Education | April 06, 2021

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Benefits and Why It's the Best Type of CBD Oil

By Dagmara Mach
Ned 1500 mg CBD Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

Contains hundreds of phytochemicals | What's inside | Health benefits | Immune benefits | Skin benefits | Brain benefits | Digestive benefits | What makes a true full spectrum extract | Organic hemp is the only safe option

Full-spectrum hemp oil, or extract, is a whole plant Cannabis sativa extract with varied benefits including immune, skin, brain, and digestive health benefits.

Full spectrum hemp oil is a type of Cannabidiol or CBD oil made from hemp flowers only (like Ned's) or from flowers, leaves and stems, a.k.a. the aerial parts of the plant. 

Hemp's aerial parts, which as the name suggests are exposed to air, are where the hundreds of beneficial phytochemicals such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are produced. 

Unlike hemp oils made with CBD isolate, which is 99% CBD and contains no other beneficial compounds, full spectrum oil is extracted to retain the maximum number of hemp's therapeutic compounds.

Full spectrum hemp oil differs from hemp seed oil which is made from hemp seeds and does not contain CBD.

Full-spectrum hemp oil, especially when extracted from hemp flowers, is considered to be the best form of CBD oil because it retains the maximum amount of the more than 480 phytochemicals produced by hemp flowers. These include CBD, trace amounts of THC, secondary cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds.

Research suggests the rich array of active compounds found in full-spectrum hemp oil may help improve skin health, brain health, digestive health, bone health, and much more.

Hemp phytochemicals interact with many different molecular targets in our bodies to affect varied processes. CBD alone has at least 76 molecular targets [1].

Although arguably a critical ingredient in all CBD oils, CBD is just one of the hundreds of compounds that contribute to full-spectrum hemp oil’s benefits. Cannabinoids, terpenes, stilbenes, flavonoids, phloroglucinols, and alkaloids are some groups of phytochemicals produced by hemp flowers.

There is little risk of intoxication with hemp-derived CBD oils. In contrast to its cousin marijuana, a variety of Cannabis sativa that is rich in euphoria-producing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp produces very little THC. Federally legal full-spectrum hemp oils can have up to 0.3% THC, which is not enough to produce a high.

Ned Full Spectrum Hemp Oil


Full-spectrum hemp is best because it is rich in therapeutic phytochemicals

Full-spectrum hemp oil is a type of CBD oil made from a whole-plant hemp extract. A CBD oil can be any oil containing the cannabinoid CBD.

True full-spectrum hemp oil is abundant in active phytochemicals whereas the other two common types of CBD oil — CBD isolate and broad-spectrum (a watered-down full-spectrum) — are not.

CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD that can be added to oils. Oils made with CBD isolate do not contain other beneficial compounds that can be extracted from hemp and do not produce the entourage effect. Such oils are often found in grocery stores and perhaps unsurprisingly some people report “not feeling anything” when taking them.

Broad-spectrum hemp oil, or broad-spectrum CBD, is processed with a solvent to remove THC. It can also refer to oil with CBD isolate that has had terpenes and/or cannabinoids added to it. Although broad-spectrum extracts attempt to retain non-cannabinoid phytochemicals, they are relatively ineffective.

Many phytochemicals such as flavonoids and terpenes are lost during extraction because they are much more volatile than cannabinoids. Depending on what parts have gone missing in the extraction process, broad-spectrum oil may be better than CBD isolate, but will likely leave you wishing for the missing pieces.

Studies have found that CBD is most effective in the presence of the hundreds of other phytochemicals produced by hemp flowers. When these compounds are consumed together they enhance each other’s desired effects and increase bioavailability and penetration through the blood-brain barrier [2]. Scientists call this synergism the “entourage effect.”

What is in full-spectrum hemp oil?

Hemp flowers are rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals, proteins, and perhaps most importantly, phenolic compounds — a group of therapeutic molecules with powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, cytotoxic, neuroprotective, and various other beneficial properties.

Phenolic compounds are the main actives in full-spectrum hemp oil, but they are also found in many foods we eat. Foods that abound in phenolic compounds such as acai berries or cherries are called “superfoods” because consumption of phenolics has been linked to delayed aging and decreased risk of chronic illness.

Cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, stilbenoids, spiroindans, lignans, and phloroglucinols are all phenolic compounds found in full-spectrum hemp oil [3]. Each of these compounds has unique effects on our bodies as well as various abilities to work together and enhance each other’s beneficial properties.

Full-spectrum hemp benefits

Full-spectrum hemp oil has whole-body benefits across many systems. Research shows phytochemicals found in full-spectrum extracts can positively affect immune health, skin health, brain health, digestive health, and more.

Immune health

The various phenolic compounds in full-spectrum hemp oil exert a multitude of positive effects on the immune system. From combating inflammation, oxidative stress, viruses, and microbes, to improving immune cell function, research shows that phenolic compounds can promote healing while reducing the risk of disease [2[4] [5] [6].

For most of these compounds, including CBD, reliable doses to achieve immunomodulatory effects have not been established in humans and more research is necessary to determine how best to harness their benefits.

CBD, is a PPARγ receptor agonist, meaning it activates these receptors. By doing so it causes the inhibition of viral replication and immunomodulation [2].

For example, CBD inhibits pro-inflammatory Th1 cytokines while promoting a Th2 cytokine immune response [7]. Cytokines are signaling proteins that allow cells to talk to each other [8]. The inflammatory Th1 cytokines play a dual role in the body because while needed as part of a healthy immune response they can also damage cells if left unchecked.

In COVID-19, the dysregulated release of Th1 cytokines - dubbed the “cytokine storm” - has been identified as a key factor behind poorer outcomes, whereas the Th2 immune response is what counteracts COVID-19 symptoms and severity [9].

Many non-cannabinoid phytochemicals in full-spectrum oil such as terpenes and flavonoids have also been found to have positive effects on the immune system.

The flavonoid Cannflavin-A, for instance, inhibits Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a hormone-like substance responsible for inflammation [10]. Other cannabis flavonoids include potent antioxidants such catechins, silymarin, kaempferol, apigenin, and orientin, a free radical scavenger powerful enough to reduce radiation damage [11].

The cannabis terpene myrcene has been found to have potent antifungal and antibacterial properties [12]. Linalool, another cannabis terpene also found in lavender oil, represses the effects of stress on cells in mouse models [13]. It can also inhibit the production of TNF-α and IL-6, proteins that modulate immunity and inflammation to produce anti-inflammatory effects [14].

Skin health

Full-spectrum hemp oil can help improve skin quality from the inside out and the outside in. From positive effects on collagen production and skin pigmentation to combating free radicals.

Internally, cannabinoids such as CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). They positively affect homeostasis or the balanced functioning of all cellular systems. These activities can help balance everything from inflammatory markers to the production of hormones.

One study showed that CBD administration was associated with significantly reduced plasma cortisol levels in humans [15]. Because cortisol increases the rate of collagen breakdown, reducing cortisol levels should be a primary focus of skin health routines.

The various phytochemicals including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, found in full-spectrum hemp oil combat free radicals to prevent oxidative stress from damaging and killing cells. Other activities associated with these compounds include promoting new cell growth, UV protection, and positive effects on various inflammatory markers.

Topical hemp products, such as CBD body butter or salves, can be absorbed through pores to interact directly with molecular targets in the skin. Some phytochemicals within these products such as terpenes can even penetrate the skin to reach the bloodstream.

Studies have shown that topical CBD application balances excessive sebum or oil production and reduces the growth of new sebocytes as well as activities against the acne-related bacteria C acnes.

Brain health

Full-spectrum hemp oil may improve brain function. The various phytochemicals within hemp oil such as cannabinoids and flavonoids perform a number of neuroprotective actions.

Dietary flavonoids have the potential to protect neurons against toxin-induced injury, an ability to suppress neuroinflammation, and the potential to promote learning, memory, and cognitive function [16].

Cannabinoids play a role in the formation of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. CBD, specifically, has been shown to promote neurogenesis as well as to exhibit anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in rats [17]. Studies suggest these effects result from CBD activating PPARγ receptors.

Other PPARγ agonists have been indicated as neuroprotective agents, supporting neuroplasticity and neurite outgrowth. For these reasons, many PPARγ ligands have been proposed for the improvement of cognitive performance [18].

CBD and THC were both shown to reduce glutamate toxicity in rat cortical neuron cultures. Symptoms of excessive glutamate in humans include anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, low energy, mental exhaustion and an increased sensitivity to pain. 

Because the effect of CBD and THC on glutamate toxicity was still observed when cannabinoid receptors were blocked, it does not appear to be cannabinoid receptor-dependent. Previous studies have shown that glutamate toxicity may be prevented by antioxidants.

CBD and THC were also demonstrated to be antioxidants by cyclic voltammetry and were shown to prevent hydroperoxide-induced oxidative damage as well as or better than other antioxidants in neuronal cultures [19].

Digestive health

Various phytochemicals found in full-spectrum hemp oil have been shown to have positive effects on digestive health. Evidence substantiates the actions of CBD, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals on intestinal inflammation, metabolism, weight gain, and more.

Another study examining metabolism and weight gain in mice found that doses of 2.5 mg/kg/day were shown to significantly decrease weight gain, whereas doses of 5mg/kg/day had an even greater effect [20].

The researchers conclude that CBD boosts metabolism in three main ways:

-Increases the body’s ability to burn calories by boosting mitochondria activity

-Reduces the availability of fat cell-making proteins

-Stimulates genes and proteins to more effectively break down and oxidize fat cells

Biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis and from intestinal segments of mice with induced inflammation found that CBD reduced levels of inflammatory markers, which in turn reduced intestinal damage [21].

A study of mice with induced colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, compared the effects of full-spectrum hemp oil vs. cbd isolate. when the researchers tested pure CBD isolate (a.k.a. not full spectrum) they found that while it normalized intestinal hypermotility, it failed to ameliorate colitis.

In contrast, CBD-rich full spectrum extract attenuated both intestinal inflammation and hypermotility, substantiating that there is much more to full-spectrum hemp extracts than CBD alone [22].

For instance, full-spectrum hemp oil is abundant in flavonoids, which have clear anti-inflammatory properties [23]. Flavonoids inhibit gastrointestinal inflammation via both direct and indirect pathways. They are extensively metabolized by gut microbiota and flavonoid metabolites modulate gut immune function [24].

True full-spectrum hemp extracts like Ned’s are rare

Full-spectrum hemp oil describes hemp extracts that retain the greatest amount of phytochemicals produced by the Cannabis plant. The term itself has no specific regulatory definition, however. As a result, some products advertised as full-spectrum hemp oils have been found to contain little to no CBD.

The goal of full-spectrum hemp extraction is to remove extraneous lipids while retaining a similar ratio of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other active compounds found in the original hemp flower. This is easier said than done and true full-spectrum hemp extracts are in fact quite rare.

Phenolic compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids are much more volatile than cannabinoids such as CBD or THC. As a result, most extractions lose significant amounts of these compounds during processing.

Co2 extraction is less effective at retaining the full array of phytochemicals present in hemp and a 2018 study published by Planta Medica showed that CO2 extraction drastically changed the chemical composition of cannabis strains.

Cold and slow organic ethanol extraction, the process used by Ned, is the only process to yield true full-spectrum hemp oil.

Organic hemp is the only safe option

Hemp is a cleaning crop, used to absorb environmental toxins and radioactivity from polluted areas. Thus it’s important to know where and how hemp plants are grown and harvested. Plants exposed to chemical pesticides or grown near toxic environments will be tainted and may expose users to unknown levels of pollutants.

Hemp is known as a “soil sucker” because it acts like a vacuum heavily drawing up nutrients and purifying the soil from contaminants. Because some areas are naturally exposed to pesticides and herbicides from nearby farms or have high amounts of heavy metals in local soil, even organic CBD products can become tainted.

Even in low amounts, long-term dosage with heavy metals or pesticides, especially those that are carcinogenic, can lead to health problems. The only way to be sure your product is free of toxins is to get to know who grows your hemp and carefully review 3rd party lab test reports for each product you purchase.

Ned actively works with its farmer to produce the cleanest, safest, and most organic products. Ned’s hemp flowers are sourced from 2 family-run organic hemp farms in Colorado. Our Full Spectrum Hemp Collection comes from Farmer Jonathan in Paonia, CO, and our Natural Cycle Collection is grown by grandmothers Cheri and Lynn in Platteville, CO.


Research citations:

[1] Mlost, J., Bryk, M., & Starowicz, K. (2020). Cannabidiol for Pain Treatment: Focus on Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(22), 8870.

[2] Stasiłowicz, A., Tomala, A., Podolak, I., & Cielecka-Piontek, J. (2021). Cannabis sativa L. as a Natural Drug Meeting the Criteria of a Multitarget Approach to Treatment. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(2), 778.

[3] Andre, C. M., Hausman, J. F., & Guerriero, G. (2016). Cannabis sativa: the plant of the thousand and one molecules. Frontiers in plant science, 7, 19.

[4] Wong, C. P., & Morita, H. (2020). 1.08 Bacterial Type III Polyketide Synthases. Comprehensive Natural Products III, 250.

[5] Miyake, Y., & Hiramitsu, M. (2011). Isolation and extraction of antimicrobial substances against oral bacteria from lemon peel. Journal of food science and technology, 48(5), 635-639.

[6] Nadjib, B. M. (2020). Effective antiviral activity of essential oils and their characteristic terpenes against coronaviruses: An update. J. Pharmacol. Clin. Toxicol, 8(1), 1138.

[7] Mamber, S. W., Krakowka, S., Osborn, J., Saberski, L., Rhodes, R. G., Dahlberg, A. E., ... & McMichael, J. (2020). Can unconventional immunomodulatory agents help alleviate COVID-19 symptoms and severity?. MSphere, 5(3).

[8] Zhang, J. M., & An, J. (2007). Cytokines, inflammation and pain. International anesthesiology clinics, 45(2), 27.

[9] de la Rica, R., Borges, M., & Gonzalez-Freire, M. (2020). COVID-19: in the eye of the cytokine storm. Frontiers in Immunology, 11, 2313.

[10] Barrett, M. L., Gordon, D., & Evans, F. J. (1985). Isolation from Cannabis sativa L. of cannflavin—a novel inhibitor of prostaglandin production. Biochemical pharmacology, 34(11), 2019-2024.

[11] Vrinda, B., & Devi, P. U. (2001). Radiation protection of human lymphocyte chromosomes in vitro by orientin and vicenin. Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, 498(1-2), 39-46.

[12] Filipowicz, N., Kamiński, M., Kurlenda, J., Asztemborska, M., & Ochocka, J. R. (2003). Antibacterial and antifungal activity of juniper berry oil and its selected components. Phytotherapy Research, 17(3), 227-231.

[13] Nakamura, A., Fujiwara, S., Matsumoto, I., & Abe, K. (2009). Stress repression in restrained rats by (R)-(−)-linalool inhalation and gene expression profiling of their whole blood cells. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 57(12), 5480-5485.

[14] Huo, M., Cui, X., Xue, J., Chi, G., Gao, R., Deng, X., ... & Wang, D. (2013). Anti-inflammatory effects of linalool in RAW 264.7 macrophages and lipopolysaccharide-induced lung injury model. Journal of Surgical Research, 180(1), e47-e54.

[15] Zuardi, A. W., Guimaraes, F. S., & Moreira, A. C. (1993). Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers. Brazilian journal of medical and biological research= Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas, 26(2), 213-217.

[16] Spencer, J. P. (2009). Flavonoids and brain health: multiple effects underpinned by common mechanisms. Genes & nutrition, 4(4), 243-250.

[17] Esposito, G., Scuderi, C., Valenza, M., Togna, G. I., Latina, V., De Filippis, D., ... & Steardo, L. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces Aβ-induced neuroinflammation and promotes hippocampal neurogenesis through PPARγ involvement. PloS one, 6(12), e28668.

[18] d’Angelo, M., Castelli, V., Catanesi, M., Antonosante, A., Dominguez-Benot, R., Ippoliti, R., ... & Cimini, A. (2019). PPARγ and Cognitive Performance. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(20), 5068.

[19] Hampson, A. J., Grimaldi, M., Axelrod, J., & Wink, D. (1998). Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95(14), 8268–8273.

[20] Ignatowska-Jankowska, B., Jankowski, M. M., & Swiergiel, A. H. (2011). Cannabidiol decreases body weight gain in rats: involvement of CB2 receptors. Neuroscience letters, 490(1), 82–84.

[21] De Filippis, D., Esposito, G., Cirillo, C., Cipriano, M., De Winter, B. Y., Scuderi, C., ... & Iuvone, T. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. PLoS One, 6(12), e28159.

[22] Pagano, E., Capasso, R., Piscitelli, F., Romano, B., Parisi, O. A., Finizio, S., ... & Borrelli, F. (2016). An orally active cannabis extract with high content in cannabidiol attenuates chemically-induced intestinal inflammation and hypermotility in the mouse. Frontiers in pharmacology, 7, 341.

[23] Gil-Cardoso, K., Ginés, I., Pinent, M., Ardévol, A., Blay, M., & Terra, X. (2016). Effects of flavonoids on intestinal inflammation, barrier integrity and changes in gut microbiota during diet-induced obesity. Nutrition Research Reviews, 29(2), 234-248.

[24] Pei, R., Liu, X., & Bolling, B. (2020). Flavonoids and gut health. Current opinion in biotechnology, 61, 153-159.


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