How to Use Cannabis Concentrates in Ohio
There are many intricacies to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program that have seemingly created some grey-legal areas of understanding. While some rules and regulations in the OMMCP are rather straightforward - patients must visit with a licensed doctor to obtain approval, patients must purchase products from an Ohio dispensary - there are yet other rules and regulations that are vague enough to stir up confusion. With the help of Firelands Scientific, we posted an article last week addressing the key points of confusion that we most often hear. This week, we will be taking a look at cannabis concentrates and the appropriate way to use them in order to remain compliant.
What Are Cannabis Concentrates
Generally speaking, most patients are already familiar with cannabis in its flower form, and the administration methods in order to utilize this product; fewer patients are familiar with cannabis concentrates as this is a newer form of cannabis that has been trending more so among cannabis enthusiasts rather than the general public.
Cannabis concentrates can take a variety of different forms, and will be significantly more potent in comparison to cannabis flower. In the OMMCP, flower is allowed a maximum THC content of 35%, whereas with concentrates in Ohio the maximum THC content is 70% - up to two times more potent than the most potent flower in Ohio.
Solvent-based extraction: Solvent extracted concentrates are most often used for commercial-sized processors looking to create large quantities of extract. Some of the most common chemical solvents used in cannabis extraction include ethanol, butane, propane, and carbon dioxide.
Nearly all solvent-based extraction methods will require a process known as "purging". It is during this process that the remaining chemical solvents that were used for extraction are evaporated from the concentrate. Note: If a product is described as "solvent-free" it means that the chemical solvent has been completely removed; this is not the same as solventless extracts.
Solventless extraction: Whereas solvent extractions will utilize chemical compounds to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis flower, solventless extraction uses mechanical techniques that utilize pressure, heat, and filtration. For this reason, solventless extraction will be more labor-intensive compared to solvent extraction, and often will provide lower yields relative to solvent extraction. Note: although water is technically considered a solvent, solventless in terms of cannabis refers to extractions with no chemical solvents utilized.
Now that we understand cannabis concentrates, let's dig into how to use these products and understanding the compliance with the rules and regulations of the OMMCP...
No vaporizing device, the design of which places medical marijuana in direct contact with the device's heating element, may be used to vaporizer the resin contained within, or an extract of, medical marijuana;
Vaporizing devices shall not be capable of being heated to temperatures at which medical marijuana plant material will burn.
The vagueness of this rule has meant that nearly any vaporizer currently available on the market is not technically compliant within the OMMCP. While you will likely find vaporizer brands such as Pax and the Mighty or Crafty at dispensaries, the only vaporizer brand we are aware of that has been approved as compliant within the OMMCP is the VTV Onyx made by Cincinnati-based VT Vaporizers. With dispensaries selling other vaporizer brands, it seems as though the State may not enforce this rule very stringently - if at all - as it would create a monopoly in the Ohio vaporizer market, and obvious shortages in the amount of compliant vaporizers available for patients.
Aside from the VTV Onyx, the following devices are popular among patients utilizing cannabis concentrates:
Vaporizer | Allowed, generally
As discussed in rule #1 from the OMMCP, a vaporizer is compliant as long as the cannabis product does not touch the heating device directly. Not all brands will have options that are compliant within the OMMCP, however, the ease of using vaporizer brands such as G Pen for cannabis concentrates will likely be the easiest method for patients in regards to both pricing and usability.
Dab/Oil Rig | Questionable
An oil or dab rig is a device created especially for cannabis concentrates; oil rigs will look just like a bong (or water pipe) but rather than a bowl head there is a quartz, ceramic, or titanium dish that is heated and the concentrate applied directly. As stated above, the prospect of touching cannabis products in Ohio directly to the heating device is non-compliant; however, because a torch is usually utilized to heat the dish, there can be an argument made that with the "heating device" being the torch and using a dab rig at the appropriate temperature this would be a compliant method, yet Rule #2 above also would argue that since the torch gets the nail hot enough for combustion it would be breaking that rule rather than the first.
Electronic Dab/Oil Rig | Questionable
An electronic dab/oil rig is exactly as it sounds, a device that can be set to different temperatures - just like a vaporizer - yet acts as a normal oil rig does. Because the temperatures settings come pre-set, it can be argued that these devices are compliant within Rule #2 as the temperatures do not reach combustion levels. Again, the fact that the cannabis product would be touching the dish directly on this device means that it likely is not compliant concerning Rule #1. Popular brands include the Focus V Magna Carta and the Puffco Peak.
Nectar Collector | Likely not allowed
For those that are interested in dab rigs but it seems like a little too much, the Nectar Collector is a similar device that is much simpler to use. Rather than placing the cannabis concentrate within a heated dish, this product has a straight tube designed to be heated and touched directly to the cannabis concentrate for vaporization.
The rules and regulations surrounding cannabis concentrates are often rather vague with little to no opportunity to have clarification provided. Generally speaking, the act of dabbing cannabis concentrates with a device, whether it be a vaporizer or oil rig, would generally be considered vaporization, however, Ohio's altered definition means uncertainty when it comes to the compliant ways in which patients can use cannabis concentrates.
The straightforward method would be using a vaporizer, however as we have discussed above, there are very, very few vaporizers that are compliant within Ohio's definition of vaporization. We always advise patients to utilize cannabis concentrates with a vaporizer, but once you are in the comfort of your home you can find your preferred method to consume your medicine.
If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (866-457-5559) and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.