Medical Concentrates or Flower?
Everyone has their preference when it comes to their favorite consumption methods, but scientifically speaking, there may be undiscussed benefits of one form over another. Some only eat edibles, others claim that flower is the only thing that soothes pain, while many swear by concentrates. But is there one that is chemically superior?
Choosing flower for medical purposes makes sense for many, as it is the least tampered version of cannabis as medicine. With the buds intact, you can visually see the trichomes on the bud and leaves. The trichomes contain the resin of the plant, which is where the therapeutic cannabinoids are found. These cannabinoids include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the most commonly known and offers consumers the heady or bodily “high” associated with marijuana as well as CBD, CBC, terpenes, and up to 400 other compounds which vary by plant. Terpenes are the aromatic molecules that give the plant various smells, and recent studies show that terpenes may react with THC and CBD to increase the therapeutic effects of the plant. Since flower is unprocessed, all of these cannabinoids and molecules remain intact for the consumer creating a beautiful marriage of aroma and therapeutic relief.
However, one downside for the consumer is that sometimes the levels of THC/CBD/etc may not be high enough in flower form to combat chronic pain. Another issue that consumers sometimes face is the risk of mold or mildew in flower. Standing Akimbo creates small-batch, properly cured cannabis to reduce and ultimately eliminate this problem with our own buds, but plenty of others do not.
Therapeutic use of concentrates has changed the game for those with chronic pain and in need of high doses of cannabinoids to feel “normal”. While some are not as pure as flower, the industry is making huge strides to create cleaner extraction processes that preserve as many constituents, like THC & CBD, as possible. Many extraction processes use butane, propane, or CO2, along with pressure and heat to separate the THC & CBD from plant material and other components of the cannabis plant.
One thing to note about concentrates is that they are created with heat, pressure, and sometimes solvents that can sometimes diminish terpene presence as well as other trace cannabinoids. The average cannabinoid will denature at 300* and many (but not all) extraction techniques will surpass that temperature during the process. Some patients that suffer from immunodeficient diseases could be affected by pesticides and other impurities in concentrates, as they have a tendency to have elevated levels. Purchasing solvent-free, organic extracts could alleviate many of those issues. But, as we mentioned, the industry is doing its best to keep up quality and potency for the medical patients. One other downside is that concentrates are more expensive, since you do get a bigger bang for a smaller dose.
So, who’s to say which is better than the other? Do we have preferences? Sure! But depending on your individual situation and medical needs, it’s best to try a variety of products when defining the best therapeutic regimen for you. Standing Akimbo’s menu is readily found on Weedmaps and our knowledgable bud tenders and ready to help you sift through your options and find exactly what you need!