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Gifts for Mother’s Day: Elevate Your Routine with Hemp Seed Oil Skincare 

As Mother’s Day approaches, Astrid invites you to explore the world of hemp oil infused skincare products to create rituals around nurturing your skin, loving your body and practising self-care.

At Astrid, we’re not just about supporting patients on their natural therapy journeys, we also support the broader wellness benefits offered by plant-based skincare, natural supplements and lifestyle products. 

With skincare enriched with hemp seed oil, we’ve curated a collection that harmonises the ethos of health, wellness, and natural products.

Dive into our selection of gifts and skincare essentials, these products are designed to enhance your wellness journey and bring a touch of botanical bliss into your life.

The Magic of Hemp Seed Oil in Skincare Products 

Hemp seed oil is known to be a great natural moisturiser that doesn’t clog pores and is suitable for all types of skin – including dry, oily and combination skin. 

Hemp seed oil has become a popular remedy due to its essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including omega-3s and omega-6s which have anti-inflammatory properties and may be effective when treating skin conditions like irritated skin, eczema, and psoriasis. 

Our carefully selected range of hemp oil infused products are available both in-store at Astrid Byron Bay and Astrid South Yarra, and online for those who prefer the convenience of shopping from home. 

6 Hemp Seed Oil Skincare Products at Astrid 

HunterLab Healing Hand Cream

Soak your hands in the luxurious HunterLab Healing Hand Cream, a masterpiece crafted from the earth’s most nourishing botanicals. 

Infused with the potent blend of argan, grapeseed, and hemp seed oils, complemented by soothing aloe vera and the power of native extracts, this hand cream is an ultimate companion for deep hydration. Its non-greasy formula offers a sanctuary of moisture, softening the skin while diminishing dark spots and fine lines with grace.

The high performing formulation has a rich texture which absorbs rapidly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue behind. 

The fragrance is a refreshing mandarin, grapefruit, cedarwood, with hints of lavender and rosemary to invigorate the senses.

DIRECTIONS

With a small amount of cream in your palm, gently massage it over your hands until fully absorbed.

HunterLab Hand & Body Wash

Elevate your bathing ritual with HunterLab Hand & Body Wash, a moisturiser packed with nutrients. 

Powered by the hardworking hemp seed oil and the rejuvenating baobab protein, this hand or body wash is a testament to the healing power of natural extracts. It also contains native extracts such as aniseed myrtle, mountain pepper, and wild rosella flower, which provide intense hydration and nourishment to the skin.

This multi-purpose wash doesn’t just cleanse, it transforms your skin, leaving it refreshed and enriched over time. The scent is an intoxicating mix of tangerine and grapefruit, with a hint of rum, creating a scent of adventure for each day.

DIRECTIONS

Use in moments when you need a thorough and indulgent cleanse. Use 1-2 pumps of the wash, work into a lather on damp skin, then rinse clean to feel refreshed.

Alivio Hydrating Night Cream

Alivio Hydrating Night Cream is a lightweight and nourishing cream which helps skin to become moisturised and rejuvenated overnight.

Catering to all skin types, this hydrating cream was created to facilitate complete repair and reconstruction of skin internally. At its core, hemp seed oil works in harmony with bakuchiol, nature’s answer to retinol, alongside vitamin C and pro-collagen tripeptide-38, to focus on skin repair and renewal.

As you rest, this lightweight yet deeply nourishing cream works to:

  • Shield against and repair from free radical damage
  • Plump and hydrates skin
  • Restore firmness and elasticity
  • Nourishes and strengthens the skin barrier for enhanced resilience

Awaken to a morning of soft, supple skin that radiates health, thanks to the Alivio Hydrating Night Cream’s commitment to your skin’s overnight transformation.

DIRECTIONS

After nighttime face washing routine, use a small amount of Night Cream and rub into face with gentle upward strokes 

Alivio Facial Hydrator Serum

The Alivio Facial Hydrator Serum is focused on creating hydration and radiance for all skin types. Enriched with omega fatty acids and the star ingredient, hemp seed oil, this serum is a lightweight elixir designed for effortless absorption into your skincare ritual. 

Bakuchiol, a natural cell regenerator and collagen booster, works alongside antioxidants and Vitamin C to unveil a complexion that not only glows but thrives under protection and nourishment suitable for all skin types.

Experience the transformative benefits:

  • Illuminates and balances skin tone
  • Shields from free radicals and environmental pollutants
  • Diminishes signs of ageing
  • Deeply moisturises and revitalises

DIRECTIONS

Take a few drops of the Alivio Facial Hydrator Serum each day and softly massage your face to reveal luminous, hydrated skin.

Alivio Glycolic Facial Cleanser

Discover the gentle power of exfoliation with the Alivio Glycolic Facial Cleanser, a daily ritual for unveiling radiant, youthful skin. 

Infused with glycolic acid, this cleanser delicately removes lifeless skin cells, revealing the vibrant glow beneath. 

Far from the harshness of traditional cleansers, our formula is enriched with hemp seed oil, organic aloe juice, and a blend of cucumber and green tea extracts, offering a soothing, hydrating experience.

Embrace the benefits of this facial cleanser:

  • Gentle exfoliation for a brighter, more even complexion
  • Daily defence against environmental aggressors
  • Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
  • Boost in collagen production for lasting youthfulness

DIRECTIONS

This cleanser’s gel formula lightly lathers, cleansing without stripping, ensuring your skin remains hydrated and calm. With Alivio Glycolic Facial Cleanser, step into a world where daily cleansing is not just a routine but a revitalising skin ritual.

Cannabella Hemp Jelly: The Ultimate Skin Saviour

Dive into the luxurious Cannabella Hemp Jelly, a versatile balm meticulously crafted to nurture, repair, and hydrate even the most troubled skin. 

This all-encompassing remedy includes nature’s finest ingredients, suitable for all skin types and particularly a boon for those with sensitivities, including eczema and dermatitis.

At the heart of this balm lies the potent, unfiltered hemp seed oil, renowned for its high chlorophyll content and essential fatty acids, offering unparalleled skin renewal benefits. Its natural prowess in reducing inflammation and inhibiting bacteria sets the stage for a truly transformative skin care experience.

Enriched with the moisture-sealing properties of shea butter and beeswax, Cannabella Hemp Jelly creates a sanctuary of hydration for your skin. Jojoba and avocado oils weave in an antioxidant-rich layer, while vitamins E and A accelerate healing, fend off breakouts, and bolster the skin’s defence mechanisms.

Directions and versatile uses for Cannabella Hemp Jelly during every part of your skincare routine:

  • Lip Balm: A touch of balm on the lips keeps them soft and supple.
  • Overnight Face Mask: An evening layer promises a morning of ultra-hydrated skin.
  • Cleansing Balm: Transform your cleansing ritual, effortlessly lifting away makeup and impurities.
  • Cuticle Balm: Nourish and protect your nail beds with a gentle massage.
  • Fly-away Balm: Tame frizz and flyaways for sleek, smooth hair.
  • Soothing Relief: Apply generously to areas affected by sunburn, rashes, or wind burn for calming relief.
  • Nappy Rash & Chafing: Offer gentle, soothing care for the littlest ones in your life.

Cannabella Hemp Jelly is a multi-purpose marvel, ready to become the hero of your skincare routine. Embrace the healing power of hemp and let your skin experience the pure, nourishing love it deserves.

At Astrid, we’re on a mission to support everyday Australians with their overall health and wellbeing. 

Come visit us in Melbourne or Byron to view our products in person, or give us a call to discuss our products with the Astrid team.

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Astrid’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

6 Heartwarming Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Valentine

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’ve got a list of the perfect gifts to shower your loved one with affection. Astrid has you covered! 

At Astrid, we support patients with natural medicine journeys and we provide a range of wellness products including natural skincare, lifestyle essentials, supplements, and exclusive Astrid merch. 

With February 14th on the horizon, let’s dive into a bouquet of gifts that bloom with health and wellness.

Both in-store and via phone, Astrid offers a variety of gifts tailored to those who value the connection between love and wellbeing. 

Below we’ve handpicked a selection of seven gifts that your loved one will appreciate as they nurture the body and heart. 

All gifts can be purchased in-store at Astrid Byron Bay or Astrid South Yarra, via phone (03) 9077 2446 or Instagram DM @astrid.dispensary

1. Astrid Ceramic Herb Grinder

A grinder is often the first tool acquired by many people accessing medicinal flowers. 

Astrid created a grinder that delivers a consistent and smooth grind, enhancing the natural flavours and aromas of your dry flower. Its sleek and compact design ensures it’s a perfect fit for use both home and on-the-go. 

In our signature green and smooth design, the Astrid grinder makes every session a luxurious experience.

We’ve had feedback from some of our patients that it’s the best grinder they’ve ever used!

2. Storz & Bickel Vapormed – Mighty Medic & Volcano Vaporisers 

If your partner uses natural medicines and doesn’t have a vaporiser yet, this could be the perfect Valentine’s gift for them.

Designed for precision, performance, and medical-grade reliability, the Storz & Bickel vaporisers are world-renowned and offer unparalleled efficiency and a pure, clean vaporising experience. 

The Mighty Medic is Australia’s first portable medical vaporiser included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG 319028). 

Astrid proudly offers not just the Storz & Bickel Mighty Medic, but also its upgraded version, the Mighty Medic Plus, along with the iconic Storz & Bickel Volcano desktop device.

With its rechargeable battery, the Mighty Medic is portable which allows the freedom to administer your dose with love and precision wherever you go. 

Meanwhile, the Volcano, a masterpiece designed to stay at home as a desktop device, heats your flower with a blend of convection and conduction, ensuring a rich and clean vapour experience. Its innovative balloon system captures vapour for later, offering a perfect blend of dosage control and convenience.

Please note: This device is intended only for vaporisation of medicinal cannabis flowers, as prescribed by your doctor, for your medical condition.

3. Astrid Beanie 

Wrap your loved one in the warmth and style of Astrid’s exclusive apparel. 

Crafted for comfort and a snug fit that promises to stay put throughout the day, these Beanies are more than just a winter accessory; they’re a statement of belonging. 

Designed in the chic fisherman style with a cuffed hem, our Beanies strike the perfect balance between trendy and timeless. 

They feature a midweight design complemented by a wide, ribbed knit, ensuring both warmth and comfort during the chillier days. 

What sets our Beanies apart is the signature Astrid green colour—a nod to our brand’s identity and a vibrant addition to any outfit. Whether you’re out on a casual walk or meeting friends, our Beanie adds a touch of something special, making it the perfect accessory for those who appreciate style and substance. 

Woven from 100% acrylic, our beanies are designed with durability and comfort in mind with our one-size-fits-most sizing. Let the Astrid beanie be a reminder of your care and affection, keeping your loved ones cosy and stylish on cold days.

4. Weed is a Flower Book 

Step into a world where nature’s artistry meets mindful appreciation with “A Weed is a Flower,” a mesmerising 168-page hardcover photo book. This volume is a tribute to the natural allure of the cannabis plant, presented through enchanting floral arrangements that will captivate your senses.

This collection brings together breathtaking photographs from the pages of Broccoli Magazine, curated from the works of over 25 creative photographers and floral artists from around the globe.

The book’s captivating images showcase the charm and versatility of the plant, capturing its essence and reflecting the myriad reasons we’re drawn to it: its inherent beauty, the tranquillity it offers, the joy and amusement it brings, and its unique ability to transport us to a state of blissful escapism.

The title of Broccoli’s latest masterpiece, “A Weed is a Flower,” is inspired by a poignant quote from poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox in 1911: “A weed is but an unloved flower.” This title encapsulates the book’s essence, challenging perceptions and inviting readers to see the flower in a new light. The publication aims to shift perspectives and shine a new light on the plant, celebrating its role not merely as a plant but as a cherished part of the natural world.

The book is an invitation to explore the multifaceted personality of natural medicines, celebrating its place not just in our lives but in the broader tapestry of nature. 

This book is a substantial, tactile experience, perfect for gifting or displaying on a coffee table. 

5. Bloom Effects – The Royal Tulip Nectar

Discover the petal-powered magic of Bloom Effects, a skincare line we absolutely love. At the heart of this women-led beacon of innovation in skincare, is a deep reverence for the humble tulip bulb, which inspires their entire product range. Embracing the clean beauty ethos, Bloom Effects champions ethically-sourced, cruelty-free formulations, meticulously crafted to pamper your skin while protecting our planet.

The Bloom Effects Royal Tulip Nectar is a transformative ointment-to-serum hydrator that envelops your skin in layers of lush moisture. Infused with their exclusive Dutch Tulip Complex and a blend of earth-derived botanicals, it’s a concoction that calms, nourishes, and fortifies your skin’s barrier with every application.

It contains Bloom Effect’s proprietary Dutch Tulip Complex, as well as a variety of earth-sourced botanicals, which work together to soothe, nourish, and repair your skin’s barrier. 

You can apply it anywhere your skin needs extra care to get the benefits of this hydrator. Try it as a moisturising sleep mask—you’ll wake up with skin fit for a queen.

6. Posie Candles

A candle is a much loved gift, and it’s no different for those who visit the Astrid Dispensary. Patients love coming into Astrid in Melbourne and Byron to smell what candle we’re burning each day. 

Astrid stocks a range of Posie candles that have an enchanting fragrance. Whether your preference leans towards the refreshing essence of floral bouquets, the zest of fruity notes, or the grounding aroma of woody scents, we have something to enchant every nose.

Crafted from 100% natural soy wax, each candle is nestled within a striking amber glass jar, sealed with an elegant aluminium screw top lid, ensuring the fragrance remains as fresh as nature intended. 

The ingredients include 100% natural soy wax with a blend of premium grade, phthalate-free fragrance oils, essential oils, and a natural fibre waxed cotton wick that promises a clean, enduring burn.

Proudly handmade in Australia, Posie’s soy candles represent the pinnacle of sustainable luxury. They’re not just candles; they’re an experience, making them the perfect sensory Valentine’s Day present for someone special. 

Choose Wellness Presents that Suits your Partner

As Valentine’s Day approaches, remember that meaningful gifts are those that touch the heart and nurture the well-being of your significant other.

At Astrid in Melbourne and Byron, we’ve carefully selected a range of products that promise not just to delight but to offer a shared experience of wellness and love – and we ship all around Australia. 

Whether you’re well-versed in the world of natural remedies or just beginning to explore their myriad benefits, our dedicated team stands ready to assist you in choosing the perfect gift.

Make this Valentine’s Day a memorable fusion of love and health. Reach out to us now to find the ideal present that encapsulates both care and joy.

Love is in the air, and wellness is at your fingertips with Astrid. 

Contact us now to make your purchase and give the gift of health and happiness this Valentine’s Day.

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The Aromatic Alchemy: Unveiling the Wonders of Terpenes

Ever wondered why different plants have unique scents? It’s all thanks to compounds called terpenes.

While many associate them with Cannabis Sativa L., these aromatic molecules are found in various plants, giving them distinctive aromas and tastes. But here’s the mystery: terpenes aren’t just about smell; they’re vital for plant growth and protection. Now, picture this: what if these compounds held the key to powerful medicinal benefits, working in ways we’re only beginning to understand? Stay tuned to unravel the secrets of terpenes, exploring their diverse roles and potential therapeutic wonders.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are natural substances found in plants like Cannabis Sativa L., and they serve various essential functions for the plant, such as helping it grow, protecting it from pests, and more. 

In simpler terms, terpenes are what give plants, like Cannabis Sativa L., their distinctive smells. Different varieties of this plant have their unique mix of terpenes, which is sometimes called their “terpene profile.” You can also find terpenes in other things like tea, thyme, Spanish sage, and citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, and mandarin.

Terpenes are also noted to have various medicinal properties. So far only a small percentage of all 15000–20000 known terpenes have been researched. 

Some of the known terpenes with therapeutic benefits are among the more than 200 terpenes that are found in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, these include:

  • Myrcene (also known as 𝛽-myrcene)
  • Limonene
  • Pinene 
  • Caryophyllene
  • Linalool
  • Ocimene
  • Nerolidol

Myrcene

Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes. It is also found in basil, mangos, and its namesake, Myrcia sphaerocarpa, is a medicinal shrub from Brazil traditionally used to treat diabetes, diarrhoea, dysentery, and hypertension. Myrcene’s aroma is earthy, fruity, and clove-like. 

It is proposed that myrcene might increase the effects of other compounds in a variety of ways. One idea is that myrcene might affect how cell membranes work, especially the barrier that protects the brain. This could help substances like cannabinoids get into the brain more easily. But we don’t have enough good information yet to be sure. More research is needed to understand this. Myrcene has also been found to help substances pass through the skin more effectively.

Studies on animals have shown that myrcene has strong pain relief, calming, and anti-inflammatory effects. Scientists are currently studying myrcene in various ways to understand its potential benefits better

Limonene

Limonene is regarded as the second most commonly found terpene and is found in citrus, as well as a wide variety of other plant species. It’s an important part of oils found in citrus peels, dill, cumin, neroli, bergamot, and caraway seeds.

Limonene comes in two types: l-limonene and d-limonene. Even though they have the same chemical makeup, they look like mirror images of each other. L-limonene smells like pine and turpentine, while d-limonene has a nice orange scent.

Research has shown that limonene might have different health benefits. It can help fight harmful substances in the body, reduce inflammation, and protect against certain diseases. Scientists are studying how Limonene can be used to treat long-term health problems because it helps the body deal with stress and inflammation, and it also helps control cell death.

Also,scientists have done many studies on limonene to see if it can protect our brains from diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, seizures, anxiety, and stroke.

Pinene

Pinene, commonly found in pine trees, comes in two forms—α-pinene and 𝛽-pinene. It is associated with the earthy, woody, fresh aromas of pine, and resin found in many non-edible parts of plants.

Many plants rich in pinene have been used in traditional remedies to address a range of ailments, such as gastrointestinal issues, seizures, inflammation, pain, snake bites, colds, fevers, hypertension, rheumatism, cancer, fungal infections, anxiety, and depression, among other conditions.

Many studies have shown that pinene might have a role in helping fight off infections, stopping blood clots, and even reducing pain and inflammation.

Astrid Dispensary in South Yarra, Melbourne

β-Caryophyllene (BCP)

The terpene BCP, found in black pepper, cloves, hops, rosemary, copaiba, and cannabis, is quite special. It’s different from the well-known substances in cannabis like THC(tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD(cannabidiol). BCP is unique because it interacts with a system in our bodies called the endocannabinoid system in a special way.

Imagine your body has tiny locks, and the endocannabinoid system has keys to these locks. BCP fits into a specific lock called the CB2 receptor. This is different from most other compounds in cannabis.

Scientists have been studying BCP to see how it can help us with various health issues. They’ve looked into its potential for treating problems like colitis (inflammation in the colon), osteoarthritis (a type of joint pain), diabetes, cerebral ischemia (a condition where the brain doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen), anxiety, depression, liver fibrosis (scarring of the liver tissue), and diseases similar to Alzheimer’s.

There’s also hope that BCP could aid in cancer treatment. It might make certain chemotherapy drugs work better and even slow down the growth of tumours. 

Linalool

Linalool is a substance found in many fragrant plants. There are two types of linalool, each giving off a different smell. (R)-linalool, found in plants like lavender, sweet basil, and eucalyptus, has a fresh and woody scent. On the other hand, (S)-linalool has a softer fragrance with sweet and floral tones.

Scientists believe linalool could be really good for our brain. It might protect our brain cells, reduce inflammation (when parts of our body get red and swollen), and fight harmful substances called oxidants. Some studies with people have shown that oils with lots of linalool might help with problems like feeling very worried, sad, or having trouble sleeping. 

β-Ocimene

The name ‘Ocimene’ comes from the Greek word for ‘basil,’ which makes sense because basil plants contain this substance. It has a sweet and woody smell and can be found in things like mint, parsley, tarragon, kumquats, and mangos. It might have a role in stopping seizures, fighting fungal infections, and hindering the growth of tumours.

Nerolidol

Nerolidol is one of the common components found in the essential oil of various medicinal plants. The aroma is woody and reminiscent of fresh bark.

A majority of the studies reveal that nerolidol is the major constituent in many plants that have shown to exhibit antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, anti-biofilm, anti-oxidant, anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, skin penetration enhancer, insect repellent and anti-cancer properties. The presence of nerolidol in these plants may be a contributing factor to these properties.  

Why are Boiling points important?

Boiling points are important because they help us understand how different natural compounds, like terpenes, behave when they are heated.

Now, imagine if you had a pot of soup on the stove. You know that the soup needs to be heated to a certain temperature for it to taste just right. Similarly, each terpene has its own specific temperature at which it starts to turn into vapour and disappear. We call this temperature the boiling point of the terpene.

So, knowing the boiling points of terpenes is like knowing the perfect temperature for your soup. It helps scientists and researchers understand how these compounds work and how they can be used in things like perfumes, medicines, or even tasty food recipes.

Different terpenes have different boiling points. Some might start evaporating at a lower temperature, while others need more heat to disappear. By understanding these boiling points, scientists can use terpenes effectively in various products, making sure they are not lost before they elicit their effects.

Terpenes are volatile, natural and complex bioactive compounds. Each terpene will have a different point at which they start to evaporate and the boiling point of a terpene is the temperature at which it completely dissipates. 

Terpenes aren’t just about smell; they’re vital for plant growth and protection

Boiling Points of Different Terpenes:

Different terpenes have different boiling points, below are some of the common terpenes and temperatures: 

TerpeneBoiling Point (°C)
α-Pinene155
Camphene159
Sabinene163
β-Pinene166
Myrcene168
Carene171
Ocimene175
Limonene176
Terpinolene185
Linalool198
Terpineol217
Geraniol230
β-Caryophyllene263
Humulene276
Nerolidol276
Guaiol290
Bisabolol314

The ‘Entourage Effect’

The ‘entourage effect’ is the notion that the pharmacological effects of cannabis, as a whole extract, is greater than the sum of its individual chemical components. 

The terpenoids in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant may directly or indirectly interact with the plant cannabinoids, potentially contributing to the therapeutic value of plant-based therapies. This synergistic effect is sometimes referred to as the ‘entourage effect’ and is the subject of ongoing research. 

In summary, Terpenes are responsible for the smell of many plants. They play an important role in nature to protect the plant from pests and disease. However many terpenes also may have therapeutic benefits when taken as a component of plant-based medicine.

To learn more about plant-based medicines and terpenes or ask any questions, please contact our team on (03) 9077 2446 or hello@astrid.health, or visit one of our dispensaries

References:

Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x. PMID: 21749363; PMCID: PMC3165946.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
https://www.sydney.edu.au/lambert/medicinal-cannabis/the-cannabis-plant.html
Cox-Georgian D, Ramadoss N, Dona C, Basu C. Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes. Medicinal Plants. 2019 Nov 12:333–59. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-31269-5_15. PMCID: PMC7120914. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/myrcene
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/limonene
Eddin, L.B.; Jha, N.K.; Meeran, M.F.N.; Kesari, K.K.; Beiram, R.; Ojha, S. Neuroprotective Potential of Limonene and Limonene Containing Natural Products. Molecules 2021, 26, 4535. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26154535
https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/26/15/4535
Salehi B, Upadhyay S, Erdogan Orhan I, Kumar Jugran A, L D Jayaweera S, A Dias D, Sharopov F, Taheri Y, Martins N, Baghalpour N, Cho WC, Sharifi-Rad J. Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature. Biomolecules. 2019 Nov 14;9(11):738. doi: 10.3390/biom9110738. PMID: 31739596; PMCID: PMC6920849.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920849/
AUTHOR=Weston-Green Katrina, Clunas Helen, Jimenez Naranjo Carlos  
TITLE=A Review of the Potential Use of Pinene and Linalool as Terpene-Based Medicines for Brain Health: Discovering Novel Therapeutics in the Flavours and Fragrances of Cannabis 
JOURNAL=Frontiers in Psychiatry    
VOLUME=12     
YEAR=2021  
URL=https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.583211       
DOI=10.3389/fpsyt.2021.583211   
ISSN=1664-0640   
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/caryophyllene
Chan WK, Tan LT, Chan KG, Lee LH, Goh BH. Nerolidol: A Sesquiterpene Alcohol with Multi-Faceted Pharmacological and Biological Activities. Molecules. 2016 Apr 28;21(5):529. doi: 10.3390/molecules21050529. PMID: 27136520; PMCID: PMC6272852.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6272852/
Raz N, Eyal AM, Davidson EM. Optimal Treatment with Cannabis Extracts Formulations Is Gained via Knowledge of Their Terpene Content and via Enrichment with Specifically Selected Monoterpenes and Monoterpenoids. Molecules. 2022 Oct 15;27(20):6920. doi: 10.3390/molecules27206920. PMID: 36296511; PMCID: PMC9608144.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/ocimene
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Smoking vs Vaporising

Plant-based products vary, depending on the symptoms or condition they are designed to treat. The way that you take them can vary too.

Your doctor will need to assess your needs, and make a decision about whether there is an appropriate product for you.

Here we explore the differences between vaporising and smoking dried herb, and share information on quality use of medicinal cannabis.

What are the benefits and risks? 

Both smoking and vaporisation are methods of inhaling plant-based medicine that involve heating of the cannabis flower to create a vapour which is then inhaled. 

When medicinal cannabis is in dried form, the compounds that elicit an effect in humans, or cannabinoids, are inactive. Heating the dried flower at high temperatures by combustion (smoking) or vaporisation results in a process called decarboxylation which transforms the inactive compounds in medicinal cannabis into an active forms, namely into cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Smoked medicinal cannabis results in a rapid onset of action (usually within minutes), higher blood levels of THCand CBD and a shorter duration of effect as compared to ingested cannabis. Peak concentrations are reached within 30 minutes and the effects may last for two to four hours. 

Smoking has traditionally been the most common route of administration for recreational cannabis use, however it was found to have considerable individual variability because of the unknown concentration of THC in the products being consumed. At least 40% of the THC dose in the medicinal cannabis is lost in side stream/combustion when smoked, making it difficult to predict a therapeutic outcome. For this reason, and due to the well-documented evidence that smoking in general is harmful, smoking of medicinal cannabis products is not supported by the current legislation.

Vaporising medicinal cannabis results in a similar rapid absorption and high blood concentrations as smoking it. Medicinal cannabis is heated just at the right temperature, which is considerably lower than smoking temperature, hence combustion does not take place. If there is no combustion, fewer toxins and no side stream “smoke” are produced, making passive exposure less of a problem. First effects occur within 90 seconds and reach a maximum after 15 to 30 minutes, before wearing off after two to four hours. 

Vaporising heats the medicinal cannabis at a lower temperature without burning it and releases the cannabinoids and terpenes in the form of a vapour, which is then inhaled. The terpenes are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis.

Given the rapid onset of action, vaporising medicinal cannabis products might be more suitable for symptoms or conditions where rapid relief is required. The amounts of THC and other cannabinoids delivered by the vaporiser are dependent on the temperature, the duration of the vaporisation and the volume in the vaporiser. 

When new to vaporising or making the change from smoking, starting with a low dose is important. Studies suggest that vapourising medicinal cannabis delivers a higher amount of active ingredients than smoking, which may increase the likelihood of adverse effects.

What are the benefits of vaporisation vs smoking? 

Vaporising prescribed plant-based medicines has many benefits. As well as a reduction in exposure to toxins such as tar and carbon monoxide, it is associated with a reduction in respiratory symptoms such as cough, phlegm, and chest tightness and less wastage. Additionally, vapourisation of plant-based medicines  produces less odour compared to smoking. 

When is vaporisation not recommended?

Whilst vaporisation is considered safer than smoking, there are still risks associated with vaporising and inhaled forms of medicines are not recommended for anyone with known respiratory tract or lung conditions. 

Astrid dispensary Start your plant medicine journey with Astrid today
Start your plant medicine journey with Astrid today.

What temperatures are used to vaporise plant-based medicines? 

Different cannabinoids and terpenes are released at different temperatures. Many vaporiser devices give you control over the temperature at which the flower is heated. This can result in variations in therapeutic effects. Generally speaking, when vaporising at lower vs. higher temperatures a difference in therapeutic effects may be noticed.

Common practice is to start at lower temperatures and to increase or decrease slowly until optimal therapeutic effect.The ideal temperature may vary depending on the variety of the dried flower or depending on the situation and symptoms, for example some patients may choose lower temperatures during the day and higher temperatures in the evening. Some dried flowers will have a recommended vaporising temperature based on the properties of the medicinal cannabis flower that has been prescribed.

In summary, vaporising and smoking dried herb are two methods of inhaling medicinal cannabis, both involving heating the cannabis flower to create a vapour for inhalation. Smoking results in a rapid onset of action with higher blood levels of cannabinoids but is discouraged due to variable THC concentrations and health risks associated with smoking. Vaporizing offers similar rapid absorption, fewer toxins, and less odour, more cannabinoids, making it a safer option, especially for those needing quick relief, but requires careful temperature control to optimise therapeutic effects and reduce the risk of adverse effects.

There are a variety of ARTG listed medical vaporizers available in Australia that our team of Pharmacists are happy to provide advice on. To learn more about medicinal cannabis or ask any questions, please contact our team on (03) 9077 2446 or hello@astrid.health, or visit one of our dispensaries.

References

https://www.tga.gov.au/resources/resource/guidance/guidance-use-medicinal-cannabis-australia-overview
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8975973/
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Plant-Based Therapy Dosage Forms

Medicinal cannabis refers to the use of cannabis or its derivatives for therapeutic purposes, primarily to alleviate symptoms or treat various medical conditions.

It contains active compounds like THC and CBD that can impact the body’s endocannabinoid system, with various effects.

There are more than 100 different plant-based products available in Australia which come in many different forms, including oral formulations, topical formulations, inhalations.

Medicinal cannabis products can also be categorised as:

  • Isolate: contains only isolated cannabinoids, only tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Full-spectrum: products containing the full range of the constituents of the cannabis plant in different concentrations. Typically, these are high in THC or CBD and have lower levels of the other minor phytocannabinoids. These products will tend to contain THC as they contain all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids.
  • Broad-spectrum: products containing a range of cannabinoids and other cannabis constituents, but with no THC

Plant derived or Synthetic?

Plant-derived products are raw medicinal cannabis plant materials that have been produced in a controlled environment and allow for predictable cannabinoid content. These plants can be dried and cured and supplied as a dried flower. The medicinal compounds in the plant are vaporised by the patient. 

Medicinal cannabis products in the form of dried flower are only prescribed to be vaporised by an ARTG approved vaporiser. These are medical devices that have met with the regulatory requirements of the TGA, they are subject to strict approval assessments but are also monitored closely after they have been approved for supply and included in the  ARTG.

Plant-derived products can also come in the form of liquids (oils or tinctures), which are made by extracting cannabinoids from plant material by exposing it to solvents such ethanol or supercritical carbon dioxide. The liquid is typically taken orally with food.

Other sublingual methods of ingestion such as wafers or gummies also exist and more formulations are under development.

Other extracts are made into gels, lotions, creams or ointments for topical application onto the skin.

Finally, concentrated plant extracts are sometimes put into capsules that are swallowed much like any other medicine. 

Plant-derived products vary in their level of phytocannabinoids. The most important two of these to consider are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Products tend to be formulated which contain mostly THC, mostly CBD or a combination of both. These products typically also contain lesser amounts of the other trace cannabinoids such as Cannabigerols (CBG), Cannabichromene (CBC), Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA),Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) as well as other plant compounds.

Whole or ‘full-spectrum’ plant extracts are produced in a way that preserves the balance of all the different cannabinoids and terpenoids (other naturally occurring chemical compounds found in all classes of living things) in the plant. Other extracts are filtered and manufactured in a way that maximises the presence of one particular cannabinoid such as CBD.

There is ongoing research to determine if the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids such as CBD, are improved when maintained in a full-spectrum extract. The ‘entourage effect’ is the notion that the pharmacological effects of cannabis are greater than the sum of individual cannabis chemical components.

Synthetically produced cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are produced in a laboratory using organic chemistry techniques. The THC, CBD and other cannabinoid molecules produced in this way are identical to those found in the plant. They have been registered as medicines with the Food and Drug Administration in the USA since the 1980s.

Astrid Dispensary Nature, Science, Medicine
Nature, Science, Medicine

Oral plant-based products:

The majority of plant-based medicines currently supplied in Australia is in oil form which is taken orally. Other ingested forms include capsules and wafers.

Plant-based oils generally take 1-3 hours to start working and the effects can last 6-8 hours and up to 12 hours or longer in some cases. Individual variances in metabolism and food intake can affect the time of onset and duration of effect. 

Oral preparations generally have a slower onset of action and longer duration of effect as compared to inhaled products so may be preferred in circumstances where longer symptom relief is required. 

Capsules containing plant-based oil, wafers and oro-mucosal sprays that are sprayed into the mouth, under the tongue are also available.  

Inhaled plant-based products:

Dried flowers can be dried and cured to produce a product that can be vaporised using a medical vaporiser to produce a therapeutic effect. Extracts containing purified plant-based extracts are also available for vaporisation. 

Vaporisation is the process of heating plant-based medicines without burning and the active compounds are released into a vapour which is inhaled.  After inhalation, THC enters the bloodstream quickly through the lung, with the effects achieved within 6 to 10 minutes after inhalation. In general, inhalation has a faster onset and produces a stronger psychoactive effect than ingestion. Effects of inhaled plant-based medicines generally last up to 6 hours with some residual effects up to 24 hours later.

Smoking dried medicinal cannabis is not recommended. 

Astrid Dispensary A cannabinoid medicines clinic
Astrid is a boutique pharmacy and clinic that is pioneering in cannabinoid medicines

Topical plant-based products: 

Plant-based medicines in the form of a tincture, lotions, ointment or cream can be used topically. These products are applied directly to the skin and may be used to treat areas of pain and inflammation or a range of skin conditions.

In summary, medicinal cannabis in Australia is available in various forms, including oral formulations, topical applications, and inhalations, with different product categories such as isolates, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum. Plant-derived products offer predictable cannabinoid content and can be vaporised, taken orally, or applied topically, while synthetic cannabinoids like THC and CBD are produced in a lab and registered as medicines. The choice of administration method depends on factors like onset time, duration of effect, and individual preferences.

To learn more about plant-based medicines or ask any questions, please contact our team on (03) 9077 2446 or hello@astrid.health, or visit one of our dispensaries

References:

https://www.sydney.edu.au/lambert/how-to-get-medicinal-cannabis/what-products-are-available.html
https://www.racgp.org.au/advocacy/position-statements/view-all-position-statements/clinical-and-practice-management/medical-cannabis
https://www.nps.org.au/consumers/medicinal-cannabis-explained
Baratta F, Simiele M, Pignata I, Ravetto Enri L, D’Avolio A, Torta R, De Luca A, Collino M, Brusa P. Cannabis-Based Oral Formulations for Medical Purposes: Preparation, Quality and Stability. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 Feb 22;14(2):171. doi: 10.3390/ph14020171. PMID: 33671760; PMCID: PMC7926486.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7926486/
Vickery AW, Roth S, Ernenwein T, Kennedy J, Washer P. A large Australian longitudinal cohort registry demonstrates sustained safety and efficacy of oral medicinal cannabis for at least two years. PLoS One. 2022 Nov 18;17(11):e0272241. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272241. PMID: 36399463; PMCID: PMC9674134.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36399463/
Vandrey R, Herrmann ES, Mitchell JM, Bigelow GE, Flegel R, LoDico C, Cone EJ. Pharmacokinetic Profile of Oral Cannabis in Humans: Blood and Oral Fluid Disposition and Relation to Pharmacodynamic Outcomes. J Anal Toxicol. 2017 Mar 1;41(2):83-99. doi: 10.1093/jat/bkx012. PMID: 28158482; PMCID: PMC5890870.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890870/
Chayasirisobhon S. Mechanisms of Action and Pharmacokinetics of Cannabis. Perm J. 2020 Dec;25:1-3. doi: 10.7812/TPP/19.200. PMID: 33635755; PMCID: PMC8803256.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/
https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-10/CCSA-Cannabis-Inhaling-Ingesting-Risks-Infographic-2019-en.pdf
Makhakhe L. Topical cannabidiol (CBD) in skin pathology – A comprehensive review and prospects for new therapeutic opportunities. S Afr Fam Pract (2004). 2022 May 30;64(1):e1-e4. doi: 10.4102/safp.v64i1.5493. PMID: 35695447; PMCID: PMC9210160.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7558665/