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The Full-Spectrum Difference: The Hemp Oil You Should Really Be Reaching For

NASM Certified Personal Trainer
By Matt Scheetz, NASM-CPT
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Matt Scheetz is a brand strategist at mindbodygreen and a NASM-certified personal trainer.

In the few short years since it burst onto the scene, hemp oil has more than proven its worth as a powerful addition to your health and wellness routine. With so much emerging interest, the current choices for hemp oil are seemingly endless (and a bit intimidating, at that). It can be (understandably) confusing to decide which one is right for your unique needs.

The good news? There ARE some key things to look for on a hemp label—from checking the THC percentage, to understanding third-party testing (look for a certificate of authenticity (COA)), to making sure it’s free of any artificial additives. 

Paramount to anything, however, is one simple question—is this a full-spectrum hemp product? 

Even if you do find a full-spectrum hemp oil, that doesn’t mean they’re all created equally. Buying from a trusted brand—we’re big fans of the Synchronicity™ line by Colorado-based company, Functional Remedies—that rigorously tests its products and strives for the highest levels of quality, potency, and purity can make all the difference.

What does it mean to be full-spectrum?

What separates full-spectrum from other hemp products is the amount of cannabinoids they contain. You’ve probably heard this word before (you did click on this article, after all), but here’s a quick refresher: Cannabinoids are compounds found in the Cannabis plant that interact with your body to impact primary functions like pain, stress, appetite, and energy metabolism. 

CBD “isolate” products contain a single cannabinoid (CBD), while a full-spectrum hemp product contains the full spectrum of the plant's cannabinoids—including CBD—as well as other beneficial compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. This is why “hemp oil” and “CBD” are not always the same thing, and why the difference matters.

But wait,? I thought CBD was all I needed?

Not even close. There’s research to show that using a CBD isolate product is not as effective as using a full-spectrum product. It all comes down the entourage effect1: Put simply, this is the synergy that occurs when combining multiple Cannabis compounds. This synergy explains why a full-spectrum product has a greater therapeutic potential than an isolate product.

When CBD is combined with supportive compounds and antioxidants from the hemp plant, you’ve got the whole system working for you (for more on this, check out Dr. Robert Rountree’s talk at mindbodygreen’s revitalize event). Think of it this way: Taking CBD on its own is like using your smartphone only to take pictures of your dog. While it may be effective for this purpose, there’s a whole lot more to unlock.

Don’t forget—quality counts, too. 

The way that hemp-derived products are labeled can differ vastly between one brand and another, so it's imperative you do your research. If you’re looking to really reap the benefits of the entourage effect, a full-spectrum hemp oil like synchronicity might be right for you. Regardless of your preferred delivery method—topicals, ingestibles, or aromatherapy—this brand has solutions for just about every need.

Beyond that, remember to look out for the basics when decoding the labels on these products:
  • Check for allergies
  • Take note of the serving size 
  • Make sure the product has a COA (i.e., it’s been tested by a third party). 

The regulations around hemp and CBD products change all the time, so it’s also important to stay educated and informed on the up-to-date research.

Lucky for you, we already do that.

Matt Scheetz, NASM-CPT author page.
Matt Scheetz, NASM-CPT
NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Matt Scheetz is a brand strategist at mindbodygreen. He’s a NASM-certified personal trainer, so he’s usually the person everyone comes to when they need a new workout routine. He’s usually at the gym before the sun rises, which makes sense since his favorite hobby is eating things that make it necessary to be at the gym before the sun rises.