What is Medical Cannabis?
What you need to know.
Are you new to Medical Cannabis?
The UK created a medical framework to allow access to Medical Cannabis on the 1st of November 2018.
The current regulation states that Cannabis-based Medical products can be offered as a treatment option after a traditional pharmaceutical route has been exhausted and shown not to work or have side effects.
There are a range of product categories currently available.
The flowers of a unfertilised female Cannabis plant. Must be Vaporised
extracted active ingredients to form oils. Normally taken orally
Medical Cannabis creams containing THC or CBN.
Coming soon Cannabis inhalers
The only licensed Cannabis Medicines are sprays
Slow release delivery systems coming soon.
There are only 2 Medical Vaporisers
Medical Cannabis Flower (Flos)
Medical Cannabis flower supplied in the UK is grown and processed to an exacting standard called EU-GMP to assure consistency and purity.
There are many Cannabinoids in Cannabis but currently the MHRA – the UK medicines regulator only requires that THC and CBD are stated in a medical prescription as they considered these the only active molecules.
Cannabis has a complex range of active molecules mainly formed in mushroom like structures called Trichomes. Trichomes, are predominantly found on the unfertilised female flowers. Trichome structures change as the plant matures changing colour from transparent when the Cannabinoid CBGA first develops then turning milky as the structure fills with more active ingredients like THCA. THCA will change to CBNA as the plant ages and the trichomes change to an amber colour.
CBNA and THC can convert to CBN with heat and time. CBN is a very interesting cannabinoid of the future. CBN has great potential as a natural sedative. Global governments are now allowing more research and we will discover many herbal alternatives to current medications that originate in Cannabis.
The smell that comes from Cannabis flowers or flos is the evaporation of volatile molecules called terpenes. Different strains (Cultivars) of Cannabis can have decidedly different effects even with the same THC CBD levels.
This complex interaction of all the other compounds found in Cannabis flower is called the Entourage effect and is well documented. However, the entourage effect is one of the reasons why the Medical establishment have great difficulty in classifying Medical Cannabis. Traditionally Western Medicine has looked to single molecules in pills and not multiphasic herbal preparations.
The reason that Cannabis can be so effective is due to the bodies Endocannabinoid system – the engine management system of the body. Vaporisation is one of the fastest ways of getting Medical Cannabis in to the body and can be highly effective. You will need some additional equipment to Vaporiser Cannabis. See our how to guide.
Medical Cannabis Oils
Medical Cannabis oils are often referred to as tinctures. The oil is an extraction of the plant and can either be a full plant extraction or isolated cannabinoids that are mixed with with a carrier oil.
Cannabis Oils can vary in viscosity depending on the formulation. The taste of an oil can also be a factor in choosing a formulation that is right for your medical needs and one that is palatable. You can mask the taste of oils by adding them to a food.
It should be noted that ingested Cannabis oil takes longer to act on the body but does last for longer periods. This slower action and longer lasting effect has really advantage for some patients. When Cannabis is ingested it is processed through the liver and active ingredients get converted through enzyme actions to metabolites. An example is Delta 9 THC being converted to 11-Hydroxy-THC