Zerenia Clinic UK

18 March 2024
Author: Multidisciplinary Team at Zerenia
Reviewed and Edited By: Guillermo Moreno-Sanz, Ph.D.

Understanding the Differences Between Medical Cannabis Flowers and Medical Cannabis Extracts

The use of cannabis for its medicinal properties traces back millennia, but modern advancements have revolutionised the ways in which it can be utilised for health benefits. With a focus on the evolution of cannabis consumption, the transition from traditional smoking to vaporising has become pivotal in optimising the efficacy and safety of its use. Vaporising technology has emerged as a superior method, offering a cleaner, more controlled experience that maximises the therapeutic potential of cannabis while minimising risks and waste

Cannabis Flower (flos): Fast-Acting Relief

Cannabis flower is typically inhaled using medically approved vaporizers like the Storz and Bickel Mighty Medic and Volcano Medic. The flower format offers several key advantages:

  • Fast Onset of Action: Inhalation provides an onset of action within approximately 5-10 minutes. This rapid response is particularly beneficial for patients requiring immediate relief.
  • Ease of Dosing: Due to its quick onset, dosing with flower can be easily controlled, allowing patients to manage psychotropic side-effects more effectively.
  • Ideal for Acute Symptoms: The fast-acting nature of inhaled flowers makes it an excellent choice for treating acute and episodic symptoms, such as migraines or chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Medical Cannabis Extracts: Sustained Relief for Chronic Conditions

Cannabis extracts, on the other hand, are usually consumed orally, either placing them directly under the tongue or mixed with food or drinks. They offer different therapeutic advantages:

  • Slower Onset, Longer Duration: Oral extracts have an onset of action ranging from 60 to 180 minutes (about 3 hours) but offer a prolonged duration of action, about 6-8 hours.
  • Chronic Symptom Management: The extended effect of extracts makes them ideal for managing chronic and enduring symptoms, such as chronic pain, spasticity, or insomnia.
  • Dosing Finding: Finding the right dose with extracts requires a titration period, and due to their slower onset, estimating psychotropic side-effects can be more challenging.

Choosing the Right Option

The choice between cannabis flower and extracts depends on various factors including the nature of the symptoms, the desired duration of relief, and the patient’s lifestyle. Many patients use both extracts and flowers to manage the range of their symptoms. While flowers offer quick relief and easier dosing, making it suitable for acute symptoms, extracts provide longer-lasting effects, which are better suited for chronic conditions.

Navigating the Therapeutic Landscape with Zerenia Clinic

In conclusion, both medical cannabis flowers and extracts have their unique place when considering cannabis for therapeutic use. While flowers provide fast relief for acute symptoms, extracts offer sustained benefits for chronic conditions. Personalized medical guidance is key in choosing the right form, or the right combination of both, ensuring patients receive the most effective treatment for their specific health needs.

For patients new to medical cannabis, navigating between the different formats can be daunting. Your dedicated specialist healthcare provider at Zerenia Clinic will guide you to determine the best cannabis-based treatment options for your individual needs.