There are different categories of Cannabis products for medical purposes. The choice of the type of Cannabis product is especially important to direct the Physician towards an appropriate pharmacotherapeutic treatment and directly interferes with the efficacy, safety and tolerance of each patient.
Currently, approximately 1000 molecules with biological activity are known to be present in Cannabis, among which are phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
Phytocannabinoids, which are the cannabinoids in Cannabis, represent the main class with pharmacotherapeutic activity, with more than 100 molecules known, including the cannabidiol (CBD) and the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In general terms, Cannabis products will reflect the presence of these active ingredients and can be classified as Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate. It is important to reinforce that a Cannabis Product must be obtained from a plant matrix, i.e., it must be produced from the Cannabis plant.
The Full Spectrum product or full extract, as the name implies, is obtained from methods of integral extraction of the Cannabis plant. In this extract the chemotype of the plant is respected and this means that no active component (phytocannabinoid, terpene, or flavonoid) is intentionally removed. In products for medical purposes, it is common to observe that the CBD is the majority active ingredient, and this happens because the chemotype of the plant used already has higher levels of CBD. Full Spectrum is considered a phytocomplex and has a remarkably interesting pharmacodynamic characteristic, which is the entourage effect, when the several active agents act synergistically in different targets of action in our organism, being observed a more intense final therapeutic effect.
The Broad Spectrum product, or broad spectrum extract, is an extract obtained from the Cannabis plant, but that has undergone some stage or pharmacotechnical procedure that allowed the removal of some active ingredient on purpose. The most common is the removal of the THC, a molecule with known pharmacotherapeutic properties, but which is known to have psychotropic potential and may show unwanted effects in some more sensitive patients. Like Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum is also a phytocomplex, and has an entourage effect.
The isolated products, as the name itself describes very well, are formed by active ingredients that were isolated from the Cannabis plant, such as the CBD. In this way, an CBD isolate extract is nothing more than a product that has only CBD in its composition, and no other molecule with pharmacotherapeutic properties in its formula. These products are also classified as phytopharmaceuticals and are remarkably similar to the traditional medicines of the pharmaceutical industry when there is only one active ingredient responsible for the pharmacotherapeutic effect.
In summary, it is also important to reinforce that all of these Types of Cannabis Products, Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and isolated, have varying degrees of clinical evidence for their use, with well-presented information on their safety, efficacy and tolerability.