Full spectrum CBD oil is different from broad spectrum CBD oil in some key ways. If you’re not sure which to choose for yourself or if you’re thinking about switching over to the full spectrum, then let’s take a look at how the two types of CBD oil products differ. Today we’ll cover:
- Full spectrum CBD oil vs broad spectrum CBD oil
- The benefits of full spectrum CBD oil
- Full spectrum CBD tinctures vs softgels
- The endocannabinoid system
- The entourage effect
- Choosing the right full spectrum CBD oil product for yourself
What Is the Difference Between Full Spectrum CBD Oil and Broad Spectrum?
CBD oil products come in many forms and types, making it hard, at first, to know exactly what you should buy and how to use them. To begin, there are full spectrum and broad spectrum options, and each comes with its own purpose, delivered in a variety of formulas so you can take your CBD in ways that suit your lifestyle.
But when we’re talking about the benefits of CBD oil products, we first need to address the differences between full spectrum and broad spectrum. The primary difference between the two is how they each address one component of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa – and that component is a phytocannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol, or more commonly known as THC. The Cannabis sativa plants where we get our CBD from contain over 120 different cannabinoids, not just the CBD and THC. We extract the components we want to include in our formulations, but how we handle the THC determines if the formulation will be a full spectrum or a broad spectrum one.
What Is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
In the 1960s, Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam went searching for the “active” component of cannabis that had the euphoric effect we all know as a “high” feeling associated with marijuana. He and his team first discovered CBD (cannabidiol), but realized it was not causing the “high” feeling associated with marijuana use. Though it had some interesting effects, it wasn’t what they were looking for.
Then they discovered tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) was what was causing the psychogenic effects. Over the years there have been numerous studies on how THC, CBD and other cannabinoids found in hemp affect our bodies and minds. Today, both THC and CBD are used in an oil form, in certain concentrations, for wellness purposes rather than some type of recreational mood enhancer.
CBD oil which contains THC is regulated as to how much THC is allowed by percentage in any formula, and these formulas with THC in them are called full spectrum.
Full spectrum formulations may contain a variety of compounds:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Terpenes (components of the hemp plant that give flavor and scent but are also beneficial for health)
But what determines that a product is full spectrum is one thing: the intentional presence of THC.
To explain: When creating CBD oil formulations, the THC “hitches along” in the extraction process. Legally, up to 0.3 percent THC is allowed by federal law to be included in the final product, though some states have individual laws that differ. For the full spectrum products, it is a matter of making sure that the final products are less than 0.3 percent THC.
But in the creation of other products for broad spectrum, some trace amounts of THC seep in, though it is not intentionally included. cbdMD’s THC-free* logo means that this amount is undetectable to standard instruments, but it’s important to know that all CBD products could contain a very tiny amount of THC, despite best efforts to completely eliminate it in the extraction process.
How Does Full Spectrum CBD Oil Make You Feel?
So, how do these full spectrum blends make you feel? Do they give you any of those things you’ve always associated with marijuana – like the glassy eyes, the psychogenic high feeling, the munchies? Well, no, they don’t. And you should not go into an experience with CBD oil products with those goals in mind, as that is not what these types of products are made to do.
CBD oil products are using some of the same components of the cannabis plant, but at different levels and mixtures, and combined with carrier oils to get the small compounds into your system for health and wellness purposes.
While CBD oil affects everyone a little differently, there is no “high” feeling because the THC levels are so low and are only there for beneficial effects. Some people feel a little more relaxed with the full spectrum than they do with the broad spectrum. Others report it helps them to sleep better than the broad spectrum. Some try the full spectrum and conclude that they do better on the broad spectrum, so it is a matter of trial and careful observation.
You should also discuss with your doctor about your plans to try CBD products and ask them if you are a good candidate for using the one with or without the THC. Your doctor can advise you best on this decision.
What Are the Benefits of Choosing Full Spectrum?
There are some reasons one might choose the full spectrum CBD oil options rather than the broad spectrum ones, though both have desirable benefits.
The full spectrum CBD oil products lean more in this direction:
- A little more relaxing effect.
- May help some people sleep better than the broad spectrum formulas, but keep in mind there are broad spectrum options with melatonin for extra help with sleep.
- Because of the entourage effect, it is thought that blends which contain more cannabinoids can offer a more beneficial effect.
How Full Spectrum CBD Oil Products Work with Your Body
Though research is still ongoing as to how, exactly, the various cannabis compounds work with our bodies, the general understanding is that each compound is processed through various receptors found in our skin, organs, and tissues. This network of receptors processes our body’s own natural cannabinoid-like molecules and also any that we take in a CBD oil product, and is called the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is our body’s system that processes endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (those derived from plants), to help other bodily systems to run more smoothly. It is all very mysterious and we press for more research to be done on how it all works together. Until the body of evidence is more complete, we are left to put the pieces together based on what we do know and on personal experience with using CBD products to provide more of these cannabinoids.
The Entourage Effect
Another factor is what we call the entourage effect, which is a fancy term we use to describe the enhanced effect of CBD products when they contain a wider variety of cannabis components. It is thought that the presence of THC may heighten the entourage effect, giving more benefit to users, though the concept still applies to formulations labeled broad spectrum. The theory of entourage effect proposes that these phytocannabinoids actually work together, synergistically, and heighten the benefits of each other when used in combination. This is one reason full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils both contain more than just CBD or just CBD plus THC.
Full Spectrum CBD Options
There are two primary options for full spectrum CBD oil, one in an oil form that you use from a dropper, and one encapsulated in a gelatin capsule. Here’s a little about each of those options:
Full Spectrum CBD Tinctures
Full spectrum tinctures come in three different concentrations:
Benefits of Using the Tinctures
- Fast-acting (if held under the tongue before swallowing)
- Adjustable serving sizes
How to Choose a Concentration
Choose a concentration based on your size, metabolism, and your overall need.
How to Use CBD Tinctures
Using the dropper, measure out the amount of your serving. Squeeze the contents under your tongue. Hold the CBD oil under your tongue for 30 seconds and then swallow. Take morning and night, regularly, for best results.
Full Spectrum CBD Softgels
Full spectrum softgels come in two concentrations:
Benefits of Using the Softgel Capsules
- No need to measure
- Fortified with vitamin E
- Easy to use
How to Choose a Concentration
The concentrations of CBD blend work a little differently with the capsules. The milligrams per capsule are the same for 1000 mg and 2000 mg bottles, only twice the capsule count for the 2000 mg bottle. This allows for people to take two capsules per serving and still have a month’s worth of capsules per bottle.
How to Use CBD Softgels
Take one or two capsules (33 mg CBD blend for each capsule) with a glass of water, morning and evening, regularly, for best results.
Getting Started With Full Spectrum
To begin a full spectrum regimen, you need to choose the products based on your size, your health needs, wellness goals, and other expectations. We advise starting small and working your way up. That might look something like this:
- You have a moderate level need and are a small person – you choose the lowest concentration of the tinctures to get started.
- You take half a dropper each morning and night for a month. It is wise to start low like this and give your body a chance to adjust.
- After a month of observation, you feel comfortable adjusting the amounts up because you are feeling somewhat better but think your body needs more.
- You adjust the serving sizes to ¾ dropper morning and night and this time observe for two weeks.
- Then you micro-adjust up or down a few drops and observe each week before making any further adjustments. Work your way to the serving size that is perfect for you – and be consistent in the times you take it for best results.
The capsules are a little different. You’d take one morning and one night and at the end of your first month, decide whether or not you need to take two. If you do, then purchase the larger (2000 mg) bottle which is the same concentration of CBD, but at twice the count to allow for two capsules in the morning and two capsules in the evening.
If you have any questions as you are learning, you can talk with your doctor or you can also ask our trained professionals (who are trained on our products and using them, but your doctor is trained for the medical side of your care). Beginning anything new can take some time for you to adjust, but the rewards of a CBD wellness life are worth your time. Soon, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t get started sooner!
For More Information
Full spectrum CBD tinctures and full spectrum CBD softgels are the two most popular full spectrum CBD oil products, though full spectrum is expected to be more and more popular with users once they understand the benefits, try it for themselves, and compare it to their broad spectrum experience. Full spectrum is not for everyone, but for those who find it more beneficial – it’s a game changer.