Full-spectrum CBD: How to tell if you’ve got the good stuff

2nd February 2022

CBD has become a healthcare essential, but not all products are created equal. One of the effects of the industry growing so rapidly is that has been left largely unregulated for quite a while. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, you need to be clued up on what you want to buy to avoid investing in a subpar product; plenty of sellers say they produce their own CBD, or that their products are full-spectrum, but the reality is murkier. We’re here to give you the lowdown on how full-spectrum CBD is made, what to look for when you’re buying it, and what to avoid, too.

How is full-spectrum CBD oil made?

Creating full-spectrum CBD oil involves extracting all the ‘good stuff’ from the hemp plant – not just cannabidiol, but also other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which are believed to work together to create the coveted ‘entourage effect’. It’s different to broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate as it contains a trace amount of THC – up to 0.2% – from hemp, too. This extract is then mixed with a carrier oil, which can be anything from coconut to olive, or, keeping it hemp-focused, hemp oil.

How should full spectrum CBD not be made?

Unscrupulous producers will often mix full-spectrum CBD extract with a carrier oil and then add an isolate or a distillate to increase the amount of CBD in the oil. However, this may impact the entourage effect.

Reputable CBD companies will offer a certificate of analysis with their products so that you can check how their CBD is extracted, and ensure you’re getting a quality full-spectrum oil. There are other checks you can do yourself, too.

What to look for in full-spectrum CBD

Quality full-spectrum CBD oils are often a rich brown colour and have a strong smell and taste – though this can sometimes be combined with other flavours. Look out for these two defining features. In comparison, CBD isolate is often a clear, odourless liquid, so if it’s been used in the production process, the end product will have less of a distinctive scent and colour.

We also recommend doing a little research and finding out your product’s country of origin, as well as checking out the quality assurance on everything you buy, so you can be sure that you’re getting a great product.

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