Whole Plant Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil: A Complete Guide For Beginners
Welcome to Functional Remedies complete Guide to Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil! Hemp products have become wildly popular in the last year and we’re here to help you sort through fact and fiction, and understand what is making hemp products so popular.
As you begin your journey into the world of cannabinoids you can use this guide to learn more about hemp, where it comes from, what goes into the production of full-spectrum hemp oil, common myths about hemp oil, and so much more.
Common Myths & Misconceptions
Myth: Full-spectrum hemp oil will get me high.
Nope! Hemp oil is produced from plants with only trace amounts of THC, and no other cannabinoid has the same psychoactive effect. You can safely take full-spectrum hemp oil without fearing any of the effects of its THC heavy relative.
Myth: Human use of the hemp plant is relatively new.
False! Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history, as far back as 12,000 BCE. Until the 20th century it was revered for its medicinal properties, depended on as a food source, and used to make paper and clothing.
Myth: Full-spectrum hemp oil & CBD oil are the same thing.
False! While full-spectrum hemp oil and CBD oil are sometimes used interchangeably, full-spectrum hemp oil is so much more than the CBD it contains. The key word here is full-spectrum: CBD oil often just contains CBD while full-spectrum hemp oil contains CBD plus an additional 100+ phytocannabinoids and other nutrients.
Myth: CBD is a cure-all for any ailment.
Unfortunately, also not true! The CBD in full-spectrum hemp oil is a great addition to any healthy lifestyle, however outside of two very rare forms of epilepsy, CBD has not been proven to treat any health conditions.
What Is Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil And Where Does It Come From?
Whole plant full-Spectrum hemp oil (not to be confused with hemp seed oil) is an oil made from the leaves and stems of the industrial hemp plant.
Industrial hemp is classified as the non-psychoactive cannabis sativa plant, and contains over 100 different phytonutrients and phytocannabinoids including CBD. Oils made from this plant can contain any number of these compounds, however an oil is classified as a “whole plant full-spectrum hemp oil” when it contains all of these phytonutrients and phytocannabinoids. Hemp oil works with the body because of a full spectrum of phytocannabinoids, a plant-based version of natural elements within the body called cannabinoids.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are a diverse class of chemical compounds, “endocannabinoid” refers to those that occur naturally in the body, while “phytocannabinoid” refers to those that occur naturally in plants. Only hemp and cannabis contain the concentration and range of cannabinoids that match those found in the body and phytocannabinoids are the primary chemical compounds found in all cannabis plants. THC and CBD are both phytocannabinoids.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and the most well-known and studied next to THC. CBD is the cannabinoid contained in the highest concentration in full-spectrum hemp oil and its level of concentration is what determines the recommended dosage.
Does Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Contain THC?
Hemp does contain trace amounts of THC, however the legal limit to be considered hemp is 0.3% THC. This level of THC is so low as to be almost non-existent and will never have a psychoactive effect or you feel high. At Functional Remedies, every batch of our hemp oil is third party tested to verify cannabinoid potency, and to ensure it is well below the 0.3% THC limit.
Why Has Hemp Oil Only Become Popular Recently?
For many years hemp suffered from the negative reputation of its psychoactive relative marijauna – both were made illegal by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which effectively ended cultivation of all forms of the cannabis plant as well as research around the benefits of cannabinoids in general.
Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Act which legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp across all 50 states Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil has seen a rise in popularity. Cultivation of hemp had previously been limited to only a handful of states since 2014, and had been completely illegal prior to that since 1970.
Why Choose Whole Plant Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Over CBD Isolate?
Phytocannabinoids work together and compound each other, so it is much more beneficial to take an oil that contains all of them, rather than a single isolate.
While CBD isolates typically contain the singular cannabinoid CBD, whole plant full-spectrum hemp oil contains 100+ phytonutrients and phytocannabinoids including CBD, plus terpenes such as beta-caryophyllene, b –pinene, humulene, and limonene, flavonoids, polyphenols, and other important hemp-derived phytocompounds. All of the phytocannabinoids working together results in what is called “the entourage effect.”
What Is The Endogenous Cannabinoid System?
The Endogenous Cannabinoid System is a system in the human body composed of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the body,) enzymes that synthesize and degrade the cannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors and named for the plant that aided in its discovery: cannabis.
Thus far scientists have identified two cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2: these receptors are found throughout the body, especially in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and regulate various physiological functions, including sleep, appetite, mood, and inflammation.
One of the reasons hemp can be therapeutic is the way phytocannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system. The body only makes endocannabinoids when it needs to – if it’s running low the ECS can become unbalanced leading to anxiety, depression, and even inflammation. The introduction of phytocannabinoids inhibits some of the enzymes that the body produces to break down the endocannabinoids, allowing the endocannabinoids to accumulate again in the system.
When you take a full-spectrum hemp oil, this effect is increased by the combination of all the phytocannabinoids, phytonutrients, and terpenes which lead to the entourage effect. The sum of all these nutrients are greater than the whole, and lead to a higher efficacy in treating the body than found with an isolated nutrient.
Why Take Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil?
Folks have begun taking full-spectrum hemp oil for a variety of reasons. Some applications we’ve seen are:
To improve sleep – full-spectrum hemp oil has become a popular sleep aid, both for overall relaxation and occasional insomnia.
To help anxiety/stress – taken for an improved mood and to alleviate emotional distress, some also try taking full-spectrum hemp oil to help deal with long term chronic stress.
For overall health and wellness – Some choose to take full-spectrum hemp oil to support a healthy lifestyle and keep their ECS in balance and replete with cannabinoids.
To treat sore muscles and/or to enhance exercise routines – Hemp oil can be used directly on sore muscles and some find it beneficial when ingested pre or post-workout.
Cosmetically (hair, skin, etc.) – Hemp oil is a lovely addition to any self-care routine, be it hair or skin. It can be applied directly as a salve or oil, or ingested orally for overall health.
To enhance the enjoyment of other substances – While full-spectrum hemp oil will never get you high or have a psychoactive effect, many enjoy adding it to beverages that contain mild stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol for their combined effect with the cannabinoids.
To share with your furry friends – Some folks have even found that their animals enjoy similar benefits to humans from the occasional dose of full-spectrum hemp oil!
How Much Do I Take?
How much hemp oil you take and the form you take it in is very much up to your body and what works best for you. We recommend that once you’ve consulted with a physician you begin by keeping a journal detailing your experimentation with full-spectrum hemp oil and how your body reacts to it. Things to consider and keep track of during this phase are what time of day you take your hemp oil, what dosage you’re taking, what form you’ve taken it in, and what effects you experience.
At Functional Remedies we offer three forms of hemp oil, each of which offers unique benefits and dosages.
Tinctures (250mg, 500mg, 1000mg)
Tinctures are the most concentrated and direct way to take full-spectrum hemp oil. With strengths of 250 or 1000 milligrams of CBD available, you can choose exactly how much (or how little) CBD you want in each dose. Tinctures also offer flexibility when it comes to how you take them as they can be taken directly by mouth or added to food or drinks. Tinctures are also a great option if you are interested in trying hemp oil cosmetically or to soothe sore muscles, either by rubbing the tincture directly onto skin or hair or added to your favorite lotion, shampoo, etc.
Capsules (10mg, 50mg, 25mg)
Capsules are a great option for ingesting hemp oil on the go, or if you find the oil itself unpleasant in taste or difficult to swallow. Because the oil is encased in a capsule you’ll find that it takes longer to notice the effects of the oil and you may experience a reduced response depending on the dosage. Capsules are the easiest way to control dosage, as each capsule has exactly 10, 25 or 50 milligrams of CBD.
Salve (500mg per ½ oz)
Salve is a lovely way to try out full-spectrum hemp oil and will have the least full-body effect. Functional Remedies’ salve is great for rubbing on sore muscles, or if you are interested in trying hemp oil out cosmetically. It’s also a convenient and easy form to take with you on the go.
When Should I Take It?
It can also be useful to use your full-spectrum hemp oil journal to determine the best time for you to take it. There is also no “optimal” or recommended time to take full-spectrum hemp oil – it is up to you to decide what works best for your body and your lifestyle. Timing for when to take it is highly dependent on how you react to hemp oil and what you want to get out of doing so. Use your journal to take note of your reactions based on time of day and what situations you take it during (are you at work? with friends?) and allow this to help you determine when you’re best suited to ingest it.
Can Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Cure Medical Conditions?
There is no evidence that full-spectrum hemp oil is a cure for medical conditions. While there are early indications that CBD could be beneficial for a number of medical conditions, the only FDA approved medical usage of CBD is the prescription drug Epidiolex to treat two forms of epilepsy.
With historically very little research around cannabinoids, the FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD. According to the FDA, there is simply not enough data on the effects of CBD to make any assertions or claims around its properties or benefits.
How Do I Know It’s Safe?
When it comes to safety, your first step is to make sure that the oil you are purchasing is of the highest quality. The hemp oil market is saturated, which means that the product efficacy and trustworthiness of many companies operating in the hemp space is dubious in many cases. Low grade industrial hemp from Europe, China, and Canada is usually low in phytocompounds and is often full of impurities including toxic heavy metals. For that reason, we recommend purchasing whole plant full-spectrum hemp oil from a company that grows and processes their hemp in the United States and is fully transparent about what is involved in the production of their hemp oil. Make sure that you are only buying hemp oil from companies that back up the quality of their products through third party testing.
Additionally, it is best to stay up to date on the recommendations by the FDA. There continue to be important questions that are yet to be answered in a consistent and scientific way by the FDA. This includes questions around the long term effects of taking hemp oil daily for a sustained period of time, and it is important to be cognizant of this when you consume products containing full-spectrum hemp oil. For this reason in particular we recommend working with your doctor to make sure that full-spectrum hemp oil is safe for you to use on a regular basis.
What Should I Look For When Buying Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil?
Every step of the process from seed, to plant, to extraction is crucial to a safe end-product. This means asking how the hemp was grown, how the oil is processed, and making sure that every step is third-party verified before you purchase your oil.
There are three tests you should look for before purchasing an oil from a new supplier.
- Pesticide testing: Even when grown organically, certain pesticides may be used on hemp plants. The same pesticides that help the hemp survive and flourish could make you extremely ill in high concentrations. Make sure your full-spectrum hemp oil has been tested and proven to be at a safe level!
- Microbiological testing: This is done to make sure there is no mold or harmful bacteria on the hemp that was used to make the hemp oil. Any pathogens that are present on the plants can easily get inside the body and have a negative effect on your health so it’s important to make sure your full-spectrum hemp oil has passed the test.
- Residual Solvents Testing: A thorough lab test will also test for any residual solvents. Concentrations of solvents like hexane, ethanol, propane, carbon dioxide or acetone can lead to some very serious health issues. Functional Remedies doesn’t use solvents in its hemp infusion process, many producers do and it’s important to know that your hemp oil is free from any residual solvents before you consume it.
While less critical to the safety of the product, knowing what the extraction process for your full-spectrum hemp oil is also important in terms of determining quality. The ideal is a hemp oil product that has undergone a hand-pressed, lipid-infusion process using few, only healthy, organic ingredients like coconut oil and hemp.
How Will I Know If It’s Working?
There is no single definition of what it means for full-spectrum hemp oil to “work” so a better question to ask is whether full-spectrum hemp oil is working for you.
We recommend maintaining a journal in which you record your intake in detail. It is the most effective way to monitor your experience with any changes you introduce to your lifestyle, and will allow you to see how your experience changes over time while taking hemp oil. Start by deciding what your goals are around taking full-spectrum hemp oil, whether it’s something specific like stress relief or just general health and wellness, and be sure to note any experiences you have directly relating to that goal.
Additionally, make sure you record:
- The time of the day you take your hemp oil
- The dosage
- The form of hemp oil (tincture, capsule, etc.) you’re taking
An hour after you consume the full-spectrum hemp oil record anything that you notice in your body, even if you aren’t sure it’s related. You may also want to consider noting any related activities or substances you’ve ingested around the same time as this will help you distinguish between effects you may be seeing from taking the full-spectrum hemp oil and other external factors. After several weeks you should be able to see if there are any patterns in how you feel after taking full-spectrum hemp oil and how it may have affected your overall health, sleep, stress-levels, etc.
As always, before you embark on this process, be sure to consult a physician in case of any unexpected side effects or interactions it could have with medications you may be on. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice any changes right away, it may take several weeks for you to have a satisfactory understanding of how full-spectrum hemp oil affects your body.
Why Functional Remedies?
With over twenty years of experience as a company, we are a rare old-timer in the hemp industry. From internal sources of expertise to third-party verification, Functional Remedies is committed to being a leader in the hemp industry and leading the way in eco-sustainable hemp farming.
We maintain a scientific approach to every aspect of our production process and constantly strive to stay on the cutting edge of hemp production. With over twenty-five years of experience researching and growing hemp, our Chief Science Officer Tim Gordon is one of the most sought-after international hemp experts in the world. Tim also serves as the Board President for the Colorado Hemp Association, is an Advisor for the National Hemp Association, consults for government entities on hemp legislation.
At Functional Remedies, we start by testing our hemp seeds and using only the most nutrient-rich seeds to grow our pesticide-free hemp plants. We then hand-press our plants to get the highest quality oils, before infusing them with lipids to preserve the phytonutrients. After 20 years of perfecting the growing and harvesting process, we are confident in the quality of our full-spectrum hemp products and we take pride in keeping that process transparent and always third-party verified.