The Complete Guide to Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD is fast becoming the most popular cannabis supplement out there. Every week, new oils, creams, and edibles hit the shelves boasting their full-spectrum credentials.

But what exactly does “full-spectrum” mean, and how do these products differ from other kinds of CBD oil?

Let’s check out the definition of full-spectrum CBD, as well as the ideal dosage for different conditions.

What is full spectrum CBD oil?

Full-spectrum CBD is the standard term for CBD products made from a whole plant extract. 

These products are the least processed form of CBD and contain a full range of beneficial cannabis compounds. As a result, they’re often considered the most premium version of CBD by experts and consumers alike.

Full-spectrum CBD oils are usually extracted from specially-bred hemp plants. Hemp strains are carefully cultivated to contain an optimum profile of CBD and complimentary cannabis compounds.

When multiple cannabis compounds are consumed together in their original ratio, they produce something called the entourage effect, producing more powerful results. Think: a whole that’s greater than its individual parts.

Full spectrum vs. Broad spectrum vs. CBD isolate?

Spectrum is the term used by CBD brands to indicate how many cannabis compounds are contained within a CBD extract. Hemp plants can produce over 100 cannabinoids, with CBD being just one of them.

Other popular cannabinoids include CBG, CBN, and THC—all used for their soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all of the cannabinoids found in the original cannabis flower. No extra processing is performed post-extraction to alter the profile of the cannabinoids.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD oil undergoes an additional extraction process to remove selected cannabis compounds. This allows CBD manufacturers to curate their products, offering zero-THC options, as well as CBD oils designed for specific uses.
  • Isolate CBD oil is further processed to remove all cannabis compounds except CBD. The result is often a fine powder that’s up to 99.9% pure. CBD isolates are a good option for those who live in areas with very strict cannabis laws.

Will full spectrum CBD oil make you high?

Whether or not any CBD oil has an intoxicating effect depends upon the type of plants it’s made from.

Full-spectrum CBD oils made from THC-rich marijuana plants are likely to produce a high, as the plants themselves contain lots of the high-causing compound THC.

Full-spectrum CBD oils made from hemp plants with low levels of THC, on the other hand, are unlikely to cause any kind of high. This is because the original plants don’t contain enough THC to have a psychoactive effect.

The best way to find out whether a CBD oil has any psychoactive is to read its lab report, otherwise known as a certificate of analysis (COA). These documents are produced by independent labs when they check the purity and potency of cannabis products and give exact details about the cannabis compounds contained in an extract.

That way, you can know exactly how much CBD, THC, and other compounds are contained within your chosen product.

CBD oil is often advertised as a miracle cure-all. But the truth is that CBD is only relevant to a specific set of conditions.

For those with inflammatory discomfort and disorders, CBD and other cannabis compounds can help provide relief by reducing agitation, swelling, and soreness.

Here’s how full-spectrum CBD oil works on different common inflammatory conditions. 

How full spectrum CBD can work for different conditions

CBD oil is often advertised as a miracle cure-all. But the truth is that CBD is only relevant to a specific set of conditions.

For those with inflammatory discomfort and disorders, CBD and other cannabis compounds can help provide relief by reducing agitation, swelling, and soreness.

Here’s how full-spectrum CBD oil works on different common inflammatory conditions. 

Full spectrum CBD oil and inflammation

One of the main mechanisms responsible for controlling inflammation in the body is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Found in humans as well as most mammals, the ECS affects the brain, nervous system, and all major organs.

The ECS’s function is to maintain bodily balance (known as homeostasis in medical literature) by regulating the release of hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals associated with stress, pain, sleep, and inflammation.

To perform this function, the ECS contains receptors that respond to endocannabinoids, signaling molecules produced naturally by the body. As it happens, cannabis and some other plants contain phytocannabinoids, compounds that resemble endocannabinoids and are able to stimulate the ECS in similar ways.

As a result, consuming high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil, which is full of different types of cannabinoids, can help the ECS to suppress inflammation across the body.

Full-spectrum CBD oil and anxiety

Certain cannabinoids are able to affect the ECS in specific ways, making them more appropriate for certain inflammatory conditions. When it comes to anxiety symptoms, researchers have found that CBD, along with CBC, have the strongest anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effect.

CBC is a minor cannabinoid that’s been shown to produce anti-depressant and mood-elevating results in mice. It’s thought that CBC binds with receptors linked to pain perception, which then triggers the release of the body’s own soothing endocannabinoids

Most cannabis experts recommend full-spectrum CBD to help with specific issues like anxiety, as these products contain higher amounts of secondary cannabinoids like CBC.

To find out exactly which cannabinoids are contained within a CBD extract, you can read a product’s independent lab report, also known as a certificate of analysis (COA). These documents detail the range and amount of compounds that make up a plant extract, as well as the presence of any contaminants such as pesticides.

Full-spectrum CBD oil and pain

THC is the cannabinoid responsible for cannabis’s reputation as a recreational drug. When consumed in high quantities (often from specially-bred marijuana plants) it produces an intoxicating, psychoactive effect.

Taken in smaller amounts, however, THC can have a profound effect on pain and discomfort. While still very mildly psychoactive in some sensitive users, the tiny amounts of THC found in many full-spectrum CBD oils are able to activate CB2 receptors in the ECS, suppressing the body’s pain response without significant intoxication.

Again, always read the lab report supplied with CBD products to find out exactly how much THC and other cannabinoids are contained within the extract.

Full spectrum CBD oil and nausea

A study on humans with chemotherapy-caused nausea found that feelings of sickness were reduced when patients took Sativex, a drug made from a combination of CBD and THC.

Researchers believe that CBD may be able to suppress feelings of nausea by stimulating serotonin receptors—the hormone normally associated with mood and behavior regulation.

However, it’s also thought that THC has a more profound effect on nausea than CBD. As a result, full-spectrum CBD oils containing small amounts of THC may have anti-nausea potential, but those with significant symptoms may want to explore stronger THC-focused cannabis products.

Concerns around full spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD oil and breastfeeding

Both Health Canada and the US FDA do not recommend the use of any cannabis products while pregnant or breastfeeding, including CBD.

Much of the guidance surrounding cannabis and pregnancy is related to concerns about THC passing from mother to baby. Even the trace amounts of THC found in most full-spectrum CBD oils can pose a risk to infant health and development, making them inappropriate for use during early motherhood.

Due to a lack of clinical research, the safety of other types of CBD products during breastfeeding, such as zero-THC isolates, is currently unknown. However, CBD does accumulate in fatty tissues such as the breasts, which suggests that it also should be avoided.

Full spectrum CBD oil dosage

To get the most benefit from your full-spectrum CBD oil, it’s important to find the right dosage for your needs.

Unlike prescription medications, there’s no risk of overdosing or taking too much CBD. But there are more effective amounts depending on the type of condition you’re looking to treat.


For anxiety and nervousness, a good starting dose of full-spectrum CBD oil is between 15 – 35 mg per daily dose.

For pain and discomfort, a good starting dose of full-spectrum CBD oil is between 30 – 50 mg per daily dose.

To aid sleep, a good starting dose of full-spectrum CBD oil is between 35 – 55 mg per daily dose.

For generalized inflammation, a good starting dose of full-spectrum CBD oil is between 20 – 40 mg per daily dose.


That said, dosages are highly individual. Factors like weight, diet, metabolism, and previous tolerance to cannabis can have a large effect on what counts as the right amount of CBD for you.

A slow, consistent dosage schedule

For CBD beginners, we recommend starting low and slow. After all, it makes sense to only take as much CBD as you need.

Try experimenting with your chosen dosage of full-spectrum CBD for around three days before coming to any conclusions. This should give your body time to fully adjust to the product. From there, think about whether you need to adjust your dose for the next three-day period.

Ok, I want to try full spectrum CBD oil

If you’re interested in trying a full spectrum CBD oil, our top recommendation is Honest Botanicals Full Spectrum CBD oil. They use the best ingredients and have overwhelmingly positive reviews, with sizes in 250, 500, 1000, and 2500 mg. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions around full spectrum CBD, or any related questions you might have.