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Understanding cannabis flowers and oils

As a flurry of new products have flooded the budding cannabis market in recent years, so too have those developments come to represent a wealth of hope for medical patients, or anyone looking for an alternative therapy. Where, traditionally, cannabis was consumed by inhalation – combusting flowers in a joint or pipe – the contemporary cannabis discussion is one characterized by advancement and sophistication.

For the most part, the image of a conventional stoner – pipe or bong in hand – has been dropped. In its place, there is now a picture of a mindful, peaceful consumer, vaporizer in hand; or a patient finding relief from chronic pain symptoms after microdosing concentrated CBD oil. At its most impressive, cannabis extracts are reported to help with everything from headaches to epilepsy.

Perhaps the most important and at times puzzling distinction that new patients need to understand is the difference between cannabis flowers and oils. While the former, known simply as bud, is a perennial presence in the consciousness of most consumers, oils can be a challenge to comprehend at first. Despite the obvious disparities, like the entourage effect that people experience when consuming whole flowers, oil and bud can both have notable medical applications.


While a number of cannabis products – namely extracted cannabis oil – are beginning to rival the age-old popularity of whole flowers, this means of medicating remains the most common among patients. Typically consumed using a vaporizer, whole flowers are available in myriad strains and typically range below 30 percent THC and CBD. Depending on the strain, flowers can have any number of cannabinoid combinations and terpene profiles.



Cannabis oils can come in many different forms and be used in a number of fashions. Extracted cannabinoids have the propensity to be consumed orally, in an edible for instance, or incorporated into pre-loaded cartridges. The versatility of cannabis oils, particularly when looking to incorporate CBD oil into a health regime, makes a suitable solution for medical cannabis patients or, really, anyone looking to exercise the endocannabinoid system.1

  1. “What is a vape pen, and how do vape pens work? A peek inside these modern marvels.” https://www.thecannabist.co/2016/03/04/what-is-a-vape-pen-how-do-vape-pens-work/48171/

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