Recently, the term Full Spectrum has been appearing in the CBD and hemp world. What does it mean?
Our research has determined that there is no official definition or even consistent usage of the words.
The only other industry which seems to be using it is the lighting industry. Their “definition” is that “there is no technical definition of ‘full-spectrum’ so it cannot be measured.” That doesn’t help much does it?
Full spectrum in the lighting industry is generally considered to be light that covers the electromagnetic spectrum of all wavelengths that are useful to plant or animal life. In particular, sunlight is considered full spectrum.
Most manufacturers of CBD products seem to be using the term to differentiate CBD isolate products from CBD products that contain additional beneficial cannabinoids and other compounds which assist in the product’s efficacy. This is why we never understood why CBD isolate manufacturing proliferated in the industry.
There seems to be a general idea that Full Spectrum CBD means there is enough trace THC in the product to provide effective results. But if you read product marketing carefully, you’ll find some using the term even if there is no THC in the product. (UPDATE 2021 ~ It appears this is still rampant in the industry. And there are still no clear terms or definitions. Which is becoming very interesting as more and more countries are legalizing CBD and putting infrastructure in place for the industry.
Full Spectrum Vs. Broad Spectrum
Some product lines contain Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD choices. In this case, it usually means that the Broad Spectrum product contains many other additional beneficial components of the cannabis or hemp plant EXCLUDING THC, while the Full Spectrum offering contains all of those plus THC. Most likely the amount of THC is going to remain under the 0.3% legal limit in the USA and under the lower legal limit of 0.2% in some European countries.
Confusion About The Meaning of Full Spectrum
It’s no wonder that many consumers are confused; manufacturers seem to be making up their own versions of what the term means in order to promote their particular products.
You’ll find definitions that include the plant being raw, the ratios of the plant molecules equal to what they are in nature, and that the term is synonymous with Whole Plant. This may be the most confusing issue of all – as the term Whole Plant was never defined in the industry. If you ask a manufacturer directly what they mean by Whole Plant, many of them say that it means that more than just the stalks are used, leaves are used as well.
Whole Flower vs. Whole Plant
Those of you familiar with The CBD Expert know that over the years we have offered many brands and types of CBD products, and over the last couple of years have narrowed our offerings down to the one type of product that consistently works. We’ve determined that even for cases of acute pain, severe psychological and tremor ailments, and when hemp or other CBD products are not working, a whole flower product that maintains the integrity of the natural plant including some THC can be effective.
By any of the previous definitions, the Whole Flower Fluid is a Full Spectrum product. It contains enough trace amounts of THC to remain under the legal limit yet still be effective. It is raw. (CBDa lovers – more to come on this benefit!) It maintains the natural ratios of plant cannabinoids and compounds.
We purposely call the product Whole Flower because it’s not just made from leaves and stems, it is the liquified, raw version of the beautiful, potent, medicinally-intact FLOWERS of a high CBD low THC cannabis plant (as opposed to an industrial hemp plant, which has no flowers).
As a consumer, be aware that the term Whole Plant can refer to an industrial hemp product.
Apples and Oranges
Trying to compare a Whole Flower, “full spectrum” product to a CBD isolate product is like comparing apples to oranges. Or more precisely, like comparing a freshly picked organic orange from a tree and a vitamin C tablet from a bottle.
Obviously, there is a lot more goodness in that orange than just the vitamin C! So why not eat the whole orange, rather than spending a lot of money and use heat to extract the C from the orange, then bottle and package the C into a pill or other method of ingestion.
We are starting to learn that nature grows things together that work together. This is why we believe that keeping the natural components of the hemp plant intact is the best way to consume CBD medicinally.