Human brain activity shows full spectrum cannabis is more psychoactive

This study was conducted by two companies involved in the production of cannabis and hemp related products, so it is not purely academic. However, it involves direct brainwave measurements that could be important in determining product types and doses for patients. It was published on the web site

Zentrela makes the specialized, non-invasive EEG technology to collect brainwave data and PAX supplied vaporizors and two different cannabis products. / CBGA Medical LLC is not associated with either company in any way.

They used an AI system to help determine psychoactive changes in the subjects after inhalation of one of two PAX prepackaged cannabis pod products. They are oil cartridges designed to be inhaled via vapor created by heating with a PAX device.

The concentrate cartridge pod products used were:

  1. Live Rosin (Blue Dream) PAX Era pod (full spectrum)
  2. High Purity THC PAX Era pod


The data was collected from 28 subjects via EEG Tests (electroencephalogram). The tests recorded subject’s EEG data from 8 different regions of the brain (right and left sides of the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes). Two tests were administered before product consumption. Nine (9) more EEG Tests were administered 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 45, and 90 minutes after product consumption. 

The stated goals:

detecting EEG alterations associated with the consumption of cannabis and quantifying the strength of the psychoactive effects.


Half of the subjects inhaled 2 hits (8mg) of vapor from the Blue Dream Live Rosin cannabis oil (average 85% THC potency, 90% TAC potency) using the PAX Era Pro (Study Group 1).  The other half inhaled 2 hits (8mg) of vapor from the Berry Gelato High Purity THC cannabis oil (average 82-85% THC potency, 87-90% TAC potency) also using the PAX Era Pro (Study Group 2).

Here is a summary chart of the results published by the authors: 

PAX EEG study results on a combined graph


In simple terms, the data they collected indicates that the measured "psychoactive effect level" (PEL) varied between 50% to 100% higher for the full-spectrum product versus the high purity THC product. This full spectrum "premium" effect lasted for more than 90 minutes.

After 90 minutes, the high purity THC effect was still slightly increasing while the full spectrum live rosin effect was starting to slightly decrease. But even then, the full spectrum product had a significantly higher value than the isolate.

The authors concluded about the study:

suggests that THC alone is not the sole contributor to potency

The first group [full spectrum] exhibited a considerably faster and more potent psychoactive response compared to the latter [high purity] group.

the objective brainwave analysis conducted in this study reveals noteworthy distinctions in the psychoactive experience between the study groups


The original article is here.