Researchers in the world of cannabis have long suspected that the whole plant is more valuable than the sum of its parts - this theory, called the Entourage Effect, seeks to explain why isolates of certain cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, etc.) have overall been found to be more effective together than alone.
You may have heard of vape cartridges and other concentrates being labelled “full spectrum”, or “distillate”, but did you know that ingestible oils also carry this distinction?
Most licensed producers in Canada use supercritical CO2 or ethanol extraction for their oils. When plant matter (aka those big, beautiful buds) is extracted, depending on what finished product is desired, you have a choice of how much to refine and process,.
The more highly processed the extraction, the less terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, fatty acids and other cannabis plant compounds will exist in the finished product. These oils will tend to have less colour, less flavour, and less odour. They are also far less expensive. Redecan’s CBD Reign Drops and Solei’s “Free” Oil are examples of one of these higher process, non-full spectrum oils.
Full-spectrum products are processed with a different end in mind: to preserve the cannabis compounds as much as possible. These oils will have more taste, odour, and colour as they contain the whole gamut of terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, cannabinoids and fatty acids present in the bud. Mood Ring High CBD Oil, Cove CBD Oil, Hemplixir CBD 30, and Purefarma 1:1 Balance are just some of the full-spectrum oil options available at your local Jimmy’s. For cartridges, Daize Lemon Limo and their Mango Mercy and Pure Sunfarms White Rhino, Island Honey, and their Afghan Kush cartridges are all full spectrum options.
This is not to say that one type is bad and the other is good. People have different reasons for using oils and different preferences in terms of taste, potency, carrier oil, cannabinoid ratio, licensed producer and more. It is just important to understand that the reason full spectrum products tend to be more expensive is because they require more advanced and precise extraction and deliver a finished product that is more well-rounded, complete, and closer to how the compounds exist in their natural form.
Which “spectrum” is right for you? Come down to your local Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop and find out!