Understanding cannabis flowers and oils
As a flurry of new products have flooded the budding cannabis market in recent years, so too have those developments come to represent a wealth of hope for medical patients, or anyone looking for an alternative therapy. Where, traditionally, cannabis was consumed by inhalation – combusting flowers in a joint or pipe – the contemporary cannabis discussion is one characterized by advancement and sophistication.
For the most part, the image of a conventional stoner – pipe or bong in hand – has been dropped. In its place, there is now a picture of a mindful, peaceful consumer, vaporizer in hand; or a patient finding relief from chronic pain symptoms after microdosing concentrated CBD oil. At its most impressive, cannabis extracts are reported to help with everything from headaches to epilepsy.
Perhaps the most important and at times puzzling distinction that new patients need to understand is the difference between cannabis flowers and oils. While the former, known simply as bud, is a perennial presence in the consciousness of most consumers, oils can be a challenge to comprehend at first. Despite the obvious disparities, like the entourage effect that people experience when consuming whole flowers, oil and bud can both have notable medical applications.
While a number of cannabis products – namely extracted cannabis oil – are beginning to rival the age-old popularity of whole flowers, this means of medicating remains the most common among patients. Typically consumed using a vaporizer, whole flowers are available in myriad strains and typically range below 30 percent THC and CBD. Depending on the strain, flowers can have any number of cannabinoid combinations and terpene profiles.
Cannabis oils can come in many different forms and be used in a number of fashions. Extracted cannabinoids have the propensity to be consumed orally, in an edible for instance, or incorporated into pre-loaded cartridges. The versatility of cannabis oils, particularly when looking to incorporate CBD oil into a health regime, makes a suitable solution for medical cannabis patients or, really, anyone looking to exercise the endocannabinoid system.1
Cannabis worked for six-year-old Kate Pogson when no other medication helped her. As someone with epilepsy, she suffered hour-long seizures once every two days before her family discovered the value of CBD-heavy cannabis oil, says her father Barry in an interview.
Robust is one way to define the current breadth of research that involves the cannabis and its chemical parts. Across the planet – namely in states and countries where medical cannabis is permitted – scientists are becoming increasingly invested in discovering the full potential of the cannabis plant. To date, those studies have focussed tightly on the isolating and use of particular cannabinoids, and the prospect that isolated cannabis molecules may hold the key to any number of conditions. With these advancements, researchers have been able to add significant scientific knowledge, data and innovation to the medical cannabis discussion.
While cannabis has been used for thousands of yards as a therapeutic agent, its commercial viability has only taken shape in the last century. Contemporary treatment is now characterized by a plethora of products in a variety of concentrations, traditional cannabis therapy revolved around one product: tinctures.
As medical cannabis has gained acceptance as a viable treatment option over the past two decades, so too has the list of symptoms the plant has been shown to help grown. No longer is the plant merely used to treat chronic pain or extreme conditions like HIV/AIDS, it now complements nearly every therapy option available.
In the simplest of terms, cannabinoids are the chemical compounds that lend cannabis its medical and recreational characteristics. These chemicals interact with the body’s cells when consumed to produce a range of therapeutic effects. Found in the plant’s trichomes, more commonly known as crystals, cannabinoids are, in essence, the heart and soul of the cannabis plant.
Insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are but a few of the ills that fall under the category of sleep condition. Though not quick to receive much attention from the healthcare community, the threat associated with sleep conditions – from obesity to cardiovascular disease – is stark.
The decision to adopt cannabis as a treatment option is, like most significant changes in life, very personal. Whether you’ve decided to incorporate medical cannabis into your routine to treat chronic pain, sleep issues, cancer symptoms or social anxiety, you’ve likely done so primarily for one reason: to feel better.