Full Spectrum CBD


New to CBD and not sure if full-spectrum CBD products are right for you? Read our guide to full-spectrum CBD below.

Full-Spectrum CBD

If you thought there was only one type of CBD, you’re going to be in for a shock. There are actually three different types of CBD products and understanding the differences between each is critical to choose the one that is most appropriate for you.

CBD products fall under one of the below three categories:

  • Full-Spectrum CBD
  • Broad-Spectrum CBD
  • CBD Isolate

The two main factors that will help you decide which product is best for your personal needs are whether or not you want a CBD that contains THC and if you want to benefit from what is known as the ‘entourage effect’.

But before diving into full-spectrum CBD, it is important you understand what CBD is and how it is made.


Full spectrum CBD is in our opinion the ideal choice as you’ll have a small amount of THC and will benefit from the entourage effect. But be aware that it may not be suitable for everyone.


What is CBD?

Cannabidiol — also known as CBD — is one of the multiple chemical compounds found in hemp (cannabis sativa) or marijuana plants. It is also known as medical cannabis, which is a broad term used to encompass any product, treatment, or medicine that includes cannabis-derived ingredients.

It is not however, the same as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana and contains none of the psychoactive properties associated with it, which means CBD won’t get you “high”.

Hemp vs Cannabis: What’s the Difference?

Different parts of the cannabis plant are either defined as hemp or as cannabis and marijuana.

  • Hemp: hemp is the stalks, stems and sterilized seeds of cannabis sativa (“Cannabis Sativa” is the scientific Latin term that defines hemp, cannabis or marijuana plant species).
  • Cannabis and Marijuana: the leaves, flowers and viable seeds of cannabis sativa.

The varieties of cannabis that are regulated, legal and available in the UK are those that produce less than 0.2 percent THC. And given the fact that most THC is in the flowers, CBD products are primarily made from hemp (stalks, stems and sterilized seeds of cannabis sativa) which contain very little THC and are safe to consume.

This is why CBD products are legal in the UK if they contain less than 0.2% THC.

Therapeutic Properties of CBD

There has been a lot of interest in CBD from both the research and medical community over the last few years, due to its range of health applications – including but not limited to pain relief, fighting the side effects of cancer medications, alleviating insomnia, lowering stress levels, improving acne outbreaks, counteracting heart disease, or reducing seizures in patients with epilepsy

Products containing CBD come in many different forms, with the most common including CBD oils, CBD gummies, CBD capsules, CBD drinks, CBD vapes and a range of CBD edibles such as cookies or chocolates. Some forms are more fast-acting than others, some have different flavours, some contain differing proportions of CBD extract, and so on, so the type you choose depends entirely upon your personal preferences and the condition you wish to treat.

CBD is viewed as a safe alternative to cannabis. This safety is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who stated in the CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Critical Review Report (June 2018) that:

“CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential … To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

The Different Types of CBD 

There are essentially three different types of CBD products on the market, each containing slightly different compounds which in turn provide slightly different benefits. These products are known as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate. Let’s take a look at each of the formats.

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD oil is the most natural formulation available.

As the name suggestions, it combines the full amount of the naturally grown compounds that were present in the hemp plant. This comprises of other cannabinoids (including a trace amount of THC), terpenes and flavonoids. This means that full-spectrum CBD oil is as close to the natural make-up of the hemp as possible because no additional extraction is performed.

It also contains some trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the “high” effect. However, the total amount of THC for the UK market is limited to 0.2% so full-spectrum CBD products will provide all the benefits of CBD without the “high”.

As a result, full-spectrum CBD oil is the most effective in improving symptoms or counter-acting the side effects of medication.

If you are considering buying full-spectrum products, we have tested and listed here the Best Full-Spectrum CBD Oils.

Broad-spectrum CBD

Unlike the full spectrum formulation, broad-spectrum CBD oils go through an additional refinement process which removes the unwanted THC, waxes, and chlorophyll. In doing, it not only creates a THC-free CBD oil – so CBD won’t get you high as there are no psychoactive ingredients – but it also make the product better tasting as removing waxes and chlorophyll from the extract usually make it more palatable.

Some people prefer broad-spectrum CBD for a couple of reasons:

  • It usually tastes better than full-spectrum CBD
  • It still benefits from the entourage effect
  • It s THC free – the ideal option for athletes or people going through regular drug tests

In terms of UK guidelines, it is not necessary to remove the THC by law, as traces of THC (0.2% or less) are allowed and full-spectrum products, despite containing trace amounts of THC won’t get you high. All the other natural cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are present in broad-spectrum CBD oil.

If you are considering buying broad-spectrum products, we have tested and listed here the Best Broad-Spectrum CBD Oils.

CBD isolate

This type of CBD oil excludes everything except for the CBD.

The hemp plant goes through an extensive filtration process, to not only remove the THC, waxes and chlorophyll, but also all the other cannabinoids and terpenes or essential fatty acids present in the plant, resulting in an oil that is usually 99.9% concentrated CBD.

This type of oil is not as beneficial as broad-spectrum or full spectrum, but can be used if you want to get pure CBD or make your own CBD oil at some. Therefore, consumers will most likely need to take more CBD oil.

Is Full-Spectrum CBD Better?

There’s not really a best type of CBD. It all depends on your personal circumstances. Below are some of the pros and cons of using full-spectrum CBD vs broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products.

Full-spectrum CBD is ideal for those who want to:

  • Benefit from all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in hemp
  • Benefit from the entourage effect
  • Ingest THC – albeit in small doses

Broad-spectrum CBD is ideal for those who want to:

  • Benefit from all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in hemp
  • Benefit from the entourage effect
  • Do not want to ingest THC

CBD isolate is ideal for those who need to:

  • Take larger doses of CBD as they will not increase their THC consumption
  • Take regular drug tests and who may worry about THC showing up on their results. This is especially the case for people working in the armed forces, athletes or people working in banking / trading.

The Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is the theory that while each botanical compound has a unique role or benefit, its behaviour may change when the presence of another compound is present.

For example, it would be more effective and quicker to produce a play with a team of actors rather than one actor playing all the parts. When each actor has a specific role to focus on, they can learn their lines and direction and support their fellow actors. But one actor alone will take a lot longer to learn their role and may have bouts of low self-esteem.

This is similar to the entourage effect. Essentially, everyone knows their role, but their performance can be enhanced by comradery, which in the end makes for a great night out to the theatre.

But how is this applied to CBD?

CBD Entourage

We know that CBD products stimulate the endocannabinoid system and make it work more efficiently. But different CBD products affect the ECS differently, depending on its formulation. As previously, discussed there are 3 types of CBD formulation:

  • Full-spectrum: No additional extraction, contains all the natural ingredients of the hemp plant, including CBD, THC, terpenes and flavonoids.
  • Broad-spectrum: All traces of THC are removed from the oil. Every other ingredient remains.
  • CBD Isolate: The oil only contains CBD, everything else is removed.

One of the above formulations has been proven to give better results in reducing pain, inflammation and many other symptoms. Which one of these formulations do you think stimulates the ECS best?

Would it be the most natural substance (full-spectrum), the one with any psychoactive ingredients (broad-spectrum) or the purest form of CBD (isolate)?

According to the entourage effect, it is the full-spectrum CBD because it keeps all the natural components of the hemp plant.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

The theory of the entourage effect was first introduced by Dr Ethan B. Russo. He thinks that cannabinoids such as CBD and THC work with terpenes (aromatic component) to produce a “synergy.”

In his study “Taming THC: Potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects” (2010) Dr Ethan B Russo suggests:

  • The terpene pinene, which gives the scent of pine, may help counteract compromised memory caused by THC.
  • CBD and terpene limonene, which gives a citrus scent, might work together to alleviate anxiety.
  • A combination of CBD and terpene caryophyllene, offering a pepper smell, may be beneficial in the treatment of addiction.

The possibility of “synergy” of endless but have not yet been categorically proven. For more information read his other study “The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain, No Gain” published in 2019.

Omega-3, Antioxidants and Nutrients

In addition to CBD, THC and terpenes, full-spectrum CBD oil also contains Omega-3, which is vital to the ECS. Omega-3 is used to maintain the receptor CB1, which regulate pain and memory.

It also aids the absorption of external cannabinoids, as well as making endocannabinoids internally.

Other nutrients and antioxidants have also been discovered in full-spectrum CBD oil, for example, Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound that can prevent cataract formation, postpone the appearance of wrinkles and grey hair, boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation.

As you can see CBD oil when first extracted from the hemp plant has a huge list of ingredients. All of them seem to play a part in helping our bodies. We may not know exactly what they all do. But as time passes and research continues, we can learn more.

How does Full Spectrum CBD Work?

CBD products possess a number of therapeutic properties, which have been relatively well-researched and are backed by various scientific research papers and double-blind studies. Whilst the health benefits of CBD are varied – for example a CBD infused topical cream will interact with your body in a different to a CBD oil – it is good to understand that a lot of the health benefits of CBD come from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The human body contains a specialized system called the ECS (the endocannabinoid system), which aims is to regulate a variety of functions such as sleep, appetite, inflammation, memory, mood, reproduction, pain and immune system response. The body also produces endocannabinoids, which are simply neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.

As the largest biological system of receptors in the body, the main role of the ECS is to maintain balance, or homeostasis, within the body.

For example, when you get a fever because of the flu. The ECS jumps into action to help you return to your normal healthy self. It does this by sending and reading signals with endocannabinoids, enzymes and receptors.

Endocannabinoids are produced naturally within the body as and when they are needed. Their purpose to keep natural function within the body running smoothly. So far, specialists have discovered 2 types of endocannabinoids:

  • anandamide (AEA)
  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

When the endocannabinoids realise something has changed within your body, and it is no longer in a state of homeostasis, it travels to a receptor to inform it.

Endocannabinoid receptors have been discovered all over the body on cell surfaces and CBD is believed to interact with specific receptors, specifically the CB1R and CB2R.

CB1 Receptors

CB1, which are located in various regions of the body, with a large concentration in the central nervous system and brain, co-ordinate mood, emotion, appetite, and other functions.

CB2 Receptors

CB2, are more commonly found in the immune system and are responsible for controlling inflammation and pain.

CBD stimulates these receptors and induces the body to release serotonin. Serotonin, or 5-HT, is a neurotransmitter that carries signals from one neuron to the other. CBD increases the level of serotonin, which, in return, helps reduce pain or reduce inflammation in the body along with a multitude of other health benefits.

For example, for a pain-related problem, an endocannabinoid will bind to a CB1 receptor to relieve the pain. Another endocannabinoid might bind to a CB2 receptor because of inflammation.

Enzymes: Once the endocannabinoid has done its job and is no longer needed an enzyme will destroy it, allowing for new communications to take place, between receptor and endocannabinoid.

Full-Spectrum Interaction With the ECS

It is not yet fully known how CBD interacts with the ECS as both are reasonably new in the grand scheme of science and biology.

It was once thought that CBD acted like an endocannabinoid and bound itself to a receptor because this is what THC does. But this has not yet been proven. At this time, we know that CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. There may be more receptors in the body that haven’t yet been discovered and CBD could be binding to them.

What is known so far is that:

  • CBD does penetrate the ECS, acting as a stimulant.
  • CBD prevents the endocannabinoids from breaking down
  • It improves the efficiency of the messaging service between the endocannabinoid and receptor.

How Fast-Acting is Full-Spectrum CBD?

There can be no exact amount of time to say when CBD starts to take effect as fundamentally every individual is different. When distinguishing the length of time, it takes for CBD to work we need to look at absorption rates. An absorption rate is the length of time it takes to get into your bloodstream and access the endocannabinoid system and its receptors.

Some known factors that affect absorption rate are:

  • How you consume the CBD
  • The quality and quantity of the CBD
  • Body weight
  • Health status
  • The ailment that you are trying to address

CBD Oil: The most effective method

The quickest way to get the positive effects of CBD is with CBD oil drops taken sub-lingually (under the tongue). If you hold the oil under your tongue, it takes approximately 10 minutes for the CBD properties to enter your bloodstream and interact with the ECS. But if you swallow them, the absorption time will be the same as capsules.

It is worth noting that not all the CBD we consume is absorbed in the body. This is because oil doesn’t mix particularly well with water and as you probably already know the human body is largely made up of water (adult male: 60% and adult female: 55%). Therefore, the oil depends on other chemicals that are attached to it to aid absorption.

Be Patient!

It is important to be patient and wait for CBD oil to work. If the suggested absorption times pass please don´t rush to take more.

 

CBD Capsules & Gummies

When you swallow CBD capsules or eat CBD perhaps as a spread on bread the CBD interacts with ECS via the digestive system. Digestion takes a while as the food needs to travel to the stomach before it is then absorbed, after being broken down by stomach acids. As a result, you can expect to feel the effects between 45 minutes and 2 hours, depending on what else you eat.

A study completed by the University of Minnesota (2009) gave 99% pure CBD to people on a fasting diet and to people who had a high-fat diet. They discovered “CBD absorption was up to 14 times higher when taken with a high-fat meal.” Now, you don´t need to go running out to McDonald’s or eat a gallon of Ben and Jerrys. Consider pairing your capsules with healthy fatty foods like avocados, salmon, eggs, olives and nuts.

CBD Topicals

Generally speaking, a topical form of CBD is quite fast-acting. An ointment, balm or lotion takes around 15 minutes before you feel any positive effects. This is because the CBD penetrates the skin and circumlocutorily interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are located all over your body as part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

If you don´t feel the effects then perhaps you require a high dosage or a higher concentration of CBD. We discuss CBD dosage later in this e-book.

Remember: CBD isn’t a one-off treatment, so don´t expect miracles or immediate results. Taking CBD daily can reduce pain and inflammation incrementally over time and prevent or limit flare-ups.

Health Benefits of Full-Spectrum CBD 

The benefits of full-spectrum CBD are vast and ever-growing. Using the hemp plant where CBD comes isn´t a newly discovered natural treatment it’s been used for centuries all over the world. The first recorded use was in China around 2727 BCE. Chinese legend says Emperor Sheng Neng drank the native plant in a cup of tea to help with a bad memory, malaria, and gout.

The non-psychoactive effects of CBD weren’t known until it was isolated from other cannabinoids until the 1940s, in the USA. Then, it took another 40 years before it gained respect as a pain reliever. And almost another 20 years before a British pharmaceutical company started testing the product in official medical trials.

Now, as we head deeper into the 21st century CBD is a popular and common choice for many people who are suffering from a variety of illnesses and ailments. The full scope of the benefits of CBD is not yet known.

Let’s take a close look at what benefits are known so that you can discover how CBD can help you.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has claimed that there is “preliminary evidence” to show that CBD could benefit up to 14 various illnesses including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease, there are approximately 1,000,000 dementia sufferers, in the UK.
  • Parkinson’s disease, which affects 1 in 350 adults, in the UK.
  • Diabetes, there are expected to be more than five million sufferers, in the UK, by 2025.
  • Depression. According to the Mental Health Foundation, in 2014, 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, not only has this number increased year on year, but an accurate statistic may never be known as many people struggle with this mental illness alone.

The above illnesses have multiple symptoms of which many could benefit highly from the consumption of CBD. With the correct usage, CBD can work wonders. Here are some specific examples:

Relieve pain and inflammation

A study published in the European Journal of Pain (2016) showed evidence that a topical CBD gel had the potential for the relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects. But it isn’t only linked to arthritic pain. CBD has the ability to reduce any kind of inflammation and pain, like migraines, sporting injuries and menstrual cramps as it relaxes muscles and relieves tension.

Reduce anxiety & depression

In addition to generalised anxiety and depression, many other anxiety-related disorders, such as post-traumatic distress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. can become more manageable with CBD.

The study Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders concluded that “overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders“.

Improve sleep

As the root of many poor nights sleeps is mostly the result of pain and/or anxiety it is safe to assume that sleep will also be improved, once your pain and anxiety are reduced.

If you suffer from nightmares and active behaviour such as sleepwalking you may be interested in the 2014 study, which studied the sleep cycle of patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. The study found that CBD was able “to control the symptoms of REM sleep behaviour disorder“.

Muscle recovery

As previously mentioned, CBD can reduce inflammation, relieve pain and improve sleep. All these qualities are imperative to the recovery of muscles. In addition to these, CBD can relax muscle tissue and support protein synthesis.

Due to this, CBD works well for professional athletes, gym-goers and people who take part in sports recreationally. As CBD is a natural substance it is not banned by the UK Anti Doping Agency.

However, THC is! This is why professionals should take broad-spectrum CBD oil.

There are lots of sportsmen and women who use CBD around the world. Boxer Mike Tyson, British Rugby players, Dom Day and George Kruis and World Strongest Man 2017, Eddie Hall are a few of the known sportsmen who supplement CBD into their recovery programmes.

Auto-immune diseases

The most common auto-immune diseases are Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriasis and they can also benefit from CBD. Aside from the anti-inflammatory benefits, CBD has been found to be immunosuppressive, according to the study Immune Responses Regulated by Cannabidiol (2019).

Other ailments

Other ailments CBD is believed to be able to reduce the effects of are nausea linked to motion-sickness and as a side effect of chemotherapy, allergies, migraines, acne and menstrual cramps.

It is known that Queen Victoria in the mid-1800´s consumed cannabis, containing low levels of CBD to ease the pain of her menstrual cramps. Therefore, oil with high levels of CBD could be great too.

As more research and studies are completed the potential benefits of CBD are ever-growing.
For a detailed overview of the diseases and their symptoms, which CBD may have therapeutic benefits for read CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Pre-Review Report (page 18), from the World Health Organisation.

Types of full-spectrum CBD products

CBD can be consumed in may different ways and concentration will often vary from one product to another, so be sure to read the following.

CBD Oil

CBD oil to be taken orally. It can be swallowed straight away or held under the tongue for a minute or 2. A bottle of CBD oil comes with a pipette allowing you to accurately measure your dose. This has been the most popular way to consume CBD.

CBD oil is usually sold in 10ml and 30ml bottles. What normally differs is the strength of the CBD oil within it. Natural tasting CBD oil is available, but for those that don´t like the earthy taste, flavours available, mint, orange and cinnamon.

CBD Gummies

Just like the name suggests, you can take CBD in the form of candy, usually gummy bear or worms. They are really easy to swallow and often have a fruity flavour, although sour gummies are also available.

A packet or jar of gummies usually has 30 or 60 gummies in it and the CBD strength ranges from 5mg-30mg per gummy. Gummies are not usually safe for vegans as they contain gelatine.

CBD Capsules

Capsules can be bought in batches of 7, 28, 30, 60 and array of concentrations, 5mg – 25mg. Recently, a new CBD capsule has arrived on the market, specifically for night use. So, if you suffer from insomnia then the potentially additional level of drowsiness may work wonders for you.

Like gummies, capsules are not usually vegan friendly. While the CBD content is vegan it is the capsule itself, which ruins the experience for vegans. To be vegan friendly, the capsule must be made from vegetable glycerine, not animal fat.

CBD Topicals & Creams

Not as readily available in health stores as capsules and CBD oil, which is a shame as topical CBD Sold offers the additional benefit of hydrating your skin. This is because hemp is a great natural moisturiser.

Like the previously discussed forms of CBD, different strengths are available, as are portion sizes. As a topical CBD is often used for target muscular aches and pains it’s great that small tubes are available, which are perfect for your gym bag.

CBD E-Liquids

This is the CBD oil for vapers. You don´t consume this directly. Instead, you add it to your e-cigarette or vaping pen and breath it in. This form of CBD is usually available in 10ml bottles, with a concentration of 30mg, 60mg, 100mg and 200mg. Flavours are also available if the natural hemp flavour doesn’t suit you.

CBD Edibles

Apart from the gummies, other edibles are available, such as lozenges, tea, chocolate, and even wine and beer. This market of CBD is growing rapidly to cater to people who don´t want to take their CBD separately.

CBD Beauty Products

Most recently, CBD has been infused into make-up and deodorants. This is mainly for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. So, won´t suit people who suffer from mild, moderate or severe ailments.

What to look for in full-spectrum CBD?

Have you ever had great results from buying the first thing you saw on a shelf? Probably not, which is why it is important to know what you want and how to go about finding it.

Here are some tips in looking for the right full-spectrum CBD product for you.

Strength of CBD

The strength of CBD is measured in milligrams (mg) and there are many strengths available at health stores and online.

When you start using CBD start low! Then build up, if needed, over time.

A good rule of thumb is: 1mg of CBD for every 20 pounds of weight

Labelling

All CBD products must be labelled with strength or potency. Labelling the strength of CBD present in any one product isn’t the same across the board. The product itself and size of the packaging can alter how it is labelled.

If you are using CBD oil, for example as oil dropper or oral spray, then you may need to calculate the percentage concentration of your CBD oil. This is because the number that represents milligrams of CBD will not be equal to its capsule counterpart.

Sometimes the percentage is clearly labelled, but not always. Here is a table to help you calculate the CBD strength in liquids based on stated mg in bottle and volume.

CBD / bottle 10ml Bottle 30ml Bottle
250mg  2.5% 0.8%
500mg 5% 1.6%
1000mg 10% 3.3%
1500mg 15% 5%
2000mg 20% 6.6%
3000mg 30% 10%

So a 10ml bottle containing 1000mg of CBD will have a 10% concentration (10% CBD and 90% oil carrier), whilst a 30ml bottle containing 1000mg of CBD will only have a 3.3% concentration. So one drop of the 10ml bottle will have 3 times more CBD than the same drop of the 30ml bottle.

If the percentage is below 2.5% then you may not feel the effects. Weaker strengths (below 2.5%) are often used for pets that suffer from anxiety, pain or inflammation.

Like with capsules start low and work up to a higher concentration until you feel the positive changes. Based on the table above a good starting point would be a 10ml bottle with 500mg to 1000mg of CBD, as the concentration would be between 5% and 10%.

When it comes to CBD capsules, the bottles could read 10mg, 1500mg and anywhere in between. This could be the strength of CBD within each capsule or in the bottle as a whole.

Due to this, it is important to read the label carefully, so that you understand the strength of each capsule.

Here is a table to demonstrate CBD strength per capsule and the value that may appear on the bottle.

CBD / Bottle # Capsules CBD / Capsule
300mg 30 10mg
300mg 60 5mg
600mg 30 20mg
600mg 60 10mg
1500mg 30 50mg
1500mg 60 25mg

CBD stays in your system, which is why many people find the benefits of CBD over time. So again, start low, with a 5mg or 10mg strength and build up over time, if you are not experiencing the benefits after a week.

Absence of Additional Substances

After looking at the strength of CBD present, read the label for ingredients. The list of ingredients tells the story of what is inside the product.

Content list should be short and simple.

The longer the list the worst the product probably is as additional substances may have been added unnecessarily to benefit the manufacturer and not the consumer.

If you see something on the label that makes no sense try googling it.

Full-spectrum ideally

Be sure to purchase CBD products that are described as full-spectrum CBD. This is because they are the most effective in improving health and well-being as it contains more of the natural components of the hemp plant than other types of CBD.

However, if you are subject to drug-testing then avoid full-spectrum, as it contains traces of THC and therefore you may fail the drug test. The other alternatives to full-spectrum are broad-spectrum CBD – which offers the entourage effect – or CBD isolate (no entourage effect) as THC is completely removed from these two types of products.

Results

Another great way to learn about a product is to search for studies and lab results that have been carried out a particular products. Make sure that the study was conducted by an independent lab or third party, as they are usually more forthcoming with both the benefits and downsides that were discovered.

Some CBD companies are happy to supply these results upon request and others have them readily available on their website.

The more confident a company is about their products the more transparent they are.

Quality

Lots of companies claim that something is 100% organic, has X amount of CBD or is THC free, but can they prove it? How do we as consumers know that what we read is true?

The quality of a product is shown in the tests that are performed. When products are tested, hopefully by a third party, they receive a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) which outlines the results of what the tests found.

This lab certification is what you need to be looking for before buying a product. If one doesn´t exist then the statements a product makes may not be true.

This information can be found in any number of places, for example:

  • Official brand website
  • Packaging
  • Within the product’s online description

Official Customer Reviews

CBD products cannot advertise the benefits of CBD, in any way. They cannot use words and phrases like “good for anxiety”, “anti-inflammatory” or “healthy”. This is because CBD products are sold as beauty products or nutritional supplements and not medicine.

So how can you find out how it might affect you? One of the best ways to do this is by looking at official customer reviews from programs such as Trustpilot or Reviews.io, which most of the leading CBD brands use.

The feedback provided on the platforms is from real customers who have purchased their products, so will usually get a more objective feedback than “unofficial” reviews hosted on a CBD brand’s own website.

Some celebrities have also been using CBD for personal health reasons and have talked extensively about the benefits they’ve experienced. These include:

  • Whoopi Goldberg – Glaucoma
  • Michael J Fox – Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sir Patrick Stewart – Arthritis
  • Jennifer Aniston – pain, stress and anxiety
  • Montel William – Multiple Sclerosis
  • Morgan Freeman – Fibromyalgia

Is Full-Spectrum CBD Legal in the UK?

The legalities of CBD are quite clear, CBD is absolutely legal! What is illegal is the presence of more than 0.2% of THC, due to it being a psychotropic substance.

Personal Use

You will not be arrested or fined for buying, consuming or carrying CBD products, anywhere in the UK, as long as it has less than 0.2% THC in it.

What is illegal is to grow the hemp plant(s) yourself, at home.

Growth for personal use is strictly prohibited by the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. To do so, could result in up to 5 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

New Regulations & Guidelines

As CBD is eaten or drunk it falls under “novel foods”, which means that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) oversees CBD products and they can therefore enforce new laws and regulations and they have recently done so.

In 2020, the FSA announced that all CBD products must be approved by March 31st 2021. Failure to do so will result in the products being removed from the shelf. After this date, new companies and products will also need approval before being sold online or in stores.

This request for approval means that the exact ingredients within a CBD will be known, making it safer for the general public.

The new rules will be enforced across the United Kingdom and local authorities will be responsible for policing businesses.

As well as overlooking CBD companies the FSA has also advised the public. They suggest:

  • Pregnant women and mothers breastfeeding not to take any CBD products.
  • Healthy adults should not take more than 70mg a day.
  • People already taking medication should not consume CBD products.

Top Full-Spectrum CBD Oils

With over 150 brands offering CBD products, it can be difficult to choose the right full-spectrum CBD.

This is why the CBD Unboxed team has tried and tested over 150 different CBD products over the last 3 years and assessed them across 6 key areas:

  • Efficacy
  • Taste
  • Value for Money
  • Third Party Certification
  • Packaging
  • Shipping & Delivery

Based on our findings and whilst every person will be different, we would recommend the below five full-spectrum CBD oils to start with.

Take the CBD Quiz

If after reading this guide you are still unsure about what products to choose, simply take our CBD Quiz which has been designed specifically to identify the product and strength that is best suited to your personal needs.

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