With a whole range of healing benefits, cannabidiol – or CBD oil – has grown in popularity in recent years. There are different types of CBD products, however, so it is important to understand these differences. The two main types of CBD are CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD oil. Because full spectrum CBD oil contains more of the cannabinoids contained in marijuana, it offers a greater range of benefits than simple CBD isolate.
Another difference that it’s important to be aware of is the difference between hemp oil – which is often marketed as CBD oil – and both full spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate. Whilst both hemp CBD and cannabis CBD come from the same family of plants, there are differences between the two. There are much higher levels of THC in cannabis, for example, whilst hemp has lower levels. What complicates matters in the world of cannabidiol, however, is that hemp CBD oil is often regarded as “more legal” simply because of its name.
Research differs on the effectiveness of hemp versus other types of CBD oil, and one big concern is that the number of cannabinoids present in hemp is considerably lower in concentration. Hemp CBD oil is not necessarily inferior to other types of cannabidiol, but it’s worth knowing whether the CBD oil you’re buying is hemp extract or cannabis-derived.
There are a variety of ways to take full spectrum CBD oil. For example, there are CBD vape pens that can provide a safe and effective way of ingesting CBD oil products. Alternatively, there are CBD tinctures – but it should be noted that full spectrum CBD oil has a particularly strong taste that many people find unpleasant.
What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Full spectrum CBD oil, which may also be referred to as whole plant CBD, is different to CBD isolate in that it contains all of the cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. These are:
There has been some concern because extracting all of these cannabinoids from the cannabis plant also means that there are trace amounts of THC – which is the psychoactive aspect of cannabis – in CBD oil. However, these amounts are tiny and heavily regulated (to a maximum of 0.3%), which minimizes the psychoactive risks of full spectrum CBD oil. To be considered legal, THC levels cannot exceed these regulations.
Each of the different cannabinoids that are found in marijuana has a variety of health benefits. The combination of these in full spectrum CBD oil means that full spectrum CBD oil is often considered to be more effective than simple CBD isolate.
Why People Use Cannabidiol
More and more people are turning to CBD oil because of the wide range of benefits it has. For people living with chronic pain, for example, CBD oil can help manage distressing symptoms. Because CBD oil does not contain (or only contains trace amounts of) THC, it’s become a popular alternative to “medical marijuana” or even illegal marijuana use. Non-addictive and non-intoxicating, CBD oil allows users to experience the multiple benefits without the negatives associated with cannabis use.
Full spectrum CBD Oil vs Isolate
When it comes to maximizing the benefits of CBD oil, full spectrum CBD oil’s use of the whole plant and all the associated cannabinoids gives it advantages over pure CBD isolate. Prior to 2015, it was thought that CBD isolate was a better option due to its concentrated nature. However, a 2015 study by the Lautenberg Centre for General Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem discovered that greater levels of relief could be achieved with full spectrum CBD oil.
Isolate CBD, compared to full spectrum CBD oil, is the pure form of CBD only and does not contain other types of cannabinoids. There is no risk of THC intake since CBD isolate is molecularly separated from the rest of the cannabis compounds.
Whilst CBD isolate is considered to be pure and more potent (or concentrated) than other CBD products, this does not actually make it superior. The high potency of the isolate cannot compete with the combined effects of the various cannabinoids contained in full spectrum CBD oil products.
The legality of CBD is a complicated issue because although CBD oil is technically legal across all 50 states, there are some exceptions. This is where the hemp vs marijuana difference becomes important. Because hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC, it’s not considered possible to get high from using it. Therefore, CBD products that are derived from industrial hemp are always legal, without exception. There may be concerns that even full-spectrum hemp CBD products are not as potent, but legally speaking, they are the most clear-cut option.
For marijuana-derived CBD products, however, legality is more complicated. Different states have different views on its legality. That’s because it’s taken from a plant that has high levels of THC – despite these levels being kept to a trace amount in full spectrum CBD oil. There is, therefore, a lot of confusion about the legality of full spectrum and CBD isolate derived from marijuana. It’s advisable to check your state’s CBD-specific laws to be on the safe side.
The Entourage Effect
The 2015 Lautenberg Centre for General Tumor Immunology study discovered important information about full spectrum CBD oil. The research, conducted on mice, demonstrated the greater anti-inflammatory effects of full spectrum CBD oil. Higher doses of full spectrum CBD oil generated greater levels of relief, showing that the combination of the cannabinoids has a kind of entourage effect that makes it superior to CBD isolate. Increasing the dosage of CBD isolate could not increase the level of relief.
The entourage effect highlights the way that the different cannabinoids contained in full spectrum CBD products work together to produce a higher level of efficiency for users.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil Benefits for Health and Wellness
CBD isolate can provide users with a wide range of health benefits, but full spectrum CBD oil offers a far greater range of benefits due to the different cannabinoids contained within the products. These benefits include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Restricting the growth of cancer cells
- Improving sleep quality
- Promoting bone growth
- Inhibiting the growth of bacteria
- Relieving pain
- Treating fungal infections
- Reducing muscle spasms
- Reducing seizures
- Relieving nausea and vomiting
- Reducing blood sugar levels
- Reducing spasms in the small intestine
- Relieving anxiety
- Treating skin conditions such as psoriasis
- Tranquilizing effects
An additional benefit of full spectrum CBD oil compared with CBD isolate is that the full spectrum variety contains extra compounds and minerals. These include a variety of fatty acids, beneficial fiber and terpenes. These extra compounds are beneficial for the body, improving general health in addition to the more specific benefits of full spectrum CBD oil.
Pain and Inflammation
Chronic pain and inflammation are two of the most common reasons that people turn to CBD oil for relief. People with autoimmune conditions and chronic illnesses find that full spectrum CBD oil is overall more effective in relieving the pain and inflammation that they struggle with. Full spectrum CBD oil is the most effective alternative for people with chronic illnesses who are unable to access medical marijuana.
The cannabinoids contained in full spectrum CBD oil can help manage nausea and vomiting. More specifically, the trace amounts of THC contained in full spectrum CBD oil can be beneficial for people who have eating disorders. THC has been proved to stimulate the appetite and therefore aid the recovery of people with anorexia nervosa.
May Reduce Anxiety
An increasing number of people are turning to CBD products to relieve chronic anxiety symptoms that can seriously affect their quality of life. Full spectrum CBD oil’s combination of cannabinoids may help to improve the symptoms of PTSD and other severe kinds of anxiety disorder. This is thought to be due to the combination of THC and CBD.
Other Neurological Symptoms
Recent research suggests that neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s may benefit from full spectrum CBD oil. The same benefits are not found in CBD isolate, as it is thought that it is the effect of THC in combination with other cannabinoids that improves symptoms in neurological disorders.
Drawbacks and Side Effects of Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Whilst full spectrum CBD oil has a considerable range of benefits, for some people full spectrum CBD oil may not necessarily be the best option. The inclusion of the full range of cannabinoids means that there is a greater risk of side effects or other negative reactions. Using pure CBD isolate reduces the risk of experiencing unwanted side effects, whilst still offering many (although not all) of the same benefits.
One concern for people who use full spectrum CBD oil is with regard to drug testing. Because of the trace amounts of THC contained within full spectrum CBD oil, anyone who is subject to regular drug tests would be best advised to use CBD isolate instead. This avoids the risk of THC being detected in drug testing.
With full spectrum CBD oil, the main legal issue is whether the CBD oil is derived from the marijuana plant or from hemp. Hemp-derived full spectrum CBD oil is often considered inferior, due to the lower potency of the cannabinoids, but it is legal in all 50 states. Marijuana-derived full spectrum CBD oil, however, has more restrictions, and there are 4 states (Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota) where using any kind of marijuana-derived CBD should be done with great caution.
There’s a danger with full spectrum CBD oil when taken alongside alcohol. There are interactions between alcohol and cannabinoids that can occur when they’re taken within 8 hours of each other. Alcohol increases the effects of CBD oil and the combination can cause extreme sedation, greater side effects, and other unpleasant reactions. It’s therefore wise to use caution in combining alcohol and CBD oil.
The Bottom Line on Full Spectrum CBD Oil
There’s no doubt that full spectrum CBD oil has a greater amount of health benefits when compared to pure CBD isolate – whether derived from the hemp plant or the marijuana plant. However, legal issues should always be considered when using marijuana-derived CBD oil, and for some people, CBD isolate may be a better option.