How do you establish the difference, medically speaking, between different strains?
All products that are released to be prescribed in the UK have to go through rigorous testing. Within that testing process, you are able to identify exactly what’s in that particular cannabis strain or a particular vape cartridge, in terms of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol) and terpenes. Our understanding of cannabis strains and how they can benefit people differently is growing rapidly. The U.S has the largest medical pool of data from patients, which we follow closely to guide us on what strains have helped patients. We’re also fortunate that the UK cannabis community is small yet aligned with advocating on what individuals personal experiences have been with certain dosages and strains.
How many strains are there?
The number of strains in terms of cultivation is absolutely huge. There are different families, which have different characteristics.
In terms of medical effects, is it just CBD and THC that are important?
Until recently, the focus has been almost exclusively on the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. But evidence suggests that all plant compounds in cannabis work together in synergy – this is known as the entourage effect. That is how you would differentiate one strain from another.