Full Spectrum CBD products maintain the full profile of the marijuana plant and in addition to CBD, contain a variety of other cannabinoids including: THC, CBDa, CBG, and CBN, as well as terpenes and other compounds such as flavonoids, proteins, phenols, sterols, and esters. Technically, full spectrum products can contain 0.3% or less THC, if they are derived from the hemp species, however, full spectrum CBD products derived from non-hemp marijuana tend to have a wider cannabinoid and terpene profile.
Keep in mind that while CBD can have many benefits, it is not a cure-all and should not be viewed as an alternative to your other pain care treatments. Rather, CBD should be considered a complementary treatment to add to your pain management toolbox.
Get to Know the CBD Isolate, Broad, and Full Spectrum Products
13. Nuutinen T. Medicinal properties of terpenes found in Cannabis sativa and Humulus lupulus. Eur J Med Chem. 2018;157(5):198-228.
Our natural endocannabinoids function on demand, meaning that when our body senses inflammation, or needs to return to homeostasis (a state of stable balance) it will release endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors.
These days, it seems like you can purchase CBD just about anywhere, but if it’s an option, you may want to visit a medical marijuana dispensary. Buying CDB from a medical dispensary doesn’t guarantee the product’s quality but it’s a good place to start. Before you go:
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Another reason is that a large portion of studies use synthetic, single-molecule cannabinoids instead of the medical marijuana you’d find at a dispensary, which can contain more than 400 different chemical compounds.
What constitutes ‘pain’?
“That’s one hypothesis,” says Boehnke. “There’s lots of ways in which CBD might be encouraging these effects. It’s just tough to know because CBD is such a promiscuous molecule.”
The DEA’s rescheduling of CBD and the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication used to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy, will likely have a huge effect on the research space. “It means that clinical studies of CBD could potentially be done a lot more easily,” says Boehnke. And there may be more prescription drugs on the horizon.
“It seems like if you take them together, you can tolerate more THC without having the same types of side effects,” says Boehnke, referring to THC’s penchant for causing intoxication and impairment. “Also, taking CBD and THC together, compared to a similar amount of THC alone or CBD alone, seems to have better analgesic effects.”
People looking for a safer pain reliever are turning to cannabis-derived CBD. Michigan Medicine experts weigh in on what’s currently known about the trendy supplement.
Boehnke and Clauw recommend that people with chronic pain talk to their doctor about adding CBD to their treatment plan, and continue to use their prescribed medication. They offer the following advice for people wanting to try CBD:
Want to learn more on this topic? Listen to this podcast from the Rogel Cancer Center on Medical Marijuana for Cancer Patients.
Purchase from reputable sources. Like vitamins and other supplements, CBD products aren’t regulated or FDA approved to treat disease, so buyer beware. Look for products that have been tested by an independent third party lab “so you don’t end up with a product that has THC in it or a product contaminated with heavy metals or pesticides,” says Boehnke.
Route of administration matters. CBD is best taken in pill or capsule form for slow extended release or as an oral tincture (infused oil that contains CBD) for faster effect onset.
Much of the research literature around CBD in particular supports its use as a treatment for childhood epilepsy. Indeed, in 2018 the FDA approved the CBD-based drug Epidiolex as a drug for childhood epileptic conditions. In a substantial policy shift, Epidiolex was designated as Schedule V, which is the least restrictive drug schedule and indicates little potential for abuse.