Full Spectrum vs THC-Free CBD [And Which One is Right For You]
CBD has proven effective in a variety of applications from CBD for sleep to CBD for pain relief. With remarkable results in treating epilepsy, the scientific community as well as consumers and patients are seeing the amazing potential of CBD.
The current surge in the CBD industry around the world shows us that CBD tinctures are the most in-demand products people are using today. Produced from extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant, organic CBD is proving to be effective in treating many neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety and schizophrenia. Many people with arthritis have found great relief using CBD products.
It does not stop there, though.
Recent treatment for PTSD and depression among our veterans is showing promising results. Further, we are seeing how CBD may have anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic, anxiolytic, and antiemetic properties.
These results are merely scratching the surface.
A Growing Interest in CBD Products
The compounds in the hemp plant responsible for all of these beneficial effects are called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two compounds we are most familiar with.
When CBD is extracted, it no longer contains any measurable THC, the psychoactive element responsible for the effect of feeling “high” from using cannabis. The agricultural hemp plant that has been grown for centuries contains very low levels of THC, less than 0.3 percent.
This familial link to THC has created an uphill battle for the adoption of CBD medically. Until recently, CBD was classified as a drug and illegal in many states. Many people do not realize that CBD and THC are two separate compounds and that they come from hemp.
As more voters act to legalize marijuana in their states, CBD has also become more and more accessible. Regulations still vary from state to state, but CBD is federally legal. Researchers continue to discover the value of the over 100 compounds found in hemp and cannabis.
Research Continues Despite Restrictions by the Federal Government
Research is being done to identify the different cannabinoids and how they affect the body. The discoveries made have changed the way we view cannabinoids entirely. The receptors in our bodies so closely match these compounds, that scientists named it the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS.
Double-blind studies have shown that when the full effect of cannabinoids are used, they seem to interact with the ECS to perform various beneficial functions in the body. CBD has been found useful in pain management, combating anxiety and depression, and overall health.
This is evidence of what is called the entourage effect. While each compound can be associated with its unique health benefits, altogether the effects are more pronounced. Researchers call this “amplification.”
In addition to cannabinoids, CBD contains terpenes and flavonoids, elements that have further unique health benefits. Flavonoids are the plant molecules that combine with the terpenes to give the plant its unique smell and flavor. These two are also part of the entourage effect interacting with the brain’s neurotransmitters to maintain homeostasis.
The Types of CBD
In order to comply with each states’ restrictions on the use of THC, CBD is separated through an extraction process. At its most pure form, nearly 100 percent pure cannabinoid, CBD can be separated from every other compound, terpenes, and flavonoids to produce the “CBD isolate.” This isolate is completely THC-free CBD.
This has created a common question among CBD users. Does CBD without THC work, and what's the difference?
Pros of CBD Isolate:
It is tasteless, odorless, and has no risk of psychoactive effects since it contains zero THC. It is considered safe and legal without a prescription in states where marijuana has been legalized. It is the purest form of CBD. This is a good choice for those concerned with drug tests or crossing state lines into states with tighter restrictions on the use of cannabis.
It comes in the form of crystals, wax, powder, resin, or shatter, named for its glass-like consistency. The powder can be mixed in food or beverages and taken internally, or it can be rubbed on eternally.
Cons of CBD Isolate:
Without the benefit of all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, CBD isolate may not be as effective for every medical condition. There is no way to experience the entourage effect with CBD isolate. This means a higher dose may be required to achieve the desired effect. Luckily many companies carry CBD in a range of strengths from 1000 mg per tincture all the way up to 4000 mg.
Still THC-free, broad-spectrum CBD has a range of other compounds, which does allow for an entourage effect. For those adamantly against THC, or subject to drug testing on the job, broad-spectrum CBD oil is a safe choice that would still give you some of that entourage effect created by multiple cannabinoids coming together.
Pros of Broad-Spectrum CBD:
This is a good choice for those suffering from a condition on which CBD isolate has less effect. It is safe for those sensitive or allergic to THC.
Cons of Broad-Spectrum CBD:
You will not get the full entourage effect. It also may have a strong hemp flavor and aroma, and it may be difficult to find as it is not as popularly sold.
Full-Spectrum CBD – The Whole Plant
With full-spectrum CBD, you gain the full synergy of all the cannabinoid compounds, terpenes and flavonoids plus trace amounts of THC, less than 0.3 percent. This is the choice for the full entourage effect where all cannabinoids contained in it magnify the homeostasis effect.
Pros of Full-Spectrum CBD:
You get a full range of the whole-plant benefits. You might experience health benefits even at very low doses that need not be as precise as that of a CBD isolate. You should not need anything stronger than a 1000mg CBD tincture when purchasing full spectrum.
Due to the concerted work of all the compounds, full-spectrum CBD lasts longer in your system over time.
Cons of Full-Spectrum CBD:
Buyer beware as some dealers may claim theirs is a full-spectrum CBD oil. Analysis of some vendors has shown their product belies their claims. Check their Certificates of Analysis to be sure. It is not full spectrum if CBD is the only cannabinoid listed on the test results.
Cannabis affects people differently, and while the THC content is not enough to make people “high” (less than .03%), there are some who might still experience the effects.
THC can also show up in the results of a drug test. Whether for personal or professional reasons, you should avoid full-spectrum products if your aim is to avoid THC altogether. Instead, broad-spectrum or isolate CBD might be your better option.
Which Type of CBD is Right for You?
It would be disingenuous to say one CBD product is better than another since they all have specific purposes. For example, if you are looking for the effects of CBD without the presence of THC, then broad-spectrum or Isolate would be more appropriate for you.
If you would like to start by trying CBD alone, isolate is the best choice.
Some are looking for that full effect and have no worries about consuming small amounts of THC, in which case full-spectrum CBD might be a great choice.
Just as no two people are exactly the same, no two people are likely to respond to CBD oil in the same manner. Some people like to start off easy and work up to other products.
You must also consider if you are currently taking any medication or other natural remedy treatments for medical conditions. CBD oil can interact with popular medications such as antibiotics or antidepressants.
Consult with your physician before you start using any CBD products. Once you are satisfied that you can use CBD without experiencing any medication conflicts, you might try a few different delivery methods to learn how they affect you. Many people find great success using CBD oil for pain, anxiety, and depression.
You can buy pure CBD oil, CBD gummies, and CBD topicals online and have them shipped directly to your house. Just make sure that you purchase your CBD from an established and trustworthy retailer such as Eden's Herbals.
Take some time to read up on the available products to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Look for high-quality products from top-ranking vendors. Contact us at [email protected] if you want to learn more about our line of high-quality CBD products.
*All statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific medical conditions.