defference for full spectrum hemp oil and cbd oil

The “Full-Spectrum” Difference: Why To Look Out For This Term On A Label

As hemp extract—an extract from hemp plants that’s rich in cannabinoids, including CBD—becomes more popular, it’s starting to pop up in all different forms. One term you’ve likely noticed on hemp supplements, tinctures, and creams is “full spectrum.” Here’s what that means and why it’s important to look out for.

What “full-spectrum” means on a hemp or CBD label.

Full-spectrum hemp oil (not to be confused with hemp seed oil) is an extract only derived from hemp. Hemp is the term for a cannabis plant with 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or less—not enough for mind-altering effects. In contrast, a CBD oil can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana. Marijuana is the term for cannabis plants with higher levels of THC.

Full-spectrum hemp oil contains all of the naturally available compounds the hemp plant has to offer, including CBD and more than 100 cannabinoids and a host of terpenes and flavonoids to boot. This is different from a CBD isolate product that will only contain a single cannabinoid: CBD.

The benefits of full-spectrum oils.

When you take a full-spectrum supplement rather than a CBD isolate product, the hemp plant’s hundreds of compounds have a way of working together to boost the product’s overall benefits. Researchers call this synergy the entourage effect: when cannabis compounds work together, they’re more powerful than any one cannabinoid on its own. “I think about it in a sports metaphor, where you’ve got one star player, but you need the team,” explains renowned integrative physician Robert Rountree, M.D. “It’s the mix that’s important.”

So what are all those compounds, and what do they do? First, cannabinoids affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, the body’s “master regulatory system,” which plays a role in maintaining the immune, digestive, and central nervous systems.

Our bodies actually make their own endocannabinoids to help keep us in balance or homeostasis. But researchers theorize that sometimes we become deficient in endocannabinoids, which can lead to chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or migraines. When taken as a supplement, phytocannabinoids, which come from plants, may be able to help ease some of the symptoms by helping our endocannabinoid system perform its delicate balancing act.*

One of the most talked-about and researched phytocannabinoids in hemp oil and CBD oil is, of course, CBD. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: Scientists are still studying just how many cannabinoids can be derived from hemp and what their capabilities are individually, collectively, and in various combinations.

What’s more, cannabinoids are just some of the beneficial compounds present in cannabis that end up in a full-spectrum product. “We know that phytocannabinoids are more effective and better tolerated when taken together and in concert with their co-occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals than when they are taken in isolation,” explains Jessica Knox, M.D., MPH, co-founder of the American Cannabinoid Clinics and a preventive medicine physician.

Terpenes, responsible for the aroma of cannabis, enhance how we process the plant’s many cannabinoids. And flavonoids—also abundant in tea, fruits, veggies, and more—are phytonutrients known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects.

“When you mix all those phytocannabinoids together and not just the phytocannabinoids—but their supportive compounds and antioxidants that are in the [hemp plant] stalk—it’s a whole mix,” Rountree explains. “There’s this whole system at work.”

The bottom line.

With full-spectrum hemp oil, the compounds derived from cannabis—including all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids—team up to benefit your body and help keep you in harmony. In short, full-spectrum presents a whole orchestra rather than just one cannabinoid’s solo performance.

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Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil vs CBD Isolate – What’s the Difference?

For those just getting familiar with cannabidiol (CBD), the terms “full spectrum” and “CBD isolate” may not mean much to you. You have probably wondered what the difference is and which one you should choose when considering a CBD product. Here is a summary of how they differ and which we feel is a better choice.

The Inner World of the Hemp Plant
Full Spectrum/Whole-Plant Extract or Oil

As the name suggests, full spectrum or whole plant extract is oil extracted from the hemp plant which contains all the cannabinoids found in the plant. In addition to these compounds, full spectrum hemp oil also contains essential vitamins, minerals, Omega fatty acids, flavonoids, chlorophyll and terpenes.

CBD Isolate

This is cannabidiol in its purest form – it is extracted from the plant and processed to remove all of the oils, plant material, waxes, chlorophyll, and more, leaving behind the pure Cannabidiol. It is most often found in the form of white powder or crystals.

The Entourage Effect – What is it and Is it Legit?

This term is used to describe the healing effect that plant materials may have by working together rather than alone – the idea being that a plant is more than the sum of its parts when it comes to therapeutic benefit.

As with most information relating to the study and effects of cannabis, there are few quality double-blind studies to prove the entourage effect. This does not mean, however, that there isn’t growing scientific evidence to suggest that the theory may hold true. Many scientists agree that CBD mitigates some of the effects of THC by blocking cannabinoid receptors (thereby helping to reduce some of the associated anxiety or paranoia that THC can induce). A 2015 study demonstrated the superior therapeutic properties of whole plant hemp extracts compared to single-molecule CBD.

Our Take on the Matter

We are big believers in a holistic approach to healing. There is rarely, if ever, a “magic pill” or even one solution to any problem. As career bodyworkers, we know that our clients will get the best results from the work we do if they treat their pain from many angles. In addition to getting bodywork, we suggest they use topical pain relievers, soothe sore muscles in an Epsom soak, make changes in their lifestyle to reduce stress, move their bodies more, and get more sleep. We’ve seen time and again that the people who treat their pain from this holistic approach get far better results than those who rely on one – isolated if you will – method of healing.

With this holistic approach in mind, we choose to use full-spectrum hemp oil in our CBD products. Modern medicine is rooted in traditional plant-based healing, and there is no doubt that in addition to the highly potent and effective CBD, many of the other compounds, vitamins, and essential fatty acids found in the hemp plant also provide therapeutic benefit. With Vital Body Therapeutics’ topical pain relievers, you get the best of both worlds!