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Musicians, artists and activists lended their unique voices to the issue of climate change at the Pathway To Paris concerts at The Masonic in San Francisco and the ACE Theatre in Los Angeles over the weekend, a closing act of the Global Climate Action Summit in California.

This year's concerts, a collaboration with 350.org and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), featured legendary punk rocker Patti Smith, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, artists Olafur Eliasson and Steven Sebring, 350.org founder Bill McKibben and many other high-profile guests and environmental activists.

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In the throes of a pandemic that has people around the globe racked with anxiety, the desire for something safe and effective at taking the edge off may be greater today than at any time in recent history. For someone battling COVID-19-related stress, cannabidiol (CBD) presents an appealing alternative to harmful or dangerous behaviors. Whether it's full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, the selections in the space are nearly endless—and continuing to grow.

If you're a newcomer to the scene, it can be easy to get confused about not only the different types of CBD but also what it's made of and what it does to your body. 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 and getting high. The difference is that marijuana gets you high because of the presence of another cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, 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 most popular cannabinoids that you'll find in full-spectrum CBD oil are trace amounts of THC, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC).

Full spectrum vs. CBD isolate vs. broad spectrum

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 or 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 of 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's psychoactive effects (though products derived from industrial hemp plants shouldn't cause them anyway).

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.

What are the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil?

There's a reason why CBD has been praised by everyone from grandmothers to athletes and movie stars to physicians. It has the potential to pack a punch and a whole litany of health benefits.

It certainly isn't intended to prevent any disease, and you should always consult with your doctor before trying any new regimen, but CBD's reputation speaks for itself. For one, scientific research conducted on mice has proven that CBD and other cannabinoids can be effective in the management of difficult to treat pain.

Earlier, we mentioned the ongoing pandemic and the impact the current state of affairs is having on our collective mental state. CBD has already been shown to reduce social anxiety and multiple other forms of anxiety disorders, as studied in animal models.

Other animal and human studies have illustrated potential benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil that include:

The reason why CBD has such a profound effect on the body is due to a functionality called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS works hard to keep your body in a state of steadiness 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 intensified.

Best full spectrum CBD oils

As you start to explore the world of full-spectrum CBD oils, it's natural to wonder which product is the right one for you. The best thing to do is to try multiple different products and doses until you find one that you're comfortable with and that achieves the results you desire. However, we have put together a shortlist of three of our favorites that were selected based on a strict criteria that includes price, hemp sourcing, customer reviews and third-party lab tests that help to verify exactly what's in the product.

Spruce 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—a 2,400-milligram "max potency" bottle and a 750-milligram bottle, or what it calls "moderate strength." Of note, the 2,400-milligram product can be purchased with either organic hemp seed oil or coconut oil as the carrier oil. The stronger product comes in at $269 for a 30-milliliter bottle, while the moderate strength is $89.

There are a couple things to really like about Spruce. They use no pesticides, are third-party tested and offer a subscribe and save option that drops the price by 15% and adds free shipping.

CBDistillery

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. CBDistillery offers 30-milliliter bottles in four different strengths: 500 milligrams, 1,000 milligrams, 2,500 milligrams and 5,000 milligrams. The cost for these CBD tinctures ranges from $35 to $240 with a subscribe and save option knocking an additional 20% off the one-time purchase price. Of note, despite that these products are full spectrum, they contain 0% THC.

We like how CBDistillery is an established, dominant producer that you can trust. The company's full-spectrum CBD oils are all third-party lab tested and are created from natural farming practices.

FAB CBD

Looking to spice up your oil with a little flavor? FABCBD might just be your go-to. In addition to natural, these full-spectrum products come in multiple flavors like citrus, mint, berry and vanilla. You'll also be able to choose between strengths that span from 300 milligrams to 2,400 milligrams in 30-milliliter bottles. To pick up one of these FAB oils, you can expect to spend between $39 and $129, depending on the strength you choose.

We really like the options that FAB offers, from the flavors to the potency. The brand also has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren't happy with your purchase.

Is full spectrum CBD oil right for you?

As with anything related to wellness, there are many variables in play—so it's hard to say. There are definitely advantages to full-spectrum CBD oil that you just can't get with CBD isolate or even broad spectrum. 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 there are many organic options available.

We haven't touched much on the safety of CBD, but it bears mentioning that the World Health Organization has said, "CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile." One of the few side effects beyond fatigue or a mild stomach ache is an adverse reaction between CBD and other prescription medicines. If you're currently undergoing a course of medication, check with your physician to ensure you can safely add CBD to the mix before beginning to dose.

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