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Medical Cannabis 101
How does medical cannabis work?
Medical cannabis works through the endocannabinoid system, which regulates physical and mental processes in the body. The natural compounds found in cannabis called “cannabinoids” interact with the endocannabinoid system to help maintain a state of balance, or “homeostasis,” in the mind and body by influencing how cells communicate with each other. For example, cannabinoids interact with the regulation of appetite, immune system functions and pain management.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are compounds that interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system – which has an important role in regulatory functions throughout the human body. Cannabinoids produced by the body are called “endocannabinoids”, and those produced by plants like cannabis are called “phytocannabinoids”. Cannabinoids are the compounds in the cannabis plant responsible for physiological effects of cannabis. To date, more than 104 cannabinoids have been identified in the plant, of which THC and CBD are the most well-known.
What are THC and CBD?
THC and CBD are the two most well-known cannabinoids with higher concentration in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. CBD is a cannabinoid that has many potential medical benefits without the lethargic or potential euphoric effects of THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most famous cannabinoid. It is the cannabinoid responsible for potential euphoric effects from cannabis.
The following table summarizes the potential medical benefits of THC and CBD:
Reduces psychoactivity of THC
Source: “Information for Health Care Professionals: Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana),” Health Canada.
What is the difference between sativa, indica and hybrid strains?
Indica and sativa are terms used to describe different types of cannabis plants. Sativa plants have narrower leaves and taller structure, while indica plants have wider leaves and a shorter, bushier structure. It is rare to find a strain that is 100% sativa or indica, as most strains are a combination of the two, so we refer to this broad category as a hybrid. A hybrid can be indica or sativa dominant depending on the genetics. Anecdotally, indica strains are most commonly associated with calming effects and pain relief, while sativas are usually associated with more uplifting effects.
The effect of a strain has more to do with the overall composition of its compounds, including cannabinoids, and how they respond with the user’s unique body. For this reason, clinicians tend to focus more on the compounds in the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD, to control patient symptoms – and sativa or indica simply refer to the general appearance of the plant.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic oils that provide the distinctive smells of each cannabis strain. Terpenes may also have unique health benefits. For more information on terpenes, click here.
How do I use medical cannabis?
Medical cannabis can be administered orally or through inhalation (i.e., vaporizing). CannTrust offers standardized cannabis products in a variety of formats, including oil drops, hard shell vegan capsules and dried flower, to cater to our patients’ different needs. The table below explains the difference in onset and duration between inhaling and orally ingesting cannabis:
Less than 5 min
30 to 90 min
Less than 15 min
|2 to 3 hours|
3 to 4 hours
|4 to 8 hours|
Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?
Hemp oil can contain CBD; however, it is processed and manufactured quite differently. Hemp oil is mainly industrial and has an increased chance of contamination because it does not have to abide by the strict regulations of Health Canada. Most hemp oil is manufactured from pushing the oil out of the seeds. The yields are much smaller and require a larger material input to get a similar product. Hemp oils are mainly for topical use and not oral ingestion. Industrial hemp is often used to clean up toxic spills because it is a bio-accumulator, meaning it’s great at drawing toxins from the soil. This means you could be ingesting toxins leached from the earth where your industrial hemp-derived CBD was grown. Additionally, the carrier oil we use for our CBD oil is of a higher grade than that of low-cost hemp oils. Learn more about the difference between hemp and CBD oils here.
What products does CannTrust offer?
CannTrust offers a wide variety of standardized products including oils, hard-shell vegan capsules and dried flower. Please visit our shop to see our full lineup.
Do CannTrust products contain pesticides?
All CannTrust products are pesticide free.
Are CannTrust products organic?
CannTrust products are not certified organic.
Why does CannTrust use MCT oil as their carrier?
There are a few reasons CannTrust chooses to use MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil. It has a neutral or tasteless flavour and longer shelf life than other known carrier oils such as sunflower oil. Though saturated fats as a group tend to get a bad rap, MCTs are saturated fats that actually provide beneficial health effects, like olive oil. MCTs are considered neutral saturated fats, known to help provide optimal nutrition to vulnerable populations.
Talking to Your Health Care Practitioner
How do I talk to my health care practitioner about medical cannabis?
Do some research ahead of time and come prepared with an idea of how you think cannabis could help you. Make sure your health care practitioner is aware of your medical background, any existing conditions you might have, and the medications you’re currently taking, including information from other health care specialists (naturopath, chiropractor). If you’re looking for a referral for a cannabis-educated practitioner, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266).
How do I get a medical document?
In order to register as a patient, you need to be assessed by a licensed health care practitioner who will then fill out and sign a Medical Document. If you’re looking for a referral for a cannabis-educated practitioner, please contact our Customer Care team at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266).
Registration and Account Information
How do I get started with CannTrust?
To register with CannTrust, you need to follow these steps:
- Submit a Medical Document signed by a licensed health care practitioner.
- Register online at www.canntrust.ca/register or complete a paper copy of the Registration Form. Submit the completed forms to CannTrust via email to email@example.com, via fax a to 1-844-295-6641, or via mail to the following address:
PO Box 92068 – 9200 Weston Rd.
All CannTrust forms are available for download on the footer of our website or can be sent upon request.
How do I renew my account?
Once your medical document has expired, go back to your licensed health care practitioner to get a new signed and dated Medical Document issued. Once we’ve received and processed it, you will get a renewal email with a link to click to confirm re-registration. You will also be prompted to confirm re-registration when you log in to your online account.
How do I check the status of my registration or renewal?
How do I make changes to my account information? (Address, name, gender, email, etc.)
To make changes to your personal information (except email and phone number), you will need to fill out the Personal Information Amendment Form or Address Amendment Form, which are available on the footer of our website or can be sent to you via mail. Please ensure all fields are filled out and the form is signed correctly. Any errors on the form will result in a failed amendment, and we will call you or email you to correct the errors.
Do I receive any discounts or promotions for signing up or renewing with CannTrust?
CannTrust offers a 10% discount for all renewing patients. This does not apply to customers enrolled in the Patient Assistance Program.
When do I receive my Client ID card?
Your Client ID card is sent in the mail with your first order upon new registration or renewal.
I have lost my Client ID card, what should I do?
Please call one of our friendly Customer Care representatives at 1-855-794-2266 and request a new card.
How do I set up my password for online ordering?
To set up your password, please follow the link in the “Welcome to CannTrust” email you received when you were originally approved.
If you are having troubles with this, please call us at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266) and one of our Customer Care representatives will happy assist you.
Do you accept Native Status/Tax Exempt proof?
Yes! All you need to do is email a copy of your status card (front and back) to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow us to process and make the necessary changes to your account. Please ensure the name on the card matches your file name, or we may not be able to find your account. If the name is different, please advise in the email.
Dosing and Titration
What methods of consumption are available for me?
CannTrust offers a wide variety of products with different consumption methods to meet different needs. We offer products for oral ingestion, such as hard shell capsules and standardized oil drops, and we also offer dried flower products for smoking or vaporizing. Please visit our shop to see our full lineup.
What is the difference between vaporizing, smoking and oral consumption?
Vaporizing is similar to smoking, but is consumed through a device that prevents the product from actually combusting, and is a healthier alternative to smoking. Smoking and vaporizing have a faster onset (less than 5 minutes), but the effects do not last as long (3 to 4 hours). A healthier way to consume cannabis is through oral ingestion. Oral-based consumptions have a slower onset than vaporizing and smoking (60 to 90 minutes), but the effects can last much longer (4 to 8 hours).
How do I find the right dose?
Cannabis affects everyone differently, so it is important to receive guidance from your health care practitioner or from one of our knowledgeable Customer Care representatives. Please call us at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266), and we’d be happy to walk you assist you to achieve the best outcomes with your medical cannabis.
How often should I dose?
This is entirely dependent on your symptoms, the conditions you are trying to treat, and the product you are using. Please consult your health care practitioner for guidance on the frequency of your dosing.
If I am taking drops, how many capsules equate to the amount of oil I am taking?
Below is a calculator that can help you determine your recommended daily dosage of capsules based on your daily dosage of oil:
Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with and on the advice of their health care professional/medical professionals. Nothing herein should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.
If you require further assistance, please call us at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266).
Ordering and Payment
How do I place an order?
Once your application has been approved, ordering is fast and easy! You can call us at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266) to place your first order over the phone, or you can order through our online store.
To place your first online order, check the “Welcome to CannTrust” email you received when you were originally approved, which contains your Client ID, and follow the link to set up your password. This will allow you to place orders online any time.
How much medical cannabis am I able to order at a time?
The maximum quantity of medical cannabis that CannTrust is legally authorized to deliver in one order is 150 grams or 30 times your daily dose (included in your Medical Document) every 30 days. Thirty times your daily dose is also the amount you are legally allowed to possess at one time. If your medical document is for 5 grams a day or less, you may order your entire monthly quantity at once.
Can I return product I have ordered?
The ACMPR regulations do not allow us to accept returns. All returned product will be unbottled and destroyed. There are checks in place over the phone and online to ensure you confirm your order before submitting payment. Please do not submit your order until you have confirmed the products you have selected.
How do I make changes to an order?
If you have made an error with and order and need to correct it, please call us immediately at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266). There is no guarantee that we can alter your order once it has been placed.
What methods of payments do you accept?
CannTrust accepts payment by credit card, debit VISA/Mastercard, e-Transfer, money order and direct billing.
How do I pay by e-Transfer?
There are 4 steps for sending an e-transfer:
1) In your online banking, send an e-Transfer to email@example.com.
2) Select the amount you are transferring.
3) Add the following question: Who is my LP?
4) Add the following answer: canntrust
How long does it take to process an e-Transfer?
We process e-Transfers Monday to Friday. CannTrust kindly asks for two business days to process all e-Transfers.
Is my credit card secure?
Yes, all of your personal and payment information in kept strictly confidential.
What methods of shipping does CannTrust offer?
We offer Trust Delivery (same-day delivery for the GTA) and delivery through Canada Post and Purolator. Please note that Purolator does not ship to PO boxes.
How much does shipping cost?
CannTrust is proud to offer Trust Delivery, a same-day delivery service in the GTA. This service is free on all order over $150 before tax, for a $5 flat rate on orders over $90 before tax, and for $15 on orders under $90. Orders must be placed by 4 p.m. EST to qualify for same-day delivery.
All other orders over $90 are eligible for free shipping using the Expedited Canada Post courier service. Alternative options for shipping within Canada Post include Expedited (free), Xpresspost and Priority. Purolator is also available using either Ground or Express. The shipping costs associated with other shipping methods will be dependent on your location.
I have placed my order. When will my package ship?
All orders placed prior to 3 p.m. EST will generally be shipped out of our facility on the same day. Please keep in mind that shipping times are an estimate from Canada Post and Purolator. The estimated delivery dates may be subject to change. For Trust Delivery, all orders placed prior to 4 p.m. will be delivered the same day between 6 and 10 p.m.
How does Trust Delivery shipping work?
Trust Delivery is a convenient, same-day delivery service for the GTA offered exclusively by CannTrust. All orders placed before 4 p.m. will be delivered between 6 and 10 p.m. the same day with an alert 15 minutes before delivery. Trust Delivery is available free to all patients in the GTA on orders over $150 before tax, and for a flat rate of $5 on orders over $90 before tax. For more answers to your questions about Trust Delivery, click here.
How do I track my package?
Once your package is shipped, you will receive an email with your tracking information. Please click the link in the email to track your package. If you are having any difficulties, please call us at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266).
What happens if I am not home to receive my package?
For Purolator and Canada Post deliveries, if no one is home to sign for the package, a delivery slip will be left. The package will then be taken to the nearest depot. Refer to this slip for the date of pickup and location of your package. Please note that if your package is left too long at the depot, it will be sent back to our facility to be destroyed. At this point, no refund will be issued.
For Trust Delivery, the driver will call you before delivering your package. If you are not home, they will attempt delivery for two more days. If the package is not signed for after three days, it will be returned to CannTrust to be destroyed. At this point, no refund will be issued.
How do I reset my password?
To reset your password, please click this link and follow the instructions below:
- Select “Forgot Password”.
- Enter your Client ID.
- Select “Reset”.
- Check your email and open the Password Reset email.
- Follow the link to reset your password.
Why can I not see the full product line when I log in?
Some customers have THC restrictions applied to their medical document from their health care practitioner. In this case, our shop will only display the products that are applicable to your particular medical document.
Affordability, Compassionate Pricing and Insurance Coverage
Does CannTrust offer a compassionate pricing program?
Yes! CannTrust is proud to have one of the most comprehensive and competitive compassionate pricing programs. We offer a 30% discount up to 60 grams per month to customers who earn $30,000 or less annually. We also accept many provincial and federal programs such as CPP, ODSP, Disability and many more. Click here for full details on the program.
Will my insurance company or medical plan cover my medicinal cannabis?
Most insurance or medical plans require a Drug Identification Number (DIN) in order to provide coverage for costs of treatment. Since medical cannabis does not have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) assigned from Health Canada, not all companies will agree to cover cannabis as a form of medication. However, we encourage you to contact your insurance provider for more information as some insurance companies do offer coverage for cannabis.
If your provider confirms they do, please call our Customer Care team at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266) with your provider’s information (claim #, client # and client managers contact). This process can take 3 to 5 weeks. Once approved, you will receive an approval call from CannTrust.
Does CannTrust offer discounts or coverage for military veterans?
CannTrust proudly offers hassle-free access to Medical Cannabis for Canada’s valued veterans. We work hand-in-hand with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to verify coverage, arrange direct billing, and ensure that the process is fully supported and seamless.
Upon registration approval, CannTrust will submit the appropriate documents required to apply for direct billing through VAC on your behalf. Be sure to include your K number on the registration form. We believe in making the process as simple as possible. CannTrust will pre-approve one order before we receive approval for coverage costs from VAC (up to 90 grams).
If you are approved for coverage with VAC, they will cover the cost of $8.50 per gram. CannTrust provides cost coverage on the difference for any of our dried/oil products that exceed that limit. This means that if you need a product that is over $8.50 per gram, CannTrust will pay the difference. Veterans are also able to claim $300 for a vaporizing device every three years. CannTrust will cover the difference between the device cost and the coverage cost from VAC.
For more details, please call one of our Customer Care team members at 1-855-RX4-CANN (794-2266) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety and Legality
Can I consume alcohol while taking cannabis?
We do not recommend consuming any alcohol while using medical cannabis.
Can I use cannabis with my other medications?
This depends entirely on the medication and the user. Always consult with your health care practitioner if you are taking other medications while taking medical cannabis.
Does cannabis have any side effects?
Patients generally tolerate medicinal cannabis well. A low dosage often provides satisfactory relief, allowing side effects to occur infrequently. When side effects do occur, it is usually the result of a high dosage, fast titration (increase in dosage) or combined use with a substance such as alcohol that intensifies the effects.
Known side effects of medicinal cannabis are dry mouth, mood-alterations, insomnia and a faster, increased heartbeat and fatigue. Other effects include relaxation, fits of laughter, hunger, and heightened sensitivity to the perception of colour and sound.
Patients may also experience slower reaction time and lower awareness, particularly during the first few hours of use. For more information, please review the Health Canada document entitled “Consumer Information—Cannabis (Marihuana, marijuana)”. Should you experience any unexpected side effects while taking cannabis for medical purposes, stop consuming cannabis immediately and contact a health care practitioner or go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital.
Can I drive if I am taking cannabis?
According to the College of Family Physicians of Canada, while using cannabis you should not drive for at least:
- 4 hours after inhalation
- 6 hours after oral ingestion
- 8 hours after inhalation or oral ingestion if the you are experiencing euphoria or high
How do I legally carry medical cannabis?
When you are in possession of your medical cannabis, you must carry it in the original packaging with a valid medical document label attached. This medical document label contains important information, including your unique identification number, the amount of medical cannabis that your physician prescribed and the date of expiry.
Am I able to travel with my medical cannabis?
Travelling with cannabis is legal in Canada, provided you have a valid medical document. Your medical cannabis is not legal outside of Canada. Please always ensure that your product is in its original packaging (with your medical document label) and you have your Client ID card with you.
Is CannTrust participating in the recreational market?
CannTrust will be expanding into the recreational cannabis market with the launch of three new brands, Liiv, Xscape and Synr.g, building on our established reputation for producing quality, standardized cannabis products.
What does legalization mean for CannTrust medical patients?
CannTrust’s medical products will remain exclusive to our registered medical patients. Our focus has always been and will continue to be our medical patients first and foremost. We have expanded our facility so that we can increase our production capacity while maintaining the same quality and consistency our patients have come to expect from us. This will allow us to accommodate the growing demand for cannabis, both from our medical patients and the recreational market. Patients will still require a medical document to purchase medical cannabis and will still only be able to purchase directly from CannTrust.