To understand what full spectrum CBD oil is, you need to understand what it is not. Most CBD products out there don’t just have CBD in them, they have slightly different formulas that can vary from producer to producer. But generally, these formulas fall into three groups: isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum.
Before we get into those however, let’s discuss where they all come from: the hemp plant.
A Brief Introduction to Hemp
The hemp plant is known scientifically as Cannabis sativa, which you may recognize as being the same species as marijuana. But just as a wolfhound and a poodle can be the same species yet also very different, so it is with marijuana and hemp.
Cannabis, in its natural state, contains more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. CBD is one of them; so is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that causes intoxication. Other cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN).
What they all have in common is how they interact with your body: through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a kind of subsystem of your nervous system that is involved in a bunch of bodily functions, including mood, memory, balance, the immune system, and the general balance of the body’s inner workings.
With that said, different cannabinoids interact with the ECS in different ways. That’s why THC gets you high, but many of the others do not. So after THC was identified as the culprit, the federal government lifted its ban on the whole species and instead tailored the laws around THC content.
Since 2014, “hemp” has been legally defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC, while “marijuana” has more than that. Only hemp is legal at the federal level, so most Full Spectrum CBD Oil you’ll find through reputable outlets come from hemp. You can find marijuana-derived products in states where that’s legal, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll focus on hemp-derived products here.
Hemp also contains terpenes, which give it its distinctive scent; flavonoids, which provide color and perform various biological functions for the plant; and nutrients such as fatty acids. All of them have wellness benefits of their own, but it’s the cannabinoid content that distinguishes the three different types of CBD.