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Study shows multiple cannabinoids create stronger, longer-lasting effects than pure THC

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Photo: DR | Grassdoor

When it comes to the euphoric effects of cannabis, THC, the plant's main psychoactive cannabinoid, often steals the spotlight. However, research has delved into the intriguing realm of the “entourage effect,” revealing that cannabis products containing a rich blend of natural cannabinoids provide a significantly more potent and long-lasting effect, surpassing the effects of pure or isolated THC.

Num study pioneer, which used advanced electroencephalogram (EEG) technology associated with artificial intelligence, researchers discovered irrefutable evidence supporting the theory of the entourage effect (or entourage). Participants in the study vaped two distinct products:

  1. full spectrum live dew, averaging 85% THC, along with a host of other natural cannabinoids and terpenes;
  2. a high purity THC oil with a potency of 82-85%.

Twenty-eight adults, equipped with EEG headphones developed by Zentrela, inhaled two doses (8 mg) of pure or full-spectrum THC strains from a vape designed by PAX, a vaporizer company that collaborated on the study. The EEG meticulously monitored brain activity in eight regions over 90 minutes, translating the data into normalized “psychoactive effect levels (PEL)” that ranged between zero and 100 percent.

The power of the effect entourage among all cannabinoids

The results revealed the rapid onset of live dew, just three minutes after consumption, with a remarkable potency of 20,8 percent at the beginning, increasing to 40 percent at the peak (15 minutes) and stabilizing at 30,2 percent after 90 minutes. In contrast, the pure THC product took four minutes to take effect, starting at 13,5% potency. At its peak (15 minutes), power reached 19,1 percent, falling marginally to 18,1 percent thereafter.

This study, although not yet peer-reviewed, provides substantial support for the concept of the entourage. Cannabis, which is made up of a diverse mix of cannabinoids and terpenes, obviously provides a more intense experience. This revelation has significant implications for patients, as the effect entourage can improve specific therapeutic applications.

Brian Witlin, vice president of product development at PAX, highlighted the problem with consumers focusing solely on the THC percentage. In Press release, stated that “in the spirit of advancing cannabis research, we sought to demonstrate, through scientific studies, how full-spectrum products, which encompass a full range of terpenes and cannabinoids, profoundly influence the cannabis experience. Buying based on THC percentage alone does not provide a comprehensive understanding of the expected experience.”

In addition to enriching consumer understanding, the findings of this study offer a treasure trove of knowledge for cannabis companies. Armed with data on how different combinations of cannabinoids produce different effects, these companies can create targeted products, tailoring experiences to meet consumers' specific needs.

Essentially, this study not only deepens our understanding of consumer experiences, but also underscores the commitment to providing consumers with accurate information. Informed decisions about product selection and cannabis consumption are key and this research paves the way for a more detailed understanding of the effect of cannabis.

It is also important to highlight that this investigation reflects the conclusions of previous research. One 2018 Study highlighted the superior health outcomes recorded by patients with epilepsy who used plant-based CBD extracts, rather than isolated or “purified” CBD products, showing the potential of various cannabis products to improve well-being with side effects minimums.

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