Full-Spectrum CBD: What Is It, Anyway?

As cannabis becomes legalized and decriminalized across the United States, everyone wins. More people are getting turned on to and experiencing cannabis’ medicinal value.

And boy, does it show!

In 2018, the global CBD market was just about $3.1 million. And new predictions from Forbes suggest that the CBD market will pass $20 billion by 2024.

Full-spectrum CBD products are, quite literally, flying off the shelves. But if you haven’t been paying attention, then you may have questions.

Like, what even is CBD? What’s the difference between full-spectrum CDB and isolates?

We’ve got you covered. Read on, and we’ll get you up to speed.

What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the compounds found in the hemp plant.

Current research suggests the cannabis plant produces between 60 and 100 cannabinoids. As well as 300 non-cannabinoid chemicals.

Of all those compounds, CBD is probably the most well-known.

Full-spectrum CBD products contain all the natural chemicals found in the cannabis plant. That includes cannabinoids and terpenes.

As a result, all of these compounds will work synergistically. Thus, producing what’s known as the entourage effect.

Pros and Cons

There are always pros and cons to any medication. But, when it comes to full-spectrum CBD, here’s the skinny.

Pros of Full-Spectrum CBD

There are many potential health benefits associated with full-spectrum CBD. Some of the most notable include:

  • anti-seizure properties
  • relief from muscle spasms
  • relief from chronic pain
  • treatment for psychotic disorders
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • mental health concerns

Cons of Full Spectrum CBD

While CBD is great for many things and for many people, it does have some drawbacks.

For one, it has trace amounts of THC (0.3% in most cases). While that isn’t enough to flag on a drug test, it is a deal-breaker for some people.

The other thing is that full-spectrum products are often more expensive than isolates. Depending on your budget, that may or may not be an issue.

Wait, Is CBD Intoxicating?

Full-spectrum CBD does have some THC in it. However, the levels it has are not nearly enough to induce any psychoactive effects.

That said, THC levels do vary from product to product. The changes are due to the following:

  • the specific strains
  • when the plant was harvested
  • what terpenes are present

If you are concerend about ingesting THC make sure to check the labels on any products that you buy. Most CBD products contain such low levels of THC that you won’t become intoxiated from taking them.

What Is CBD Isolate?

On the other side of the coin, you’ve got CBD isolate.

To make a CBD isolate, the CBD is isolated from the other compounds. The end result is typically a product with about 99% pure CBD.

Because CBD will be flying solo in these products, you won’t enjoy the entourage effect. And we don’t really know what that means, exactly. Because we don’t fully understand how all the cannabinoids and terpenes work together.

Pros and Cons

Looking at all the angles, there are pros and cons to opting for an isolate.

Let’s start with the pros.

Pros of CBD Isolate

For starters, CBD isolates are often significantly less expensive than their full-spectrum counterparts.

CBD isolates are great for first-time users. You can explore the health benefits of CBD without the interference of other compounds.

CBD isolate has no discernible taste or odor.

Some research indicates that isolates may be more effective for pain management. That‘s when compared to full-spectrum products.

Both seem to have great use for pain management.

Cons of CBD Isolates

There really aren’t that many cons when it comes to CBD isolate.

You’re only getting the effects of the CBD, so no entourage effect. And as we stated, the implications of that aren’t fully understood yet.

Full-Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

Determining whether to take full-spectrum CBD or a CBD isolate is a matter of personal choice.

If diving into the world of CBD seems daunting, just take it slow.

Start with figuring what’s out there in the market. What methods of ingestion are there? What kind of dosages are there? That sort of thing.

Then, think about what you want to use CBD for. Do you experience chronic pain? Are you simply canna-curious?

Then, use what you’ve found to inform your purchases.

How Do I Take CBD?

There are so many modes of ingestion, it can be overwhelming!

CBD edibles are quite popular, easy to take, and discreet.

CBD topicals are lovely and are applied just like regular lotion. The effect may take longer to set in, and a higher dosage is better. That’s because the skin doesn’t absorb CBD well.

CBD joints are also popular. Less discreet and maybe unappealing if you’re a non-smoker. But lots of people love them.

There are also CBD sublinguals, things like tinctures or oils. These are placed under your tongue to absorb there. As such, the CBD will avoid your liver and your body will absorb more.

Are There Any Side Effects?

All medications can have potential side effects. CBD, whether full-spectrum or isolate, is no exception.

Some minor side effects to be aware of include:

  • dry mouth
  • appetite changes
  • eye irritation
  • fatigue
  • elevated liver enzymes
  • GI distress
  • rash

But the good news here is that 74% of CBD users report experiencing no side effects.

CBD Interactions With Other Drugs

So far, CBD seems generally safe for most people to consume. However, if you are taking any medications, consult your doctor before trying CBD.

Medications that have a grapefruit warning may be contraindicated for CBD use.

Much of the concern around CBD is due to how new it is on the market. As there is more research, we will only have access to better products.

CBD For Vibrant Health

Are you looking to beef up your self-care? Maybe move away from pharmaceuticals? Full-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate would be great additions to your self-care regimen.

There are so many options out there. Learning about what works for you is part of the fun. Try full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate at varying doses to see what works best for you.

And while you’re here, make sure to check out the rest of our blog. We’ve cutting-edge insights on the topics you care about. Finance, tech, DIY, we cover it all.