of CBD. Broad spectrum may be a perfect compromise for you - since it is THC-free and still packed with beneficial compounds. Plus it’s always better to be cautious so that you don’t get into any trouble.
Safety and Side Effects of Full Spectrum CBD
As far as sensory side-effects are concerned, some people dislike the ‘earthy’ taste and smell that full spectrum CBD tends to have. If this type of natural aroma triggers you, you may wish to use an edible CBD product that combines CBD with other flavours. Beyond taste, it is a well-tolerated substance that has been associated with some mild side-effects. Unwanted symptoms such as stomach upsets, tiredness and dry mouth can potentially arise with use - mainly if you are new to CBD or dosing too heavily. It’s best to speak to your doctor if you have any concerns, or if you’re consuming any medication that CBD could interact with.
Pros and Cons of Full Spectrum CBD
Interested in weighing up the pros and cons of this CBD spectrum? Here are the main factors to consider before making a purchase.
- The entourage effect: We will go into depth on this theory later in the article, but it certainly is one of the main drawing points of full spectrum CBD products. Put simply, the compounds may work together synergistically and produce a better outcome. Make sure that you stay tuned for more information on the entourage effect.
- The different products: Full spectrum CBD is one of the most popular ways of consuming the cannabinoid. Therefore, there’s plenty of great options out there for you to try, including oils, vapes, edibles and more. This means that you can tailor your routine perfectly to suit your needs.
- The presence of THC: As we have discovered, full spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of the THC cannabinoid. While this isn’t enough to get you ‘high’ not everyone will be comfortable with this. For example, some individuals will worry that it may appear on a drug test. This is possible, particularly if you’ve purchased a mislabelled product that contains too much THC.
- The legality issue: Not all countries will allow the sale and purchase of full spectrum CBD oil products.
Is Full Spectrum CBD Right For You?
If you think you’d like to experience the potential benefits of the entourage effect, then definitely give full spectrum CBD products a try. However, if you would like to enjoy CBD without the presence of THC, you could opt for broad spectrum products. You can also access some of the possible benefits from the entourage effect from this type of CBD, without the presence of THC.
Of course, CBD isolate is also an option. If you’re new to CBD, then you could begin with isolate or broad spectrum and then work your way up to full spectrum CBD oil. This gives you a chance to find your feet with CBD, work out your dosage and discover how the cannabinoid affects you.
How to Use CBD Oil
Using any CBD oil (including full spectrum) is simple! There are three main options that present themselves to you. It’s up to you to decide what works best for your routine. We would advise a method of trial-and-error, particularly for CBD novices.
- Sublingually: This is a simple and fuss-free way of administering CBD. Also, as we have discovered, it’s one of the fastest ways to feel the effects.
- Food or Drink: Placing drops of CBD oil into your food or drink couldn’t be easier. It also gives you the chance to get creative with some delicious CBD recipes.
- Topicals: You can add CBD oil to skin care products, such as creams and balms.
How To Shop For Full Spectrum CBD Oil
One common internet search relating to full-spectrum CBD is ‘how to choose the best full spectrum product’. It’s important that you do your own research into a product before making a purchase. The following are some key things to look out for:
- Source: Check where the product has come from, more specifically, where the hemp has been grown. Natural and organic farming methods are always preferable. There are many brands who take great care when it comes to purchasing their extracts from cultivators and distributors. growing and cultivating their hemp plants.
- Testing: The third-party lab testing of CBD products is vital. This helps you to purchase safe and reputable products that have been examined by a laboratory unaffiliated with the brand.
- Concentration: The above allows you to assess the ingredients and the concentration of the various compounds included in the final product. You can then calculate the dosage of CBD oil you’ll be consuming. If you wish to add the oil to edibles, then also knowing the CBD concentration is vital to calculating the amount per portion.
- Taste: This is an extremely important factor to consider. If you enjoy the natural taste of hemp, then be on the lookout for natural full spectrum CBD oil. On the other hand, there are also plenty of CBD oils out there with delicious flavours to choose from, such as mango, lemon, peppermint and more.
- Reviews: Customer reviews are a great way of assessing a product. Customers will share their first-hand experiences of using a product and this can be extremely helpful for you.
How Many Drops of CBD Oil Should I Take?
When it comes to dosing CBD oil (full spectrum included) it all comes down to individual factors. For example, your body weight, height, experience with CBD, body fat percentage and metabolism. It’s important to note that 70 mg of CBD oil is considered the maximum amount that you should consume per day. This is a recommendation from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), although you can consume more if you need to. Make sure to slowly increase your dosage. Begin with a small amount of CBD to see how your body reacts to the cannabinoid. Read the label on the product that you’ve purchased to discover how many mg of CBD is in each drop of oil. You can always increase the dosage as you become more experienced. This is known as the ‘start low, go slow’ method. This could mean beginning your dosage with 10 or 20 mg per day. After one week, you could increase this amount by 5 mg and keep doing so until you discover your ideal dosage.
Check out the table below to help you figure out your ideal dosage, however it will likely be a trial-and-error method. You can also read through our helpful dosage guide for more information.
Weight: 90-150 lbs
Weight: 150-240 lbs
Weight: 250 lbs +
45 - 65 mg
Why CBD Products Shouldn’t Be Cheap
Don’t panic, we aren’t saying you need to break the bank to be able to afford quality full spectrum CBD products. Essentially, due to the potential added benefits (like the entourage effect) that full spectrum CBD can provide, these products will be more expensive than CBD isolate products. If a full spectrum product is marketed as ‘cheap’ then it’s best to be cautious, particularly if the product costs £10.00 or under. After all, not every brand is going to be trustworthy. The product they're selling may not even contain CBD, it could simply be hemp seed oil, despite being marketed as a full spectrum CBD product. Of course, there are good deals out there from reputable brands, take us here at Alphagreen – we offer some of the best prices on the market. Stay tuned for our guide to finding reputable brands and products.
Cannabinoids in Full Spectrum CBD
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids (such as CBD) are unique compounds within the cannabis plant family. There are over 100 cannabinoids in hemp, and full spectrum CBD extract may provide the ideal opportunity to sample some of them. These compounds include:
Trace Amounts of THC
THC is a psychoactive cannabis compound that may cause mood-altering effects when consumed in sufficient quantities. While many studies discourage us from consuming it in (illegal) excess, some researchers question whether trace amounts might benefit our wellbeing.
CBC is a non-psychoactive botanical compound found in cannabis plants - though it is present to a lesser extent than CBD and THC. Particularly since 2017, researchers have been exploring its possible clinical applications. Alongside its potentially beneficial interactions with other cannabinoids, CBC might bring some unique properties to full spectrum CBD.
As hemp plants mature and interact with increased oxygen levels or excess natural heat, some of their THC molecules begin to degrade - forming CBN. For several decades, researchers dismissed this compound as a form of “expired THC”, but modern scientists now suggest that we may have underestimated CBN’s potential.
Most of the CBG compounds found in hemp plants undergo natural chemical reactions, which convert them into more abundant CBD or THC compounds. However, if manufacturers harvest their hemp crops at strategic points in their flowering cycle, this may boost the amount of CBG present in full spectrum CBD extract.
Let’s Talk About Terpenes
On top of containing a diverse range of cannabinoids, full spectrum CBD extract is also a source of terpenes. If you’ve never heard of terpenes before, don’t worry! This text will cover everything you need to know about these fascinating compounds.
What are Terpenes?
What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you picture lavender? Most likely, you imagine its signature sweet smell. Perhaps it’s a fragrance that you find remarkably calming. Terpenes are bioactive aromatic plant compounds that control the natural scents attached to plants at a molecular level. While their aromas may smell pleasant to us (and pollinating bees), they may simultaneously create an overpowering scent that wards off animals and germs. As a result, terpenes are indispensable to plants.
Hemp Terpenes and Their Potential Benefits
So far, research suggests that there are approximately 200 different terpenes present in hemp plants. This abundance makes hemp a rich source of aromatic plant compounds. While some of these contribute to its ‘earthy’ smell, others operate more subtly and may possibly offer some potential benefits when consumed. Let’s take a brief look at three of the most-hyped terpenes found in full spectrum CBD.
Linalool is a natural essential oil that manufacturers often use to develop fragrant cosmetics such as perfumes and skincare. It’s not to be confused with lanolin - which is a moisturising ingredient derived from wool. So far, research indicates that linalool may possess some botanical properties that could potentially interact our bodies in beneficial ways.
Emerging research suggests that this terpene might possibly:
- Help to produce a sense of calm
- Be relaxing for the muscles
- May help to provide relief
As its name subtly indicates, d-limonene has a fresh, lemony fragrance that lends well to food production and cosmetology. While manufacturers often use it as an additive, it’s an all-natural substance, making it far more appealing than some of the synthetic additives commonly featured in food.
Current studies suggest that d-limonene may potentially:
- Help to promote peace
- Offer minimal risks when consumed
Like Vitamins C and E, nerolidol is a natural antioxidant. As you may already know, antioxidants are substances that help to neutralise free-radicals - the unstable compounds that can wreak havoc on our bodies by damaging cells. Nerolidol compounds ‘donate’ their electrons and help to prevent some forms of excessive cell damage.
Some other potential benefits of nerolidol may possibly include:
- Helps to promote a sense of calm
- Can help to provide support
- May help to provide relief and soothing qualities
Full Spectrum Flavonoids
By now, we’ve looked at some of the diverse cannabinoids (cannabis compounds) and terpenes (aromatic plant compounds) you can expect to find in full spectrum CBD. Now, let’s explore our final category of relevant hemp substances: flavonoids.
Do Us A Flavour
So, what are flavonoids? Thankfully, the clue is in the name. In straightforward terms, flavonoids are widely available substances that contribute to the taste and colour of many plant sources. These range from whole fruits and vegetables to our favourite pick-me-ups, including dark chocolate, wine, CBD and a warm cup of tea. Technically, flavonoids are phytonutrients (plant chemicals), and some are unique to the hemp plant. It’s helpful for us to consider these ‘cannflavins’ as we evaluate full spectrum CBD’s value.
Hemp Flavonoids and Their Potential Benefits
So far, scientists have found over twenty different flavonoids in the hemp plant. These include cannflavin A, B and C, as well as apigenin and vitexin. Although there is much to be said about these chemicals on an individual basis, there is no need for us to go into extensive detail at the moment. To keep things straightforward, we’re going to focus on some potential shared benefits.
The possible qualities that hemp flavonoids may lend to full spectrum CBD extract include:
- Providing a sense of comfort
- Can help you to feel calm, thereby allowing you to unwind
- Can provide support and a boost when you need it
The “Entourage Effect”: Our Grand Finale
So far, you’ve probably noticed some overlaps between the potential benefits of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. According to the fascinating theory of the “entourage effect,” this is just the beginning. Put simply; the entourage effect suggests that the natural chemicals within hemp plants may potentially work together like a well-oiled machine - synergising and modulating to influence the overall properties of full spectrum CBD collectively. The argument that hemp compounds are ‘better together’ subsequently implies that chemically separating them may possibly be detrimental. For this reason, some experts are adamant that full spectrum CBD is the best way forward. If this topic piques your curiosity, we know you’ll love our dedicated Academy article: Better Together - The Entourage Effect.
Is the Entourage Effect The Same as Feeling High?
This is an excellent question and one that isn’t frequently addressed. You can rest assured that consuming full spectrum CBD oil (and potentially reaping the benefits of the entourage effect) isn’t the same as feeling ‘high’. However, with the combination of all the naturally occurring compounds, you may feel a sense of happiness and contentment.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed your introduction to full spectrum CBD! There are many potential benefits to selecting this spectrum of the cannabinoid, and there are a wide variety of product types out there waiting for you to try. Remember, do your research into a product before making a purchase to ensure that it’s good quality and safe. So, what are you waiting for? Give full spectrum CBD a try today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are The Benefits of Full Spectrum CBD?
We have an entire Academy article dedicated to this exciting question - which you can read about here. Full spectrum CBD may offer a diverse variety of potential benefits associated with cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and the “entourage effect”. CBD may also help to support your healthy lifestyle, and is known for its calming and soothing effects.
Is Full Spectrum CBD Legal?
Out of the three different spectrums of CBD extract, full spectrum is the only one that actively tolerates trace amounts of THC. The UK government (along with authorities in many other countries) has set the legal limit for THC at 0.2% per product. When cheap brands adopt careless production practices, it’s easy to see how the THC content could potentially creep past this threshold. To ensure that your full spectrum CBD complies with safety and legal requirements, it’s crucial to check the laws where you live and purchase from a premium brand with an official Certificate of Analysis (COA). This document will confirm your CBD’s chemical makeup and give you peace of mind regarding its THC content.
Why Do Some People Say That Full Spectrum CBD Oil is Best?
Many reasons may cause people to perceive full spectrum CBD as the best option. People who prefer to keep their products as natural as possible appreciate the fact that full spectrum represents the chemistry of hemp plants most authentically. In terms of production, it undergoes less processing than other forms of CBD. Furthermore, some scientists suggest that the botanical mixture of compounds present in full spectrum extract may work synergistically via the “entourage effect”. This may potentially influence how you feel and any possible results you might notice with regular use.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK and Europe?
CBD extracts and products are completely legal in the UK as long as there’s only trace amounts of THC present. CBD is also legal in European countries as long as there’s less than 0.2% THC in the final product. In Luxembourg and Austria, the amount of THC can go up to 0.3%, while France only allows the sale of CBD isolate products. In Switzerland the THC content needs to be less than 1%, while CBD products are illegal in Lithuania and Slovakia.
Can I Travel With CBD?
When it comes to CBD and travel there’s no simple answer. Instead, you’ll need to do your own research before embarking on a trip with your CBD. Some countries will allow you to travel with CBD (with less than 0.2% THC) on an aeroplane, while in other countries it will be illegal. Make sure you find out beforehand to avoid breaking the law.
How is CBD Best Absorbed?
CBD oil is best absorbed when you use it sublingually. This means that you will place your desired CBD dosage underneath your tongue and allow it to be absorbed. Hold the oil here for a couple of seconds before swallowing. This method allows the CBD to reach your bloodstream faster. CBD oil added to edibles on the other hand needs to travel through your digestive system. Therefore, it takes longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream and some of the cannabinoid can get lost along the way.
Can I take CBD Oil Every Day?
The good news is that you can use CBD oil every day. Some individuals choose to consume their full spectrum CBD oil at the same time every day. This is a great way of remembering to consume the all-natural supplement! What’s more, consuming CBD oil daily is considered safe, and it can build up in your body over time. Therefore, this can help you to reap the full benefits of CBD over time.
How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?
This is a good question! Full spectrum CBD oil can make a great addition to various aspects of your life. For example, you could use it to help promote calm during hectic times in your life. You could combine the oil with a cream and give yourself a relaxing CBD infused massage! It could also help to provide you with relief following a heavy exercise session. Of course, CBD can also be enjoyed as a general supplement for your healthy lifestyle.
Is CBD Psychoactive?
CBD has long been established as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. This means that it can’t cause you to feel ‘high’. The main psychoactive cannabinoid from the hemp plant is THC. The latter cannabinoid can be found in full spectrum CBD products, however there won’t be enough included to alter your mood.
Why Is There MCT Oil in my CBD Oil?
There is always a carrier oil added to any CBD oil. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil is a source of fat. Adding this to CBD oil helps you to swallow it easily and helps to increase the bioavailability. This is because it aids your body in absorbing the product quickly into the bloodstream. There are plenty of different carrier oil options, with hemp seed and coconut oil being the most popular.
How Best to Shop for CBD Products
Shopping for the best CBD products also means shopping smartly and safely. Only purchase from reputable companies who provide COAs and ensure that the products have been third-party lab tested. Also check out the ingredient list and the concentrations that have been listed. Reviews are also extremely helpful for customers to browse through as they can give a general sense of how other individuals have reacted to the product.