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What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?
Substance Made From All Extracts of the Cannabis Plant
Cristina Mutchler is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in national media, specializing in health and wellness content. A multilingual Latina, Cristina’s work has appeared on CNN and its platforms, local news affiliates across the country, and in the promotion of medical journal articles and public health messaging.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Rochelle Collins, DO, is board-certified in family medicine. She is an assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Quinnipiac University and works in private practice in Hartford, Connecticut.
Full-spectrum CBD is a substance that contains all of the extracts naturally found in the cannabis plant, including very small amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient associated with the marijuana “high.”
It’s recently been popularized for its potential to help alleviate a variety of health conditions—like pain, anxiety, inflammation, and epilepsy—but more research is needed to fully back up all of the claims about its benefits.
David Trood / DigitalVision / Getty Images
What It Is
Before exploring full-spectrum CBD, it’s helpful to understand what CBD is to begin with. CBD—short for cannabidiol—is what’s known as a cannabinoid, one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Most CBD products are derived from the hemp species of that plant.
The two most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC:
- Cannabidiol (CBD)is often derived from hemp and doesn’t usually cause a “high” on its own.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound that causes the euphoric “high” feeling associated with marijuana.
The Cannabis Plant
Both hemp and marijuana are species of the cannabis plant, and both contain CBD — but hemp plants have 0.3% THC or less, while marijuana plants have higher levels of THC.
Ever since a 2018 federal law has made it legal to grow and sell hemp in the U.S., CBD has been popping up everywhere in different forms — from tablets to oils to creams to gummies.
Full-spectrum CBD is one of three main types of CBD available. It’s important to understand the differences between the most common types, as the ingredients do vary.
- Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD and all other cannabinoids, including trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less).
- Isolate CBD contains just CBD.
- Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD and multiple other cannabinoids, but no THC.
Some CBD connoisseurs consider full-spectrum CBD products to be more effective than the other forms, because they include all of the cannabis plant’s compounds plus up to 0.3% THC. That combination produces what researchers have dubbed the “entourage effect,” meaning that all of the elements in full-spectrum CBD may work better together than a single cannabinoid used alone.
How It Works
The major cannabinoids found in full-spectrum CBD—CBD and THC—work on different areas of the brain. Researchers are still studying their full effects on the body, but what they have found is that cannabinoids in general help regulate the body’s endocannabinoid system.
That system is responsible for nervous and immune system function, along with mood, sleep cycle, and inflammation response regulation, and more. Basically, the endocannabinoid system helps correct many different imbalances within the body via activated receptors found throughout our central and peripheral nervous systems.
It’s also connected to the way we experience pain, prompting researchers to think that CBD helps the body’s systems achieve better balance.
So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved one cannabis-derived medication, a prescription drug product used to treat certain severe forms of epilepsy, a seizure-causing disorder.
While there’s currently no solid scientific evidence pointing to other specific health conditions that full-spectrum CBD may help treat, research suggests that in addition to acting as an anti-inflammatory, it shows promise for treating anxiety, panic, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorders in some people.
Here’s the million-dollar question: Does full-spectrum CBD get you “high,” since it technically contains trace amounts of THC? Generally speaking, experts say no, it should not produce a “high.” But the answer isn’t crystal clear and may vary by product and person.
The amounts of THC found in full-spectrum CBD are at low quantities of less than 0.3%, which is considered to be pretty insignificant. Many experts agree that such a small amount likely isn’t strong enough to have significant psychoactive effects, and likely wouldn’t register on a drug test, but you shouldn’t rule out those possibilities.
Some people may experience some of the milder psychoactive or sedative effects that are associated with THC, and there’s a chance it could show up on a drug test.
Because research on full-spectrum CBD is still fairly preliminary, experts don’t have all of the answers to many consumer questions about the pros and cons of using it for various health issues. That said, a 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) report indicates that CBD in general is typically well-tolerated, with reported adverse effects usually happening as a result of medication interactions.
Still, there’s a possibility for the following side effects to occur:
- Mood changes
- Appetite changes
- Dry mouth
Keep in mind that full-spectrum CBD is not regulated by the FDA, though the agency is currently working on how it may approach regulating the CBD industry in the future. For now, there is no guarantee that a full-spectrum CBD product is safe, or that it’ll be effective for you.
Standard and daily-use guidelines don’t exist, and ingredients and dosages may vary widely. It’s also worth noting that mislabeling appears to be a fairly common issue with CBD products, according to some studies.
It’s a good idea to read the label and ingredient list closely. You’ll want to look for added preservatives, flavorings, or other ingredients you don’t recognize, and double-check them online or confirm with a trusted medical source.
While you don’t need a prescription for full-spectrum CBD, consider checking with your doctor or healthcare professional to make sure it won’t counteract with any other medications you’re taking, and to ensure the condition you’re using it for makes sense based on what we know about the substance.
You may be confused about the legality of full-spectrum CBD. As referenced, hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal federally, but may not be legal under some states’ legislation. You may want to check out local legislation before purchasing any CBD products (full-spectrum or not) and before traveling with CBD products to other states.
The decision to try full-spectrum CBD may depend on whether you are OK with consuming THC in any amount, particularly if marijuana or CBD is not legal in your state, or if you anticipate being drug tested.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Skaper SD, Di Marzo V. Endocannabinoids in nervous system health and disease: The big picture in a nutshell. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012;367(1607):3193-3200. doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0313
U.S. National Library of Medicine. Cannabidiol (CBD).
Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling accuracy of cannabidiol extracts sold online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708–1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909
By Cristina Mutchler
Cristina Mutchler is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in national media, specializing in health and wellness content.
What Is Full Spectrum CBD Oil And How It’s Used?
Cannabis products are all over the web and the mainstream media as thousands of people testify to their medical and recreational use efficacy. The market demand continues to surge and now competes closely with prescription drugs. There’s an increasing number of manufacturers that offer everyone a wide variety of brands. But while each formulation is unique, finding the best product nowadays can be challenging for many users.
If you have health issues, using full-spectrum CBD oil is one of the best solutions today, as marijuana doctors say. This is the cannabis product that’s best for medical purposes, especially for treating anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and all other serious illnesses. But like other alternative drugs, you have to research the properties and effects of the substance.
Remember that CBD products work differently for each person due to factors at play. As your guide on why full-spectrum CBD oil is a good treatment alternative and how it’s used, read on the following facts. You might discover convincing reasons to make a shift that would improve your general health.
What is Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?
It’s the most popular cannabis product that’s used for medical purposes. The substance is derived from cannabis plants containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a hallucinogenic compound. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains hundreds of other cannabinoids (CBD), offering therapeutic or healing effects when used correctly.
CBD advocates claim that the full-spectrum cannabis oil can create a powerful medical treatment when all the chemical elements produce an entourage effect. Such elements include healing properties, such as fatty acids, fibre, protein, and rich essential vitamins. Interestingly, it’s often compared with broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate that work differently to treat various medical issues.
In that sense, full-spectrum CBD products are widely recognized for their potent healing effect for severe medical conditions, including nerve and muscle pain, anxiety, depression, migraines, and other adverse health conditions. The substance has the following compounds that enable natural relief and treatment:
Full-spectrum CBD oil has more than 100 cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. These two significant compounds are responsible for the therapeutic and psychoactive effects of cannabis products. And CBD does not cause impairment, while THC can produce intoxication.
There are also over 150 terpenes in cannabis oil, which determines the fragrance and flavour of the substance. Terpenes are also known for their therapeutic effects that complement CBD and THC in healing.
Almost 20 different flavonoids are found in CBD oil. These elements can also be found in fruits, grains, and vegetables. Like terpenes, they also offer therapeutic effects, effectively relieving inflammation and cancer-related symptoms and acting as neuroprotective agents.
Health Benefits of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
CBD products are growing in popularity mainly because of their health benefits to consumers. It can be used for various medical conditions and maintain general health. You can also use CBD oil for recreational purposes to provide relaxation and some therapeutic effects. But generally, here are a few perks that consumers love about the product:
CBD has analgesic properties that can relieve pain. The substance can reduce inflammation from the inside out and calm tension in the body. Using full-spectrum CBD oil, in particular, has been noted in a research review to be successful as a pain reliever. A study showed that the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp mitigated premenstrual syndrome (PMS) among female subjects. Many consumers also reported positive experiences from using the product when treating joint pain, muscle tension, arthritis, tendonitis, and other pain caused by aging or exercise.
Both young and old experience anxiety due to internal and external factors. When it becomes frequent, anxiety can already hamper normal functioning and productivity. If that ever happens to you, using full-spectrum CBD oil can offer some relief and treatment. CBD can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and promote a robust immune response. As found in a scientific study, people who use CBD oil become less anxious and cognitively impaired, especially those with social anxiety disorders.
If you have skin problems like acne, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis, you can use CBD oil as a treatment option. The US National Library of Medicine claims that the substance is helpful for the treatment of these conditions. The product contains fatty acids and vitamins that help build and maintain healthy skin. Hemp oil also makes your skin develop resistance against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Using the substance, your skin gets nourished and guarded against oxidation that causes signs of ageing.
Due to the demands of modern life, many people are not getting enough sleep. This lifestyle may cause some health drawbacks in the future. If you’re struggling to get quality sleep these days, you can use CBD oil that’s proven to improve sleep quality and reduce sleep difficulties. The CBD in full-spectrum hemp extract can relieve sleeplessness due to age or certain medical conditions. It also helps relax the mind and body and promotes a healthy stress response to achieve tranquillity.
High Blood Pressure Therapy
According to a study, CBD oil may reduce the risk of heart disease by relieving high blood pressure. It’s considered good complementary therapy for people who are genetically predisposed and triggered by stress and anxiety. But available evidence is still limited to confirm that the substance can treat or prevent the disease on its own. There’s ongoing research about this subject, but it’s already noted that CBD oil is a helpful alternative supplement.
People with substance abuse disorder may consider using CBD oil as well. This substance can offer relief and treatment based on several studies. The researchers noted that CBD showed promising results in treating people with cocaine, opioid, or psychostimulant addiction. It may also help treat cannabis and nicotine dependence, but more research is needed.
Alternative Drug for Seizures
CBD oral solution, like Epidiolex, is now approved for medical use in treating two rare forms of epilepsy in children. But there are disorders in which CBD’s effectiveness is still uncertain. The available evidence shows that CBD interacts with seizure medicines and boosts their concentration in the blood. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy and application of the substance.
How to Consume Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
There are several ways to consume CBD oil, including tinctures, capsules, and edibles. It’s essential to choose the proper method as it can affect the efficacy and potency of the substance. As your guide, here are the delivery methods commonly used for full-spectrum CBD oil:
Sublingual Method Using CBD Tinctures
CBD tinctures usually come in bottles or spray with different flavours to choose from. If you prefer this method of ingestion, you need to use an eyedropper to measure 1-2 drops of the substance. Then squeeze the drops under your tongue and hold the tincture in place for at least 60 seconds before swallowing. When it comes to spray, you only need to spritz it once on the inside of each cheek. You can expect to feel the effects in about 30 to 45 minutes.
Oral Ingestion Using CBD Capsules
If you are looking for an easy and convenient way to consume CBD oil, oral ingestion might be your best option. There are now CBD capsules that you can use anytime, but you should also check the label for recommended doses. You can experience the effects in about 30 minutes; however, the foods you consume around taking it can affect how the body absorbs the oil. While this method does not provide relief as quickly as others, they are the easiest way and ensure that you’re getting the exact dose each time.
Vaping CBD Oil to Feel the Effects Quickly
For a much quicker effect of CBD oil, you can go for vaping as a method of consumption. This can guarantee to take effect within 30 seconds of inhaling the substance. You can now use vape pens which are discreet and easy to use. There are also desktop vaporizers that can accommodate more significant amounts of herbs, but all devices involve heating the substance into a vapour that you can inhale. When you shop for these products, they guide proper usage. The instructions are self-explanatory and straightforward, but you have to make sure that you buy the device that suits your preference and needs.
Eating Edibles Infused with CBD Oil
A fun and delicious way of consuming CBD products is by eating them in the form of edibles, like candies, gummies, treats, and more. You can prepare these delicacies at home or buy them from a cannabis dispensary. It’s essential to follow the serving size directions and eat the edible. However, since the substance has to go through your digestive system, it may not work the same way as other CBD forms. More likely, you’ll experience the effects in about 2-4 hours.
Using a Topical Massage CBD Oil
For nerve and muscle pains, or skin diseases, you can consider applying CBD topical oils to the affected area. This massage oil is best for treating achy muscles and joints and chronic pain. All you have to do is put the oil-made cream onto the area you want to treat. You have to make circular motions of your fingers on your skin as you apply the substance. Once it’s used, you may notice less pain immediately, but it’s likely to take effect within 30 minutes to a few hours.
Getting the Right Dose of CBD Oil
Overdosing the product might result in adverse side effects. Hence, it’s always safe to stay within your tolerance level. As a beginner, you should necessarily start with lower doses and work your way up until the sweet spot is determined. To get the correct dose of CBD oil, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Check and Ask for Dosage Recommendation
When you buy CBD oil products, there is usually a recommended dosage stated on the packaging label. You may also see this information on the online store website where you buy the item. This is very important when you use the product for treating medical conditions. But in case of doubt, you have to ask your doctor to ensure your safety. Tell your doctor that you are planning to use CBD oil, then ask what products they can recommend and the proper dosage. It also helps to be open about your chosen delivery method to get expert opinions on the right option for your medical condition.
Consider Using an Online Calculator
As you browse CBD oil brands in online stores, you can take advantage of dosing calculators provided by some companies. You have to enter how many mL of oil the bottle has, how much you weigh, and how many mg of CBD oil the product contains. The digital calculator can use this information to estimate how much substance you need in each dose. This can help you get the most accurate dosing.
Stick with Smallest Dose that Provides Relief
Even if you use a digital calculator or ask for expert recommendations, you might still need to experiment a bit to find the correct dose of CBD oil. It’s always safe to start with the smallest dose, such as one puff of vapour, one drop of tincture, or one gummy edible. Observe how that dosage affects you. If you don’t feel the desired effects, consider increasing the dose and try again. This is because Full Spectrum CBD Oil (1000mg) may come in varying levels, so you have to determine the best dose for each one.
Possible Side Effects of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
Although it’s rare for CBD oil to cause side effects, clinical research has shown that the substance can trigger adverse reactions. This usually happens when you take a large dose. But the side effects are generally mild and go away on their own. In severe cases, consider talking to a physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in mood
- Changes in appetite
If you have liver disease, consult your healthcare provider before taking CBD oil and use it with caution. The substance can increase liver enzymes. Hence checking your blood liver enzyme regularly is recommended in that case.
Likewise, pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid the product because of the potential risks to the baby’s development. While the effects are unclear, CBD can pass through the placenta.
It would be best to be careful about the possible interactions of the substance with certain drugs, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antifungals, among others. To avoid interactions, you should inform your doctor or pharmacist about the drug you’re taking. But most of these interactions are mild and don’t demand a change to your treatment.
Choosing the Right CBD Oil Products
There are different forms and brands of CBD oil, but the full-spectrum oils have several compounds from the cannabis plant. They include proteins, terpenes, flavonoids, and chlorophyll. When you shop for this product at a local shop or online store, here are a few things to check to ensure quality and safety:
Check whether the hemp is organic.
CBD and other compounds are extracted from hemp plants. The source of the product is significant as it determines the quality. You have to understand that hemp plants are dynamic bio-accumulators, or they quickly absorb every substance from the soil they grow in. When they are cultivated in clean and nutrient-dense soil, the hemp will yield good quality CBD flowers free of any contaminants. On the other hand, those mass-produced will yield poor CBD concentrations and possibly with the presence of toxins and heavy metals. To find out where the CBD oil was sourced, you have to research.
Check how the product was extracted.
There are many ways to extract CBD oil. But the gold standard in the industry is the CO2 extraction process. It involves pressurized carbon dioxide that pulls the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material without additional heat or toxic solvents. This technology ensures pure CBD extracts that have consistent potency throughout the batches. Ethanol extraction is an acceptable alternative, but it’s not as efficient as CO2 extraction for broad-scale manufacturing.
Check the third-party lab testing results.
When you shop at a local or online cannabis shop, always ask to see the product’s certificate of analysis. This document shows how a product went through tests checking for CBD and THC concentrations and the presence of any contaminants. It should come from a third-party laboratory that has no affiliation with the manufacturer to ensure unbiased results. Avoid buying the product if the local or online store doesn’t provide this information or refuses to share it.
Check other ingredients in the product.
Carrier oils are often added to CBD extracts to enhance their efficacy. Other ingredients may also be infused to boost the health benefits of the substance. You can find CBD oil with guarana for morning use, while others have melatonin or sleep-enhancing neurotransmitters. If the flavour of natural CBD oil doesn’t appeal to your taste, you can also find products with unique flavours, such as berry, vanilla, and citrus fruits. But when choosing CBD oil, make sure that the flavourings are natural and the substance doesn’t contain any harmful additives.
Where to Buy Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?
There are many stores, but shopping online might be the most convenient option. You can browse online cannabis shops and find the right product for you. Some companies offer free shipping and delivery for a certain amount of purchase. Why not go for this alternative when looking for your full-spectrum CBD oil?
One of the most trusted names in the cannabis industry today is Fusion CBD. We have popular brands for CBD oil, or you may also check other products on our online store. Our company maintains the highest standard of quality for our products and services. Contact us today!