- Cannabis is a versatile plant that can be manufactured into many different products. It is important to understand all the different products and how they can be used or applied. This information will help you help the guest or patient find the best way to medicate.
Smoking flower or oil is the first and most obvious way to medicate. Many of our guests and patients love to smoke frequently. It does not take much, and the effects are often near instantaneous. But what if the guest does not smoke or is looking for a new way to partake. Flower can be turned into butter easily and then in turn made into tasty edibles. Or perhaps recommend a flower, or dab, vaporizer to reduce smoke and heat on the lungs.
- Smoking is harmful to the lungs, whether from burning wood, tobacco, and even cannabis. Burning anything releases toxins and carcinogens that are harmful to the body. Some consumers are looking to break the habit of smoking while still enjoying cannabis. Let us talk about those other methods on medicating.
Edibles are another common way to medicate with cannabis. Oregon has a THC cap on all recreational edibles at 50 milligrams per package. Depending on how often the patient uses, some products may be better than others. Ask questions so you can help them figure out what will be best. Do they only medicate at night, or all day?
- Chocolate is a little more versatile than gummies simply because they can melt in the mouth and then the THC can be absorbed more quickly under the tongue versus the longer wait for something to digest.
RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) and FECO (Full Extract Cannabis Oil) are there for patients with a strong need. These concentrates should be used in small amounts first so the body can adjust slowly overtime to the high amounts of THC and other cannabinoids. They can be taken under the tongue for fast acting relief, or the patient can buy gel caps from a local store and dose out their medication in advance. Taking these oils in pill form will slow down the activation time, so make sure the patient is aware.
Vaping has been super popular both with cannabis smokers, and those looking to get away from smoking flower. Also, the cartridges do not have the lingering smoke or smell that is attributed to smoking flower. The vape cartridges come in multiple varieties. Once you understand the strains and terpenes better, you will be able to better direct patients and guests to the right products.
Salves, lotions, ointments, and even soaking salts have all become mediums for cannabis. And very few of these will ever give anyone psychoactive effects, so these can be sold to a much larger customer basis as many people are looking to get the positive benefits of cannabis without the high. Great for achy muscles and joints.
- Dosing properly is key to every product. Most flower and vape cartridges suggest a 3-6 second hit. Edibles seem to all be based off a 5-milligram dose, and RSO’s suggest the size of a grain of uncooked rice. This may seem like some random numbers, but most packaging has it clearly printed. Read the packages regularly to see the differences. This will be crucial in explain a new product’s use to a patient or guest that has not tried it before. Make sure to ask whether the patient or guest is a frequent user or not to help suggest lower or higher doses.
- Full Spectrum or distillate? These are rather important questions. Two different forms of concentrate that can greatly affect the different edible or vape products.
Full-spectrum extracts, often called whole plant extracts, maintain the full profile of the cannabis plant. They contain a variety of cannabinoids, including THC, THCa, CBD, CBDa, CBG, and CBN, as well as terpenes and other compounds such as flavonoids, proteins, phenols, sterols, and esters.
These extracts are desirable for several reasons. From an experiential standpoint, they replicate the flavor and aroma profile of the plant. From a therapeutic or medicinal standpoint, you get the full benefits of the entourage effect—the theory that the various components of the plant work synergistically to enhance the action of the active substances, such as THC and CBD.
Distillate is a cannabis extract in which the final product has been systematically stripped of all materials and compounds except one specific cannabinoid.
Distillate is the base ingredient of many edibles and vape cartridges, and typically lacks any flavor, taste, or aroma. It is a potent cannabis oil that can be used on its own or infused in other cannabis products or goods. The most common forms of distillate on the market are THC oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The name of the oil indicates the most prominent cannabinoid. In the case of CBD oil, CBD would be the most prominent cannabinoid. The name distillate refers to the cannabis purification process that removes and separates the cannabinoids, such as THC or CBD, into unique products. Distillate is extremely potent, though it lacks the terpenes, or naturally occurring flavors and aromas, of the cannabis plant. One benefit of having the natural terpenes removed is being able to have complete control over the final product’s taste and smell.
A drawback of removing terpenes is that without them, the final product may lack the therapeutic benefits commonly attributed to the entourage effect. Adding terpenes to distillate later in the process is possible, and many manufacturers do this, though it has been theorized that any medicinal advantages are reduced by their initial removal.
- Live or cured, that is the question? Or at least it is a question you will be asked about frequently.
Live resin is known for its delicious flavor in addition to its high level of THC concentration. It is becoming a big hit among cannabis connoisseurs because, of all the available options, live resin is one of the best-tasting concentrates. It is produced using a special process designed to preserve more of the terpenes that are responsible for giving cannabis its flavor and aroma. As a result, live resin delivers much of the essence of the pure cannabis from which it is derived.
To make live resin, freshly harvested cannabis is flash-frozen at temperatures of around -30°F. From there, the entire extraction process takes place at temperatures so low that terpenes will not be burned off the plant. Live resin is one of the most popular new cannabis concentrates, but it is difficult to produce. Only trained lab technicians with professional-grade equipment can make this product efficiently.
Cured resin is oil extracted from cured plants. As newly harvested plant material is dried and cured, the terpene content changes chemically and physically as the more volatile compounds evaporate off. This mellowing process is like letting a wine or whiskey age, bringing out a softer character that can at times be more interesting.
Rosin is a solvent-less cannabis concentrate that is made using only heat and pressure. Since rosin does not rely on solvents, there is no need to purge anything from the solution to make sure the product is ready for human consumption. That makes them popular among people who view this as a natural cannabis concentrate.
Take some time to learn more about the differences in live and cured Rosin and Resin. Learn the differences and it will help you understand the products.