Check out any other CBD site and you'll hear the praises of "full-spectrum" CBD.
You're likely to be told how it's so much better than CBD by itself.
They're going to throw the word "synergistic" at you probably at least once.
A friend of ours who was a pioneer in the organic food sector once told me…
"I usually run for the doors when I see the word 'synergistic' from a sales pitch".
It's a good rule of thumb in business or health!
Definitely in CBD.
We'll explain why.
When we look at it based on common sense and research, it's so easy to understand in hindsight.
We'll touch base on:
- The difference between full-spectrum and CBD isolate
- The histamine load of full spectrum
- Why is full spectrum pushed so hard
- What research is showing.
Of course, we'll do this synergistically. Whatever that means.
The difference between full-spectrum and CBD isolate
Full-spectrum is basically the whole hemp plant (minus THC up to .3%) put in the bottle with a base oil (coconut, olive, or hemp).
With the better brands, extracted CBD is added to the oil to meet the desired minimum amount.
If your oil doesn't SPECIFY the amount of CBD in it, it's probably bogus.
And very expensive!
Be careful...some brands will specify "1000 mg of" hemp oil. Or phytocannabinoids.
Some very VERY big brands do this.
It's very misleading and they're taking advantage of people's lack of awareness regarding CBD.
A brand must SPECIFY how much CBD is in every bottle. In 3rd party testing (like here or at top of every page).
Or keep looking.
CBD isolate requires a much harder process.
The CBD must be extracted from the hemp plant which is complicated and expensive when done correctly (and not in China!)
We're taking a plant with 100's of different compounds and getting just one out of it.
In this form, CBD is a white, crystalline substance or a honey-like resin.
So...in essence, we have a plant material versus an extract from that same plant.
This is important for people with histamine and allergy issues.
Let's see why.
The histamine load of full spectrum
CBD by itself is showing powerful effects on calming the histamine response in the body.
You can learn all about CBD and histamines here.
That's CBD by itself.
What about hemp oil or full-spectrum?
What does the research show?
Not much. Nothing to be exact.
There are 100's of compounds in hemp oil or full-spectrum CBD.
This is where common sense comes into play.
It's a plant after all.
Think of what sets off most histamine or allergic issues.
What are the common allergens?
Pollen is #1.
Grass. Pollen. Ragweed.
Lots and lots of plant stuff.
So if we're internally ingesting a substance which is basically plant material, what do you think that will do to our histamine pathway?
I'm getting itchy just thinking of it.
Now some people that don't really have allergies are probably thinking...what's the big deal?
It may not be for you.
But for the 40-60% of the population (higher for women and higher yet for people over 40), it's the difference between being able to benefit from CBD or not!
That being said, the rate of allergies keeps growing (look at the trend for asthma and food allergies) and our histamine reactions tend to increase as we get older.
The immune system seems to be at the root of our modern diseases and the histamine system is a first responder of sorts.
CBD by itself, on the other hand, is a completely different deal.
Deep dive on CBD and mast cells (where histamine gets released).
This is called CBD Isolate.
It's basically CBD itself and a base oil (coconut extract MCT, Olive, or hemp oil).
Hemp oil brings us back to the same problems we're trying to avoid.
Olive oil can also have allergy issues from some people.
The MCT extract is the cleanest option since it is composed of tiny chains of fats.
- The plant material from coconut is greatly reduced.
- Substances that cause histamine response are removed.
More importantly, CBD by itself is showing a great ability to calm the immune system responsible for histamine activation.
Check out CBD and neuroinflammation as in-depth studies on this effect.
It also helps with the symptoms of allergies.
Let's look at that piece.
What research is showing for CBD (itself) and histamine or allergies
You can learn all about CBD and histamines or allergies here.
A quick synopsis.
The body's immune system has various "threat levels" for lack of a better word.
If everything's relatively calm, it might be more T2 or balanced.
The very allergen reactive mode is T1.
This is where we really suffer from allergies and histamine response.
CBD has been shown to calm the histamine release system.
This is huge for allergy sufferers!
In fact, it's everything.
Furthermore, it helps with the various symptoms.
There's a great deal of research on CBD calming itching, hives, and even asthma (a severe allergic reaction in the lungs and airways).
For example, check out CBD and histamines for anxiety to see just how widespread this system travels!
What about research on full-spectrum or hemp oil?
Not so much.
Most of the research that's referred to online actually points to how CBD offsets the negatives of THC.
That's a reason to take CBD Isolate...not full spectrum!
There was one piece of research on how at a given time frame out of 4 different measurements, there was a better pain response on CBD with another cannabinoid than CBD alone.
The other time frames? CBD was better alone.
Unfortunately, the dominant "other" cannabinoid in that experiment was THC which has its own issues (including legality).
Check out CBD versus THC to really understand how to differ.
Here's what the full spectrum people aren't telling you.
The other cannabinoids and terpenes and all the much-heralded substances that makeup "full-spectrum" are in tiny tiny amounts.
CBD is the predominant cannabinoid in hemp.
The other substances that are found in full-spectrum don't have much data.
We do know that some may be mildly psychoactive like CBN.
The bigger issue for us is tolerance. THC,CBN, and other cannabinoids can push pathways in one direction which causes issues longer term.
More importantly, there are such small levels that it's pointless to sing their praises.
This is no different than the bad CBD brands who have 200 mg in a 30 ml bottle.
That's roughly 6 mg per dropper!
I hope you like your oil at that point.
It's just marketing.
This brings up the question….why it's "sold" everywhere to people.
Why is full spectrum pushed so hard
We have our theories.
Let's assume that the full spectrum people aren't bad people and doing this just to make money.
It's quite a bit cheaper to make full-spectrum since it requires much less processing.
The margins are much higher.
We won't assume that for everyone.
Some of it comes down to a naturalist point of view that the "whole-plant" must be better than just a component of it.
We're not to say it's a hippie vibe BUT….
We mentioned the problems with this above.
Not enough research on the other substances.
- Potential for tolerance issues longer term
- Lots of research on CBD by itself
- Miniscule amounts of the purported substances
There's also just a lot of bad information out there circulating.
The "entourage effect' is a perfect example of this.
People speak about it like it's the gospel.
You see that quite a bit online. It's actually a reference from the Godfather of CBD studies to show...
How CBD offset the negatives of THC!
A lot of self-referential "studies show" but no studies.
If you don't have allergy or histamine issues
The level of CBD is verified and high enough
There's no THC verified by 3rd party testing
Then...full spectrum might be okay.
Once we get research on the other cannabinoids.
Till then, CBD isolate is the cleaner and more researched way to get the benefits.
That's why we focus on CBD isolate.
Hey...full-spectrum is actually cheaper to make.
That being said, we're already priced under the full spectrum pricing for isolate!
We want more people who are suffering to be able to afford this option.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.