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The CULTA Blog

How to Use Cannabis Extracts: Tips & Advice


33 states in the US have now legalized some form of medicinal cannabis. While there are many different ways to consume medicinal cannabis, the use of cannabis extracts has become very popular in recent years.

Many users prefer cannabis extracts over other forms of cannabis. This is because cannabis extracts are more concentrated and they can also be consumed without smoking, which makes them an alternative for users with asthma or other respiratory issues. 

If you’re wondering how to use cannabis extracts, this guide will help you learn all the basics you need to know. 

What Are Cannabis Extracts?

Also known as concentrates, dabs, waxes, and oils, cannabis extracts are a type of refined product where the cannabis essential oils and active compounds are separated from the raw plant material. Extracts are highly concentrated, which means that even a small quantity can induce a strong, long-lasting effect. Cannabis extracts can also be vaporized, consumed in capsules, taken as an oral tincture, or cooked into an edible. 

As with flowers, cannabis extracts are available in a wide variety of strains. Cannabis extracts can be sativa, indica, or hybrids. For medicinal use, there are also many cannabis extracts that are CBD-dominant and contain little or no THC. 

How to Use Cannabis Extracts 

Once you find a concentrate that you'd like to consume, you'll find that there are many different ways to use them. Here's how to use cannabis extracts: 

  • Smoking
  • Dabbing
  • Vaporizing
  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Capsules
  • Topicals

The above methods are just some of the most popular. Now that cannabis is becoming more mainstream, patients have more options than ever when it comes to how to use cannabis extracts. Experiment with these different options and find the one that works best for you. 

Using Cannabis Extracts for Various Conditions

Cannabis extracts can help treat many conditions. As always, do not start any new treatment or make changes to your existing treatment plan without consulting your healthcare provider first. When possible, consider seeing a specialist who is familiar with medicinal cannabis. Your local medicinal dispensary or can help you find a provider near you. 

Here are some common medical uses for cannabis extracts:

1. Migraines

Migraine headaches can be debilitating. Many sufferers find that cannabis extracts can reduce or even completely eliminate pain when they’re experiencing a migraine episode. Cannabis extracts also help with nausea and other migraine symptoms. 

We recommend using sativa-dominant extracts, as users often report that these cannabis extracts have a stronger effect on their heads. Sativas are also considered “daytime” strains because they don’t produce the same feelings of heaviness or lethargy as indicas. Using a few drops of a sativa tincture or vaporizing a sativa dab may provide relief from migraines while allowing you to continue your daily activities.

2. Menstrual Cramps

Monthly menstrual pain is often very severe for individuals with uteruses, but luckily cannabis extracts are an effective way to manage this pain. People who use cannabis for menstrual cramps will likely want to experiment to find the best strain. Many prefer hybrids for this type of pain management.

Regardless of which strain of cannabis extract you prefer for menstrual cramps, experts often suggest using them topically. Applying a cannabis oil or oil-infused cream directly to the abdomen can help ease the pain right away. You can even make your own topical product by adding cannabis extracts to shea butter or coconut oil.

3. Mental Health Relief

Cannabis extracts are an excellent way to treat physical pain, but they also have tremendous benefits for many mental health conditions. Many people use cannabis extracts to reduce their anxiety and find relief from insomnia.

For anxiety, try a cannabis extract that’s high in CBD. CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis, which means that it won’t produce a “high” or potentially exacerbate an overly-active mind. Many users take a small amount of CBD every day by adding a CBD extract to their daily smoothie or coffee. 

If you have insomnia, an indica or indica-dominant strain of cannabis extract can help you get a good night’s sleep. Indicas tend to induce a heavy, lethargic feeling that promotes relaxation and sleep. Consider taking an indica cannabis extract or consuming an edible with cannabis extract a few minutes before bedtime.

4. Loss of Appetite

If you’re experiencing loss of appetite due to chemotherapy treatment or other medical conditions, cannabis extracts can help. Cannabis stimulates appetite and can induce food-based cravings. Additionally, it can also provide relief from nausea, allowing patients to eat normally. 

To use cannabis extracts for help with loss of appetite, we recommend vaporizing a dab or wax or taking a few sublingual droplets. Cannabis extracts will act quickly, helping you gain your appetite back once the effects kick in. For advice regarding specific strains, talk to your doctor or local budtender. If your loss of appetite is caused by a specific condition and accompanied by other physical pain or discomfort, you may be able to find a strain that will treat all your symptoms.

We Can Help 

Our budtenders can help you find the right cannabis extract for your unique needs. Learn more about CULTA and our focus on consciously cultivated cannabis here.