What Types of Medicinal Cannabis Are There?

Stephen Andrews
25 Oct 2022

Two main compounds extracted from Cannabis are used in medicine: Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and Cannabidiol or CBD. There are also several other minor cannabinoids that are getting traction and that might define the future of medicinal cannabis, such as Cannabinol or CBN - the sleep cannabinoid, and Cannabigerol or CBG - the mother cannabinoid of all cannabinoids, to name just two.

Medicinal cannabis is any form of Cannabis purposed for therapeutic use. There are various types of products that can differ in their chemical content, potency, formula, quality, effect, or how it's consumed/applied. 

Medical cannabis products, such as extracts, oils, or flowers, can be plant-based. Or they can be made synthetically in a lab.

There are three primary forms of medicinal cannabis products: 

  • Isolate: products only contain a single cannabinoid, such as THC or CBD
  • Full-spectrum: products contain a range of compounds extracted from Cannabis, usually with a more significant amount of THC or CBD and lower amounts of other minor phytocannabinoids
  • Broad-spectrum: these products contain a wide variety of cannabinoids and other cannabis-derived components, but they do not contain THC. 

Oil, flower and edibles are some of the most popular forms of medical cannabis. However, many other products are available for therapeutic use, including capsules, tablets, creams, nasal sprays, oral tinctures, skin patches, etc. 

CBD can be bought as an over-the-counter food supplement in a variety of forms, including oils, capsules, cigarettes, or e-liquid. It is also sold in drinks, foods, and cosmetics like hand creams. Sometimes, some of the CBD products will have trace amounts of THC but no more than 1%. Medicinal products with greater concentrations of THC are prescribed by a physician, however. 

green purple dried cannabis flower material in preparation for a roll.

What to Look for in Medicinal Products?

Most pharmaceutical cannabis products for the treatment of specific disabling conditions such as epileptic seizures or multiple sclerosis are prescribed upon examination by medical professionals. Those are pharmaceutical medicines and they are not discussed in this article. 

If you are looking for alternatives to typical weed products that do not involve eating brownies or smoking and vaping, below is a list of medical items that you can give a go or just get an idea of how to use cannabis for a therapeutic benefit.

CBD gummies

One of the best ways to test if medical cannabis is for you is by trying a product such as CBD gummies. They are easy to dose, discreet, portable, and much tastier than trying CBD oil for example. CBD gummies can help with various issues, such as inducing sleep or eliminating anxiety


Cannabis pills or capsules can contain various forms of cannabis, including extracted oil, decarboxylated flower, or single cannabinoids such as THC or CBD. They are precisely dosed and offer a long-lasting effect. Unlike other edibles such as brownies or gummies, pills are free of sugars, so they are the perfect choice for those paying attention to their calorie intake. Typical uses include pain management, as an anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and combating insomnia, among others.  


When herbs are soaked in alcohol, the resulting product is called a tincture. Although some tincture products can also have oil or glycerin as the basis. Cannabis taken as tincture is one of the oldest ways of consumption. Tinctures contain significant amounts of THC, often above the 100mg threshold for a package of edibles. While they might not be as fun as gummies or dabbing, tinctures have multiple health benefits and stimulate a high simultaneously. 

Skin patches

Transdermal patches can contain a single cannabinoid or a combination between THC, CBD, or CBN for example. They are applied to a specific area of your body, where it's possible to stick a patch that will stay there for several or more hours. When attached to the skin, the target area absorbs the cannabinoids, which help reduce local pain and inflammation. Patches are as effective as oral products containing Cannabis. 

Cannabis tea

Another healthier alternative to munching edibles or inhale smoke is consuming Cannabis as a drinkable in the form of tea. There are various drinkable weed products nowadays, but tea, it's fair to say, is one that can be taken for purely health reasons. You can browse online shops or look at local dispensary shelves for tea, or you can easily prepare yourself by just wrapping marijuana plant material in cloth and dipping it in hot water. The warm drink is often used as a pain relief medication. The potency of the tea will depend on the strength of the strain you use. 

Stephen Andrews