Whether you are a newbie to the cannabis world or have been relatively familiar with it for some time, you probably still have unanswered questions about the different types of weed products on the market. What is the difference between THC and CBD? What is the difference between full-spectrum extracts and broad-spectrum extracts? There is just so much to learn about the different weed products, and we are here to help with that. Ready to check out the various cannabis products in the industry? Let’s go!
The Diversification of Weed Products
From cannabis flower to weed oil and topicals to the different extracts, the list of available cannabis products is endless. Making a choice when you have just two products on the list is easier, but you could get overwhelmed when you have too many options to choose from.
On the one hand, you don’t want to miss out on a great product. And, on the other hand, you don’t have the time, patience, or funds to try out all the products in front of you. It shouldn’t be that serious. After all, it’s just weed!
Yes, there may be a ton of products for you to choose from, but you don’t have to feel inclined to try them all. However, it does help to know what the product does and how they work in the body. This way, when you come across unusual terminology, you know just what they mean.
Time to break down some of these unique labels — starting with cannabis extracts.
Types of Weed Extract
Weed extract or cannabis extract describes a wide range of products that typically contain higher cannabinoid levels than those that are present in cannabis plants. Weed extracts can have a THC level as high as 99%, compared with about 10-25% THC level typically found in cannabis buds. To craft it, a manufacturer has to carefully extract these cannabis oils from the plant itself, all while being careful to protect the extract’s composition.
Weed extracts vary and can come in full-spectrum extract, broad-spectrum extract, and cannabis isolates.
Full-spectrum extracts describe extracts that maintain the complete profile of the cannabis plant. Usually, each cannabis cultivar has a unique cannabinoid and terpene profile that gives it its therapeutic effects. When you say an extract is full-spectrum, it means that the concentrate captures all the therapeutic compounds found in the raw cannabis plant at the point of processing, removing the fats and lipids holding the compounds together while retaining the cannabinoids and terpenes of the natural plant.
Full-spectrum cannabis also preserves cannabinoids in acidic form. This type of weed is rare because extraction causes the loss of significant terpenes, which are more volatile than cannabinoids. However, it is this full cannabinoid and terpene profile that makes full-spectrum blends so popular in the first place!
When you enjoy cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids altogether, the cannabis experience you have is supposed to be incredibly potent and beneficial. This is because marijuana’s compounds act best synergistically — or when they’re all together. So, keeping these full-plant values within full-spectrum extract creates a better experience. Scientists have dubbed this result “the entourage effect,” and they’re still looking into it today.
Broad-spectrum weed refers to extracts that retain a significant component of the plant’s phytochemicals without the THC. Essentially, you’re able to get all of the effects and benefits of the entourage effect, but without any of the psychoactive compounds you may not enjoy. While the entourage effect may not be quite as strong without THC, the other cannabinoids and terpenes still create a potent, full-bodied result that many consumers love.
The basis of most broad-spectrum extracts is hemp, a plant containing less than 0.3% THC. Again, the biggest difference between the full-spectrum weed and the broad-spectrum weed is in the cannabinoid content — broad-spectrum products do not contain THC!
Cannabis isolate is the pure form of cannabis that contains no other compounds of the cannabis plant. CBD isolate is considered the purest form because manufacturers separate CBD from every other component present in the cannabis plant. It is the best bet for those who want to avoid THC altogether and desire large doses of CBD.
However, do keep in mind that isolates do not allow for the entourage effect, as there aren’t any compounds for the isolated cannabinoid to work with. Thus, you will still likely get potent effects, but you won’t get nearly the all-encompassing result that full or even broad-spectrum extracts offer.
Types of Weed Products and What They Do
There are different types of weed products, and they all perform various functions. From cannabis flower to weed oil to CBD edibles to cannabis topicals, there are different delivery modes for every person out there. Your choice of cannabis product depends a lot on why you are consuming weed in the first place, what kind of support you need, and your personal preferences. Below, we’ve broken down some of the most popular types of weed products and exactly what they do.
Cannabis flower is one of the most popular cannabis products. It is versatile and offers a quick, pleasant consumption method. You can smoke it with your pipe, in your bong, or you can roll it into a joint if you’d prefer. Also known as bud or nug, the cannabis flower is that smokable part of the cannabis plant.
One common reason why so many people prefer smoking cannabis flowers is that its effects are almost immediate. You typically feel the effects of your bud within just a few minutes of inhalation. However, its effects tend to disappear in about 1-3 hours after smoking, not lasting too long.
There are different types of cannabis flower strains, such as indica, sativa, and hybrids that help dictate the plant’s characteristics. While sativa strains are known to keep you energized, indicas give off this full-body relaxation effect. If you want a restful and relaxed night rest, you should roll up a blunt of indica flower. Hybrids, on their own, are a strain that offers you the best of the two worlds — it energizes you and still helps you enjoy that full-body relaxation effect.
Weed oil is obtained by extracting the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant and diluting it with a carrier oil like hemp seed oil or coconut oil; others choose to use an alcohol base. In making weed oil, the cannabinoids are separated from the plant matter, leaving it at just 100% weed extract. What type of extract, you ask? That depends on the manufacturer!
Cannabis oil is easy to consume and it allows for quick, potent absorption. These products even come with a dropper to make measuring your doses effortless. You just place one or two drops under your tongue, wait about 30 seconds, and then swallow. Within minutes, you’ll start to pick up on the oil’s benefits. Weed oil is getting so popular, especially in the health and wellness industry, because research confirms its potential to alleviate chronic pain and anxiety symptoms.
Oh, and if you don’t want to get high, you don’t have to! CBD oil presents its own unique set of therapeutic benefits, too.
Cannabis edibles include weed-infused gummies, cakes, chocolates, candies, and so much more. Just as the name suggests, these are products you simply consume, digest, and wait for effects to kick in. The effects that edibles produce tend to be much stronger and way more long-lasting than what you get from cannabis flower, oils, or other products. This is simply because of how the body processes the edibles themselves — they just take a while to break down!
Keep in mind that if you don’t want to get high, you don’t have to! CBD edibles are a super common product that people of all backgrounds enjoy. These edibles taste absolutely delicious but also give you your daily dose of cannabidiol, too.
Cannabis topical products are products that are applied to a particular part of the body surface. It includes products such as creams, ointments, and lotions — anything you can rub into your skin! Among others, arthritis patients commonly use cannabis topical products to relieve symptoms as they help address pain or inflammation issues in a part of the body without entering the bloodstream.
Specifically, cannabis topicals target and work on the area you apply them to. More so, cannabis topical products do not cause any form of intoxication, and you can feel the results within a few minutes. These products are ideal for those with deep-seated, hard-to-reach pains that your typical NSAIDs just can’t touch.
Cannabis inhalers are a revolutionary new way to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids. These discreet, vape-like devices allow users to inhale accurate dosages of cannabis quickly and easily. The effects of the inhaler can be felt almost immediately, making them an ideal choice for those who need fast relief.
Cannabis inhalers work by delivering cannabinoids like THC and CBD directly into the lungs. This allows the molecules to enter the bloodstream more rapidly than other methods such as edibles or topicals. Inhalation also results in increased bioavailability, meaning more active compounds get absorbed into your body with each puff, leading to stronger effects more quickly.
The effects of cannabis inhalers are usually felt within minutes and last up to two hours. Many users find that inhalers provide quick relief from physical pain, inflammation, nausea, headaches and depression, while reducing anxiety levels and inducing a sense of euphoria. It should be noted that inhalers may cause dry mouth and/or throat irritation due to heightened heat in the vaporized cannabis plant material—so it’s important to stay hydrated!
THC vs CBD Products: What’s the Difference?
THC and CBD are the two most common cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBD and THC have similar chemical makeup, i.e., 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, the difference is in their chemical arrangement and that the body receives these cannabinoids as different compounds.
But, the main difference is in how they make you feel. The THC cannabinoid is commonly known as the one that gets people high – it is a psychoactive compound and is highly intoxicating. THC is what creates those euphoric, giggly effects you know and love.
On the other hand, CBD does not get you high. Even though some CBD products may have trace amounts of THC, it isn’t enough to give you those mind-altering effects. Users opt for CBD when they want to enjoy the health benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive value.
Another difference between THC and CBD is the sources of these compounds. CBD can be obtained from either hemp or marijuana and is often sourced from hemp to avoid the presence of more significant amounts of THC. However, you can only get THC from marijuana.
Mastering the Different Types of Weed, Thanks to Elevate Holistics
Determining the types of weed to use depends on different considerations. In fact, there are many questions you need to need to answer – what experience are you looking for? What method are you most comfortable with? How soon do you want to feel the effects?
Getting answers to these questions isn’t always as easy as it looks! While we have touched on some of them in this piece, there is still so much to learn. But, that’s exactly why we’re here. Elevate Holistics will work with you one-on-one to determine the type of weed product that works perfectly for you based on your medical conditions. From there, we can help you get your medical recommendation and you’ll be well on your way to getting your own medical marijuana card.