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What is full spectrum CBD and why is it better?

22 Aug 2021

It can be confusing to know what to look for when deciding on the right CBD product for you. The most important thing to remember is to choose full spectrum CBD, and here we'll explain why.

What-is-full-spectrum-CBD-and-why-is-it-better National Hemp Service

There are three main categories of CBD products; full spectrumbroad spectrum and isolate (sometimes referred to as 'pure CBD').


What exactly is full spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum CBD is the most effective form of CBD.

Full spectrum CBD means that the product is made using whole plant hemp extract containing the full spectrum of possible nutrients.

That means that as well as containing CBD, it contains many other cannabinoids and compounds (such as THC, CBG, CBDa, CBDv as well as various flavonoids and terpenes).

The reason full spectrum products are vastly more effective is because when these cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are consumed together, they give way to something called the entourage effect and allow your body to absorb more CBD.

All National Hemp Service CBD oils are full spectrum and infused with additional 'pineapple chunk' cannabis terpenes to increase absorption and add flavour.


What is the entourage effect?

Simply put, the entourage effect is the theory that all the compounds in cannabis work together and when taken together are more effective than when taken individually.

The theory states that when cannabis compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are consumed together they work in tandem to magnify the therapeutic effect of each individual compound.


What are the other types of CBD? 

Broad Spectrum:

Broad spectrum refers to CBD products that have had as much of the THC as possible removed. The reason some people may opt for broad spectrum CBD as opposed to full spectrum is mainly due to drug testing (it is possible that using full spectrum CBD products, while fully legal, will cause THC to show up on a drugs test).

An unfortunate consequence of the process that removes the THC is that it also removes most of the terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids. 

Absorption rates with broad spectrum CBD products are lower than full spectrum but higher than CBD Isolate.


In its pure form CBD isolate is a crystalline substance similar to sugar in consistency. The CBD has undergone processing to remove all of the other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes and nutrients.

CBD isolate, sometimes referred to as 'pure CBD', is then added to other ingredients to create a consumable product. For example, a CBD isolate is often added to a carrier oil such as olive oil and sold as CBD Oil.

Absorption rates with CBD isolate products are far lower than full spectrum and slightly lower than broad spectrum.

Isolate CBD Oils are the colour of their carrier oil.


Will full spectrum CBD get me high?

Short answer: No.

While full spectrum products do contain trace amounts of THC, they do not contain enough for someone to feel the psychoactive effects of the THC.

It's a common misconception that CBD is not psychoactive, it is, but not in the same way as THC, despite similar molecular structures. It does not produce the feeling of being 'high' or 'stoned' that THC does but it can have a mood altering effect on the brain (many people report back to us that they feel more relaxed after taking CBD products).


Will I fail a drugs test if I use full spectrum CBD?

Short answer: Maybe.

Full spectrum CBD products do contain THC up to the legally allowed limit of 0.2% or 1mg per container. While this is very low, it is possible that regular use of a full spectrum product could cause THC to sufficiently build to levels detectable by a drugs test.

If you work somewhere that drugs tests employees, we recommend letting your employer know that you're using a fully legal full spectrum CBD product. We are happy to provide written confirmation that you are a customer of ours and can supply the lab reports showing the THC levels in your product are within the legal limit.


Is full spectrum CBD legal?

Short answer: Yes.

It's completely legal to buy full spectrum CBD products here in the UK.

Unfortunately some very backwards laws still prevent our famers from being able to cultivate hemp for CBD production so it has to be imported. Ours comes from Guernsey in the British Isles!


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