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For anyone seeking a natural way to manage stress and anxiety, chronic pain, or inflammation, cannabidiol (CBD) presents an appealing natural alternative to find potential relief. Many in the CBD community claim that full spectrum CBD oils and products offer the most benefits. We’ll explain the different types of CBD and offer our picks for the best full spectrum CBD oils.
If you’re a newcomer to hemp extracts, it is easy to get confused about the different types of CBD available and how they differ. First, you should know that CBD is one of more than 100+ cannabinoids (naturally occurring chemical compounds) found in the cannabis plant. If the word cannabis sets off alarms in your head, it’s probably because you’re equating it to marijuana. The difference is that marijuana gets you “high” because of the presence of another cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, which possesses psychoactive properties. This is not CBD.
We’ll get into the details later about how (and why) these different cannabinoids affect your body in the ways that they do, but the important thing to remember is that experiences can vary greatly based on the chemical composition of the product you’re using.
What is Full Spectrum CBD?
Some of the most popular products on the market today are those that contain full spectrum CBD oil. While the delivery mechanism can be anything from a tincture you take under your tongue with a dropper to gummies you swallow, these are great products that contain more than just CBD.
Full spectrum CBD products incorporate additional parts of the cannabis plant, including other cannabinoids and terpenes, aromatics found in the plant’s essential oils that supply the strain with its unique scent. Beyond just CBD, some of the other beneficial cannabinoids that you’ll find in full spectrum CBD oil are trace amounts of THC, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC).
Our Top Full Spectrum CBD Products
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall CBD Oil – Spruce CBD Oil
- Strongest CBD Oil – CBDistillery
- Best CBD Oil for Daytime – Cornbread Hemp
- Best CBD Oil for Sleep – NuLeaf Naturals
- Best Organic CBD Oil – R+R Medicinals
How We Chose These Full Spectrum CBD Oils
In choosing the best full spectrum CBD products, we evaluated each one on six key categories:
- Strength — How much CBD does the oil contain?
- Source — Does the company source their hemp in the USA?
- Flavor — Are the oils flavored, and do they use natural flavoring ingredients?
- Transparency — Can you easily access independent third-party lab results for the oil?
- Value — How much does the full spectrum oil cost?
- Customer Experience — What do customers say about the product?
Top 5 Best Full Spectrum CBD Oils
Best Overall: Spruce Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Spruce is a family business that produces American-made, lab-grade CBD products of the highest quality. It offers its full-spectrum CBD oil in multiple strengths. The 750 mg strength provides 25 mg of CBD per serving, and comes in a natural peppermint flavor.
Why buy: We love Spruce CBD because they use organic hemp from North Carolina and Kentucky grown without pesticides. This full spectrum oil is made with organic hemp seed oil and natural flavors, and offers a potent dose of cannabinoids and beneficial plant compounds for a stronger entourage effect.
Strongest CBD Oil: CBDistillery Full Spectrum CBD Oil
CBDistillery is one of the CBD industry’s most well-known and reputable brands. And when it comes to full-spectrum CBD oil, this brand delivers on its promise to create high-quality products made from non-GMO industrial hemp. At 83 mg of CBD per serving, their Maximum Strength Relief + Relax formula is the strongest full spectrum CBD oil on our list.
Why buy: We like that CBDistillery full spectrum CBD oils are all third-party lab tested and are created from U.S. Hemp Authority certified hemp grown using natural farming practices. This maximum strength oil is a great option for those who aren’t getting the relief they need from lower strength oils.
Best CBD Oil for Daytime: Cornbread Hemp Distilled Full Spectrum CBD Oil
Cornbread Hemp Distilled Full Spectrum CBD oil is crafted from Kentucky-grown USDA organic hemp and USDA organic MCT oil for a product you can trust. It offers 25 mg or 50 mg of CBD plus naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes without any preservatives or flavorings.
Why buy: We love this full spectrum CBD oil from Cornbread Hemp because it is made from a unique flower-only hemp extract for a cleaner CBD oil with a lighter taste. This product is great for promoting a sense of calm throughout the day.
Best CBD Oil for Sleep: NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum CBD Oil
NuLeaf Naturals offers a simple yet powerful full spectrum CBD oil. It contains two ingredients: their full spectrum whole-plant extract from Colorado-grown hemp and an organic virgin hemp seed oil. They use an advanced clean Co2 extraction method that results in a fuller plant extract that’s also easier on the environment.
Why buy: This full spectrum CBD oil from NuLeaf Naturals can provide a full range of the beneficial plant compounds that can work together to promote the entourage effect. We recommend this oil for help promoting rest and healthy sleep cycles at night.
Best Organic CBD Oil: R+R Medicinals Full Spectrum CBD Tincture
R+R Medicinals makes a USDA organic full spectrum CBD oil that offers an extra-strength blend of phytocannabinoids. The 1000 mg size contains 33.33 mg of CBD per serving plus over 4 mg of minor cannabinoids like CBC, CBN, CBG, and THC for powerful relief potential.
Why buy: We like this full spectrum oil from R+R Medicinals because it packs so many beneficial cannabinoids plus organic MCT oil and organic mint flavoring into one bottle. This is a great option for a completely USDA organic CBD supplement.
The Research on Full Spectrum CBD Oil
While further study remains to be done, CBD has shown promise in studies for a number of different potential health benefits. Scientific research conducted on mice indicated that CBD and other cannabinoids can be effective in the management of difficult to treat pain.
Other animal and human studies have illustrated potential benefits of full spectrum CBD oil that include:
- Regulation of nausea and vomiting
- Reduction in the severity and frequency of seizures
- Management of neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis
The reason why CBD has such a profound effect on the body is due to the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS works hard to keep your body in a state of balance called homeostasis so that your sleep, mood, appetite and other bodily functions remain stable. It does this by interacting with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body.
One of the most significant advantages to full spectrum CBD oil comes courtesy of something called the entourage effect. This concept reinforces that the whole of the cannabis plant is greater than the sum of its parts—meaning that when multiple cannabinoids work together, the effects of each become supercharged and work synergistically to provide greater benefits.
What’s the Difference Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate?
Full spectrum CBD oil won’t be for everyone. Some might be put off by the presence of both CBD and THC, while others may not enjoy the oil’s earthy and musky flavor profile. The good news is there are several other categories of CBD products to dabble in that might make you feel more comfortable or that you find easier to stomach.
We already talked about how full spectrum CBD is derived from cannabis plants, but we should also mention that it comes from industrial hemp plants. These are cannabis Sativa plants that contain high concentrations of CBD and less than 0.3% THC, a ratio that legalizes the plant’s contents on a national level, thanks to the passage of the 2018 United States Farm Bill. As mentioned, these hemp plants contain other cannabinoids and terpenes, making use of the whole plant.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, you will find CBD isolate. Products that feature CBD isolate have been heavily purified and distilled to remove any and all terpenes and cannabinoids besides CBD. These THC-free products are great for anyone looking to take advantage of pure CBD’s therapeutic properties without worrying about THC.
Broad spectrum CBD oil exists right in the middle of full spectrum and CBD isolate. Similar to CBD isolate, broad spectrum is THC free, but it does include some of the other terpenes and cannabinoids that you might find in full spectrum like CBN and CBG.
When Should I Use Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
There are definitely advantages to full spectrum CBD oil that you just can’t get with CBD isolate or even broad spectrum. We generally recommend full spectrum products over other options because these CBD products tend to provide the most benefit and a fuller effect thanks to the complete profile of plant compounds. Full spectrum CBD oils are specifically great for supporting healthy sleep cycles and support managing chronic pain.
The main reason to consider a broad spectrum of CBD isolate product is to avoid ingesting any THC. CBD should never make you feel high, but products that contain even trace amounts of THC could cause a positive drug test. You should always keep that and your personal circumstances in mind as you select your CBD products. Also know when looking for lab tested oils you can refine your search to select from only organic options.
How to Shop for Full Spectrum CBD Oils
In order to find the best full spectrum CBD product for you, there are a few things to consider. Here is what to remember when shopping for full spectrum CBD.
What to Look For
Concentration: Always make sure you know how much CBD an oil or edible contains, both per container and per individual serving.
Source: We recommend choosing brands that use hemp grown in the U.S. using natural or organic farming methods.
Testing: The most important thing to look for in any CBD product is proof of independent third-party lab testing.
How to Read Labels
These are the key pieces of information you should look for on the label of any full spectrum CBD oil.
- Strength – This is typically shown as milligrams of CBD per 1 mL serving.
- Lab Test Results – Most brands include information, or a QR code, for the lab test results of their CBD.
- Carrier Oil – CBD oil tinctures use carrier oils like MCT oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil. If you have a food allergy, be sure to check the type of oil used in a product.
- Dosage Guide – Some CBD brands include a dosage guide on the label to help you measure the appropriate amount of CBD per serving.
How to Use
Full spectrum CBD oils can either be taken sublingually, in which you hold the oil under your tongue for 30 seconds or so before swallowing, or can be mixed into food and beverages. Depending on the amount of CBD you need per day, this can be done either once or twice per day. If you are taking a full spectrum CBD oil to help with insomnia or sleep, it’s best to take those in the evening, an hour or so before bed. For support in managing stress or anxiety, you may want to take one serving in the morning and another serving in the evening. As with all CBD products, full spectrum CBD typically works best over time as it builds up in your system through consistent use.
Safety & Side Effects
According to the World Health Organization “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Like any dietary or wellness supplement, however, it can cause a few mild side effects in certain people. These can include dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. One important thing to note is that there can be a drug interaction between CBD and certain prescription medicines, especially blood thinners. If you’re currently undergoing a course of medication or take a prescription medication, check with your physician to ensure you can safely add CBD to the mix before beginning.
The best full spectrum CBD oils may allow you to boost your wellness and enjoy natural relief through your own body’s endocannabinoid system. Use our guide to make sure that you know what to look for when shopping and which brands to consider in order to get the best possible product for you.
Josh Hall has been professional writer and storyteller for more than 15 years. His work on natural health and cannabis has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
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