With so many kinds of tinctures, capsules, salves, and other oil-based cannabis products on the market today, it’s hard to know which one works best for your needs. Understanding how the products are created will impact how cannabis affects your body. Some stores offer CBD-only products, but many people prefer CBD oil with THC and you’ll have to get that from a licensed dispensary.
To determine what is better for you, you’ll need to learn about what is known to scientists as the “entourage effect.” The benefits gained from enjoying the entire cannabis plant are greater than just consuming one part.
What are CBD and THC?
Cannabis consists of many chemical components, such as CBD and THC. These are two of more than 100 different cannabinoids, which have been shown to provide a variety of health benefits. Each of these substances has a different reaction.
For example, THC is famous for the euphoric “high” that comes from consuming cannabis. But it has also been shown to help with insomnia, glaucoma, and a suppressed appetite. CBD, meanwhile, has been shown to support the body’s ability to regulate sleep patterns, moods, hormones, and weight. THC products are not legal in all states.
People occasionally report negative reactions to THC in their cannabis oil, usually due to consuming too much. Some reports include an increase in anxiety and a dislike for the psychotropic reaction. However, this can be alleviated by increasing the CBD to THC ratio.
Full-Spectrum v. Isolate
When you see a CBD-only formula on sale, this means a laboratory was able to isolate the specific chemical compound. In general, CBD oils are produced from hemp which can only legally have a maximum of 0.3% THC. CBD sourced from cannabis is considered safer because it’s subject to lab testing. Whereas hemp CBD is unregulated and potentially full of harmful pesticides and heavy metals.
In the lab, workers then use high pressure, chemicals, or other procedures for separating the CBD from the rest of the plant chemically. It’s also possible to perform this work for a THC-only isolate.
However, a full-spectrum product does not require this added step of separation. Instead, the oil contains not just one cannabinoid but all of them. It also creates an opportunity for an “entourage effect.”
What is the Entourage Effect?
Ever hear the phrase that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts? That’s the concept behind why so many researchers believe CBD oil with THC is better for health than just an isolated product.
Not only do the many different cannabinoids work together in ways that are still being understood by science, but other botanical components are beneficial as well.
Terpenes are chemicals that are responsible for the aromas of the plant, while flavonoids are what make it taste a certain way. Both these — and other chemicals within the plant — provide additional positive effects in association with the reaction to the cannabinoids.
Even though CBD and THC can be taken as isolates, CBD oil with THC has been shown to produce superior results. This relationship between the two cannabinoids is represented in countless formulations that can be found on dispensary shelves.