Cannabis extracts are a concentrated form of cannabis.

Think of extracts like a highly potent version of the source plant's chemical makeup. The trichomes, which contain all the therapeutic compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids) are stripped away from the plant material, leaving a concentrated oil or honey-like substance. 


What are the different types of medical cannabis extracts?


There are three main classes of medical cannabis extracts - full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum extracts contain all the therapeutic compounds produced by the source plant, including THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum extracts are similar to full-spectrum, but with the THC removed. Isolate extracts contain only a single compound, such as CBD or THC.


What is the most common extraction method for cannabis-based medicines?


CO2 supercritical extraction is the most common method for producing cannabis extracts used in medical products. This process involves using pressurised carbon dioxide to extract the desired compounds from the plant material. This extraction method is preferred as it is safe, clean, and efficient, producing high-quality extracts with a very low risk of contaminants. 


How are cannabis extracts administered?


Medical cannabis patients will most often be prescribed a cannabis extract or concentrate mixed with a carrier oil that can be taken sublingually (under the tongue). Sublingual application offers patients a rapid, reliable, and discrete administration route. Other forms of administration may include topical application, vaporisation, or ingestion through edibles and capsules. 


How do I know which cannabis extract is right for me?


Your prescribing specialist will determine the best extract for your unique health and wellness needs. They will consider factors such as your medical history, current medications, the condition or symptoms being treated, and desired therapeutic effects. It is important to always consult with a specialist doctor before taking any cannabis extract or product.


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If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in the UK, Releaf is here to help.