Frequently Asked Questions

A Closer Look at the Science Behind Cannabinoid-Based Medicine

Here is a list of questions that we are commonly asked by health care providers about the science behind cannabis medicine. If you have a question that we have not answered, please contact us.


Is Medisenol a Synthetic or a Full Botanical Plant Extract?

Medisenol is a full botanical plant extract.

 

Which Cannabinoids and Terpenes are Found in Medisenol?

We profile 11 different cannabinoids in our products.

We profile 21 terpenes and sesquiterpenes in our products.

 

We retain all the major cannabinoids. Volatile terpenes such as myrcene are purged in the decarboxylation and extraction process.

The following major cannabinoids and terpenes are present in Medisenol:

CBD Dominant Balanced THC Dominant
Major Cannabinoids CBD CBD, THC THC
Minor Cannabinoids CBG, CBC, CBN, THC CBG, CBN, CBC CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN
Terpenes α-bisabolol
borneol
caryophyllene
fenchol
guaiol
humulene
linalool
terpineol
trans-nerolidol



α-bisabolol
borneol
caryophyllene
fenchol
guaiol
humulene
linalool
myrcene
terpineol
terpinolene
trans-nerolidol
valencene
α-bisabolol
borneol
caryophyllene
fenchol
guaiol
humulene
linalool
myrcene
terpineol
terpinolene
trans-nerolidol
valencene

If you would like the certificate of analysis for a given product contact us.

 

What is the Raw Material in Medisenol? Which Strain is it, Sativa or Indica?

We believe that “cultivar” is the more scientifically appropriate term for “strain” so that is the term we use.

Cannabis has a great deal of cultivar diversity but no formal horticultural naming system. As an example, consider the apple. A Granny Smith apple will be the very same cultivar (cultivated variety) regardless of where you buy it. It will look and taste the same. It will be distinct from all other types of apples such as Honey Crisp or MacIntosh.

The same is not true for cannabis. The naming system for cannabis has been developed much more informally over hundreds of years. As a result, a similarly named cannabis product acquired from two different sources could, in fact, be horticulturally distinct. Thus the naming of the cannabis plant by cultivar or subspecies (sativa or indica) is not very accurate.

When thinking of cannabinoid-based medicine, health care providers need to consider the chemical diversity in the plant, or chemovar (amounts of THC and CBD, other cannabinoids and phytochemicals), rather than the genotype of the plant.

The correlation between the botanical cannabis subspecies (sativa or indica) and its effects (such as “energizing” or “calming”) has not yet been clinically validated. At Scientus Pharma, we believe the emphasis should be on what we do know about cannabinoid medicine (eg. THC and CBD) and not on cultivar selection.

 

What is the Role of Terpenes and Flavinoids?

Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavour of cannabis.  Many people believe that terpenes contribute to the therapeutic effects of botanical cannabis. Unfortunately, there is very limited scientific data to support how much individual minor cannabinoids or terpenes contribute to the entourage effect. This is an emerging area for clinical research.

Unlike phytocannabinoids, terpenes are not unique to the cannabis plant, and are present in many of the foods we eat daily either naturally or added as flavouring agents in food.  The table below shows the dietary sources of various terpenes in our food and our average daily intake.  

Terpene or Sesquiterpene Average Daily intake (ug/day)a Sources
myrcene 164 Thyme, parsley, hops
limonene 28,000 Citrus fruit
terpinolene 205 Spices such as cardamom and marjoram
caryophyllene 760 Hops, basil, oregano, pepper
valencene 39 Citrus fruit

a) T.B. Adams et al. Food and Chemical Toxicology 49 (2011) 2471–2494

 

What is the Entourage Effect?

It has been theorized that a combination of two or more cannabinoids can act synergistically to enhance the therapeutic benefit of a cannabinoid-based medicine derived from the whole plant compared to single, isolated cannabinoid. This synergy is known as “The Entourage Effect.”

 

What is the Difference Between THC and THCA? What About CBD and CBDA?

THCA and THC are two different molecules.  THCA is found in the cannabis plant and is the precursor to THC. THCA must be converted into THC through a process known as decarboxylation.

As you can see from the tables below, THC activates the CB1 receptor, whereas THCA is over 1000 times less effective at activating CB1.  THCA exhibits far less pharmacological activity compared to THC.

CB1

Cannabinoid K EC Mode of Action
THC 5 nM 15 nM Partial Agonist
THCA 3100 nM 1800 nM Agonist
CBD 4900 nM >10,000 nM Partial Agonist
CBDA N/A >10,000 nM N/A

CB2

Cannabinoid K EC Mode of Action
THC 3 nM >10,000 nM Weak Agonist
THCA 12,500 nM >10,000 nM Agonist
CBD 2860 nM >7,000 nM Antagonist
CBDA N/A >10,000 nM N/A

Ki= inhibitory constant

EC50 = Median Effective Concentration

Ki is inversely proportional to affinity. This means that high Ki numbers suggest low affinity at a given receptor, while low Ki numbers are associated with high affinity.

EC50 is the effective dose of AGONIST that half maximally activates the channel/enzyme. 

 

On the Labelling, What is Total THC vs. Actual THC?

When purchasing cannabis or cannabis products, it is important to understand the label claim of the active and inactive components. 

The label will list “THC” and "Total" THC as well as “CBD” and "Total" CBD.  These numbers are test results of the cannabis product which indicate the actual amount of THC and CBD and also the total amount of THC and CBD as a potential to convert

The potential to convert takes into account the level of the precursor compounds THCA and CBDA.  The value is a mathematical conversion based on the molecule weight of THCA and THC (and similarly CBDA and CBD). 

For dried cannabis intended to be smoked or vapourized, the potential to convert value is a fairly accurate assessment of what the consumer can expect when using the product.  The reason is that THCA and CBDA convert almost completely and instantaneously to THC and CBD when heated or burned through smoking or vapourizing. This chemical process is known as "decarboxylation" <link to section 4.2 describing decarb science>

 For products consumed orally, decarboxylation does not occur via “smoking” and must take place during the manufacturing process. Thus one must pay closer attention to the actual value for THC and CBD.

With Medisenol, we have full decarboxylation with every batch.  The patient does not need to worry about deciphering the analytical results.  We ensure that values for Actual THC and Total THC are identical for our products, taking the guesswork out of interpreting the fine print on the label.

 

How Do I Know How Much to Authorize for a Patient?

Health Canada provides guidance on the quantity to authorize for a patient.

While there are no restrictions under the Cannabis Act on the daily amount that you may authorize for medical purposes there is a possession limit of the lesser of the equivalent of 150 grams or 30 times the daily amount of dried cannabis. 

 

Are You GMP and/or GPP Certified?

Under the regulatory framework outlined in the Cannabis Act, we are required to conduct our cannabis-related activities in accordance to Good Production Practices (GPP).  Our goal is to move towards full GMP compliance. 

Many of our employees come from a pharmaceutical background and are used to working in a GMP environment.  We have already implemented many of our processes and procedures in accordance to GMP principles.  GMP certification does not happen overnight - we are aiming to be fully GMP compliant by the end of 2019.   

 

How Stable is Medisenol? What is the Shelf-Life? 

We do not have a defined shelf life as yet. 

We have ongoing stability studies to guide us in assessing the long-term stability of our products. We are continually monitoring the stability of our products to ensure patients receive products that meet the highest standards in the industry. 

 

What Carrier Oil is Used in Medisenol?

We use MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil as our carrier oil. We studied various carrier oils and determined MCT to be superior for a variety of reasons. If you would like more information, please contact us.