23 Jul Full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum CBD oil
- Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products differ primarily in terms of their THC content.
- Full-spectrum CBD products contain a mixture of naturally-occurring plant compounds and up to 0.3% THC or more.
- While broad-spectrum CBD also contains many plant compounds, it is either completely free from THC or it contains negligible amounts of it (i.e. less than 0.3%).
- THC is the primary intoxicating cannabinoid that produces the “high” associated with cannabis.
- All of Naturecan’s CBD products contain non-detectable levels (<0.01%) of THC and are therefore completely safe for use.
CBD has become increasingly popular in recent years, but many people still don’t fully understand what it is or what it can be used for. If you think you might be one of those people, read on – we’ll explain everything you need to know in this article.
CBD is one of the main active cannabinoid compounds found within the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
To make CBD oil, the compound is extracted from the plant, purified and then distilled, before being infused with a carrier oil (such as MCT oil). When the carrier oil has absorbed the CBD, it is able to release it into the body for better absorption – giving the user full access to all the potential benefits of CBD.
If you’re a newcomer to CBD, you may be wondering, “What can CBD oil be used for?” Well, studies have shown that CBD has the potential to help support a wide range of medical conditions, including anxiety, inflammation, insomnia, and chronic pain.
But not all kinds of CBD oil are created equal. There are different types and strengths to choose from, so it’s important for every one to find the right product and CBD dosage for their needs.
To find out more, check out our article: What is CBD?
What is Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?
If the label on a CBD product declares that it is full-spectrum, this means that it contains all the phytochemicals that are naturally found within the hemp plant. These can include CBD, THC, terpenes, and a range of other cannabinoids. THC is the plant’s main intoxicating compound, which means that it has the potential to make the user “high”. Although the THC content in full-spectrum CBD oil is low, it is still present in traceable quantities, and full-spectrum oils are therefore illegal in many countries, including the UK.
All of the ingredients in full-spectrum CBD oil work together to amplify the potential health benefits of CBD and enhance the effectiveness of the product, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
While full-spectrum products might not get you “high”, they may still make you test positive on a drug test, especially if you are consuming large amounts of it every day. Plus, despite the added benefits of the entourage effect, it is possible to experience side effects as the result of THC inclusion, including tiredness and nausea.
Here is a list of the pros and cons of using full-spectrum CBD oil:
- It allows the user to reap the benefits of the entourage effect
- It is the least-processed type of CBD oil
- It has additional terpenes and flavonoids that provide multiple benefits
- It can show up on a drug test
- The user risks taking an illegal substance if THC levels are not monitored
- The user may experience adverse side-effects due to THC content
In Detail: The Benefits of Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
As mentioned above, full-spectrum CBD oil has a wide range of potential benefits. In particular, it is commonly used for its anti-oxidant, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and pain-killing qualities.
In 2018, a literature review demonstrated that the terpenes and flavonoids present within full-spectrum oil also had neuroprotective as well as anti-inflammatory properties, which would suggest that the oil could be of benefit to individuals who would like to lead an active lifestyle but are limited in some way by other medical conditions.
Who is Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Best For?
Full-spectrum CBD oil is ideal for those:
- Who feel CBD isolate or broad-spectrum products don’t work for them
- Who want to benefit from the THC present in this CBD oil
- Who are living in areas where THC is legal
What is Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil?
Broad-spectrum CBD oil differs from full-spectrum oil in one important way: it does not contain traceable amounts of THC. While it does contain many of the other cannabinoids and compounds found within the Cannabis sativa plant, the THC is almost completely removed after the initial extraction process.
As a result, broad-spectrum CBD is still capable of producing the entourage effect. If we were to place broad-spectrum CBD on a scale, it would fall between CBD isolate, which contains only CBD and no other compounds, and full-spectrum CBD, which contains all the cannabinoids and compounds (including THC) that naturally occur within the hemp plant.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using broad-spectrum CBD oil:
- It still offers all of the benefits of the entourage effect
- It is only moderately processed
- It is completely non-intoxicating as it has non-detectable levels of THC
- It does not offer the benefits associated with THC (but this also means no THC-related side effects)
- It has limited availability on the market so is slightly more expensive than full-spectrum
- It may sometimes carry a natural hemp flavour which can be quite potent
In Detail: The Benefits of Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
As we have seen, broad-spectrum CBD oil contains a rich mix of cannabinoids and other naturally-occurring compounds, including terpenes, CBN, CBC, and CBG, which all combine and interact with the body to create the entourage effect. This potent combination of phytochemicals has been shown to improve sleep and reduce inflammation, without any of the side effects associated with THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil offers numerous potential benefits, and may positively affect:
- Muscle recovery
- Stress and anxiety
- Joint stiffness
- Acne and aging skin
Other health benefits of broad-spectrum CBD are still in the preliminary research phase and require much more study, but the initial findings are extremely positive.
Who is Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil Best For?
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is ideal for people who:
- Have used CBD isolate and didn’t feel any therapeutic effects
- Do not want to take potentially intoxicating full-spectrum CBD
- Want to enjoy the benefits of CBD without the potential side effects of THC
Is Broad-Spectrum CBD THC-free?
Although we have touched on this topic earlier, it may help to clarify the answer to this question: during the purification process, broad-spectrum oil has as much THC removed from it as possible, and as a result, it contains such low levels of the compound (less than 0.2%) that it does not have any intoxicating effect on the user.
What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant. When it interacts with the body, this chemical binds to the CB1 receptors in brain cells, which control movement, memory, learning, inflammation, and pain sensations.
It may also attach itself to the CB2 receptors found in the brainstem and hippocampus, which control memory and emotion. Other parts of the body, such as the spleen, liver, and immune cells also have these receptors.
Because of this, THC has such a powerful effect on the body overall – in both positive and negative ways. While it has the potential to manage pain, anxiety, muscle spasticity and insomnia, it can also intoxicate the user and make them “high”. This “high” can disrupt the brain’s reward pathway, and subsequently cause addiction and dependency issues.
Is Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil Addictive?
Now that you know broad-spectrum CBD oil does not contain THC, it is pretty easy to answer this question, and it has been shown that even 1500ml of daily CBD does not cause dependency or addiction issues. In short, broad-spectrum CBD contains non-detectable levels of THC, so it is not addictive.
However, when sourcing your CBD, it is important that you buy from a brand that follows high processing standards and takes quality very seriously. This will help you to avoid products that contain unsafe levels of THC despite their label claims.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK?
In the UK, cannabis or other products that contain THC are a class B controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This means that it is illegal to possess these substances and to supply or produce them without a Home Office license. CBD, however, is an isolated chemical form and not considered a controlled substance. It is perfectly legal to sell and buy products that are pure CBD.
While it is often claimed that substances containing less than 0.2% THC are legal, this is only applicable to hemp plants that are cultivated for industrial processes. When it comes to human consumption, we have to consult Regulation 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. This states that, in order to not fall foul of this regulation, all CBD products must satisfy three key criteria:
- The product must not designed for the administration of THC
- The product must be manufactured so that THC molecules cannot be readily recovered from it or pose a threat to human health
- The product must not contain more than 1mg of THC per part
This means that products from credible manufacturers which contain under 0.2% THC are effectively legal in the UK because at these concentrations they satisfy all of the conditions.
How will you know if the brand you choose is reliable or not? Look for third-party testing evidence or a certificate of analysis on the product you are about to use or buy. This approval verifies any product is safe and of good quality.
Does Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil Have Side-effects?
It is also important to keep in mind that while using full-spectrum CBD, you might experience some side effects related to THC. These can include a dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, changes in mood, negative interactions with other drugs, and in some cases, liver damage.
To find out how to take CBD oil, explore our dedicated article here.
Is Full-spectrum CBD Oil Better Than Broad-spectrum CBD Oil?
In terms of their potential effects on health and wellbeing, one is not necessarily better than the other – it all depends on your preferences. Full-spectrum contains THC – this may get you “high” and bring a host of side effects, along with the oil’s numerous proven benefits.
On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD oil contains non-detectable levels of THC – so while you’ll miss out on THC’s potential benefits, you will be able to reap the positives of the entourage effect without the potential negative side-effects of THC.
For this reason, we recommend broad-spectrum CBD oil. It is also the best choice for those who have just started their journey with CBD, as it allows you to gently ease into regular use without the worry.
Which Type of CBD is Right for You?
What’s important to remember is that all types of CBD oil offer a wide range of positives and serious side effects are very rare. While we recommend broad-spectrum CBD to get the most out of this natural powerhouse plant, it’s essential to find a credible brand, regardless of which type you choose to use.
Selecting a product that has been third-party tested and proven to be created from only quality ingredients gives you complete peace of mind when it comes to safety and effectiveness. This would be an ideal approach for beginners in the exciting world of CBD, as it offers a safe route to improved health and wellbeing.
Looking for quality broad-spectrum CBD oil products? Explore our exclusive range here.
Discover our premium broad-spectrum CBD oils
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