There is a recurring issue that appears on social media, various blogs, and even in newspapers. It is the misconception that CBD oil is the same thing as CBD e-liquid, and both are the same as full spectrum cannabis oil, or FSO. One is neither a substitute for, nor interchangeable with, the others! Understanding these differences is vital.
In a nutshell:
- CBD oil is a carrier oil containing cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid
- CBD e-liquid is a solution of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerol (VG) containing CBD
- full spectrum oil (FSO), also known as full extract cannabis oil (FECO), is an oil containing all the cannabinoids and other compounds found in the cannabis it was made from, including the psychoactive cannabinoid THC
True full spectrum cannabis oil faithfully retains the bioactive profile of the cannabis buds it was made from, including the ratios of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. This sets it apart from cannabis oil made with alcohol (often called Rick Simpson Oil, after the man who popularised it) and butane hash oil (BHO).
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid currently overtaking THC as the active principle in cannabis that medical professionals and patients alike are most interested in. However, it is only one of the hundred-plus cannabinoids found in cannabis. Together with an equally large number of terpenes, these chemicals work synergistically to create the entourage effect.
Both CBD e-liquids and CBD oil only contain cannabidiol, and lack the numerous other cannabinoids and terpenes contained in FSO (hence the names ‘full spectrum oil’ and ‘full extract cannabis oil’). CBD e-liquids can only be used in a vaporizer or e-cigarette designed for e-liquids, whereas FSO and CBD oil can be ingested in a variety of ways (orally, sublingually, topically, and – if hydrosoluble – anally) and added to many different carriers such as ointments, sweets, and drinks.
Why is it so important to know the difference between CBD oil and full extract cannabis oil?
People throughout Europe and the UK who are unfamiliar with cannabis are attempting to make sense of the sudden shift from it being portrayed in the media as ‘marijuana, gateway drug to psychosis and suicide’ to CBD products appearing in health food shops and full spectrum cannabis oil being permitted for children with epilepsy. In this confusing mix we also have CBD e-liquids. Do they have beneficial properties too, or are they part of the current trend for adding CBD to everything from lip balm to lubricant?
We will begin with the two oils. There are various important differences between cannabidiol (CBD) oil and full spectrum cannabis oil. They range from how the two types of oil are made, to their legal status, and most importantly their effects on the endocannabinoid system. It can be tricky to stay on top of all the developments and nuances in the rapidly evolving field of medicinal cannabis, even in countries where it’s more or less legal.
Potential harm can come from people thinking they can cure serious afflictions using regular CBD products
In the quagmire of partial information, misinformation, and flat-out falsehoods still circulating about cannabis, it is no surprise that there is confusion about the difference between CBD oil, CBD e-liquid, and full spectrum cannabis oil. What is deeply worrying is the potential harm that can come from people thinking that they can treat serious afflictions using regular CBD products.
The impetus for this article came from a comment, on a news story about full spectrum cannabis oil, from a person who thought they would be able to cure their father’s cancer with 3% CBD oil from a health food shop and intended to stop his other treatment. CBD is an astonishing cannabinoid, but in its current commercially available form it cannot cure cancer, stop epileptic seizures, or accomplish the kind of major feats that full spectrum cannabis oil sometimes – but not always – can.
What is in CBD oil?
There are obviously many different CBD products flooding the market right now, and generalising about their composition is not as useful to our readers as being specific about the Sensi Seeds CBD range.
The cannabidiol used for Sensi Seeds products is blended with organic hempseed oil. Both ingredients are sourced from industrial hemp plants grown in the EU. The production is carefully monitored at all stages, giving a complete oversight of the supply chain. To offer the most convenience, Sensi Seeds CBD oil comes in capsules; mixed with coconut oil, for a milder flavour; and in bottles with a dropper for dosing.
The most important component is the cannabinoid CBD, or cannabidiol. Whilst not psychoactive, CBD does have relaxing properties, and studies have demonstrated its efficacy in treating various forms of anxiety.
What is in full spectrum cannabis oil?
Full spectrum cannabis oil, or FSO, contains the complete range of cannabinoids and terpenes that can be extracted from cannabis. These are the components that are known to have medicinal properties, many of which are still being researched and explored. FSO also contains the flavonoids and other compounds that give cannabis its unique pigment profiles.
The main difference between FSO and other extracts (such as shatter and wax) in terms of the content is that these important chemicals are carefully included, rather than lost during the filtration process.
Legality of CBD oil and FSO
The legality of both CBD and FSO is still being refined, debated and flat-out argued about in various countries around the world. CBD is fully legal in areas where cannabis itself is legal. In the UK and EU, CBD products are legal as food supplements, and both CBD and FSO are legal when prescribed by a medical professional. In practice, there are still only a handful of cases where prescriptions have been issued.
It is important to note that CBD products cannot be sold as anything other than food supplements without the approval of medicinal authorities, and the certification of the retailer as a pharmaceutical business. In other words, if CBD is a medicine, it has to be prescribed and sold as a medicine. If it is a food supplement, it can be sold by any retailer.
This also holds true for CBD e-liquids, where the CBD is basically counted as a flavouring. FSO (since it contains THC) is illegal anywhere that cannabis is illegal. Its status in areas with legal recreational or medical cannabis is still unpredictable. If you are in any doubt, we advise you to check with a legal specialist in your area to obtain the most up-to-date information.
Medicinal applications of CBD oil and FSO
As already stated, CBD in Europe sits in the awkward position of a substance that is not recognised as a medicine, yet undoubtedly has therapeutic properties. At the time of writing, there are 2,387 results for research papers on cannabidiol on PubMed, the online resource of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
Both anecdotal and scientific evidence indicate that CBD oil can help with an extensive range of ailments including, but not limited to, osteoarthritis, painful diabetic neuropathy, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and epilepsy. Research continues apace, so it is certain that this list will continue to grow.
Full spectrum cannabis oil is also still under investigation. It too promises to reveal a plethora of medicinal uses. The current evidence demonstrates that full spectrum cannabis oil successfully carries and concentrates the effects of the cannabis it is made from. Therefore, everything that can be treated with herbal cannabis can potentially be treated with even greater efficacy using full spectrum cannabis oil.
As mentioned above, the characteristic that really sets full spectrum cannabis oil apart from CBD oil (and indeed, all other types of cannabis and hemp oil) is that it contains all of the bioactive compounds of the buds it is made from, so that the entourage effect – a phenomenon that is still not fully understood – is not lost, but concentrated.
The ease of administering oil is obviously much greater than that of administering cannabis buds, and the dosage can be far more accurately calibrated. For many people (and obviously for children), this makes both types of oil preferable to smoking and vaping.
So what is the definition of CBD e-liquid?
‘CBD e-liquids’ is the collective term for a wide range of slightly different fluids, also known as ‘CBD vape oil’ or ‘CBD vape juice’. They are used in a vaporizer or e-cigarette, as an alternative to smoking. Many e-cigarettes resemble traditional cigarettes, some are similar to large pens, and it is even possible to obtain e-pipes, for people desiring a Sherlock Holmes look.
Advantages of CBD e-liquids
The advantages of vaping CBD e-liquids are manifold. Since CBD is not psychoactive, all its beneficial effects are obtainable without the side-effect of getting high, which for some patients is the factor that deters them from trying any type of cannabis extract. And since e-liquids are vaporized, this removes the other common deterrent: having to smoke cannabis to achieve the effects of CBD.
CBD e-liquid ingredients
CBD e-liquids most commonly have a base of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerol (VG), to which a variety of other ingredients are added, depending on the desired effects. These ingredients include flavourings, sometimes nicotine, and – of most interest to us – the cannabinoid CBD.
Propylene glycol has a wide range of applications, from being the humectant food additive E1520 to a carrier ingredient in injectable, topical and oral drugs. A very small amount of people are allergic to it, reacting with sore, dry skin on the face and/or a rash of small red dots on the body, so watch out for this if you are vaping for the very first time. (However, most allergy sufferers are already aware of their condition, since PG is used in so many everyday items, including aerosol cream, ice-cream, soft drinks, and cosmetics.)
Vegetable glycerol is also used as a humectant, solvent, and sweetener. It has been used for many years as an alternative to alcohol in tinctures and herbal extracts to preserve their quality. Both PG and VG are clear, odourless, slightly sweet tasting semi-viscous liquids which, when heated, produce a vapour that can be inhaled as a carrier for the other ingredients.
Flavourings are included simply to create a pleasant inhalation experience, referred to in e-liquid circles as ‘throat hit’ and ‘mouth feel’. Flavours range from basic (fruity, smoky, mint) to exotic (tequila, ylang-ylang, orange blossom) to downright confusing (Greek yoghurt, peanut butter, Christmas pudding).
Obviously, if you are not already a tobacco user, it’s not a good idea to start inhaling e-liquids containing nicotine since you will swiftly develop one of the most pointless addictions of the modern age.
On the other hand, if you are a tobacco user, switching to e-cigarettes with an e-liquid containing nicotine has the advantage of eliminating the tar and chemicals that are inhaled along with the smoke, and may make it easier to quit smoking altogether.
How is CBD oil made?
All Sensi Seeds CBD products start with CBD oil. It is perhaps unique among CBD oils in that Sensi Seeds has complete oversight and quality control over every stage of the manufacturing process, from seed to finished product. The whole process is detailed here (with a great animation!). A crucial difference between Sensi Seeds CBD oil and many other CBD oils is the extraction process, which is accomplished with supercritical CO2 rather than solvents.
How is full spectrum cannabis oil made?
Full spectrum cannabis oil is also made without the use of solvents. Because all types of cannabis oil still exist in an unregulated market, it is difficult to say what the standard method is for them. There are methods which use very strong alcohol, and even butane. The latter was used for the earliest versions of cannabis oil but has since been surpassed.
The most modern and effective techniques are the ones that retain all the 500-plus bioactive compounds that ripe buds of cannabis contain, not just the cannabinoids. These techniques and the equipment needed to achieve them are still very limited in their availability.
Unfortunately, full spectrum cannabis oil is not something that can be professionally made in a domestic kitchen. There are those who try – often because there are no other avenues open to them, which is the fault of current legislation – but many of the compounds are lost, and it is extremely difficult to create a clean and consistent product.
As legislation advances to allow access to more sophisticated and therefore more effective medicinal cannabis products, it is to be hoped that more and more laboratories open up to producing true full spectrum cannabis oil. In turn, this will lead to more research and more people being able to use it.
Which one is right for you?
This is the question that, unfortunately, we can’t answer. If you are interested in knowing more about what cannabinoids can do for your health, exploring the many articles on this blog about the medicinal use of cannabis is a good start.
As with any and all changes you are considering making to your diet or healthcare routine, always consult a qualified medical professional first.
- Disclaimer:This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or other licensed medical professional. Do not delay seeking medical advice or disregard medical advice due to something you have read on this website.
61 thoughts on “Full Spectrum Cannabis Oil, CBD Oil, and CBD E-Liquids – What Are the Differences?”
Cannabis can make people delighted. Cigarette smoking weed just makes you feel the like!.❤
Thank you for sharing such important information about CBD products
thanks so much share a nice post. CBD oil is used for health problem issue to solve it. for example mind stress problem
This information about cbd mechanisms are very interesting and so helpful the benefits of CBD e-fluids are complex. Although the full range of its medicinal properties are still at the testing stage, there is an ever-increasing amount of scientific
I don´t know about you guys but CBD gummies are by far the best way to consume cannabidiol so, whether your taking CBD for pain relief or even anxiety, shewing a gum it´s also very therapeutic.
Thank you for sharing this valuable information.
I’m looking forward to learning more!
CBD FOR ATHLETES
CBD oil is also an antioxident. The research is there, just no human clinical studies.
great and useful about cbd. thanks for sharing this with all
I want to know if your e-liquid CBD oil is cut with vitamin E Acetate, the component apparently related to the ilness/deaths in USA.
Thanks for your question. I have checked with our manufacturer and there is no vitamin E acetate in our e-liquids 🙂
With best wishes,
I trust that this message finds you well. I have tried to contact you via email but it has bounced twice now so I am giving your contact form a go.
I enjoy blogging in my spare time and I have written a couple of articles for your blog sensiseeds.com.
Thanks for your comment, and your interest in our blog. I have attempted to email you but it was returned as undeliverable so I am replying here. I appreciate your offer of articles, but at this time we are not accepting unrequested submissions for publication. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog, and wish you good luck with your writing.
With best wishes,
Great writing! You have a flair for informational writing. Your content has impressed me beyond words. I have a lot of admiration for your writing. Thank you for all your valuable input on this topic.
I have chronic back pain and have to take strong painkillers daily and sometimes liquid morphine.
Im very interested in what CBD oil can do for me . my question is , does the CBD vape solution contain nicotine as I’m not a smoker but vaping seems the best and quickest way to take it . Await your reply with hope at finding relief for my pain .
Thanks for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your situation. In answer to your question about nicotine in our CBD e-liquid, no, it does not contain nicotine.
I am obliged to add that, as Sensi Seeds is not a medical agency or practitioner, we cannot give any kind of medical advice other than to consult our registered healthcare professional. This article about the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis might be useful for you to show your healthcare provider if they are not familiar with it.
You may also find it helpful to contact a support group for medicinal cannabis patients. In the UK there is the United Patients Alliance, and throughout much of the rest of the world there is NORML, who should be able to put you in touch with a group in your area (search United Patients Alliance or NORML followed by your area name).
This are our pages on medicinal cannabis and medicinal cannabis strains, which you might also find interesting.
With best wishes,
Thank you for sharing such a important information, as rarely people know this use of CBD. I know about CBD but not aware the CBD can be use in this way as well.
Because of Atrial Fib and Neuropathy, and my medications I cannot use
Great article, thnx . For the sensitive person use chemical meds. for years,cbd is a welcome alternative and good start into hemp as medicine. To feel confortable the patient need a experienced individual advice . Greets hp.
I think the government are hypocrites and are attempting to protect their business interests. I read in the Gaurdian that the Prime Minister, Mrs May, her Husband is a major shareholder in GW Pharmacueticals who have over 40 patents registered for cannabis products.
As for the drugs ministers husband growing acres of weed and her declininng to talk on the subject…shame on them all. Why theheck have they criminalised and ruined so many honest but sick people’s lives when there profiting from weed.
They should give a pardon and compensation from their profits. There just dealers withicences
This explanation was excellent I didn’t know the difference and now I know what I need to use thank you so much
On a weekly basis via Twitter, iProactively call for the legalisation of Cannabis. iAm astounded by the blatant and deliberate ignoring of the facts regarding Cannabis and it, a health benefits. Our Government time and time again resorts to using public health safety as the reason for banning all use of Marijuana, while being the largest manufacturer and exporter of Full Spectrom cannabis oil.
It is time we the British public took our government to court for deliberate control of Marijuana purely to profit rich entrepreneurs by turning a herb into a commodity for wealthy government funded businessman.
Even after a quarter of a million signatures in 2017 calling on the UK government to hold another debate in Parliament to legalise the recreational use of Marijuana, Our government refused to debate it and to this day, refuses to legalize recreational use of cannabis a week after agreeing to license Full Spectrum Cannabis oil from October 2018.
In a country where the common people have lost faith in its democracy, in it’s corrupt governmen, this revolution to free the weed, is a very hard struggle.
iAlso Voted To Remain In Europe BTW✖
Olá! Sei que todos os produtos de origem da cannabis não são vendidos para o Brasil. A minha pergunta é: eu posso comprar pessoalmente numa loja no Reino unido ou na UE e trazer para o meu pais? Qual seria a implicação legal se ele vendido como suplemento alimentar?
Receio não poder responder a essa pergunta, pois não sei sobre a lei brasileira. Meu conselho é entrar em contato com um especialista legal no Brasil, e / ou com os funcionários da Alfândega e do Consumo, e verificar com eles antes de decidir trazer quaisquer produtos de maconha (incluindo o óleo da CBD) para o seu país. Desculpe eu não posso ser mais ajuda!
Com os melhores votos,
One question; what is the difference between Cannabis Hemp oil and Cannabis Marijuana oil using the following types of Cannabis sativa, Cannabis sativa Hemp Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis and/or a hybrid of each combined in regards to medical use?
How do eCBE’s work in this medical formula?
Hi Bill, Cannabis and Marijuana is the same thing. Hemp contains very little THC and is used for food and commercial products like paper, rope, canvas, and textiles. Have a look here for the difference between Indica and Sativa. Best, Olivier
A very unsatisfactory article. What is the point of telling people about FSO if you do not tell how it can be obtained. Also what is the point of denigrating home-made FSO when Rick Simpson seems to have so much success. Thirdly what is the point of saying there is only one process to obtain FSO without saying what it is.
Hi Doug, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately FSO is still illegal, also here in the Netherlands. There is only one pharmacy in The Hague where medicinal cannabis users can obtain FSO (with a valid prescription that is). By no means do we want to disrespect Rick Simpson. We are as thrilled about his success as everyone else and interviewed him back in 2006. You can find the interview here. Have a wonderful week! Olivier
Thank you for explaining.
I recently came in to contact with an elderly gentleman who is in serious pain with a hip that is very painfull,,but due to age ,cant be operated on..
He is willing to try anything and is now discussing it with his GP.
I feel for him and did wonder if fso or cbd 16% would help
As its organic,as opposed to pharmacutical pain killers.????
Anyone informed,,would love some other opionions.
Anthony, I hope your gentleman friend can find an informed doctor. I’m 71, (can’t bring myself to consider myself elderly just yet!) & have had serious problems with fibromyalgia, lousy knees from years of running, a broken tailbone, & deteriorated discs in my back & neck causing pain. I’ve been using CBD for just over 2 months & have so much less pain than before. When I started I told my dr, & he said to increase the dosage of what I’d started with. And that did the trick. Hardly any pain at all unless I do something stupid & try to lift heavy boxes. A friend who is 74 has been using while awaiting knee surgery, & has found it helped him as well. My sense is that in his case the FSO is the best bet, but that’s a dr’s decision if it considered a controlled substance.
I have arthritis in my spine, hips, knees etc and was on opiots including liquid morphine for over 20 years, I was introduced to CBD oil by a friend and after weaning myself of the opiots and taking CBD oil I now am feeling much better in myself and not tired all the time ( a side effect of opioids ) I would recommend CBD oil to people who are affected by Arthritis but you must check with your GP to make sure it is ok to take with other medications.
Why do Sensi Seed only sell CBD oil and not the full spectrum oil then? I know it’s illegal in most European countries but not where Sensi Seed is based
Hi there, FSO oil is illegal in the Netherlands. There is only one pharmacy in Den Haag where medicinal cannabis users can purchase FSO oil (with a valid prescription that is). Have a good week! Olivier
Can you send me a link to the pharmacy in Den Haag that sells the FSO ? please. Many thanks.
Sure, it is the Transvaal Apotheek in The Hague. Good luck! Olivier
Great article . I shared it with my Doctors . Thank You for the dedication to explaining full spectrum and hemp oil are not the same medical benefits . Tho Hemp oil is great , The full spectrum I use is much more efficient .
Thank you for your kind words about the article, I’m very glad you found it useful (and I hope your doctor did too)! I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
With best wishes,
I like how this article is written. Your points are sound, original, fresh and interesting. This information has been made so clear there’s no way to misunderstand it. Thank you.
i would like to know if anyone could tell me how high the percentage of thc is in your cbd liquids since the laws are pretty strict with that in some areas.
Thank you for your comment. There is less than 0.05% THC in our CBD products, ensuring that they comply with Dutch law. I hope this answers your question. You may also find this video, on how Sensi Seeds produces CBD oils, interesting.
With best wishes,
Hello Sensi Seeds!
I was wondering whether your CBD e-liquid has CBD isolate or is it full spectrum CBD?
I asked our CBD expert and this is the reply: “…it is made, quite unfortunately, from isolates since full-spectrum is rather tough for e-liquids at the moment. It would take more steps to clean up extracts from unwanted oils, separating each and every component before putting them back again into a ‘cleaned mix’.” He does go on to say though that it might be possible to discover a straightforward way of doing this in the future, which would be “a game changer for e-liquids”.
I hope this fully answers your question, and that you continue to enjoy our blog.
With best wishes,
Thank you for including links to studies. As a health professional, CBD proponent and consumer, reading the studies is helpful. And yeah, I am a geek, I like reading primary material =}
This is a very informative blog. Thanks for posting.
Informative. I am also using these e juices as they helped me a lot to quit smoking.
Vaping the stuff tonight. Interesting flavor. Kind of reminds me of bitter lawn cuttings, not in a bad way. Sending some to Kellyanne Conway next week, on the off chance she’ll try it n chill.
The benefits of CBD e-fluids are complex. Although the full range of its medicinal properties are still at the testing stage, there is an ever-increasing amount of scientific and anecdotal evidence that the anti-emetic, anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects of CBD are safe, effective and highly beneficial in treating a wide range of afflictions in humans. Thanks for your useful information about CBD oil. I’m very interested in e cbd liquid but I am concerned about additives. but I want to know that how can I get it?
Thanks for your comment, you can get the CBD e-liquid here.
With best wishes,
Hello Sensi Seeds,
I have recently bought the 10ml 50mg 99% CBD bottle, I’m hoping to use it to get off tobacco. I’m curious to how much should I use in the vape pen. Should I put the whole bottle in with a bit of nicotine or what?
Thank you for your comment. It’s a little tricky to answer your question, without knowing exactly what sort of vape pen you have… I would guess that if you’re trying to get off tobacco, you could use the CBD e-liquid in three batches, decreasing the amount of nicotine that you add to each one? We’ve had very good feedback about the efficacy of this product, so hopefully it will work for you to quit tobacco! Good luck 🙂
With best wishes,
I never ever read such type of info before this was really incredible.
I cant find any information how much CBD is actually in the bottle. Packaging say: 10 ml 50 mg 99%CBD. How much of the 10 ml is 99% CBD oil and how much is glycerin and glycol?
Hello Mr M,
Thank you for your comment. Each 10ml bottle contains 50mg of CBD (99% pure extract), which works out at approximately 0.5% CBD content per bottle. The calculation is as follows:
50mg/10ml works out to 5mg/1ml. There is more or less 1000mg in 1ml, 5mg/1000mg=0.005, 0.005×100=0.5%. I hope this answers your question 🙂
With best wishes,
Hello I’m very interested in e cbd liquid but I am concerned about additives. I read that sensi grow there hemp without pesticides and herbicides which is perfect. But can you give me a list of ingredients in the vape juice? Are they anything iffy or dangerous? I’m not a fan of regular vape pens but I like the idea of cannabis compounds since cannabis is safe to use especially when vaping. Any info is much appreciated. Thank you.
Hello Graham, thanks for your comment and your interest in the CBD e-liquid. I have contacted the production team to request a breakdown of exactly what is in it apart from CBD, and I hope to have an answer for you shortly 🙂
With best wishes,
I checked with our producers and received the following information: “Only propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerol (VG). Depending on which type of CBD e-liquid, in different ratios, but that ratio is mentioned as pg:vg on the packaging.”
With best wishes,
Hi please could you let me know what the pg:vg ratio is on your cbd vape 10ml?
For the vape I just got the guy said I should use a certain ratio for it.
Thanks for your comment. The pg:vg ratio of the 10ml CBD e-liquid is 1:1, so 50% pg and 50% vg. Happy vaping!
With best wishes,
What are the best CBD e liquids? What companies are recommended?
Hi Kenny, thank you for your comment 🙂
You will be pleased to know that Sensi Seeds now has our own CBD e-liquid, just click the link for the order page. We’re having really good feedback on it, do let us know how you find it in the Product Review section! Happy vaping,
The Sensi and E-CBD liquids that I have tasted are absolutely the best ever, thanks for creating a new standard in the vaping industry guys, will keep on enjoying!!!
Make a video then you might have some emotional inpact