Cannabidiol Full Spectrum Explained: Pros, Cons, Products & FAQs

Curious about cannabidiol full spectrum?

Full spectrum CBD is rich in cannabidiol (CBD) and other hemp or cannabis plant compounds. 

It’s more effective than other forms of CBD, like broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate — thanks to the entourage effect.   

The bad news? 

Cannabidiol full spectrum comes with the risks of THC — a controlled compound in the UK. So, any full spectrum CBD product (even with trace amounts of THC) is illegal in the country.

Read on to learn everything about cannabidiol full spectrum.

Also Check Out

  • What does the UK law say about full spectrum CBD products? Find out in our CBD Law UK guide.

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What is Cannabidiol Full Spectrum?

Full spectrum CBD is a form of CBD containing all the beneficial plant compounds in the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). 

What are these Cannabis sativa plant compounds?

They include:

  • Major cannabinoid compounds like CBD and THC (usually less than 0.2% THC).
  • Minor cannabinoid compounds like CBC, THCV, CBG, CBN, THCP, and more.
  • Terpenes (found in the whole plant) — responsible for the plant’s aroma.
  • Flavonoids — plant metabolites that regulate cellular activity.

All these cannabis compounds interact with each other, resulting in full spectrum CBD’s entourage effect (more on that later).

Plus, with CBD in the mix, full spectrum CBD offers many health benefits like:

  • Improved sleep
  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
  • Pain relief
  • Anxiety and stress management

Cannabidiol Full Spectrum: Pros vs Cons

We’ll explore the major pros and cons of full spectrum cannabidiol:

1. Pros

The most significant benefit of any full spectrum CBD product is the entourage effect. 

What’s the entourage effect?

It’s a theory that terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids, and other beneficial compounds act synergistically to produce stronger results. 

Bottom line: full spectrum CBD provides broader, stronger therapeutic benefits. 

But you might be wondering… 

How does CBD influence your body?

CBD stimulates the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps maintain our body’s stability and proper functioning (homeostasis).

2. Cons

As we said, full spectrum CBD contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — which can cause a psychoactive “high.” 

The THC content is usually less than 0.2% in full spectrum CBD products. 

But it still carries the risk of inducing an intoxicating effect, especially at high doses

It gets worse… 

Athletic or workspace drug tests specifically test for THC. So you may fail the test if you consume a full spectrum CBD product.   

More importantly, THC is illegal in the UK and other countries.  

Laws in the UK and some European countries stipulate that CBD products can’t contain any THC. But in the US, CBD products can have up to 0.3% THC. 

Note: Depending on where you buy from, a full spectrum CBD product could be mislabelled and contain more THC than claimed. 

Always check product labels and buy from reputed sellers. 

Cannabidiol Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate

Besides full spectrum CBD, manufacturers also use broad spectrum CBD and pure CBD isolate in CBD products. 

Here’s how full spectrum CBD differs from them:

  Full Spectrum CBD Broad Spectrum CBD  CBD Isolate
CBD Content 55%-70% 75%-90%  99.9%
Contains  CBD, THC, minor cannabinoid compounds (CBDa, CBC, CBN, CBG, THCA, THCV), terpene, flavonoid, lipids, fatty acids, chlorophyll   CBD and other cannabinoid compounds (CBDa, CBC, CBN, CBG), terpene, flavonoid, essential oils   Pure CBD extract 
Entourage Effect Has a strong entourage effect due to the presence of THC and other cannabis compounds  Has a milder entourage effect than full spectrum CBD  It doesn’t have the entourage effect  
Who Should Use  People who want a potent entourage effect and who aren’t sensitive to THC  People who want to avoid THC but want the health benefits of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids   People who only want pure CBD — no THC or any other cannabis compounds 

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3 Popular Types of Full Spectrum CBD Products

Common full spectrum CBD product types include:

  • Full spectrum CBD topical: A topical, like a CBD cream, lotion, balm, or serum, is applied directly on the skin. They’re usually meant for muscle and joint pain.
  • Full spectrum CBD edible: Includes consumables like a CBD capsule, gummy, cookie, chocolate, or beverage (like a CBD coffee).
  • Full spectrum CBD sublingual: A sublingual is taken under the tongue and acts quicker than edibles. It’s usually available as a full spectrum CBD oil, CBD tincture, or CBD spray.
Quick Tip: Consult a healthcare professional about the required dose when using full spectrum CBD. You could also use our CBD Oil Dosage Calculator to determine the right dose. 

3 Top Cannabidiol Full Spectrum Products

Here are three popular full spectrum CBD products you could try: 

These products contain THC (in trace amounts). So, as mentioned above, they are technically illegal in the UK. 

Side Note: Hemp seed oil is NOT the same as CBD full spectrum oil. It contains almost no beneficial cannabinoids.

Manufacturers often use hemp seed oil (or MCT oil) as a carrier oil to dilute the hemp extract.

5 THC Free CBD Products to Buy in the UK

Looking for CBD products without THC? 

Try these broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate products: 

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5 FAQs Around Full Spectrum Cannabidiol

Common full spectrum CBD queries include:

1. How is Full Spectrum CBD Extracted?

There are four main ways to extract full spectrum CBD: 

  • Carbon dioxide extraction (CO2 extraction): Uses CO2 to separate CBD from the cannabis or hemp plant material. It produces a high concentration of CBD.
  • Steam distillation: Uses steam to separate CBD from the cannabis or hemp plant material. But unlike CO2 extraction, steam distillation produces a low-quality CBD extract.
  • Solvent extraction: This extraction process uses a liquid solvent, like alcohol, to obtain a high-concentrate CBD extract. However, it can leave behind solvent residue, which may affect the final product’s flavour and pose a health risk for users.
  • Lipid extraction: A relatively newer method, this process offers a toxin-free way to extract CBD, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds (cannabinoids).

After CBD extraction, manufacturers further refine it to make it a full spectrum CBD oil or other products (like a CBD capsule or CBD tincture). 

2. Is Full Spectrum CBD Safe?

Besides the risks mentioned above, full spectrum CBD is generally safe. 

However, you may experience these side effects at very high doses (more than 100mg/day): 

  • Tiredness 
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Increased appetite 
  • Increased irritability or agitation

Don’t worry. 

To avoid adverse effects, follow these tips when consuming any type of CBD:

  • Stick to the recommended CBD dose. New to CBD? Start low (20-25mg/day) and gradually increase the dose as needed.
  • Avoid consuming CBD alongside high-fat meals — it can increase CBD concentration in your blood and the risk of side effects.
  • Avoid applying CBD topicals to broken or injured skin, as it may cause irritation.
  • Don’t take CBD if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.  
  • If you’re already on other medication, consult a qualified healthcare professional before adding CBD to your diet.

3. Can Full Spectrum Cannabidiol Get You High?

Usually, full spectrum CBD contains very low levels of THC — which isn’t enough to get you high. 

But it may cause a mildly intoxicating effect depending on the THC concentration in the CBD product. To avoid this, reduce the quantities you consume or choose THC-free products.

Bottom line: Full spectrum CBD usually doesn’t give you a “cannabis high”.

4. Does Full Spectrum CBD Help With Anxiety?

Yes, CBD is known for its potent anti-anxiety effects.

Besides, studies show that THC, in small amounts, could also help relieve anxiety

However, full spectrum products could induce anxiety at higher doses or if you’re sensitive to THC. 

5. How to Choose a Full Spectrum CBD Product?

Some factors to consider when selecting a full spectrum CBD product include:

  • Certificate Of Analysis (COA): Check whether the CBD shop (brand) or product has an updated, comprehensive COA from a reputed third-party lab. The COA mentions the product’s potency, cannabinoid profile, and contaminant testing results (heavy metals and pesticides).
  • Ingredients: Choose products made from high-quality and cruelty-free (vegan) ingredients, like organic hemp. Also, check if the company is transparent about where they source their ingredients. 
  • Unsupported health claims: Avoid products that claim to provide miracle cures for diseases or symptoms. In the UK, CBD products can only be sold as a food supplement — not a medicine.  

To Full Spectrum or Not to Full Spectrum?

Full spectrum CBD has the edge over the other types of CBD due to its strong entourage effect. 

But look: It’s illegal in the UK and other countries due to its THC content.  

Want to enjoy the wellness benefits of CBD without THC?

Try broad spectrum CBD oil or pure CBD isolate products instead! 

Head to GreenBox, a CBD shop with 100% THC-free, high-quality products, like a CBD bath bomb or massage oil. We provide an excellent CBD selection curated exclusively from trustworthy and reliable brands!