Patient Education

A selection of articles to help in empowering patients to make good cannabis decisions.

Introduction to Medicinal Cannabis

The cannabis plant contains active compounds known as cannabinoids that have a variety of benefits on the human body, including anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, anti-anxiety and calming effects. The plant is covered in specialised hairs called trichomes which coat the entire flower structure and secrete these active compounds to give the plant its therapeutic effects.

Cannabinoids

There are over 500 compounds and 104 active cannabinoids in the herbal plant known as ‘phytocannabinoids’. The human body also naturally produces cannabinoids known as ‘endocannabinoids’ which assist in maintaining regular bodily functions.

Terpenes

Terpenes are plant chemicals found in oils, spices, fruits and vegetables. In the cannabis plant, terpenes are pharmacologically active and impact the effect of cannabinoids. Terpenes are also responsible for the smell or aroma of the cannabis plant and have their own unique characteristics. 

Smoking vs Vaporising

Both methods of inhaling cannabis involve the heating of the flower to create a vapour which is then inhaled. Smoking is not recommended as the process may release harmful byproducts and the high temperature of burning the flower results in the loss of a significant proportion of the cannabinoids in the flower.