Medical Marijuana Product Guide
Beginning next month, patients with state-issued medical marijuana ID cards will have access to medical marijuana throughout Pennsylvania. Approved forms of consumption that will be available at TerraVida Holistic Centers will be oils, topicals, tinctures, lotions, creams, ointments, extracts, liquids and medically appropriate forms of vaporization or nebulization.
Cannabis oil, also known as hash oil and by many other names, is an extract, or concentrated form of many of the active compounds that are found in the plant. Different oils are classified by a few different factors:
Texture of the final oil product
Extraction method and/or solvent used
The starting materials’ dryness (dried and cured, or fresh frozen)
The starting materials’ contents (trim, nug, whole plant)
Different textures of cannabis oil:
Oil - A thick liquid that can be vaporized, applied topically, or eaten (if decarboxylated/activated). Distillate is usually in this form.
Wax/Batter/Butter/Crumble - A soft solid form that is typically vaporized. This is made in the same way as sugar, except the solution is whipped, or agitated during the extraction process to spread out the terpenes evenly among the entire batch of oil. There may be tiny crystals present.
Sugar - A texture that has consistent small to medium crystal size and minimal terpene separation. Shatter and Sap turn into sugar overtime as crystallization naturally occurs.
Shatter/Pull n’ Snap - A hard, translucent form of oil that is glass-like and either “shatters” when broken, or can be “pulled until it snaps” depending on its brittleness.
There are no crystal formations, and it is homogenous.
Sap - Similar to shatter, but it is sticky and gooey. There are no crystal formations, and it is homogenous.
Crystal - Just the crystallized form of THC-A or CBD, without terpenes.
Sauce - The terpenes are separated during the extraction process as are the isolated THC-a crystals. Once both the terpenes and THC-a crystals have been separated from each other, they are reintroduced into a jar together and portioned out into an even ratio. Although many people call this sauce, it is also referred to as FSE (Full Spectrum Extract). When there is a high ratio of terpenes, it is called HTFSE (High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract) and when there is a high ratio of crystals it is called HCFSE (High Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Extract).
Different cannabis oil classifications:
Any cannabis oil that was made from fresh frozen plant material
Live Sugar, Live Wax/Live Butter, Live Sauce
High terpene content (high monoterpene content compared to non-live oil)
Often made from whole plant material
Thick liquid that is made up of isolated cannabinoids (usually just THC)
Decarboxylated/Activated (THC, not THC-A)
Made without a chemical solvent
Considered mechanical separation instead of a chemical extraction because the processor is physically removing the active compounds by force, rather than removing them by chemical interaction
Dry Sift/Kief - Trichomes are removed from the plant material by agitating the plant material over a mesh screen. The trichomes fall through the mesh screen and are filtered by size as they are sifted through a succession of smaller mesh screens.
Bubble Hash - The plant material is placed in a mesh screen and then placed in an ice water bath where the trichomes are made brittle by the cold temperatures. Once the plant material is agitated, the brittle trichomes break off of the plant and fall through the mesh screen, where they are suspended in the water. The trichomes are then filtered by size as the water is poured through a succession of smaller mesh screens.
Rosin - Rosin is a solventless oil that is made by pressing, or “squishing” the starting material with heat and pressure. The combination of heat and pressure squeezes out the oils in the material, where they are allowed to run off and be collected. Rosin is made from plant material, dry sift/kief or bubble hash.
Solventless Sauce - Like sauce made from butane, solventless sauce is a combination of separated terpenes and THC-A. The THC-A is in a wax form, rather than a crystal form, but other than that it is very similar to BHO sauce.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
RSO is often used by cancer patients, and other patients who would like to consume large amounts of THC orally
RSO is made using ethanol as a solvent
RSO is decarboxylated, or activated which means that it is ready to be consumed edibly
Tinctures are liquid extracts that are consumed orally. They usually come in a bottle with a dropper top, or in a spray bottle so that very small doses can be administered if needed. Tinctures were the main form of cannabis medicine until the United States enacted cannabis prohibition. There are several benefits to tinctures:
Fast absorption if administered sublingually
Slower absorption if administered orally
Easy to administer small to large doses
Easy to add to recipes, or other foods and drinks
Long shelf life (if kept away from sunlight in a cool environment)
Topicals are any form of medicine that is administered through the skin. Some topicals are intended for localized treatment, while others are intended for absorption into the bloodstream. Topicals are often made with terpenes and other essential oils to aid in the absorption through the skin. Topicals that you will likely see will be:
Lotions - used locally for pain management, reducing inflammation and skin growth
Salves - used locally for pain management, reducing inflammation and skin growth
Transdermal Patches - applied to a venous area with thin skin (inside of the wrist, top of the foot, inside of the ankle). Like a nicotine patch, these deliver the active compounds into the bloodstream through the skin layers
Transdermal Gels - these gels are applied to a venous areas with thin skin (inside of the wrist, top of the foot, inside of the ankle). Like the transdermal patches, these deliver the active compounds into the bloodstream through the skin layers
Pills may come in different forms. They are great options for patients that want to consume without inhalation, or need long-lasting relief.
Pressed pills will dissolve quickly under the tongue, for a quick-onset sublingual absorption.
Capsules that are filled with a solution of cannabis oil and another agent to help with absorption into the body. The other ingredients in capsules are often coconut oil or butter, MCT oil, or other ingredients that have a high-fat content which aids in the absorption process.
Capsules can be swallowed whole, which will have a longer digestion process than when taken sublingually.
Capsules can often be chewed or cracked in half, so that the contents inside the capsule are available to be absorbed sublingually
Vaporizer Pens (“Vape Pens”) and Nebulizers
Vaporizers are devices that are used to administer cannabis oil by heating up liquid until it turns into a vapor and can be inhaled by the patient. Nebulizers are used to administer the oil in the form of a mist that can be inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used for the treatment of respiratory issues, and would most likely come to market in the form of an inhaler.
Inhalation is one of the fastest absorption methods
Terpenes are able to be utilized for effect and flavor
Easy and quick to use compared to vaporizing on a rig and nail
Dosage is controllable by the size of hit taken
Some patients are already comfortable with self-administration and dosing, but others may have never consumed before. It is important to follow the “L.E.S.S.” method for patients who are new to cannabis. L.E.S.S. = LOW, ESTABLISHED, SLOW, SUPPLEMENTED
LOW = Starting with a small dose. 1mg is a very small dose for most people and is a conservative starting point for young children or adults who are nervous about the effects of cannabis. 5mg is a small, but potentially significant dose that may be a good starting point for people who are new to cannabis.
ESTABLISHED = Establishing the effect that a certain dose has on a patient will help them to decide whether to up or down dose for future administration.
SLOW = It is important to have patience and remember that cannabis is sometimes absorbed slowly (depending on the method of administration.) The peak effects may not be felt until after 90 minutes for some people who are consuming orally.
SUPPLEMENTED = A low oral dose makes a good base. Once the effects are felt and have evened out, additional cannabis can be added to increase effects as desired. It makes it practical to "underdose" with oral cannabis without having the experience be disappointing.
We have begun taking appointments for our Sellersville dispensary. If you are looking to make an appointment with our on-site medical professional, we ask that you email firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number, day of week preference and time of day preference.