News & Education April 22, 2020

What is Full Spectrum Hemp?

What Is Full-Spectrum Hemp?

If you’ve been shopping for CBD you have probably run across a variety of products with different terms like, “Broad-Spectrum”, “Full-Spectrum”, and “CBD Isolate.” But what does it all mean?


Well, these terms refer to the amount of plant material as well as different cannabinoids present within the product. On one end of the spectrum, we have CBD Isolate which refers to a “pure” CBD, usually 99.9% pure CBD, with no other compounds present within it. On the other end, we have full-spectrum CBD which can also be marketed as “Full-spectrum Hemp.” When a product has the term full-spectrum it means that the derived CBD in the product contains all of the different flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids found in the plant.


Depending on your individual needs these terms may make a difference in your CBD experience so let’s go over some more facts about full-spectrum hemp to give you the full picture.


What Does Full Spectrum Hemp Mean?

In order to produce CBD, manufacturers take dried hemp plant and extract the cannabinoids using Co2 extraction or other methods. A full-spectrum CBD product will have CBD that undergoes less processing than other types such as broad-spectrum or isolate. By undergoing less processing the final result leads to an oil that has all the cannabinoids that hemp has to offer.


Broad-spectrum and isolate products will usually filter their CBD oil extensively in order to make sure that it only contains the desired cannabinoids and flavonoids if any. 


Whether it’s full-spectrum hemp or full-spectrum CBD, they refer to the same thing so don’t worry about getting the two confused. Some other cannabinoids that are found present in full-spectrum products include:

    • Cannabigerol (CBG): CBG is one of the other key cannabinoids in hemp and is an essential compound that scientists are currently also researching for its individual benefits. CBG is generally found in quantities of less than 3% in full-spectrum products.
    • Cannabichromene (CBC): CBC is one of the other 6 abundant cannabinoids and is normally found in trace amounts within full-spectrum products
    • Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s so sought after in markets today thanks to its range of daily uses and potential health benefits. Can’t have CBD products without any CBD!


  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): Found in small quantities within full-spectrum products.


Many people worry about full-spectrum products containing THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid compound that creates the “high” that one experiences when consuming marijuana. However, industrial hemp contains quantities of less than 0.3% THC and most reputable manufacturers ensure that their products also maintain a 0.3% or less THC scale for their full-spectrum hemp products. 


Full-spectrum hemp can come in many varieties including gummies, tinctures, capsules, and vape pens.


Advantages To Full Spectrum Hemp

Although the effect of CBD alone already provides certain benefits, there are certain advantages to the use of full-spectrum hemp products. 


CBD interacts with one of our body’s natural biological systems called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system helps our body maintain homeostasis and the use of CBD can help it produce more endocannabinoids and make sure our bodies stay in balance. This can be achieved with isolate or full-spectrum products but early research suggests there is a larger array of benefits to full-spectrum products thanks to the entourage effect.


The entourage effect happens when a combination of cannabinoids and plant material is present in the body all at once and creates a chemical reaction that enhances the effects. All of the portions of the hemp plant work together in tandem, similar to our bodies own endocannabinoid system, in order to create more potential benefits.  Early studies have suggested that individual cannabinoids just weren’t as effective on their own compared to when other cannabinoids are present. This suggests that cannabinoids work synergistically, making full-spectrum products more effective than other varieties. 


Full-spectrum hemp also contains terpenes, the aromatic molecules that are produced by plants. Much like aromatherapy, certain terpenes can work to influence our bodies into homeostatic patterns such as helping to regulate sleep. Some of the more common terpenes are myrcene, linalool, humulene, pinene, and limonene.


Side Effects to Full-Spectrum Hemp?

Whether you use a full-spectrum product, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate, CBD hemp products are generally considered to be safe and do not have addictive properties or the potential to be abused. If you are worried about the side effects of CBD, consider starting your dosage low and slowly increasing over time as you take note of the small changes you may feel throughout the week. Some more common side effects include dry mouth and drowsiness. But it is most important to listen to your body and adjust your dosage as necessary.