Exploring Hemp's Full Potential: 10 Things You Need to Know About Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

by PP Health Admin / Nov 28, 2021

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is being extensively explored for its list of potential therapeutic benefits. Although much of the research into CBD is in its preliminary stages, people are still very enthusiastic about trying CBD products. One type of CBD that’s highly sought after is full-spectrum CBD oil.

Due to CBD becoming somewhat of a worldwide phenomenon, we’ve decided to take a closer look at hemp’s full potential, considering the pros and cons of full-spectrum CBD to discover what makes the compound so distinctive.

Has this sparked your interest? Carry on reading and take it all in!

1. Full-Spectrum Is One of Three Main Types of CBD Derived From the Cannabis Plant

CBD extracts come from the same Cannabis sativa plant. There are many compounds in the plant, yet CBD is one of the most abundant, along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid associated with the infamous cannabis ‘high’.

In addition to full-spectrum CBD, the other two types of CBD available are:

  • Broad-spectrum CBD 

Contains CBD and several cannabis plant compounds but is typically free of THC.

  • CBD isolate 

A refined, pure, crystal form of CBD with no other compounds from the plant. It’s often ground up and sold as a powder with no noticeable taste or odour. Suitable for first-time CBD users.

So, how exactly is CBD oil made? Well, there are four main ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. These are:

  • Carbon dioxide extraction

This method separates CBD oil from the cannabis plant by using carbon dioxide. It can successfully produce high concentration CBD and is popular for CBD products.

  • Steam distillation

With this method, the oil from the plant material is separated via steam. It may not be as effective as the carbon dioxide method, but steam distillation is well-liked for extracting essential plant oils.

  • Solvent extraction

This method is effective if solvents are left behind; however, the solvent extraction process does pose a potential health risk and can also affect the flavour of the extract.

  • Lipid extraction 

With some companies now trying to avoid carbon dioxide and solvents, the lipid extraction process is recognized as an alternative.

Once the extraction process is complete, the resulting CBD oil is considered full-spectrum. The extract must go through further processing that involves cooling and purification to obtain a CBD isolate product.

2. It Includes Traces of THC

Unlike broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds that naturally occur in the cannabis plant as well as traces of THC. On occasion, however, broad-spectrum CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC.

As mentioned earlier, THC is a psychoactive ingredient that can cause mind-altering effects. For full-spectrum CBD products in the UK, the THC quantities must be less than 0.2%. The federal law requirement in the US is no more than 0.3% THC for hemp-derived CBD products. This is also the case in other areas of Europe.

Such low THC levels aren't likely to be potent enough to have significant psychoactive effects or cause the kind of intoxication that people typically associate with cannabis. However, this will depend on the amount you take. If you take a large dose of a high-potency CBD product, you may be ingesting enough THC to make you feel a 'high' sensation.

Not all users want THC in their CBD products or may fear it showing up on a drug test, which is a possibility depending on the sensitivity of the test. It's essential to bear in mind that THC levels can increase as the CBD converts into a concentrate during the manufacturing process. For example, products can contain up to 2 milligrams per millilitre of THC, influencing a euphoric effect.

Some regions around the globe are legalizing cannabis, which is pushing the research on CBD oil forward and its growing acceptance. As it may not be legal under some states' legislation, it's always best to check before purchasing or travelling with CBD products.

3. The Entourage Effect

A theory you should know about is the entourage effect. This has been widely studied and accepted by some researchers in cannabis science. Research suggests that CBD may be more effective if taken alongside multiple cannabinoids rather than in isolation. It’s also one of the main reasons why you should consider full-spectrum CBD oil.

Apart from THC, full-spectrum CBD generally contains essential oils and small amounts of the beneficial compounds listed below:

  • Terpenes

These are chemical compounds found in plants, which gives them their scent. Terpenes are aromatic and create characteristic plant fragrances, such as cannabis, pine, lavender and fresh orange peel. All terpenes can have potential therapeutic benefits.

  • Cannabinoids

There are more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. They are responsible for the potential therapeutic and psychoactive effects of cannabis products. Full-spectrum CBD contains a variety of lesser-known cannabinoids.

  • Flavonoids

These are found in all kinds of plants, including fruits, vegetables, grains and more. Flavonoids may have therapeutic effects and anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

As full-spectrum products contain various compounds and CBD, this may maximize the entourage effect. The compounds are thought to interact with each other and the brain's receptors, working synergistically to boost the supposed benefits of each compound.

Evidence states that taking CBD and THC together is more effective than either alone. A 2018 study suggests that, due to the combined effects of CBD and THC, full-spectrum CBD is more effective for pain than CBD isolate.

A general rule to follow is the more beneficial compounds CBD oil has, the more effective it likely is. As the Greek philosopher, Aristotle once famously stated, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In the case of full-spectrum CBD, the presence of multiple cannabis plant compounds may collectively increase the potential effects of CBD products.

It can be worth trying full-spectrum CBD oil for those wanting to experience the enhanced potential health benefits resulting from the entourage effect.

4. There Are Several Potential Health Benefits

A jar of green topical CBD next to two glass bottles of CBD oil and hemp leaves.

Over the past few years, CBD has been widely recognized for providing several potential health benefits. People are turning to CBD oil for different reasons, but mainly as an alternative therapy to help alleviate a range of medical conditions.

Full-spectrum CBD may be used for antianxiety, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-seizure and pain relief purposes. It may aid muscle spasms and ease the symptoms of some sleep and mental disorders. The belief that terpenes and flavonoids in CBD may have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects is also supported in a 2018 review.

Unfortunately, there’s limited evidence from human studies to support the benefits of CBD oil. As of April 2020, 629 clinical trials were registered on clinicaltrials.gov investigating CBD; however, much more research must be conducted. In a 2018 study, 62% of people revealed that they use CBD for medical symptoms, including pain, depression and anxiety.

Other studies suggest that CBD may help with epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and anxiety. It may treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have antiemetic properties, typically helping with nausea and vomiting.

Check out the list below to learn more about CBD’s possible health benefits:

  • Epilepsy

Epidiolex was the first CBD-based medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for those who experience seizures caused by two rare types of epilepsy – Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome. Rigorous human studies were conducted before Epidiolex was approved.

Scientists are unsure how exactly CBD helps control seizures, but it’s been suggested that CBD influences the transient receptor potential vanilloid that’s involved in seizure activity. In turn, adding CBD to antiepileptic drugs might be of value for treatment-resistant epilepsy.

  • Pain and inflammation

Numerous pain-relieving effects of CBD have been investigated. For example, results from a small 2020 trial found that the use of topical CBD oil statistically and significantly reduced intense, sharp pain and cold and itchy sensations after four weeks for participants with peripheral neuropathy of the legs.

  • Depression and anxiety

Researchers suggest that CBD may help relieve anxiety and discomfort associated with the anticipation of a fearful event, such as public speaking. This may be down to the effects of CBD on serotonin receptors. Animal studies also show promising results for CBD improving mood disorders.

  • Addiction management and treatment

Experts say that CBD oil may help manage addiction by reducing activation of the amygdala in the brain. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed addicts who took CBD had less anxiety and lower cravings for heroin, helping people abstain from the drug.

  • Inflammatory skin conditions

Cannabinoids play a potential role in dermatology; studies have demonstrated potential anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. Skin conditions that may improve with CBD treatment include acne, atopic dermatitis, itchy skin, pain, psoriasis and skin cancer.

  • Neuroprotection

Due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, animal studies indicate that CBD might offer neuroprotective activity in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease.

  • Relief from chemotherapy side effects

In a human study, chemotherapy patients experiencing nausea and vomiting found relief after taking Sativex, a drug that contains CBD and THC. However, it’s uncertain how much CBD contributed to overall relief, so further review is necessary.

5. Full-Spectrum CBD May Support Your Endocannabinoid System

The human endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the central nervous system. It regulates various physiological processes, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory, immunity, stress and sleep. Key components of this biological system are cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body – CB1 and CB2 receptors. When activated, these help to correct different imbalances within the body.

CB1 receptors are primarily present in the brain and spinal cord. They're involved with appetite regulation in the hypothalamus and memory and emotional processing in the amygdala. They can also act to reduce sensations of pain in nerve endings. CB2 receptors are mainly concentrated in immune cells found in the peripheral nervous system. They work to reduce inflammation for many diseases and conditions.

CBD is thought to stimulate the endocannabinoid system and boost levels of naturally occurring endocannabinoids in the human body. This could explain the seemingly expansive uses of full-spectrum CBD oil. Supplementing with full-spectrum CBD might help the body achieve a better state of balance, otherwise known as homeostasis. It could promote the proper, stable functioning of our internal systems.

6. Products Must Meet Specific Criteria

In order to ensure the safety, quality and transparency of full-spectrum CBD oil products, specific criteria must be met. Legitimate CBD products should:

  • Be produced by a company that provides proof of third-party testing
  • Contain no more than 0.2% or 0.3% THC (depending on where you buy/sell in the world), according to the certificate of analysis (COA)
  • Pass tests for contaminants, like pesticides, heavy metals and moulds, according to the COA.

Sellers of CBD products should also consider:

  • The company’s certifications and manufacturing process
  • Product potency
  • Overall ingredients
  • Indicators of user trust and brand reputation, such as customer reviews and whether the company has been subject to an FDA warning letter or makes any unsupported health claims.

7. Wide Availability Doesn’t Mean All CBD Products Are Safe

A glass bottle and dropper containing CBD oil next to green hemp leaves.

To date, the FDA doesn't guarantee the safety, efficacy or quality of over-the-counter CBD products. The FDA does not regulate Full-spectrum CBD. Essentially, it's up to the consumer to choose wisely. So, when you're choosing CBD oils for you, it's essential to do your research and look for the following conditions:

  • COA

It's wise to check for current and comprehensive COAs from a reputable third-party lab to gauge if the CBD product profile matches the information stated on the label. You should easily find COAs on company websites or see if they're available upon request.

  • Transparency

A company should clearly state where it grows its hemp and how it makes its CBD products. Hemp-grown CBD in the US is subject to certain regulations, so it may be safer than elsewhere.

  • Unsupported health claims

Companies must not claim that their CBD products can treat or cure any diseases. For now, CBD may only help to manage symptoms.

  • FDA warning letters, lawsuits or poor customer reviews

CBD companies receiving FDA warning letters may mean that they’ve wrongly made health claims, so check for any legal issues or pending lawsuits. Customer reviews will also give you an idea of how products work for others and if there’s positive and/or negative feedback.

8. You Can Take CBD in Many Ways

Other than CBD oil, full-spectrum CBD can be used in different forms for medicinal purposes. Additional types of CBD products include:

  • Topicals

These are creams, lotions or salves that can be applied to your skin for skin conditions or muscle pain.

  • Edibles

From gummies and chocolates to mints and lozenges, there are lots of yummy full-spectrum CBD edibles on the market. You can even find CBD beverages.

  • Pills or capsules

One of the easiest ways to add CBD into your routine is pills and capsules. They're straightforward to take and precisely dosed.

  • Sublinguals

These CBD products include tinctures, oils and sprays that are taken under your tongue. You’re more likely to feel CBD’s potential effects quicker this way than eating edible products, as absorption for edibles happens during digestion.

When ingested orally, the body only manages to absorb 10-15% of CBD, so choosing full-spectrum CBD might encourage the best possible outcome.

9. Check for Recommended Dosage

Dosage is a crucial factor in the CBD industry, so full-spectrum CBD oils will come with a recommended dosage. Serving sizes of CBD can vary considerably depending on your metabolism, weight and body chemistry. Some people are also more sensitive to CBD than others.

As standard and daily-use guidelines for CBD don’t exist, it’s advised to start with the lowest dose, see how your body reacts, then gradually increase the dose until you feel your desired results.

10. There’s a Risk of Minor Side Effects

Few severe side effects of CBD oil have been reported, as most people tolerate CBD well without experiencing the intoxicating effects of THC. However, when taking any supplement, there's always a risk of side effects.

The following side effects can occur, which will also vary depending on the form of CBD consumed:

  • Appetite changes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.

Full-spectrum CBD is less processed and more natural than CBD isolate, for example, but if you're new to CBD, you should still proceed with caution. Though a prescription isn't needed for full-spectrum CBD, consider getting the green light from your doctor, who can ensure it doesn't interact with any other medications you're taking.

11. Full-Spectrum CBD Oil From PP Health

Our CBD brand, Plant Physiology Health, thinks it's essential to provide fundamental knowledge and information surrounding CBD. We hope that our CBD products exude the company's passion for nutrition and wellbeing. At PP Health, we offer an array of full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD softgels, CBD gummies and CBG oil, all of which may uniquely support your immune system.

To make our superb CBD, we select the best plants grown in Switzerland and use the most expensive form of CBD extraction using carbon dioxide to keep heat-sensitive enzymes and vitamins intact. Creating safe, quality CBD is of our utmost importance, and we would love for you to experience hemp's full potential through our products.

If you have problems with any of the following, then our PP Health full-spectrum CBD oil could be the right choice for you:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Appetite and loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Memory
  • Intestines, nutrition and energy
  • Pain relief
  • Depression.
Blue topical CBD in a glass pot next to three glass bottles of CBD oil and hemp leaves.

Final Thoughts

The CBD world can sometimes seem too vast to navigate. For those who are only just emerging as CBD users in the industry, specific details and regulations can sound ambiguous. However, that's why research is ongoing, and an open-minded approach to CBD remains.

It's evident that full-spectrum CBD oil may be helpful for consumers or patients managing particular health conditions; it has remarkable potential applications and may produce amazing effects on the mind and body.

CBD's therapeutic effects appear stronger when combined with other compounds, so full-spectrum CBD oil looks to be the best option. As a purely natural product, CBD has the potential to optimize wellbeing and have wonderfully beneficial effects on human health.