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What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil & Is It Legal?

5 min read
What is full spectrum CBD oil

What is Full Spectrum CBD Oil & Is It Legal?

5 min read

Medically reviewed by

The CBD market has exploded in recent years – and there’s been a corresponding growth in the type of products available to purchase. 

From broad-spectrum to full-spectrum and CBD isolate, understanding the different types of CBD is crucial to choosing the correct CBD for you. 

So today, we’re going to zone in on one of them: full-spectrum CBD.

Let’s take a look at the following: 

  • What is full spectrum CBD?
  • Is full spectrum CBD legal?
  • How is full spectrum CBD different from broad spectrum and CBD isolate?

In this guide:

What is full-spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum CBD is a product that is CBD-rich, but also contains varying levels of other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids

Crucially, this includes THC: full spectrum CBD can contain THC up to a legal limit of 1 mg per product.

“So will full spectrum CBD get me high?”

The short answer is no. 

While this small amount of THC will help you benefit from the full weight of the entourage effect – it’s essentially a trace level, and won’t get you high.

Commercial hemp plants are naturally low in THC, but this compound will still be present in the finished product. 

It’s possible to “burn off” the majority of the THC during the production process to control the amount of THC that makes it into the finished product. This is how brands can legally sell products with small amounts of THC in the UK.

Read more: CBD vs THC

What is full spectrum CBD good for?

Full spectrum CBD is often considered the most effective form of CBD

Why? Because it offers therapeutic value not only from its CBD content but also from its ability to trigger the entourage effect

Sounds great… But what exactly is the entourage effect?

Well, this theory refers to the way cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work together in the body.

The best way to imagine the entourage effect is to imagine your everyday diet. Everyone needs to consume a variety of nutrients if they are to stay healthy. 

For example, you could choose only to eat tomatoes for every meal. Tomatoes are undoubtedly nourishing, but they don’t contain everything we need to maintain optimal health.

Instead, we build a diet based on fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, grains and occasional treats. This variety of nutrients is far better than choosing one healthy food item and eating that for every meal.

CBD works similarly. 

Research increasingly supports the notion that cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work best when consumed together. This theory is referred to as the entourage effect – a term popularised by Dr Ethan Russo

And as full spectrum CBD contains – you guessed it – the full spectrum of nutrients available in the hemp plant, it produces the entourage effect in its most effective, purest form.

What is in FSO products?


Cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, CBG, THCV and CBN will be present.


These affect the colour of the plant and have antioxidant properties.


They occur naturally in the plant and may protect it from predators.


Polyphenols are naturally occurring enzymes with antioxidant properties.

What are the benefits of full spectrum CBD oil?

While CBD research is still in its formative years, we’re unable to draw clinical conclusions about this potential-packed cannabinoid. 

But initial studies suggest full spectrum CBD may be a beneficial anti-inflammatory, may help people manage anxiety and pain, and may offer neuroprotective properties.

Scientists have already identified more than 150 cannabinoids present in hemp plants – one being our friend CBD.

But as interests among scientists, medical communities and pharmaceutical companies grow, so does our understanding of lesser-known cannabinoids.

These include THCvCBDv, CBN and CBG – all present in full spectrum CBD oil, and all thought to bring with them a wealth of therapeutic benefits

CBDv, for example, is thought to be an anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and have anti-nausea properties; plus may have a positive impact on pain and mood disorders. 

Meanwhile, CBG is being investigated for the potentially positive effect it can have on people suffering from cancer and glaucoma.

Full spectrum CBD also contains a multitude of vitamins, essential fats, amino acids and protein. Amino acids speed up your body’s ability to build protein – this boosts recovery time, while fatty acids are great for heart health.

Read more: Benefits of CBD

What is the difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD?

The difference between full and broad spectrum CBD oil can be boiled down to three little letters… THC.

As explained above, full-spectrum CBD oil contains a complete cannabinoid profile, including THC. 

In contrast, broad-spectrum CBD also contains a complete cannabinoid profile but has the THC removed

Your choice between a full-spectrum and broad-spectrum product is down to personal preference

The THC content in full-spectrum CBD products is not enough to get you high

But, if you source your CBD from less reputable brands, there’s no guarantee the label on the bottle will match the contents. 

Full spectrum CBD also comes with the very small risk that you may test positive for THC if you don’t buy your CBD from reputable sources. So, for those who regularly undergo drug testing at work, or athletes using CBD, full spectrum is not the best choice.

Read more: CBD drug tests

Full-spectrum vs Broad spectrum CBD - drug testing
Broad-spectrum CBD oil does not contain any THC, therefore it is best for those worried about drug tests.

What is the difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD?

The term “isolate” refers to any product made up of a single compound only

CBD isolates contain only CBD without any other cannabinoids, flavonoids, fatty acids, terpenes or other compounds.

While this is often viewed as the ‘purest’ form of CBD, the journey from the organic hemp plant to isolates requires a complex chemical procedure – making isolates the product furthest removed from their natural source.

In contrast, full spectrum CBD – an extract rich in natural cannabinoids and terpenes – is the CBD product that most closely resembles the hemp plant in its natural form.

CBD isolate is completely THC free, whereas full-spectrum products will contain THC traces. Unlike with full-spectrum CBD, consuming isolates will not allow you to benefit from the entourage effect.

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Is full spectrum CBD legal in the UK?

Yes, full spectrum CBD is legal in the UK – with conditions.

The product must contain less than 1mg THC, and must be derived from industrial hemp – rather than the cannabis plant.  Full spectrum CBD products must also have Novel Foods authorisation.

Tips for choosing the best full spectrum CBD oil

“So how do I know my CBD is full-spectrum? Which products can I trust?”

With many shady operators lurking in CBD land and widespread CBD scams, knowing which products you can trust and what’s safe to consume can be challenging. 

Here are some guidelines that might help:

  • Always check that your full spectrum CBD oil comes with a certificate of analysis. This will outline the cannabinoids in your CBD and state the concentration levels of each cannabinoid. 
  • Always also ensure the product you choose has been third-party lab tested. This will ensure that an outside, unbiased source has checked that what a company is saying is legitimate. If this can’t be confirmed, we’d advise you to stay away!
  • We also recommend you choose organic full-spectrum CBD. If your product is certified organic, you’ll know it is free from pesticides, fungicides and GMOs.

Frequently asked questions:

No, full-spectrum CBD contains only a tiny amount of THC – so it won’t get you stoned.
Full spectrum CBD oil can be found in all varieties, shapes and sizes. Some of the strongest bottles available on the UK market have up to 5000mg of CBD in each bottle. Legally, full spectrum CBD can only contain up to 1mg of THC per bottle.

Final thoughts on full spectrum CBD

If you’re looking to benefit from the entourage effect and extract maximum therapeutic value from your CBD, full-spectrum is an excellent choice. 

But do be warned – full-spectrum contains traces of THC. You won’t feel any psychoactive effects, but regularly consuming full spectrum products may lead to failing a drug test. 

If this is of concern – but you’d still like cannabinoid and terpene-rich products – we’d suggest you look at broad-spectrum CBD, the type we sell at Evopure.

With broad spectrum, you’ll still benefit from the entourage effect but remain safe in the knowledge your product is THC free.