What is dry medical cannabis flower?
Dried medical cannabis comes in two main forms and is taken through inhaling vapours. These two forms are:
- Flos – ungrounded dried cannabis flower buds
- Granulate – pre-grounded dried cannabis flower buds
We offer flos as standard and granulate on special request. Using a vape device, the patient will heat the flower of the cannabis plant. This causes the oils to vapourised and are then inhaled by the patient.
Vaped medical cannabis is useful in medical conditions that require faster relief of symptoms or if the patient needs to avoid contact of cannabis oil in their stomach or bowels.
Although the majority of our patients take their medical cannabis as an oil, a small amount of our patients prefer to take their medical cannabis prescription in dried flower form.
How to take dry medical cannabis flower?
There are currently few approved medical devices for vaping medical cannabis. Patients will need to source their own device for vaping medical cannabis. Some commonly used devices are:
- Pens – smaller devices, able to vaporise smaller amounts of medical cannabis
- Portable vapes – Larger portable devices that are often rechargeable. Higher control on temperature
- Desktop vapes – Largest device, more efficient although expensive
The cannabinoids in medical cannabis (CBD or cannabidiol and THC or tetrahydrocannabinol) are activated by heat. To ensure the most efficient way to produce cannabis oil vapour, the medical cannabis needs to be heated to 180°c (220°c max). The temperature can vary depending on the device and medical cannabis used. Adjustments to the temperature may be required to better target symptoms.
Vaporising medical cannabis can produce significantly greater drug side effects and cognitive or psychomotor impairment. A higher blood THC concentration is also observed when compared to oral administration.
What can medical cannabis be prescribed for?
Medical cannabis can be prescribed for patients who have tried all of the available treatment options for their condition. If the available, or recommended, treatment options have not proven clinically beneficial, then a specialist prescriber can offer medical cannabis as a potential treatment or aid to manage their condition. A specialist prescriber may consider medical cannabis for their patient if they have:
- Chronic pain, and conditions related to it, such as fibromyalgia
- A mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety
- Conditions that affect their nervous system, such as epilepsy or multiple sclerosis
- Conditions that affect their gastrointestinal system, such as IBS or Crohn’s disease
- Skin conditions that may be rare or difficult to treat The side effects of cancer treatment, in particular nausea or vomiting
As research continues, more conditions are being found to benefit from medical cannabis treatments.
How do I prescribe medical cannabis?
To prescribe medical cannabis you must be a specialist prescriber. You also need a unique controlled drug private prescriber identifying number issued by the NHS, and a pink prescription pad (FP10PCD).
You need to specify the formulation and the dose. It’s good practise to prescribe only a 30 day supply on one prescription.
As medical cannabis is a schedule 2 controlled drug, the prescription is valid for 28 days. You must send the original hard copy of the prescription to the patient’s chosen pharmacy for the medication to be dispensed. It can take time to source and dispense medical cannabis depending on the formulation, so it’s recommended that you have a designated pharmacy to send prescriptions to.
If you cannot prescribe medical cannabis, you can refer your patient to a private medical clinic where there are specialist prescribers that can assess their suitability for medical cannabis. Your patient can also refer themselves to a medical clinic.
Is medical cannabis safe?
Why choose us?
If you’re a healthcare professional and want to know more about medical cannabis, we’ve created some resources to help answer your questions.
We also want to make you aware that we provide services to help you and your patients access medical cannabis safely.