To answer the question, first we have to ask a few questions about the product that can easily be found in the COA, or certificate of analysis.
Customers may not know to ask for the COA but in the COA there are details that can help break down some of the effects-based marketing facades. We’re all familiar with THC and CBD than with terpenes but they’re all important in achieving what’s known as the entourage effect. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found on plants such as cannabis and cannabis produces many of them which provide that distinct smell associated with their respective cultivars or strains. The belief is that all of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant work together to enhance the experience associated with THC and CBD. If when reviewing the COA, the word distillate is included, the product has an isolated cannabinoid, THC. This means that any and all terpenes and flavonoids that were found in the original strain of the flower are now gone, usually rendering it down to an isolate cannabinoid like THC. If the selling point of the edible includes references to strain-specific effects, it’s likely that you will still feel the effects of the THC but it will not compare to the vaporization of the same flowered strain. Due to the distillation process, it would be almost impossible to determine which strain a distillate oil came from, even if they came from the same exact plant (Bryant, 2021).
What about live resin or full spectrum butter?
If the item contains live resin or full spectrum butter, it’s very likely that you will ingest terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids that were found in the original plant. We still don’t fully understand the effects full-spectrum edibles have upon ingestion, but because some of those same terpenes and flavonoids are found in other foods we know they interact with the body and we have some understanding of their effects. Making live resin is more challenging than making distillate and it has an impact on the cost. To make live resin, the plant needs to be either processed immediately upon harvesting, or undergo flash-freezing before processing it to retain all of the terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids of the plant. Beware of the details as some companies have been found to use distillate oil and reintroduced terpenes to create what they call a “live resin” product. The preparation of the plant and the extraction process are important factors to determine whether a product is really full-spectrum or not.
What kind of effect will I get from it if it’s just distillate oil?
It’s likely you’ll experience the same “high” most people are familiar with but whether or not the effect will be driven by the strain is more complicated. If the edible is made from distillate oil, you may still experience a different effect than someone else mainly due to the disparity in how cannabis affects everyone differently, not by the strain (Bryant, 2021). Now we know that regardless of the effects-based marketing, if the product contains distillate oil, your body will not be able to distinguish any strain-specific nuances. We’ve also learned that using live products preserves cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Because the industry is so new, there’s many unknowns and while we don’t fully understanding the full effects of a full-spectrum edible, one thing is for sure, if it’s made from isolate distillate, it doesn’t matter.
Bryant, J. (2021, Nov). Can edibles really be strain-specific, or is that just hype?. Leafly.
Retrieved on 1/24/2022 from: Can edibles really be strain-specific, or is that just hype?