The Details on Full Spectrum Hemp Oil: What is it and how does it work?

Hemp oil has become increasingly popular in the United States across several industries and customer demographics. Despite the rise in the popularity of CBD and hemp oil products, many users and curious would-be customers are still unsure of exactly what full-spectrum hemp oil is and how the cannabinoids interact with the body. 

Hemp is a plant that contains active and essential compounds, including CBD, minerals, vitamins, and terpenes. Hemp oil is extracted from the biomass of the hemp plant that has been processed for extraction after harvest. The first step in the process is to dry the leaves, flowers, and stems of mature hemp plants, where the oil is extracted from. There are a variety of extraction methods, but one of the best methods is CO2 extraction, which does not utilize harsh chemicals or solvents.  All Apis Mercantile extracts are processed using a CO2 system, guaranteeing no residual solvents will be found in the resulting product. 

Along with various extraction methods, there are many different types of hemp extracts available.  Broadly speaking, the extracts fall into a number of categories including full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate extracts. Full-spectrum hemp oil is also referred to as whole-plant extract; the oil is extracted from the hemp plant and it contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. These cannabinoids react with the body’s central nervous system and have a major impact on many of the body’s functions including sleep, pain, and mood. Hemp oil also contains vitamins, minerals, omega acids, flavonoids, chlorophyll and terpenes. 

In the United States, full-spectrum hemp oil must contain less than the FDA’s legal limit of THC (.3%) to be sold in interstate commerce. Because the full spectrum hemp extract used in Apis Mercantile’s products has a legal amount of THC, the hemp oil is legal to ship to all states within the U.S. While state laws regarding THC content and labeling guidelines still vary, in South Carolina, the state’s Department of Agriculture is the regulating authority.  As a licensed food manufacturer, we are regularly inspected by a representative of the SCDA.  

Of the cannabinoids found in hemp oil, CBD is the most prominent, making up the majority of the cannabinoid content. In fact, the hemp extracts used in the production of our products are derived from plants specifically bred for their high CBD content. Studies have found that CBD offers tremendous health benefits to users, including anxiety relief and muscle relaxation. 

With drug testing in mind, whenever possible, it’s always best to use a full spectrum hemp product. The benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil may exceed those offered by isolated cannabinoids like stand-alone CBD. This is because all of the cannabinoids, minerals, and vitamins work in unison to create what has been deemed the “Entourage Effect.” Originally coined in 1998, the theory is that when all cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant are taken in unison, the beneficial effects of each compound are heightened; studies show that the benefits were far diminished when taken individually. For this reason, full-spectrum hemp oil is the most beneficial choice.


When shopping for hemp oil, it is important to read the label to understand what the product is and the quality of the product. Full-spectrum hemp oil is often sold in capsules, tablets, balms, tinctures and more. But not all products are full-spectrum, eliminating the beneficial “Entourage Effect.” Although these products do not offer the full benefits of the Entourage Effect, they are still effective products.  Some consumers are limited in their ability to use full-spectrum hemp products because of drug testing or other concerns.  When this is the case, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products are a great alternative.

Other common hemp extracts include:

- Broad-spectrum hemp oil. This product contains all of the compounds found in full-spectrum hemp oil, except the THC, which is stripped from the oil. 

- CBD isolate. This product contains only CBD, which is isolated from the remainder of the cannabinoids via cold CO2 stripping method. 

- Hemp seed oil. Made from the seeds of the hemp plant and not the flowers and leaves, this product contains amino acids and vitamins, but no cannabinoids

Because of the legal status of cannabis products in the United States for the last several decades, research on the efficacy of hemp products is still limited, and hemp oil retailers are banned from making significant claims with regard to the benefits or effectiveness of the product. As one of the leading Charleston hemp oil retailers, we recommend that those interested in purchasing full-spectrum health oil do their research on hemp oil’s benefits, which have been noted in numerous studies. 

Full-spectrum hemp oil can be an incredible addition to your daily self-care routine, providing a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, and minerals that can promote multiple forms of healing and therapeutic effect. If you have any questions about hemp oil or our full-spectrum hemp oil tincture, contact Apis Mercantile; we’d be happy to help guide you through our products and ins and outs of hemp extracts!