I have spoken about the differences in therapeutic dosages of whole plant cannabis extracts versus laboratory synthesized molecular cannabinoids and highly purified cannabis extracts.  It is very clear from the large volume of anecdotal evidence that much lower dosing is required with whole plant cannabis extracts than with molecular cannabinoids or highly purified cannabis extracts.

As GW Pharmaceutical’s seizure trials were conducted last year, I had several opportunities to discuss dosing GW’s product, Epidiolex, with Physicians.  Epidiolex, a highly purified cannabis extract, has the terpenes and THC fully removed and seems to require more than twice the dose of whole plant cannabis extracts.

We try to preserve terpenes as much as possible during the extraction process – which is what we should do, but we know that we lose many of the smaller terpenoid molecules. In the future, we would expect improved extraction techniques to allow us to retain more of these molecules.

However, there is a whole group of molecules in cannabis extracts that we never really discuss. Anyone who has performed CO2, alcohol or hydrocarbon extraction of cannabis knows that we get about 60% by weight of cannabinoids and terpenes we are able to test.  This leaves 40% by weight of lipids, fats, proteins, cannabinoids, terpenoids and hundreds of other molecules

When I visit a dispensary, it is often boasted that they have 90% pure THC or CBD. The only way to achieve this is to remove 30% by weight of whole plant molecules.

Why waste all this valuable medicine?

Why not give the whole plant all the credit it deserves, the laboratory just can’t beat nature.


Allan Frankel, MD Dr Allan Frankel is one of the few physicians in the US who truly understands Cannabis as a medicine. All treatments suggested have been well studied. Every patient seen by Dr Frankel is given a personally created Treatment Plan created with the patient's specific issues defined. Plant medicine requires "tuning" of the dosing. Dr Frankel works with his patients thru a messaging portal. The use of this portal, allows quick and simple follow up contact with Dr Frankel. Patients are not charged for these messages, as this is how Dr Frankel has learned what he has learned. Follow up appointments in person or by phone/video are also available when needed

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