Full Spectrum CBD Oil: Benefits and Side Effects [2021 Guide]

Full spectrum CBD oil is beneficial to Australians and millions of other people across the world. But what exactly is it, and how does it vary from all the other oils out there?

“CBD”, as we know, is a cannabinoid you can find in industrial hemp plants. It is just one of many cannabinoids in hemp, and the plant also has natural waxes and oils called terpenes.

These useful compounds work together to produce a variety of beneficial effects, such as supporting overall health or alleviating symptoms of specific diseases and ailments.

You may have come across words like ‘full spectrum’ or ‘full extract cannabis oil’ when looking for CBD oil. Many people are unfamiliar with the meaning of this phrase or how full spectrum CBD oil differs from other types of oil.

So, let’s dive into what ‘full spectrum CBD’ means, how it could benefit your health and what side effects you may experience.

What is full spectrum?

Full spectrum CBD oil refers to oil that, literally, contains the ‘full spectrum’ of the compounds contained in the cannabis plant.

This includes:

  • Cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CGN) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD and THC are the primary compounds in cannabis that contain therapeutic and psychoactive qualities. Although, THC is the compound that produces the ‘high’ effect.
  • Terpenes. These are the compounds that give the cannabis plant their smell and flavours. There are over 150 terpenes in the cannabis plant affecting its fragrance. They also have their own therapeutic effects.
  • Flavonoids. These are other therapeutic compounds found in the cannabis plant. One 2016 study found that they “present anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuro-protective properties” like cannabinoids and terpenes.

Full spectrum CBD (sometimes incorrectly referred to as full spectrum hemp) features small amounts of all of the above compounds – including THC.

It is important to understand how full spectrum differs from the other kinds of CBD oil, so below we’ll briefly outline the

Types of CBD oil (and how full spectrum is different)

There are three types of CBD oil, including:

  • CBD isolate
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • Full-spectrum CBD

CBD isolate is the purest type of CBD you can get. There is no THC in this product, so it is suitable for people who want to try CBD oil for the first time.

Broad spectrum contains other compounds in the cannabis plant, but most do not contain THC.

Full spectrum differs from CBD isolate and broad spectrum CBD because it contains all the compounds of cannabis, including THC. Although, levels will typically be lower than 0.3%.

Benefits of full spectrum CBD oil

There are a range of benefits you may experience when taking full spectrum CBD, the most prominent being the ‘entourage effect’.

Entourage effect

Some research suggests that the beneficial health effects of CBD are actually stronger when you combine it with other compounds.

The presence of THC and other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes, bring about this so-called ‘entourage effect’.

For example, a scientific review found that photocannabinoids and terpenes working together may be helpful to alleviate pain, anxiety, fungal infection and symptoms associated with cancer.

Another peer-reviewed 2018 study suggested that some flavonoids and terpenes can work together to benefit brain health, concluding:

Overall, combinations of CBD with other key phytochemicals found in cannabis could confer benefits on brain health through a multi-target synergy (entourage effect); however, further research is required.

Katrina Weston-Green

Does it have any side effects?

Full spectrum CBD may have side effects depending on the person. Some of what you may experience include:

  • THC showing up on a drug test. Because full spectrum does contain a small amount of THC, you might need to take caution. THC is the psychoactive effect that gets users ‘high’, so take important note of this.
  • Dry mouth. A rare side effect may be a secretion of your saliva, causing a dry mouth. Research suggests THC is more responsible for this, as opposed to CBD.
  • Increased tiredness. CBD oil may act as a sleep aid, as it can assist alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety. But, generally, the oil won’t make you sleepy.
  • Increased appetite. Some studies suggest that CBD oil makes you hungry, but the research is inconclusive.
  • Diarrhea. Some people report having suffered diarrhea after taking CBD. This has also included gastrointestinal intolerance and weight loss.

You should also not take CBD oil at the same time as some other medications. You should always consult your doctor to learn how full spectrum CBD can affect your body, especially if you on other treatments.

Is full spectrum CBD oil legal in Australia?

Yes. As of 2015, CBD oil has been legal in Australia and this includes full spectrum CBD oil. As long as the product contains at least 98% CBD or less of other cannabinoids.

The compound CBD recently changed from a Schedule 4 (prescription only) drug to a Schedule 3 drug. This means you can technically purchase certain low dose CBD products over the counter at a pharmacy.

Although, there are no approved products on the market that meet the criteria required for Schedule 3.

Is full spectrum hemp oil better?

There is a marked difference between full spectrum hemp and CBD oil. Although, you will see the two being referred to incorrectly as one or the other.

Both of these products do have health benefits. But is important to understand that each one of them are crafted differently and have different effects on your body

Hemp oil presents different advantages to your body:

  • High in healthy fatty acids
  • Strong nutritional value
  • Good for the heart and cardiovascular system
  • May help you achieve a balanced diet

However, hemp oil cannot give you the same ‘entourage effect’ as full spectrum CBD oil can. When you harvest oil from the whole hemp plant, you are potentially exposed to literally all of the benefits. This does not just mean the benefits of CBD but all the other cannabinoids inside the plant.

You cannot get that with hemp seed oil, which is just made from the seeds of the plant. Indeed, it does not carry a profile of terpenes, flavonoids and other cannabinoids.

Where to buy full spectrum oil

You can buy full spectrum CBD oil right here on this website. We have 1,000mg, 3,000mg 6,000mg and 12,000mg available on our online store.

Our oil is organic, non-GMO and a healthy choice for anyone looking for a natural plant-based product. We extract CBD from the hemp plant via CO2, with only a minimal amount of THC.

For more information, make sure to also read our beginner’s guide to CBD oil if you’re looking to learn more.