There are so many different types of CBD products on the market. However, for maximum relief the best choice is Full-Spectrum CBD.
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It’s easy to get overwhelmed choosing between all the different CBD oils, gummies, and topicals available. The first thing you should be looking at, however, is whether the product is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or a CBD isolate. They each have their own pros and cons, but full-spectrum CBD Oil provides the most therapeutic benefits.
Does that mean you shouldn’t buy CBD isolates or broad-spectrum CBD products? Not necessarily, it just depends on what you’re looking for. To help you understand the difference between these categories, and to help you choose which one is right for you, we need to look at the hemp plant that CBD comes from.
What is Hemp?
The only CBD that’s legal in all 50 states is CBD harvested from Industrial Hemp. It’s part of the cannabis family, but this plant has high CBD (cannabidiol) levels and very low THC levels. When we use CBD products, the different compounds interact with various parts of our bodies, mainly our Endocannabinoid System.
The ECS is a natural communication system that acts as a series of checks-and-balances for other systems throughout the body. The many different compounds within the Hemp plant can interact with the ECS in different ways to accomplish different tasks.
Basically, hemp is a surprisingly complex plant. To help us understand what might be in your CBD products, let’s take a closer look at what’s actually in the plant.
This should come as no surprise. Cannabidiol is the cannabinoid produced in such high amounts by the Hemp plant. It’s responsible for so many of the therapeutic benefits people use CBD products for. Plus, because it doesn’t directly bind with Endocannabinoid receptors, it’s non-psychoactive.
Industrial hemp cannot have more than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This cannabinoid is psychoactive because it directly binds with receptors in our Endocannabinoid Systems. Many people limit, or entirely avoid, using this compound for health and/or legal reasons. However, it does provide some benefits when used in small amounts with CBD.
- Various other cannabinoids
If you’ve ever looked at the COA of your CBD products (which we highly recommend), you’ve probably noticed the Cannabinoid Profile section. This section should list CBD, obviously, but depending on the type of CBD you’re using, you may see several more cannabinoids.
You could see CBG, CBDA, THCA, THCV, CBDV, or more. There’s still research being done to determine the effects of these cannabinoids. However, studies indicate that many of them could be anticonvulsants, anti inflammatories, anti nausea, and could decrease glucose intolerance among many other possible properties.
These organic hydrocarbons are the building blocks of scent and flavor, and almost every plant produces terpenes to some extent. Many of your favorite, natural scents are actually several terpenes working together. (Ex: Pine Oil contains the terpenes alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and terpinolene).
Newer research, however, indicates that terpenes may have their own health benefits. Myrcene, for example, smells fruity and clove-like and can be found in mangoes, hops, and more. It also affects the permeability of the blood-brain barrier though. Basically, if you use a CBD product that also has Myrcene in it, more of the cannabinoids will actually be able to get to your brain. When multiple compounds work synergistically together, we call that the Entourage Effect (but we’ll cover more of that later, promise!).
- Botanical Compounds
These are the various other items found in most plants to some degree, including vitamins, minerals, protein, omega fatty acids, flavonoids, fiber, chlorophyll, ,and phenols. While each harvest will vary, most hemp plants include Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, carotene, phospholipids, and a variety of minerals.
Now, just because the hemp plant contains all of these things, doesn’t mean that you’ll find all of them in your products. It all depends on whether or not you’re purchasing Isolates, Broad-Spectrum, or Full-Spectrum products.
If you purchase a CBD Isolate, it means that it ONLY contains CBD and none of the other compounds from the plant. You’ll always want to verify that by checking the COA though.
These are a good option for people who have sensitivities to specific terpenes, botanical compounds, or even to THC. Like we said earlier, industrial hemp can’t have more than 0.3% THC in it. However, if someone is particularly sensitive to it then they may want to avoid it altogether.
It’s also possible that even the tiniest amount of THC may show up on a pre-employment drug screening. So many resort to CBD isolates just to avoid any potential legal issues.
Broad-Spectrum CBD products also don’t contain any THC, however they can include various other cannabinoids, terpenes, and botanical compounds. This is particularly helpful because you’ll benefit from all these other compounds in addition to the CBD.
The addition of terpenes can make the different cannabinoids (including CBD) more effective WHILE providing their own unique properties. Some terpenes elevate mood, induce calm, sharpen focus, etc. So the addition of terpenes really broadens the therapeutic scope of CBD products.
If you don’t have any terpene sensitivities and want to reap the benefits of the other compounds from the hemp plant, broad-spectrum products are a great option.
Full-Spectrum products have it all. They include CBD, the various other cannabinoids and botanical compounds, a tiny amount of THC, and any terpenes present in the plant.
But what’s the big deal? If the small amount of THC isn’t enough to cause any psychoactive effects, then why do you need it in there at all?
It’s because of the Entourage Effect.
The Entourage Effect
In the simplest sense, the Entourage Effect is when different compounds work synergistically together and end up being more effective than they would have been on their own–like the Myrcene example from earlier.
It’s very similar to the way that Turmeric and Black Pepper work together. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that’s been used for thousands of years in both food and for medicinal purposes. On its own, turmeric is an anti inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and an anti-fungal. However, it’s main compound, curcumin, isn’t easily absorbed.
When you combine turmeric and black pepper though, the turmeric absorbs more easily. That’s because black pepper contains an alkaloid called piperine. On its own, piperine helps reduce nausea, poor digestion, headaches, and has some anti inflammatory properties. It also has the ability to boost the absorption of curcumin.
When used together, black pepper makes it easier for the blood stream to absorb turmeric. This allows us to reap the combined benefits of both compounds. When it comes to the different compounds in your CBD products, it works the same way.
Use Full-Spectrum CBD to Benefit From The Entourage Effect
When you use full-spectrum CBD products, you’re benefiting from all the different compounds in the hemp plant. Each of the different compounds has their own unique benefits, but when they’re able to work together their effects are amplified.
Plus, the tiny portion of THC helps people overcome what’s called a “bell-shaped dose response.”
This response just means that if you take CBD as an isolate, the effects stay consistent even with increased dosages. In one study with two different groups of mice, the group that was given full-spectrum CBD felt more relief than the group given an isolate, “Furthermore, the study demonstrated that full spectrum CBD continued to provide relief as the dose increased, while CBD Isolate did not provide the same effect when there was an increase in dosage.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD Isolates won’t provide users with relief. It just means that if an Isolate user needed to increase their dose for any reason, it might not increase the effects at all.
It’s important to remember that even though full-spectrum products may offer the most therapeutic potential, it still might not be right for everyone. Some people are particularly sensitive to THC, and even the tiniest bit in their CBD products can make them feel “high.” While this is rare, (usually it only happens with extremely high doses of full-spectrum CBD) it’s not unheard of.
Because everyone reacts to these compounds differently, it’s important to determine what dose is right for you. Some people need more than one CBD Gummy or dropper of CBD Oil to feel the effects, while others sometimes need to cut a “single serving” in half.
To figure out what dose works for you, we recommend “start low and go slow.” Start with half of the recommended dose and take note of how you feel. Then maybe after a week or two, if you need to increase the dose, do so gradually. All the while, make sure you’re taking note of the effects. Once you’ve determined what dose works for you, you’ll be able to test other CBD products safely and with confidence.
We also want to remind everyone to consult with their doctor before adding any supplements to their regimen. This is particularly important for anyone who is already on any medications, as CBD has been shown to interact with blood-thinners.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Provides Maximum Relief
If you aren’t opposed to THC and don’t have any terpene sensitivities, then Full-Spectrum CBD Oil is the way to go. Whether you’re trying to relieve pain, improve sleep, or just relax at the end of a long day, full-spectrum products will provide the most relief.
Obviously, you can use full-spectrum gummies or topicals, but oils and tinctures are the most bioavailable and help you absorb as much of the products as possible.
No matter what though, choose the product that’s right for you. That’s the beauty of having so many options! If you have any questions about our products then feel free to contact us today. We want people to be educated about what they’re putting in their bodies, and we’ll help in any way we can.