From insomnia to epilepsy, cannabis has long been hailed as a sort of miracle plant, able to ease many of the ailments that afflict us. Because of this, talking about cannabis from a medicinal perspective is nothing new. What is perhaps relatively new is talking about cannabis concentrates within the medical cannabis realm.
There are many today who tout concentrates as a cleaner, easier and more beneficial method of administering their cannabis medicine. In article number four of our concentrate series, we delve into these claims and talk a little about what makes concentrates such a great medicine.
Cannabis as medicine
Firstly, can cannabis be considered medicine? After all, it’s still classified as a schedule one drug by the Federal government, which means that the powers that be don’t believe cannabis has any medicinal properties…but at the same time own a US patent (US6630507B1) stating that it ‘does’ have medical benefits as a neuroprotectant???
But this classification is way out of date, considering the continuously accumulating evidence that cannabis – despite the cultural heat it’s taken – has a mountain of medicinal benefits. For instance, the scientific journal NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) claims that “the therapeutic value of cannabinoids is too high to be put aside.” The journal also says that “Numerous diseases, such as anorexia, emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease), epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, and metabolic syndrome-related disorders, to name just a few, are being treated or have the potential to be treated by cannabinoid agonists/antagonists/cannabinoid-related compounds.”
On a more personal note, we interviewed a patient about their experience with medical cannabis. This patient was diagnosed with photosensitive epilepsy around the age of twelve. In later years they started using medical cannabis to treat the condition and the various symptoms that stemmed from it. They now use cannabis concentrates primarily to treat the condition.
What about concentrates?
Many have turned to concentrates as their preferred method of consumption for medicinal purposes. One of the main reasons for this switch, as our patient acknowledges, is that it provides a more direct method of delivery for fast relief of their ailment without the smoke.
What does this mean? Well, whereas with smoking flower, you’re inhaling not only the cannabinoids and terpenes, you’re also inhaling all the burning plant matter. Concentrates, on the other hand, are a concentrated form of these compounds without the plant matter. There are many methods for producing concentrates, but the end result is a product with all only the terpenes and cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD). These compounds are what provide relief from various ailments. Therefore, inhaling concentrates gives you all of the benefits of the plant without the smoke. Because they are concentrated, you will only need a small amount, and most importantly, with the right device, you can easily control the size of your dose for consistent relief.
Because concentrates can be developed into a vast array of compound ratios, this also means that finding the right kind of medicine for you is far easier with a concentrate than with whole flower.
And finally, because of new dabbing technology, dosing is much easier and more straightforward with concentrates than with flower. Dabbing used to be a cumbersome, dangerous affair, but all that has changed with new electronic dab devices. Especially with dab pens and dab straws, a patient seeking medical relief can simply load the chamber or dip the straw with their preferred amount of concentrate. There are many different concentrate textures to choose from, but nearly all of them come in forms that are easy to separate into doseable amounts for dabbing. If you’re new to concentrates and dabbing, this method is also useful because it allows you to very easily experiment with textures, compound ratios, devices, and doses so that you can find the combination that works best for what ails you.
For dabbing, we prefer Dip Devices. Between their three products, a patient can find the relief they need using virtually any kind of concentrate. The Little Dipper is super easy and convenient to dose with because of its dab straw vaporizer that allows patients to dip the vapor tip directly into the concentrate container. The Dipper is a two-in-one device that has a dab straw just like the Little Dipper but also gives patients the option of a Quartz Crystal Atomizer which is a packable bucket so you can take your concentrates on the go. The EVRI can become almost anything a patient needs when it comes to consuming their medicine. It’s one battery that magnetically connects to multiple attachments including a vapor tip, a pack-and-go quartz crystal bucket, and a 510/pod for cartridges and refillable e-juice pods.
Any concerns that have been raised are small, and many of the earlier issues have been canceled out due to new technology and stricter oversight resulting from legalization.
Firstly, if you are new to cannabis, or even new to concentrates, you might want to beware of getting too high/intoxicated. While your average cannabis flower usually contains between 15 and 25% THC, cannabis concentrate has much more – sometimes as much as 95%! If you’re not used to this much THC, you may want to start off dabbing with very small amounts of concentrates. With a dab straw and a dab tool, you have precise control of your dose.
Another concern is ability to control the temperature. Traditionally, consuming concentrates meant using a DIY dab rig which required heating the “nail” with a blow torch. The nail could sometimes reach temperatures higher than 1000F! But these worries are a thing of the past with new dabbing technology. Dip Device’s products, for instance, offer three precise power settings that allow consumers to select the right temperature for them to get the health benefits they need.
Finally, the other main concern has to do with how some concentrates are developed. There are many concentrates that are created with the use of Butane or other solvents to extract the desirable compounds. This was definitely more of a worry before legalization when consumers had no insight into the quality of their concentrates. These days, there are a wide variety of solvent-free extracts. Plus, anything sold in a dispensary, in most cases, is thoroughly quality tested for safety and reported on the label. If you’re unsure or if you have any questions, you can always ask your local dispensary employees, and they will help you select the product that is best for you.
There has never been a better time to become a medical cannabis patient. Right now, we are at a very exciting convergence of technology and knowledge, making it easier than ever to choose the right medicine for you with the best tools available. What’s even better is that this is just the beginning. With more research on the medicinal properties of cannabis, and continued development of technology, the experts will only continue to create better products to ease what ails us.