As you shop for your favorite cannabis products, you might notice that some say they contain full-spectrum cannabinoids.  Gain a deeper understanding of cannabinoids to learn what this claim means and if it impacts which products you should buy.

The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis affects the human body because of our endocannabinoid system. This system plays a role in mood, sleep, appetite, and many other bodily functions. Endocannabinoids are molecules naturally traveling throughout the body, helping regulate how it operates.  Researchers don’t fully understand how endocannabinoids work, but their receptors are present in the brain, nerves, heart, skin, bones, gastrointestinal tract, and organs.

Cannabinoids are molecules found in the cannabis plant. They have a similar molecular structure to our body’s own endocannabinoids.  This similar structure allows them to attach to our body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which can greatly affect our mind and body.

Taste The Rainbow Of Full-Spectrum Cannabinoids

  • Cannabis contains many cannabinoids. Two of these cannabinoids receive the most attention because we understand them the best and believe they have the greatest impact on us:
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
    Cannabidiol (CBD)

THC is the cannabinoid known for having psychoactive effects or producing a high.  CBD is known for relieving pain and anxiety without producing a high.

Researchers have discovered at least 113 cannabinoids so far. Cannabinoids besides THC and CBD that are becoming more well-known include:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)

At this point in time, our understanding of what the dozens of cannabinoids in cannabis do is very limited.  Researchers are just beginning to scratch the surface of the effects of other cannabinoids.

The Entourage Effect

The “entourage effect” refers to cannabinoids working together synergistically. Experts believe that cannabinoids work differently together than when they are in the human body individually. Certain cannabinoids might enhance the effects of others, while some cannabinoids might suppress the effects of others.

Researchers have most thoroughly studied the entourage effect of THC and CBD.  For many people, CBD mitigates the psychoactive properties of THC.  Similarly, for many, THC reduces the sleepiness that can come with CBD. Cannabis is sold in a variety of CBD:THC ratios because different people experience these cannabinoids differently and aren’t all looking for the same effects.

It’s likely that other cannabinoids impact how our bodies react to THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.  Unfortunately, we don’t yet know exactly what each individual cannabinoid does in the human body, much less how it impacts the effects of other cannabinoids.

Choosing What to Buy

Once you understand more about cannabinoids, you might find yourself wanting a full-spectrum product.  Cannabis Flower is its natural state, so it is always full-spectrum.  Cannabinoids begin being destroyed when the cannabis flower is treated with a solvent to create an extract.  Cannabis products that are often not full-spectrum include:

  • Vape oils
  • Oils and tinctures
  • Edibles

Full-spectrum concentrates tend to be darker in color and have a stronger scent than extracts that aren’t full-spectrum.  For example, shatter and wax are often considered full spectrum.

Experimenting is the best way to determine which cannabis products fit your needs.  Try a variety of products with different CBD:THC ratios, then stick with whatever gives you the effects you desire.