Full-Spectrum CBD: Everything You Need to Know


There are a lot of “full-spectrum fanatics” in today’s CBD market. Indeed, if a CBD oil doesn’t say “full-spectrum,” many customers won’t buy it. 

But is there any significant difference between full-spectrum CBD and other hemp extracts? Is “full-spectrum” just a marketing ploy? And, if not, what does “full-spectrum” signify? 

What Makes Full-Spectrum CBD So Unique?

Except for raw hemp flowers, full-spectrum CBD is the least refined hemp extract. Instead of purifying everything but CBD out of existence, manufacturers filter their full-spectrum products to the minimum required level. 

While CBD is the dominant cannabinoid in full-spectrum oils, these products are “full” of many other hemp compounds. For instance, full-spectrum CBD often has noticeable traces of secondary cannabinoids like CBC, CBN, and CBG. It’s also common to see higher concentrations of terpenes and antioxidants in full-spectrum CBD items.

Most significantly, full-spectrum CBD could contain traces of the psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9 THC. Arguably, there’d be no reason to create a separate “full-spectrum” category without this feature. 

When you see CBD oils listed as “full-spectrum,” you should expect them to contain ≤ 0.3 percent THC.

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Is Full-Spectrum CBD Legal In The USA? 

Because full-spectrum CBD usually contains some THC, new customers are often skeptical about its legality. After all, delta-9 THC is still technically illegal under federal law. Surely full-spectrum CBD is only OK in states with legal marijuana laws, right?

As US law currently stands, any hemp-derived CBD is legal throughout the nation. The only thing that customers need to pay attention to is THC concentration. The 2018 US Farm Bill defines hemp as containing ≤ 0.3 percent delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis. So, as long as your full-spectrum CBD oil meets these requirements, it’s legal at the federal level. 

How Will Full-Spectrum CBD Make Me Feel?

When people first learn that full-spectrum CBD has some THC, they often ask whether these extracts will make them feel “high.” That’s an understandable assumption considering delta-9 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid. 

While these CBD oils have small amounts of delta-9 THC, there’s not enough to feel the stereotypical “stoner” effects. Not only is the THC concentration too low to have a noticeable effect, the presence of CBD helps mitigate THC’s psychoactivity. 

Plenty of studies show CBD blocks THC from landing on the brain’s CB1 receptors. So, the more CBD a hemp strain has, the less likely THC will make you feel “high.”

Exhausted Person

Does Full-Spectrum CBD Have Any Side Effects? 

Most healthy adults don’t notice adverse reactions when taking a low to moderate amount of full-spectrum CBD. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience adverse reactions after using hemp extract—especially if you take too much in one session. 

A few of the most common side effects related to CBD oil include:

  • Headache 
  • Nausea
  • Skin itchiness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

If you suspect you’re experiencing any of these symptoms due to CBD, please stop using your full-spectrum oil for a few days. Once the symptoms clear, you could try retaking your CBD oil at a lower dose. 

How Do People Take Full-Spectrum CBD?

Customers could buy full-spectrum CBD in many forms, but the three most common items include:

These products will allow users to experience a diversity of hemp molecules, but they all have slightly different effects. 

For instance, smoking or vaping hemp flowers tends to have the most immediate impact. All of the cannabinoids you inhale will go straight into your lungs, which means you’ll enjoy virtually 100 percent absorption in a matter of minutes. 

You could also enjoy high absorption with CBD tinctures, but you need to know how to use them. Instead of gulping a dropperful of CBD tincture in water, you should place it under your tongue for about 30 seconds. This “biohack” takes advantage of the tongue’s sublingual glands, which absorb CBD directly into the bloodstream. 

Of course, you don’t need to use the sublingual method when taking a CBD tincture. Indeed, many customers love mixing CBD tinctures into edibles, drinks, or infusions. However, if your goal is to absorb the most CBD possible, you should stick with this sublingual trick. 

Lastly, you could take full-spectrum CBD in edible form. Arguably, eating edibles is the simplest and most discreet way to enjoy this cannabinoid. However, edibles have a relatively poor absorption rate compared with hemp joints and CBD tinctures. 

If you are taking CBD edibles, please remember the effects won’t kick in for a few hours. Also, when you start to feel these effects, they won’t be as profound as a hit of smokable hemp flower. 

How Is Full-Spectrum Different From Broad-Spectrum CBD? 

Were it not for delta-9 THC, there’d be no difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD. However, since delta-9 is such a tightly controlled cannabinoid, manufacturers separated these two categories to give consumers more options. 

As you may have guessed, broad-spectrum CBD is full-spectrum CBD without THC. Extractors run broad-spectrum CBD oils through extra rounds of purification until delta-9 THC is completely vaporized. However, all of those unique secondary hemp cannabinoids, terpenes, and antioxidants are still intact in broad-spectrum CBD.

So, anyone allergic to THC could enjoy the benefits of supporting hemp cannabinoids with a broad-spectrum CBD product. Broad-spectrum CBD is also an excellent choice for people who are afraid of drug screenings at work. Since there’s zero THC in broad-spectrum oils, it probably won’t mess up a urine analysis. The same can’t be said about full-spectrum CBD oils. 

Is Full-Spectrum CBD The Best Hemp Product? 

Every customer has a different opinion on full-spectrum CBD. Some people claim full-spectrum CBD oils offer the best value for your money, while others complain these oils taste like “grass” and aren’t easy to dose.

On the pro side, full-spectrum CBD tends to be less expensive because it doesn’t have to go through multiple rounds of purification. As a bonus, customers get to experience all of the unique benefits rare cannabinoids and terpenes have to offer.

There’s even a theory called the “entourage effect” which posits CBD works best when in its raw state. While CBD may have an impact when separated from other hemp molecules, it may work synergistically with various terpenes and cannabinoids. 

Although the “entourage effect” has yet to be proven, many customers claim it enhances CBD’s effectiveness. So, you may get away with using less full-spectrum CBD and still experience great results.

On the other hand, some people complain it’s not as easy to dose full-spectrum CBD oils. Unlike pure CBD isolate powder, there’s no 1:1 ratio of CBD per mg. So, if customers enjoy dosing their daily CBD or making precise CBD edibles, full-spectrum CBD may not suit them. 

Another negative often ascribed to full-spectrum CBD has to do with its flavor. If manufacturers don’t add pure terpenes to their products, full-spectrum CBD oil could have a bitter “earthy” bite. Some customers don’t have an issue with this feature, but others may have difficulty adjusting CBD oil’s flavor. 

Customers should consider the points listed above when deciding whether to try full-spectrum CBD. 

So, Is Full-Spectrum CBD Right For Your Needs? 

As more people learn about the “entourage effect,” full-spectrum CBD has become increasingly trendy in the global hemp industry. Although we don’t know everything about how full-spectrum CBD works, it may have a more substantial impact due to its high traces of cannabinoids and terpenes. 

Whether full-spectrum CBD is right for you depends on many factors. Most importantly, how comfortable do you feel using a product with THC? Although you won’t feel “high” when taking full-spectrum CBD, there’s a chance THC could end up on a lab report. Anyone who has to take drug screenings at work may want to avoid full-spectrum CBD oils for this reason. 

Compared with other CBD products, full-spectrum CBD oils usually aren’t the tastiest or the easiest to dose. However, fans of full-spectrum claim these issues are more than made up for thanks to this product’s potent effects.

Be sure to evaluate your CBD concerns and goals when deciding which product best suits your lifestyle. Also, please remember Hemp CBD Direct offers CBD products with various potencies. Whether you’re interested in full-spectrum or ultra-refined isolate powder, you should find a suitable CBD option on our site

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