Some products that might claim to be medical cannabis, such as “CBD oil” or hemp oil, are available to buy legally as food supplements from health stores. But there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits.
It would only be considered when other treatments were not suitable or had not helped.
Can I get a prescription for medical cannabis?
Epidyolex is a highly purified liquid containing CBD (cannabidiol).
The specialist will discuss with you all the other treatment options first, before considering a cannabis-based product.
The risks of using cannabis products containing THC (the chemical that gets you high) are not currently clear. That’s why clinical trials are needed before they can be used.
Cannabis oils or concentrated extracts are obtained by the extraction of cannabinoids from the dried flowers (cannabis flos) of the cannabis plant. The purpose of producing cannabis oil is to make cannabinoids and other components (i.e. terpenes), available in a highly concentrated form.
Medicinal cannabis oil extracted from Bedrocan’s standardised flos is currently available in the Netherlands and several other countries. It is extracted by pharmacies (as magistral preparations) or pharmaceutical companies using GMP-certified production methods.
Bedrocan does not produce nor sell oil for oral sublingual dosing. Please refer to our contact page for an overview of Dutch compounding pharmacists.
In recent years, a large, unregulated market for CBD (cannabidiol) oils has emerged. These products are typically derived from fibre-type cannabis strains (hemp), which contain large concentrations of CBD, but negligible of THC.
The preparation of cannabis oil or cannabis concentrates at home, or the use of unregulated cannabis oils or concentrates is not advised.
Cannabis oils are concentrates that are created by extracting cannabinoids like THC and CBD from cannabis plants. Most oils you find at a dispensary are created by a process called “chemical extraction.” These methods use a solvent to extract cannabinoids along with other beneficial compounds like terpenes and flavonoids and add them to carriers like hemp oil or MCT oil.
Just like with any cannabis product, dosing depends on the individual. It will take a bit of experimentation to find the right dose for you, but the general rule of thumb is “start low and go slow.” You want to find the lowest dose that provides the effects you are looking for, and that might be lower than what is recommended on the product label.
What is Cannabis Oil?
The most effective way to take cannabis oil is sublingually, where the oil is placed under the tongue with a dropper and absorbed by the mucous membranes that lead directly to the bloodstream. This method allows it to bypass the stomach, which raises the bioavailability (the number of cannabinoids that make it to your bloodstream when your body absorbs the medicine) and takes about 15 to 30 minutes to kick in.
You can also use cannabis oil like you would an edible or a capsule by adding it to food and drinks. While this method is effective, the bioavailability of anything you ingest is generally lower, meaning you won’t absorb the cannabinoids as thoroughly because they must pass through the stomach and the liver. Ingesting cannabis oil can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to kick in depending on things like what you’ve eaten and the speed of your metabolism.
Choosing a method of cannabis consumption is about personal preference. While cannabis oil doesn’t work as fast as inhalation methods like vaping or smoking, it can work more quickly than ingesting edibles. It also comes in a variety of potency options, from oils that contain only CBD to those with a wide range of THC concentrations.