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What is a Full Spectrum Oil? [Experts Answer]

September 30, 2018

What is a full spectrum CBD oil

CBD oil is becoming pretty well known these days; no longer is it something you think of as belonging to drug users and those scary looking people hiding in alleyways.

Even marijuana itself – formerly known as an evil drug that will get you high – is undergoing a huge fundamental change in how it’s viewed. Thanks to legalization, you can now buy CBD oil throughout most of the USA, allowing people to access its medical benefits far more than ever before.

However, thanks to the fact that buying CBD oil for medicinal purposes (legally) is a relatively recent thing, most people don’t understand that there are actually different types of CBD oil.

In fact, many types of CBD oil that you can buy are not actually full spectrum.

Wait… what’s full spectrum? For that matter, what actually is CBD oil?

So, What actually is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the name given to CBD-heavy extracts suspended within an inert oil. It is taken to help treat a variety of conditions, ranging from tackling eczema and multiple sclerosis to treating mental conditions and even Parkinson’s disease.

The mechanisms of how CBD works are now, finally, properly understood. As a result of countless studies, we now know that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a health system that exists within the human body with the ability to interact with a variety of different functions through its two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors are stimulated by CBD, causing them to then release a variety of other chemicals which encourage the body to heal itself more naturally than with conventional medicine.

This is very similar to how THC interacts with the ECS and makes you high, with one major difference – CBD doesn’t over stimulate the receptors. THC binds itself with the two receptors (primarily the CB1 receptors) and keeps activating them, causing an overstimulation and the eventual high.

Instead of that, CBD just sort of hangs around near the receptors and encourages their activation more gradually and gently, allowing you to get the medicinal effects without the accompanying high.

The two different receptors have different effects when triggered, based on their primary locations in the body. The CB1 receptors are concentrated within the brain and central nervous system, and are thus linked to a variety of functions within the brain, such as serotonin release.

CB2 receptors, however, are spread more liberally throughout the body, allowing them to interact with a wider variety of bodily functions. Principally, the CB2 receptors are affiliated with cellular regeneration, meaning that activation of these receptors leads to better cell regrowth and a healthier body.

CBD oil accomplishes all this with remarkable efficacy, but there is still so much we don’t understand. A great example of this is the fact that cannabis actually has a lot of different cannabinoids within it, but we generally just group them into either THC or CBD.

If you want the full CBD experience, with the most ability to help treat conditions, you want full spectrum oil.

What Exactly is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

When you buy CBD oil, you are buying an extract of CBD, a cannabinoid, suspended in inert oil for the purposes of easy application.

However, if it’s full spectrum oil, you are getting a lot more than just CBD.

Despite the immediate assumption that there are only two types of cannabinoids – CBD and THC – there are actually a lot more useful substances within cannabis than you first might realize.

Though we normally say CBD oil when we refer to the product, it is in fact a large number of cannabinoids combined together. At least it is when it is a full spectrum oil.

Within cannabis, there actually exists a huge variety of different cannabinoids, as well as other substances known as terpenes.

Each of these substances plays a different role in cannabis’ usefulness, so much so that taking just CBD can in fact have a very limited effect on you.

To get the full benefit of CBD oil, it is advisable to ensure you’re taking a full spectrum oil so you can get all the important substances hidden within cannabis.
What are all these substances, though? Well…

What About the Other Cannabinoids?

Though you likely just think of CBD and THC when you think of cannabinoids, there are actually a variety of different cannabinoids within cannabis that play their own roles.


Firstly, there is cannabigerol, known as CBG, which acts a sort of placeholder cell for other forms of cannabinoids. All cannabinoids start as CBG, and this is essentially what the plant creates as a template for all other cannabinoid cells.

It is found in lower quantities in processed cannabis products, as by the time the plant has been harvested, most CBG compounds have developed into other cannabinoids.

Its medicinal benefits aren’t fully understand however – when testing CBD oils, it is usually very difficult to differentiate whether you’re testing the abilities of CBD or of the other substances.


CBC, known scientifically as cannabichromene, is a pretty mysterious cannabinoid. There is very little research done its uses, as it is extremely difficult to pin down whether it’s the CBD or the CBC that’s creating its effects.

CBC interacts in particular with the CB1 receptor, allowing it to encourage a healthy mental state by tackling such conditions as depression or anxiety.

There are other types of cannabinoids besides the standard CBD, THC and those mentioned here, but they perform smaller functions that are harder to pin down.

Additionally, we also have terpenes.


Terpenes are a group of organic compounds that many plants produce for a variety of purposes. Due to their extremely pungent smell, terpenes have been theorized to be responsible for deterring herbivores and other predators away from their host plants.

Within cannabis, terpenes act to provide the unique smell of marijuana, as well as complementing the effects of cannabinoids to be more easily be assimilated into your body.
Some of the most understood terpenes include:


Caryophyllene is a terpene that acts as a powerful antioxidant within the body. CBD is widely taken for its antioxidant capabilities, and a large portion of these abilities are thanks to this terpene.
It also works extremely well as an anti-inflammatory, engaging with the CB2 receptors to encourage the human inflammation response to abate itself and reduce inflammation throughout the body.


Limonene works with the CB1 receptor and encourages an increase of serotonin and a variety of other hormones. Essentially, limonene works to improve your mood and helps you balance out negative feelings and emotions – it is one of the reasons why doctors recommend full spectrum CBD oil for those suffering from depression.


Humulene works as a pain-relieving substance, interacting with both major receptors in the ECS to help reduce the sensation of pain throughout the body.

What Else is in Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

Alongside terpenes and cannabinoids, CBD oils also contain other substances that are very important to the human body.

For example, in the same way that honey is more than just yellow sugar water, it actually contains a variety of important vitamins and minerals, as a result of the cannabis plant’s biology.
Additionally, vital fatty acids and proteins that humans need to survive, such as the well known omega group commonly found in fish, exist within cannabis.

Though original CBD extractors tried to leave these substances behind, it was discovered that these nutrients were very useful in helping CBD and THC be assimilated into the body.
For example, the landmark study for the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research by Kerstin Iffland and Franjo Grotenhermen found that, by researching the health effects of cannabidiol, the intake rate increased when it was imbibed as part of a full spectrum oil, rather than just as a CBD isolate.

What About CBD Isolate?

As CBD full spectrum oil is CBD oil with all the other, less well known cannabinoids and terpenes included within it, CBD isolates are any medical substance that is made entirely and only from CBD.
Doctors recommend this when they consider it important for a patient to receive only the medical benefits of CBD, with no other effects from the other cannabinoids.

For example, the mix of other cannabinoids and terpenes is a large part of what gives CBD oil its pain relief properties, but some patients might not benefit from a reduction in pain, so would instead be recommended to take CBD isolate.

Final Thoughts on Full Spectrum CBD oils

CBD oil comes in many shapes and sizes and is a good deal more complicated than you’d first think.

In a way though, this additional complexity is actually a good thing; it means that what you’re taking is a lot more complex than you understand, but there are medical professionals working to make sure you take exactly what is right for you.

CBD full spectrum oil is what you take when you have conditions that need to be treated with more than just one type of cannabinoid. It isn’t necessarily better or worse than CBD isolate, but it does offer a more general dose.

The next time you take CBD oil, take a look at the label; if it says “whole plant” or “full spectrum”, you’ll know you’re getting the benefits of many different parts of the cannabis plant, and not just the CBD.

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About the Author
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Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller, age 53 is an Ex Railyard Engineer who suffers from chronic back pain and anxiety. Jonathan’s goal was to create an unbiased site that would provide anyone who seeks help in CBD oil as a treatment, with accurate and helpful information.
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Getting Started with CBD Oil

If you suffer from anxiety (like me), depression or pain and are looking to get started with CBD oil, you need information on how to buy CBD oil, or you’re simply looking to learn more about CBD products, you’ve arrived at the right place.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has significant medical benefits. CBD can be extracted from two different species of the Cannabis Sativa L plant, which include Cannabis and Hemp. Unlike its rival THC, CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

One of the main advantages of CBD is its non-psychoactive affect making it a great option for people looking for relief from inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, spasms, and other conditions.
As I mentioned above the primary distinction between Hemp and CBD oil is the part of the plant they are derived from and what parts of the plant are used to create the oil. Hemp oil is typically made from pressing cannabis seeds to extract the fatty oil from within, while some that have mastered the CBD extraction process also use the flowers as they contain high percentages of CBD. CBD oil, on the other hand, is usually made from the flowers of cannabis plant through various extraction methods.

How Does CBD Affect Your Body?

The way marijuana affects your body varies from person to person as it will often depend on genetics, tolerance to the cannabinoids, medical health, DNA, and more. It also depends on the way you consume the CBD, for example, the effects of vaping CBD are far different to smoking it in the form of high-CBD cannabis strains. 

CBD and the way it affects us is still of somewhat a mystery to researchers they still try to figure out how it effects the EndoCannabinoid system. During the previous century, it was discovered that our bodies have receptors within the brain and central nervous system. Specific cannabinoids such as CBD bind to those receptors and activate the EndoCannabinoid System (ECS). This then provides a wide range of psychological and physical benefits helping the body.

Without going into specifics, cannabinoids signal to the body to create endocannabinoids and build more receptors. This helps the body to limit things associated with pain and inflammation, repairs cells and provides a wide range of other health benefits. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD is thought to be the ultimate anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.

Want to learn more about how CBD works read: How Long Does it Take CBD to Work

Medical Benefits of CBD

There is a misconception as to whether CBD can help treat patients, similar to pharmaceutical medicine, but thanks to the internet and a few different medical studies patients and researchers have been exposing their findings on how CBD oil is helping to cure a wide range of medical conditions.

The most popular story was the one of Charlotte Figi. At the time Charlotte was only 6 years old. As a little girl, she was experiencing over 300 epileptic seizures per week until she was successfully treated by a CBD-rich strain oil, later named Charlotte’s Web.

The high-quality CBD oil, changed her life, helping her to overcome a 6-year battle. Since her story hit the news, CBD and other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are constantly being researched to understand how they can help to treat different medical conditions. As a matter of fact, CBD has been thought to help treat over 170 medical conditions, among them severe conditions such as Anorexia, Cancer, Arthritis, Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and PTSD.

Recent studies have even shown that CBD, may cure life-threatening diseases by altering genes. Other studies have proven that it might even be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and chronic pain.

The way that CBD works is that it interacts with receptors located in different parts of the central nervous system. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. Both reflect the areas of the brain they interact with such as the limbic system. When taking CBD, this cannabinoid locks in on these receptors and affects the body in different ways. For example, it can help to block the pain caused by specific medical conditions.

While numerous studies have shown promising results, it is important to understand that CBD research is still at premature stages. A 2011 study that researched CBD for fibromyalgia showed extremely promising results. 56 of 112 participants who took CBD in the form of oil saw a great reduction in their symptoms and pain, while those using traditional methods didn’t see hardly any improvement.

Can you Buy CBD if you live in an illegal state?

The process is not cut-&-dry, and but thanks to the Farm Bill of 2014, forms of CBD can now be delivered to your doorstep. Those that live in recreational states can purchase CBD cannabis oil which is high in potency and extremely effective for helping to treat severe medical conditions, while those that live in other states that are not medical or recreational can benefit from CBD hemp oil. CBD Hemp oil is perfect for helping to treat a wide range of conditions including anxiety, depression and acute pain. 

Who is NaturalWellNessCBDOil?

My name is Jonathan, and I’ve created this loving resource that is packed with information about CBD oil. I am growing a community on Facebook and are constantly engaging with different people to help them make more informed decisions. I review products on a daily basis and provide unbiased reviews about some of the top CBD oil manufacturers. All the information on the site is FREE; I only ask that you help to share the information you find on the site with other people that are suffering. 

To your health and happiness.