Is Full Spectrum CBD Worth Paying More For
Since being legalized by the federal government in 2018, CBD has emerged as one of the most popular supplements on the market. That comes as no surprise when you consider CBD’s host of beneficial properties and lack of side effects. It’s also very versatile in that it can be administered in numerous forms and levels of potency.
With that said, shopping for CBD for the first time can indeed be a bit overwhelming, especially when you start seeing words like “terpenes” and “full-spectrum” thrown into the mix. It begs many questions, such as:
What is full-spectrum CBD? Should you bother spending the extra cash on getting it? What, if any, are the additional benefits? And what in God’s name are terpenes?
We’ll walk you through all that in the paragraphs that follow.
Before getting into the finer details, let’s restate the basics. After all, there are a lot of misconceptions about CBD floating around out there.
CBD is a cannabinoid and a primary component of the cannabis plant. It is present in high concentrations in both marijuana and hemp. CBD interacts with THC (the famous psychoactive cannabinoid), but it does not make you high.
So what does it do? As it happens, quite a few things. Research is still essentially in the preliminary stages. Still, we have evidence that CBD could be a safe and effective remedy for all kinds of health problems, including but not limited to:
- seizure disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder
And as studies have shown, CBD is when combined with other cannabis ingredients, namely THC and terpenes.
What are terpenes?
Like CBD and THC, terpenes are an essential part of the cannabis plant. Unlike CBD and THC, however, terpenes are abundant throughout nature. They’re highly aromatic and serve two major purposes: 1) they give plants, flowers, fruits, etc., their unique scents, and 2) they ward off predators and attract pollinators.
On top of that, terpenes are beneficial to human health. Many of them have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Some have shown an ability to treat infections. Scientists are also beginning to study the effect of certain terpenes on cancer cells. Meanwhile, terpenes are quietly developing into a market of their own.
In cannabis, terpenes help to bring about what’s known as the entourage effect. They do so by working together with CBD and THC to maximize the plant’s desirable effects and temper unwanted side effects. In short, terpenes complement cannabinoids and vice versa.
Here’s a good example. In one study, epilepsy patients were treated with purified CBD on the one hand and a CBD-rich extract on the other. The CBD-rich extract, which included terpenes and THC, was found to be better at reducing symptoms. That’s the entourage effect in action.
As you have probably deduced by now, a “full-spectrum” CBD product contains not only CBD but also terpenes and THC. The point is to activate the entourage effect so that the CBD’s beneficial properties are amplified. This translates to greater relief for the user.
There is an important distinction to be made here. Just because a product has THC as an ingredient does not necessarily mean it will have an intoxicating effect. Most CBD products are made from hemp, which differs from marijuana in that it contains only tiny amounts of THC. Specifically, THC levels in hemp are 0.3% or less. That’s not enough to get you high, but it’s enough to supplement CBD and boost its efficacy.
To sum up, available research indicates that full-spectrum CBD products are more effective than pure CBD. Inevitably they will cost a little more money, but for many people, it’s worth it.