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Study Suggests Cannabis 'Entourage Effect' Boosts Psychoactive Experience

It's about more than just THC potency.

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PAX, a cannabis accessory brand, announced a collaboration with Canadian neurotechnology company, Zentrela, leveraging brainwave research to provide consumers with data-driven insight into cannabis effects — ultimately supporting more informed purchasing and consumption decisions.

This original study, EEG-based analysis for quantifying the psychoactive effects, including onset time and maximum strength, of PAX’s Live Rosin with Natural Diamonds and High Purity THC Cannabis Products by Upmanyu Sharma, Israel Gasperin Haaz, Dr. Dan Bosnyak, Ricardo Zelidon, Dr. David Faulkner, and Dr. Echo Rufer, showcased insights into the cannabis experience. Key findings suggest that whole plant, full spectrum products can produce a statistically significant faster onset and more than double the psychoactive experience than distillate products with comparable Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potencies due to the “entourage effect,” or presence of additional whole plant compounds like phytocannabinoids and terpenes.

“Consumers looking for psychoactive effects typically shop for cannabis products based on THC, which is a bit of a fallacy,” said Brian Witlin, VP of Product Development at PAX. “In the spirit of continuing to advance cannabis research and understanding of the plant — which has been far too limited for much too long — we wanted to demonstrate through scientific study how full spectrum products with the full range of terpenes and cannabinoids have a more profound impact on the onset and ultimate cannabis experience. We hope this type of insight helps consumers understand that shopping for products based on THC% alone is not the leading indicator of expected experience.”

“Our mission at Zentrela,” said company founder and CEO Israel Gasperin, “is to help consumers better understand the experiences that cannabis products create. PAX is a great partner because we share a dedication to innovation and a commitment to use the most advanced scientific research techniques to expand our understanding of cannabis effects.”

This study compared two distinct, inhalable cannabis products with similar THC potencies, focusing on PAX Live Rosin with Natural Diamonds in Blue Dream — a full spectrum live rosin-based product which preserves natural cannabinoids and terpenes, and PAX High Purity THC in Berry Gelato — a distillate-based product. The study involved 28 participants who consumed cannabis vapor from a PAX Era Pro device. Zentrela's non-invasive portable EEG device recorded data from eight brain regions, both before and after product consumption. Cognalyzer AI-based EEG analysis uses machine learning on large EEG datasets to detect specific brainwave changes and was employed to convert EEG data into psychoactive effect levels (PEL) on a standardized scale.

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