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The future of medical cannabis is bright. Few weeks pass these days without a new product, advancement or innovation being introduced to the budding cannabis marketplace. For patients, this wealth of choices has translated to options, both in the types of products available for cannabis therapy, but also in the way those products are consumed.

Despite these myriad new delivery methods and products in the cannabis space, medical patients continue to treat their symptoms and conditions with whole flowers or concentrates, often using a vaporizer for its efficacy and safety. In fact, over half of cannabis patients continue to medicate with cannabis in its traditional form: whole flower.

Some suggest the reason for the popularity of whole flowers rests in one of the cannabis plant’s most eccentric chemical characteristics. The so-called entourage effect is a term that describes the sensation one experiences when consuming plant cannabinoids with terpenoids. Where many new cannabis products are limited in terpenes, whole flowers are a guaranteed way to experience the entourage effect when medicating.

In fact, many experts who are closest to the science of medical cannabis believe there will be as much interest in new cannabis-based drugs as there are in traditional means of medicating. One of those is Dr. Ethan Russo, who is a leading expert on the topic of medical cannabis and cannabis-based drugs and delivery methods.

“There are patients that prefer a pharmaceutical-grade product that will have the uniformity of action and quality control behind it,” says Dr. Russo. “On the other hand, there are going to be patients that have already identified a strain of cannabis that’s helpful to them and they’re going to want to stick with.”

As the number and type of cannabis products available to medical patients continues to diversify, the classic way of consuming the plant remains popular. Whether it be the inherent therapeutic qualities of consuming whole flowers – which may be entirely, or partly, attributed to the entourage effect – or simply its efficacy, the plant’s buds remain an important part of the medical cannabis conversation.

With even some of the world’s leading scientists addressing the merits of whole flowers and traditional delivery methods, it stands to reason that no matter how much innovation there is in the cannabis space, there will continue to be value in the plant in its rawest form. And with healthy tools like vaporizers now being used to consume whole flowers, the future of medical cannabis is full of potential.

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