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CBD oil, CBD cream, and other medical cannabis products

CBD oil, CBD cream, and other medical cannabis products - featured image

The days of "smoking weed" are gone (for many people). Patients now have many options available for how they take their medication. Each have their pros and cons, as we discuss below.

Gel capsules

Contain measured amounts of cannabis extract oil and often look like Vitamin E capsules, although some may come in colours.omega-3-fish-oil-capsules-isolated-on-white-picture-id1221801603

Advantages

  • Measured dosing, e.g. 2.5mg CBD per capsule
  • Easy to handle
  • Longer duration of effect

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than other formats, due to manufacturing costs
  • Cannot split for more precise dosing (can only dose in increments available e.g. 2.5mg to 5mg to 7.5mg etc.)
  • Effect can take longer to kick in

Oil - bottled

Bottled cannabis extract oil, sometimes with a dropper top.

oil-dropper-bottle-live-cannabis-resin-extraction-isolated-on-white-picture-id1132110657

Advantages

  • Measured dosing, e.g. 2.5mg CBD per mL.
  • Precision dosing (can dose in smaller increments than with gel capsules)
  • Easier to handle than dried flower, but not as easy as gel capsules
  • Longer duration of effect

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than dried flower, but less expensive than gel capsules
  • Effect can take longer to kick in
  • Some people don't like the taste, however it can be put on a cracker or mixed with orange juice
  • Droppers can be hard to read (you may need to purchase syringes separately)

Oil - spray

Cannabis extract oil but in a non-aerosol pump spray bottle.Oral-Sprays-How-Much-Should-I-Take-OCS

Advantages

  • Measured dosing, e.g. 2.5mg CBD per spray.
  • Easy to handle
  • Can spray under the tongue for faster effect
  • Longer duration of effect

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than bottled oil
  • Some people don't like the taste, however it can be sprayed on a cracker (some manufacturers are adding flavours such as mint)
  • Cannot get precise dosing (can only dose in increments available e.g. 2.5mg per pump)

Edibles

Including wafers, chocolates, and gummies.stack-of-dark-chocolate-baking-bar-pieces-with-medical-marijuana-or-picture-id1232405334

Advantages

  • Measured dosing, e.g. 2.5mg CBD per chocolate.
  • Possibly more precise dosing (e.g. splitting a wafer), however that depends on how well the cannabis is mixed in the product
  • Easy to handle
  • More pleasant taste
  • Longer duration of effect

Disadvantages

  • Possibly the most expensive format, due to additional ingredients and manufacturing costs
  • Effect can take longer to kick in
  • Must take extra care to prevent children from gaining access
  • Contain significantly more calories, e.g. from sugar

Beverages and infusers

Bottled/canned drinks, teas, and infusers (powder to mix in drinks).marijuana-tea-and-branches-isolated-picture-id941294526

Advantages

  • Measured dosing, e.g. 2.5mg CBD per drink.
  • Possibly more precise dosing (e.g. half a bottle), however that depends on how well the cannabis is mixed in the product
  • Easy to handle
  • More pleasant taste
  • Longer duration of effect

Disadvantages

  • Another expensive format, due to additional ingredients and manufacturing costs
  • Contain significantly more calories, e.g. from sugar
  • Effect can take longer to kick in (although some manufacturers are claiming faster onset)

Topicals

Creams and lotions containing cannabis extracts.lotion-bottle-picture-id174176340

Advantages

  • Can apply directly to affected area (e.g. for muscle pain)
  • No taste (unless you eat it 😉)
  • Easy to handle

Disadvantages

  • Another expensive format, due to additional ingredients and manufacturing costs
  • Can be greasy
  • Only penetrates up to 1cm
  • No clinical evidence that they actually have any effect

Vaporization pens and cartridges

Small pens similar to e-cigarettes, with cartridges containing a form of cannabis extract oil.marijuana-oil-dropper-and-vape-pen-on-white-backgorund-picture-id1161472799

Advantages

  • Fast onset of effect, near-instantaneous feedback for THC (CBD effect more subtle)
  • Easy to handle
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Does not subject lungs to combustion by-products (as opposed to smoking dried cannabis)

Disadvantages

  • Can be expensive due to manufacturing costs
  • Imprecise dosing
  • Some people don't like the smell
  • Cartridges are disposable (metal and glass), not recyclable
  • Quality control can be an issue (e.g. cartridges malfunctioning or leaking)
  • Long-term safety not proven

Dried flower

Dried leaves and buds of the cannabis plant. Usually ground and rolled in a cigarette ("joint") or used with a vaporizer device.and-thc-vaping-products-dry-herb-vaporizer-and-healthy-inhaling-of-picture-id1187584754

Advantages

  • Fast onset of effect, near-instantaneous feedback for THC (CBD effect more subtle)
  • Least-expensive of all forms

Disadvantages

  • Difficult to handle, unless using pre-rolled cigarettes
  • Imprecise
  • Use with vaporizer devices can be fussy, e.g. cleaning and maintenance
  • Smoking (vs. vaporizing) subjects lungs to harmful combustion by-products