Difference Between Full-Spectrum CBD & Hemp CBD

You may have friends who recently started singing the praises of CBD and how it has improved their lifestyle. It's believed that CBD can assist with managing chronic ailments or pain, without intoxicating side effects. It could seem like CBD is the new miracle drug, and many people are giving it a try for the first time. If you’re looking to try out CBD, read on to learn about the important differences between full-spectrum CBD and Hemp CBD.

What is CBD

“CBD” is an abbreviation for “cannabidiol”, which is a naturally occurring compound in hemp plants. This phytocannabinoid is said to be discovered in the 1940s, however, we're certain humans discovered the side effects of this compound long before then. However, CBD does not provide consumers with “stoned” or intoxicating effects. It does provide a lot of side effects today’s consumers are looking for though and is said to be a safe, non-addictive substance.  CBD has come a long way from when it was first discovered though. It is now incorporated into many types of products, including edibles, topicals, oils, concentrates, and so much more.

CBD lotion and cream

What is Hemp?

“Hemp” is defined more by the U.S. government than it is by science. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is classified as a plant that contains no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol compounds. Hemp is traditionally cultivated for its fiber or seeds and used to make rope, fabric, fiberboard, or paper. Hemp plants also look different than their popular cousin, with limited foliage and a gangly structure. With the passage of the Farm Bill, hemp is now used to create a variety of CBD products, under the oversight of the Food and Drug Administration, or the “FDA”. The industrial growth of this plant has led to the explosion of hemp-based CBD products around the world. There are a ton of hemp-derived CBD products now available for sale at gas stations, corner stores, cafes, farmers markets, gyms, and online vendors.

What Does Full-Spectrum Mean?

“Full-spectrum” refers to a lot of different things, however, in this context it is the extraction process when creating CBD products. Another term for this is “whole-plant” CBD, which might make more sense to new consumers. When processing hemp plants into different products, such as tinctures or oils, full-spectrum extraction means the entire plant is included in the final product. The terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids are simultaneously extracted from the plant, and the final product includes CBD and as well as the additional compounds. This provides the end product with a broader profile of effects, by taking advantage of the full-spectrum of compounds a hemp plant has to offer.

CBD drop liquid

Which One is Better?

This is a bit of a trick question. Full-spectrum CBD can be derived from hemp plants. So the difference between “full-spectrum CBD” and “Hemp CBD” can be nonexistent. CBD as a compound is completely identical on a molecular level, no matter what kind of plant it is extracted from.

However, there is a significant difference between full-spectrum CBD products and those that use a pure CBD isolate. Although there is no scientifically backed answer to define which one is better, it is believed that full-spectrum CBD products provide users with a wider range of benefits. This is due to the “entourage effect”, or the synergistic effects of CBD working with other naturally-occurring plant compounds, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids.

It is important to keep in mind that every body is different though, and what works for your body might not work for your neighbor or friend. Here are some common tips on how to choose a CBD product that will work well for you:

CBD gift is the best gift

Tips for Buying CBD Products

  • Look for labels that specify the product is “full-spectrum”, “broad-spectrum”, or “whole-plant”.
  • Keep in mind that full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products will contain varying levels of CBD, depending on the crop they were produced from.
  • Check the label for the ratio of CBD to other plant compounds in the product, not just the total amount of CBD in the product.
  • Most products sold in legal dispensaries contain a low dosage of CBD. However certain plant strains are also rich in CBD. These well-known strains include Harlequin, Pennywise, Canna-Tsu, ACDC, and Ringo’s Gift, to name a few.
  • Look for CBD products created with craft hemp, which typically contains highly-concentrated levels of CBD in comparison to industrial hemp.
  • It is important to consider where the hemp plant was grown before being processed into a CBD product. Both plants tend to soak up anything and everything that is in the soil, including contaminants. Look for CBD products that were grown in a controlled environment or in accordance with”certified regenerative organic standards.”
  • Studies have shown that hemp-derived CBD products are mislabeled and claim to contain full-spectrum compounds. If possible, ask to see the test results for the product so you know exactly what you are consuming.
  • Poorly processed CBD products can contain trace amounts of contaminants, toxic residues, pesticides, corn syrup, artificial flavors and coloring, leading to a less than pure product.
  • Unless you are shopping for hemp clothing or rope, beware of products that claim their CBD is derived from a hemp plant’s stalk or seeds. CBD is a compound that typically occurs in the resinous flower of the plant, not the stems or seeds.
  • If you are new to a CBD brand or company, reach out to learn more! If they do not respond or cannot provide additional information, then move on to researching another reputable brand.
  • CBD products can provide a wide range of effects and potential benefits. The 2018 Farm Bill made it possible for companies in the United States to start manufacturing hemp on a large-scale and has therefore provided consumers with easier access to a wide variety of CBD products. It's recommended to do your research before making your first purchase though. Be sure to look for full-spectrum hemp CBD grown and manufactured in a safely-regulated environment. Other than that, what product, ratio, and consumption methods work best will be up to you to decide!

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