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Full Spectrum Edibles vs. Distillate Edibles: What's The Difference?

When shopping for edibles, there are countless choices: candies, chews, gummies, cannabis beverages, and more. But did you know you can also choose between full spectrum edibles and distillate edibles? In this guide, we’ll help you understand what you’re getting with each choice and answer the questions:

  • What Are Full-Spectrum Edibles?
  • What Are Distillate  Edibles?
  • What’s the Difference?
  • Full-Spectrum vs Distilled Edibles FAQs

Before jumping into the differences between these two types of marijuana edibles, it’s important to understand what each one is individually.

What Are Full-Spectrum Edibles?

Full-spectrum edibles are edibles made to closely mimic the full array of the marijuana plant’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Cannabis cultivators use gentle extraction processes to preserve as much of the plant as possible.

It’s important to note that if you make edibles at home by decarboxylating your own flower and creating cannabutter or oil, you are creating full-spectrum edibles. This is because you are using all compounds of the cannabis flower in your culinary creation.

What Are Distillate Edibles?

Distillate edibles are made by extracting a specific cannabinoid - usually THC - and then adding different elements back to it to create a unique product. Depending on the brand and flavor, terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids may be added back to the final product.

What’s the Difference Between Full-Spectrum and Distillate Edibles?

Now that you understand the fundamental differences between the two types of edibles, there are a few more points to consider in the comparison: 

  • Cost: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that will produce intoxicating effects, distillate edibles are likely the best option for you. The process of making distillate is much less complex than full-spectrum, which means the costs passed on to you, the consumer, are less.

  • Impact: Because full-spectrum edibles seek to preserve the cannabis plant’s natural compounds, these elements work together to produce an experience that is similar to the actual flower. Distillate edibles may have terpenes and flavonoids added back to it, but the experience won’t mirror a specific strain.

  • Availability: This goes back to our point about cost. Since full-spectrum edibles are more expensive to make, many cannabis companies tend to choose to create their products with distillate instead. It’s also much more versatile, as THC distillate is tasteless and can be added to a variety of edibles and beverages. While you can likely find full-spectrum edibles at your local dispensary, the selection won’t be as vast.

Answering Full-Spectrum vs Distilled Edibles FAQs

It’s easy to get confused when it comes to full-spectrum vs distillate edibles. To ensure you get the information you need, we answered our most frequently asked questions about these popular products: 

Are distillate edibles strong? 
Distillate edibles come in a variety of THC strengths. Since THC distillate can be added to a variety of items, it’s important to always check the packaging on your product to ensure you understand the dosages—and potency—of your edibles. 

Is full-spectrum better than distillate?
Cannabis connoisseurs may assume that full-spectrum is better than distillate when it comes to edibles, but this is a much more complicated question. It’s important to understand how your own individual Endocannabinoid System reacts to a certain type of edible.

Can I use distillate in my homemade edibles?
Yes, you can purchase THC distillate from a licensed dispensary to use in your cannabis edibles. 

Purchasing Full-Spectrum and Distillate Edibles

Now that you know what full-spectrum and distillate edibles are, you can make an informed decision at your next visit to your local dispensary. You can also ask an expert budtender for their opinion on the best edibles available.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.