If you are new to cannabidiol (CBD), you will quickly find that there is a long list of new words that you need to learn to navigate your way around. This can make facing CBD feel incredibly intimidating. That’s why we wanted to cover some of the basics of this product. After all, one of the keys to living a healthy life is knowing what you are putting into (or, in some cases, on) your body.
To help with your CBD education, we want to talk about full-spectrum CBD, what it is, and what you can expect when you take it.
Some CBD basics
To understand what to expect from full spectrum CBD, you need to have a general understanding of CBD. So, let’s get into it.
Plants that are members of the cannabis family, like hemp and marijuana, have chemical compounds that are called cannabinoids. There are many of these compounds, with over 113 that researchers have identified so far. CBD is one of these cannabinoids. But one cannabinoid tends to stand out from all the others. It is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC’s fame is drawn from its psychoactive effects on people. This means that it is what causes the inebriating high that is often associated with cannabis. CBD often gets thrown in with THC in people’s minds, causing them to believe that it causes the psychoactive effects as THC. However, it does not cause any sort of high or any psychoactive effects.
Even though you can find CBD in both marijuana and hemp, most companies will make their CBD products using hemp rather than marijuana. There are many reasons for this, but one is simply eased of extraction. Hemp has high levels of CBD and less than 0.3% THC content. This makes it so the extract is much richer in CBD than THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, contains very high THC levels and concentrations of CBD that vary wildly. This makes marijuana less than ideal for extracting CBD.
But ease of extraction is not the only reason that CBD manufacturers prefer hemp. In 2018 a new version of the Farm Bill was passed that allowed for the growth and sale of hemp across the country (with restrictions in individual states). The Farm Bill was able to accomplish this because it affects all things agricultural in the United States. Every five years, this bill is reviewed and passed again. The 2018 version federally legalized hemp, among other things. Meanwhile, marijuana is still federally illegal in the United States. There are a handful of states that have legalized hemp on one level or another, but it is still illegal in most.
In the last decade or so, there has been a significant increase in the number of studies on CBD. Most of them have been aimed at trying to figure out what benefits the cannabinoid may be able to offer people. Though this research is still very new, it is also fascinating. For example, some studies, like this one, have shown that CBD may be able to help its users achieve a higher state of calm. While other studies, like this one, have suggested that CBD could be useful in improving joint health.
What should I know about full spectrum CBD oil?
Not all CBD extracts are the same, as you may expect. One of the main differences between extracts is what is in the extract besides CBD.
As mentioned earlier, cannabis plants have many cannabinoids. Over 113, if you recall. As a result, when CBD is taken from hemp, it brings friends. While CBD is the primary compound found in the extract, there are other cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds. The name “full spectrum” comes from the fact that this extract includes the full spectrum of compounds and cannabinoids found in hemp. This does include THC, CBD’s trouble-making cousin. However, as discussed above, hemp does not have THC very much in it (less than 0.3%). It certainly does not have enough to cause a high.
So, what is the point of full spectrum CBD? Why don’t they just get rid of all of the other cannabinoids? While it appears that CBD has an effect on people on its own, its effects are stronger when in the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes. If you want a more robust CBD experience, you will want to understand the “entourage effect.” This is when compounds build upon each other to create a more substantial effect. This means that the entourage effect could help to heighten CBD’s effect.
While this increased strength may be desirable, you need to be careful when using any CBD product to avoid adverse side effects. CBD is considered safe overall; there still are some adverse side effects that are generally associated with taking too much CBD. They are not overly dangerous, but they are still no fun and should be avoided. Because the entourage effect adds to the CBD oil’s power, you may need less than you would expect to get your wanted result and prevent these side effects.
CBD oils besides full spectrum
As mentioned above, there are a few different kinds of CBD extracts out there. After reading about the full spectrum, you may decide that it is not for you. Many people do. You still have other options. Let’s go over what those are.
This kind of CBD oil is very similar to full spectrum. As with the full spectrum, broad spectrum is not extensively processed and has many cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds found in the hemp plant with the CBD. But it has one significant difference. Broad spectrum has no THC in it. Like with full spectrum, the name “broad spectrum” gives you a good idea of what is in it, in the sense that it a wide range of compounds, but not all of them.
Despite the potential benefits of having other compounds, cannabinoids, and terpenes in a CBD extract, some may be poor. CBD affects everyone a little bit differently. As a result, full and broad spectrum CBD oils may be too strong for certain people, causing them to experience adverse side effects. If you think this maybe you, then you may want to try a CBD isolate.
You can likely guess what CBD isolate is just by the name. It is just CBD isolated so that it is on its own with no other cannabinoid, compounds, or terpenes. The effects of CBD isolate are not likely to be as strong as the effects of a full or broad spectrum. But your experience with CBD may feel clearer, without the clouding of other compounds.
When you shop for a CBD product, you should be able to find just about any kind of product in whatever CBD extract version you prefer. So, no matter what kind of extract you think you would prefer after reading this, you should be able to get it in an edible, and oil, a topical, or a capsule. That way you can feel sure that you can find a good product for you.