June 8, 2021 10:00 am ETEstimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
“This strain test at 32%!”, “These edibles have 100 mg of THC in every serving!” These are all lines that budtenders across the United States utilize in hopes of trying to get consumers to purchase the products they are repping. The highest THC product on the shelf might be what some cannabis consumers prefer and what some cannabis patients need. However, it isn’t everything. There is much more to cannabinoid therapies than just high THC.
The Cultivation of High THC
For many years cultivators of cannabis have thrived to increase the THC content within their plants, which has flooded the community with thousands of high THC strains of cannabis. In recent years, however, as knowledge surrounding the many different compounds found within cannabis has evolved and became more readily available, cultivators and even researchers have started to change their tune. They have started to focus on other aspects of this plant. The most noticeable and significant change is in the increasing number of high CBD cannabis strains available for cultivation today.
Other cultivators, however, are looking to increase the concentration of lesser-known cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, CBC, and others. It’s not just cannabinoids, either. Many cultivators are starting to focus on increasing very beneficial and vital terpenes in cannabis varieties. While all of this is excellent, it is my belief and opinion that the true focus should be bringing out all of the amazing phytonutrients, phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other valuable compounds and not just one or a select few.
Introducing the Entourage Effect
There is a theory that is widely accepted not only amongst cannabis consumers and patients but also among leading medical professionals in the field. This theory is known as the Entourage Effect. In simple layman’s terms, the Entourage Effect is achieved when all components of the cannabis plant work together in synergy in order to produce the most optimal effects possible from that variety of cannabis. So, in essence, what this says is when cannabis contains a wide spectrum of cannabinoids as well as a wide spectrum of terpenes, they work better together to produce better results for the end consumer or patient.
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The Entourage Effect is often obtained by consuming cannabis flower or buds through inhalation or through consuming a full spectrum cannabis product. There are three main types of cannabis products you can find today is a full spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum cannabinoid products offer concentrations of all cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients that were originally found in the plant. Broad-spectrum products are very similar to full-spectrum, with the one minor exception that they have typically had all but one type of cannabinoid removed. You will find a lot of broad-spectrum CBD products on the market today for that reason seeing how they have to have THC completely removed.
Is High THC a Thing of the Past?
So, is high THC a thing of the past? Most likely not. There will always be a market of individuals that are looking for the highest THC concentration they can find. However, will the market evolve to also offer a wide variety of other full-spectrum products that are focused on initiating the entourage effect rather than isolating a single cannabinoid? Absolutely! It is already doing so.
Full-spectrum products are becoming increasingly more popular as people are starting to discover that there is much more to cannabis than just THC and CBD. The plant consists of thousands of compounds that naturally work together. When embraced, these types of products stand to offer substantial benefits to consumers and patients with various ailments, diseases, and conditions. Statistics are starting to show that there is an increasing interest in products that are considered to be “whole-plant” or offer a full spectrum of cannabinoids. Unfortunately, there are still stringent regulations that prevent these types of products from being available to millions of individuals that could drastically benefit from full plant products. Until the chains of prohibition are broken once and for all, we will not understand just how beneficial this plant in its entirety can be.
Legalization is Happening and Shows No Signs of Slowing
Luckily, legalization and cannabis reform are happening at a faster rate than ever before, and the momentum shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With more states reforming outdated cannabis laws and agencies such as the DEA finally opening up the doors for better quality research material for cannabis, it is clear that the masses want to know the truth about this plant in its entirety, including whether or not isolated therapies or full plant therapies are the best for consumers and patients.
What has been your experience? Do you prefer high THC products, or do you prefer to consume whole plant cannabinoid products? Let us know in the comments below!
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
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