What is Full Spectrum CBD?

August 27, 2022

CBD Oil: In the last two year it has popped up everywhere, from dispensaries to doctor’s offices. It’s making the news…and making people feel better. But what makes it so good?
Hint: it’s not just CBD.
Before fully answering the question, we need to elaborate a little bit. Cannabidiol (aka CBD) is only one of the hemp plant’s active ingredients. And while its prevalence makes it the most important ingredient, CBD depends on other plant compounds to truly work its best.


If you were to take a lab sample of mature hemp, you might find something like this:

  • Biomass & fiber: 77%
  • CBD (raw form): 18%
  • Pinene: 1%
  • Linalool: .5%
  • THC (raw form): .3%
  • CBC (raw form): .2%
  • CBG (raw form): >.2%
  • Ocimene: >.2%
  • 50-100 others: .2% … total

As you can see, hemp is very diverse. It’s a unique blend of cannabinoids (they’re the acronyms above), terpenes (they’re scent molecules), flavonoids, etc. And most compounds in this blend are much more important than their low concentrations seem to imply. Within the body, they work as one unit — as an entourage — to supply the endocannabinoid system with everything it needs.

When it comes to pursuing health, the best thing one can do is trust nature. In the same way, the best CBD oil is the one that fully captures hemp’s essence and places it into an easily absorbed form. The closer an oil’s nutrient profile to the profile of the hemp it came from, the better.

And some CBD oils come closer to matching this natural profile than others; actually, much closer. Why? Because there are two types of CBD oil: Full Spectrum and Isolate.

As you can guess from the name, CBD isolate is just pure, isolated CBD. “Full spectrum” CBD oil, on the other hand, is actually a bit of a misnomer. What it really refers to is a full spectrum hemp extract that also contains CBD.

This extract’s first and greatest ingredient is CBD, but there’s so much more to it than that (just look back at the list above!). The best full spectrum CBD oils will contain cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBC, etc), terpenes (pinene, linalool, etc), and flavonoids.

The names of these substances aren’t actually that important themselves. More important is their collective synergy…and the fact this synergy comes from what’s likely the most diverse plant on the planet: hemp.

Put full spectrum CBD oil in the lab, and exciting things happen. Pioneering Israeli researchers have found full spectrum extracts to be four times more potent, per milligram, than CBD isolate! Again, the collective strength of hemp’s trace ingredients exceeds their individual strength(s).

That’s not all, though; full spectrum extracts are also easier to dose than CBD isolate. Full spectrum CBD oil demonstrates greater efficacy at a low dose, yet fewer side effects at a high one. It’s likely that its terpene content counterbalances the sedation that might otherwise come with high CBD isolate dosages.

The implication of all this? It’s hard to go wrong with any reasonable full spectrum dosing plan. Full spectrum CBD oil activates every part of the endocannabinoid system that needs activating, and it does so gently, with a minimum of side effects.

Full spectrum CBD may even help your body generate more internal cannabinoids on its own, resulting in all sorts of health benefits.

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