Medical cannabis capsules first arrived in Canada earlier this year when Tilray put medical cannabis liquid capsules on the market.
Cannabis capsules have become quite popular as a method of taking medical cannabis due to their many benefits.
What are Cannabis Capsules?
Cannabis capsules are capsules containing cannabis oil. They’re a relatively new medical cannabis product currently being sold as both soft-gel and vegan hard-shell capsules that contain cannabis oil.
Tilray introduced medical cannabis capsules in Canada in May 2017. Since then, some of Canada’s top licensed producers have been approved to sell medical cannabis capsules. These licensed producers include:
- MedReleaf Corp is approved by Health Canada to sell cannabis oil soft-gel capsules.
- CanniMed by Aurora is approved by Health Canada to sell cannabis oil soft-gel capsules.
- CannTrust Holdings Inc. offers a variety of vegan-based hard-shell cannabis oil capsules.
Like edibles, cannabis capsules are absorbed through the digestive system and may take anywhere from half an hour to over an hour to take effect.
Patients need to be wary not to take more while they wait for the cannabis to take effect as this may result in over-dosing.
Benefits of cannabis capsules
Taking medical cannabis capsules as a new form of ingesting medical cannabis offers several benefits including:
- pre-measured doses
- allows micro-dosing
- increased dosage control and exact milligram prescriptions
- a safe oral alternative to patients that cannot smoke or vape
- no waste
- practicality (easily transported)
- edible form of ingesting medical cannabis with no sugar or fat
- they contain no odor
Home-made cannabis capsules and edibles
Though many people have taken to making their own edibles and cannabis capsules, certain issues may arise due to how difficult it is to ensure consistent potency.
Due to the risk of inconsistent potency when making edible cannabis at home, physicians advise buying medical cannabis products from a licensed producer.
“Licensed producers are striving to create products that are consistent, and their resources allow consumers to know exactly what is in the product they are ingesting” – Dr. Mahabir, CB2 Insights medical cannabis expert and advisor
Soft-gel cannabis capsules vs. vegan hard-shell capsules
The cannabis oil hard-shell capsules produced by CannTrust Holdings Inc. contain no animal products whatsoever.
This makes vegan hard-shell capsules far more attractive to patients with religious beliefs or ethics that prevent them from consuming animal products.
Hard-shell capsules are also easier to ship, they do not stick together, and they maintain their quality during the shipping process. Soft-gel capsules often stick together.
Are cannabis capsules here to stay?
Cannabis capsules have received increased popularity as a primary method of ingesting medical cannabis.
Cannabis Evidence conducted a study that shows that three out of four patients in a sample screening size of 709 patients prefer other methods of taking medical cannabis over smoking cannabis.
Most of the patients screened in the study prefer ingesting cannabis in tablet or capsule form.
Patients are not alone in their preference as many physicians deem prescribing cannabis in capsule form as their main choice when prescribing medical cannabis.
This is due to the fact that cannabis capsules ensure dosage measurement precision.
“Most of our physician partners prefer capsules as the primary choice for their patients as well, as they eliminate the potential for measurement mistakes with dosages. Capsules also have no waste and can easily be integrated into a patient’s medication administration plan, and are easy to transport and add to medication administration boxes” – Kaivan Talachian, CannTrust Professional Services vice-president
Cannabis capsule popularity can be largely attributed to the familiarity patients have with taking medications in pill form.
Only time will tell whether or not cannabis capsules as a preferred method of taking medical cannabis is here to stay in the long run.
Overall, cannabis capsules provide patients with an efficient, precise, practical, and simple method of taking medical cannabis.