With many health benefits, CBD has grown in popularity in recent years. But there are many different products, from oils to jelly beans, that can confuse some users regarding what to buy. One of these products is full spectrum CBD.
When searching for CBD products, users might find some products claiming to be composed of "full spectrum CBD" while others indicate being "CBD isolate." Undoubtedly, both products contain CBD, but their effects can differ depending on who is consuming it. That's why some users often prefer one better than the other.
Cannabinoids and Full Spectrum CBD
As you may have already guessed, the variety of cannabinoids present in a product determines whether that product is full spectrum or isolated. Cannabinoids must first be extracted from the hemp plant through methods such as CO2 extraction to create CBD products. Companies also take out other substances from the plant through this extraction process, such as flavonoids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. Depending on the cannabis strain and the extraction method used, the cannabinoid profile and composition will differ.
For example, hemp, a plant in the cannabis family, has minimal THC compared to strains like regular marijuana, which may have a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC. Depending on the final product a company is looking for, they may choose specific varieties to extract the desired substances.
Once the materials are extracted, the company refines the extract to contain certain cannabinoids from the plant. The refined product's content determines whether it is a full spectrum CBD product or a CBD isolate.
So, What Is Full Spectrum CBD?
The cannabis plant comprises hundreds of different phytochemicals, including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other substances. Full spectrum CBD refers to products that not only contain CBD but other cannabinoids and plant molecules. In other words, full spectrum CBD has the majority of substances present in the plant.
Cannabinoids, essential oils, and terpenes extracted from the plant interact to intensify the therapeutic benefits that each cannabinoid has separately. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect.
The Entourage Effect
The entourage effect is directly related to the effectiveness of the extracts. More than 100 substances have been identified in the cannabis plant. Although each has its own therapeutic benefits, they work synergistically to provide even better effects when combined.
A few years ago, scientists and consumers believed that CBD isolate (CBD in its pure form) was more effective than full spectrum CBD. However, in 2005, this theory was disproved by a study conducted in Jerusalem by the Lautenberg Center for General Tumor Immunology.
The study found that subjects taking full-spectrum CBD experienced more significant relief than subjects taking CBD isolate. The results also showed that full spectrum CBD offered a better relief with higher doses, while the effects of isolated CBD did not vary with increasing amounts.
Some people are concerned that full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC. This cannabinoid is the substance that causes psychoactive effects that many CBD users do not want to experience. However, any legal product within the US has a THC amount of a maximum of 0.3%. Therefore, the possibility of suffering psychoactive effects is practically non-existent.
What Problems Is Full Spectrum CBD Best For Treating?
CBD can be useful on its own for some people. However, the combination of plant extracts can provide more intense and long-lasting relief. For this reason, more and more companies are delving into full spectrum products.
Here are some of the issues that full spectrum CBD can most effectively treat. There are many more, but studies on them remain limited.
Pain and Swelling
Chronic pain and inflammation are two of the reasons users turn to CBD. Studies have found that the synergistic effects of full spectrum CBD are more effective than CBD isolate in treating inflammatory problems. Patients with autoimmune diseases and chronic conditions find that full spectrum CBD is most effective in relieving inflammation and pain. Terpenes alone, for example, have excellent health potential when combined with other cannabinoids.
Research upholds CBD's ability to treat anxiety. More studies are being conducted every day, some in animals, helping researchers understand how CBD works in the brain.
For now, the results are promising. While THC alone can make anxiety problems worse, CBD can counteract THC's effects to alleviate PTSD, stress, and other symptoms. By extracting CBD, THC, and other substances, full spectrum CBD appears to be effective with different anxiety-related disorders.
Nausea and Vomiting
As cannabis is known to stimulate the appetite, it also can help with certain eating disorders. The cannabinoids present in full spectrum CBD can help relieve nausea and vomiting, for example. The small amounts of THC present in full spectrum CBD can also be beneficial in reducing symptoms.
THC can control nausea and vomiting by stimulating CB1 receptors in the brain, mainly receptors found in the regulating centers of vomiting and nausea. But at the same time, it stimulates the CB1 receptors found in the gastrointestinal tract, and that helps reduce intestinal motility. Activation of this receptor is what helps improve appetite.
On the other hand, CBD helps to control nausea by influencing the serotonin receptors. It also reduces serotonin release, so there is less stimulation of the vomiting control center found in the brain. Activating CB2 receptors can also help prevent nausea.
Full Spectrum is Not for Everyone
Many factors determine how cannabinoids affect the body, from the person's chemical composition to their weight or history with other substances. For many, full spectrum CBD may be better than isolated because it offers all the benefits of the cannabis plant. However, for others, a high dose of CBD isolate is sufficient.