- 11/23/2023 -

Full Spectrum vs. Distillate

When it comes to CBD, one of the biggest questions that pop up in the community is whether Full Spectrum, Distillate, or Isolate is best. This is why one of our first blog posts was discussing this conversation, defining terms, and talking about something referred to as the ‘entourage effect.’ Here at Lofi, it’s not a big secret that we’re Full Spectrum fans, though Distillates and Isolates have their place.

But there are lots more questions the community has about Full Spectrum and Distillate, such as which is more effective, what has more bioavailability, and which is more cost effective. So we sat down to do some research. Bottom line: like a lot of things CBD, it’s pretty complicated. We don’t have any definitive answers, and new research is definitely needed.

However, what we can do is investigate the research we have so far.

From the Community

According to this article StratCann posted earlier this year (March 2023), when it comes to selecting CBD products, the majority of consumers aren’t necessarily paying attention to Full Spectrum labels. This article claims that around only 20% of people are asking for Full Spectrum products. That said, the term ‘Full Spectrum’ isn’t always being regulated in the first place. Currently, companies can take a distillate and put terpenes in it and still call it Full Spectrum, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the transparency we would like to see in the industry.

The Impact of THC

Since the big difference between Full Spectrum and Distillate is in the THC content, this is mostly where we wanted to focus our research efforts. That said, there wasn’t a lot out there in regards to how THC may or may not be able to make CBD more effective or bioavailable.

What we did find, however, is that THC can help CBD bind with particular receptors in a way that could limit the high of THC. It’s possible, therefore, that THC may have the potential to help make CBD more effective (and bioavailable). Additionally, THC is known for having its own unique properties and effects. If THC isn’t present in a CBD product, these effects are going to be missing. However, the interaction between CBD and THC still needs a lot more research before we can say anything definitively.

The Impact of Terpenes

The majority of research we were able to find was about terpenes. While this has less to do with the Full Spectrum versus Distillate argument, it’s still interesting and important stuff, so we thought we’d include some of the information we were able to find.

As terpenes (and other additional compounds) all have their own makeup, they all have different effects on our bodies. Cannabinoids in particular all interact with our body’s ECS in unique ways that can often compliment the effects of CBD and THC. These compounds can aid CBD, add complexity, and create a more well-rounded effect. Because of this, Isolate products may not always be as effective as Full Spectrum ones.

Terpenes may also impact the effectiveness of CBD’s attachment to ECS (CB1) receptors. There’s also some evidence that suggests these added compounds can potentially amplify the effects of CBD. It turns out that these compounds have the potential to increase the effectiveness of CBD several times over. For example, this literature review discusses a study that found that terpenes may amplify the pain management effects of cannabis by three or four times.

In general, 100mgs of Isolate isn’t necessarily comparable to 100mgs of Full Spectrum.

However, it’s important to note that a lot of this research is still very new, in vitro, and often quite speculative. In general, more research needs to be done. This study in particular calls for more research, specifically regarding the effects of terpenes, in order to breed plants that are more effective treatments for certain conditions. Additionally, the degree to which THC may impact CBD’s effectiveness or add to its overall impact isn’t clearly understood yet.

Gaps in the Research

According to this article on ProjectCBD, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to assessing CBD’s effectiveness is that the majority of experiments use Isolate instead of Full Spectrum or Distillate. This can make it challenging to assess how other compounds (terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids) all work together and impact the overall effect. That said, we do know that things like different terpenes can accentuate or add dimension to the overall experience and effect of CBD. Another thing to note is that just because CBD may be shown to be ineffective in a study, that doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD doesn’t work at all, and just that CBD may be less effective without all the other supporting compounds.

When it comes to the question of whether or not THC or other compounds can make CBD more bioavailable, that’s also a bit of a knowledge gap. Pinpointing specific bioavailability levels is a bit of a challenge in general, so we don’t really know to what degree different compounds actually impact bioavailability and how much our body is absorbing.

Notes

There isn’t a lot of comparative research out there. That is, there aren’t a lot of studies that exist comparing the effects of Distillate and Full Spectrum. Again, Isolate is most often used in scientific experiments, and if Distillate or Full Spectrum are being used, the results aren’t being compared against each other. We can learn about the effects of THC and how it may impact the effects of CBD, but without further science, it’s hard to know anything for certain.

There’s also a lot of research discussing the impact that different compounds have on the body, the ECS, and other receptors/neurotransmitters. Often times, however, these compounds are studied in isolation, so understanding their compounding effects and how they interact with CBD can be challenging. However, when these particular compounds (like THC) are missing in a product, the effects these compounds have are also missing.

If you want more information on the individual effects different compounds have, check out our posts on terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids for more information.

TL;DR

When it comes to the Full Spectrum versus Distillate conversation, what we do know is that different compounds (including THC) all have unique effects on our bodies. We know that these compounds can work together and potentially impact the overall impact CBD has. For the most part, however, we have a greater understanding how all these compounds (THC included) work in isolation than all together. Hopefully, as we continue researching, we’ll develop a stronger understanding of how THC impacts CBD’s bioavailability and effectiveness in the future.





- 11/23/2023 -

Full Spectrum vs. Distillate

When it comes to CBD, one of the biggest questions that pop up in the community is whether Full Spectrum, Distillate, or Isolate is best. This is why one of our first blog posts was discussing this conversation, defining terms, and talking about something referred to as the ‘entourage effect.’ Here at Lofi, it’s not a big secret that we’re Full Spectrum fans, though Distillates and Isolates have their place.

But there are lots more questions the community has about Full Spectrum and Distillate, such as which is more effective, what has more bioavailability, and which is more cost effective. So we sat down to do some research. Bottom line: like a lot of things CBD, it’s pretty complicated. We don’t have any definitive answers, and new research is definitely needed.

However, what we can do is investigate the research we have so far.

From the Community

According to this article StratCann posted earlier this year (March 2023), when it comes to selecting CBD products, the majority of consumers aren’t necessarily paying attention to Full Spectrum labels. This article claims that around only 20% of people are asking for Full Spectrum products. That said, the term ‘Full Spectrum’ isn’t always being regulated in the first place. Currently, companies can take a distillate and put terpenes in it and still call it Full Spectrum, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the transparency we would like to see in the industry.

The Impact of THC

Since the big difference between Full Spectrum and Distillate is in the THC content, this is mostly where we wanted to focus our research efforts. That said, there wasn’t a lot out there in regards to how THC may or may not be able to make CBD more effective or bioavailable.

What we did find, however, is that THC can help CBD bind with particular receptors in a way that could limit the high of THC. It’s possible, therefore, that THC may have the potential to help make CBD more effective (and bioavailable). Additionally, THC is known for having its own unique properties and effects. If THC isn’t present in a CBD product, these effects are going to be missing. However, the interaction between CBD and THC still needs a lot more research before we can say anything definitively.

The Impact of Terpenes

The majority of research we were able to find was about terpenes. While this has less to do with the Full Spectrum versus Distillate argument, it’s still interesting and important stuff, so we thought we’d include some of the information we were able to find.

As terpenes (and other additional compounds) all have their own makeup, they all have different effects on our bodies. Cannabinoids in particular all interact with our body’s ECS in unique ways that can often compliment the effects of CBD and THC. These compounds can aid CBD, add complexity, and create a more well-rounded effect. Because of this, Isolate products may not always be as effective as Full Spectrum ones.

Terpenes may also impact the effectiveness of CBD’s attachment to ECS (CB1) receptors. There’s also some evidence that suggests these added compounds can potentially amplify the effects of CBD. It turns out that these compounds have the potential to increase the effectiveness of CBD several times over. For example, this literature review discusses a study that found that terpenes may amplify the pain management effects of cannabis by three or four times.

In general, 100mgs of Isolate isn’t necessarily comparable to 100mgs of Full Spectrum.

However, it’s important to note that a lot of this research is still very new, in vitro, and often quite speculative. In general, more research needs to be done. This study in particular calls for more research, specifically regarding the effects of terpenes, in order to breed plants that are more effective treatments for certain conditions. Additionally, the degree to which THC may impact CBD’s effectiveness or add to its overall impact isn’t clearly understood yet.

Gaps in the Research

According to this article on ProjectCBD, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to assessing CBD’s effectiveness is that the majority of experiments use Isolate instead of Full Spectrum or Distillate. This can make it challenging to assess how other compounds (terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids) all work together and impact the overall effect. That said, we do know that things like different terpenes can accentuate or add dimension to the overall experience and effect of CBD. Another thing to note is that just because CBD may be shown to be ineffective in a study, that doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD doesn’t work at all, and just that CBD may be less effective without all the other supporting compounds.

When it comes to the question of whether or not THC or other compounds can make CBD more bioavailable, that’s also a bit of a knowledge gap. Pinpointing specific bioavailability levels is a bit of a challenge in general, so we don’t really know to what degree different compounds actually impact bioavailability and how much our body is absorbing.

Notes

There isn’t a lot of comparative research out there. That is, there aren’t a lot of studies that exist comparing the effects of Distillate and Full Spectrum. Again, Isolate is most often used in scientific experiments, and if Distillate or Full Spectrum are being used, the results aren’t being compared against each other. We can learn about the effects of THC and how it may impact the effects of CBD, but without further science, it’s hard to know anything for certain.

There’s also a lot of research discussing the impact that different compounds have on the body, the ECS, and other receptors/neurotransmitters. Often times, however, these compounds are studied in isolation, so understanding their compounding effects and how they interact with CBD can be challenging. However, when these particular compounds (like THC) are missing in a product, the effects these compounds have are also missing.

If you want more information on the individual effects different compounds have, check out our posts on terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids for more information.

TL;DR

When it comes to the Full Spectrum versus Distillate conversation, what we do know is that different compounds (including THC) all have unique effects on our bodies. We know that these compounds can work together and potentially impact the overall impact CBD has. For the most part, however, we have a greater understanding how all these compounds (THC included) work in isolation than all together. Hopefully, as we continue researching, we’ll develop a stronger understanding of how THC impacts CBD’s bioavailability and effectiveness in the future.