Patient and Caregiver Questions, Answered.


Do you have a Q&A section on your website?

A: You asked, so here it is!

Will your packaging be environmentally safe and recyclable?

Environmental impact is one of our top criteria for packaging--the others being compliance with state regulations, ease of use for patients, and maintaining the freshness/quality of products. We are looking into using as much recycled and recyclable material as possible, though we are having to revisit this based on recent changes to the types of plastic being accepted for recycling. We are also planning on doing a bottle return program to minimize the amount of plastic bottles that end up in the trash.

What are the effects of vaping with COPD?

Small amounts of cannabis vapor seem to be tolerated well by patients with COPD. They must be careful to use actual vapor rather than have the temperature set high enough to create smoke.

Currently most CBD products available are not tested for molds or contaminants. Read labels.

Currently there is no regulation on CBD products available in Hawaii outside of dispensaries. As with all medications and foods, we encourage people to educate themselves, ask questions, and read labels so they understand what they are consuming.

Do different products from the same plant include different compounds? That is--does a tincture include different parts of the plant than vapor concentrates?

A: Yes, different products can have different active compound profiles even if they are made from the same strain. For example, a tincture may have more of the phytochemicals (active compounds) in it than a concentrate cartridge.

Is mold a danger when smoked (on flowers)?

Yes. Definitely. Our medicine will have NO mold present.

What about vaping being linked to brain and lung damage?

Vaping clean medicine has not been linked to lung damage unless the temperature is set too high and the herb is actually being smoked. This could cause bronchitis, just like smoking does.

There has been no permanent brain damage linked directly to the vaporized use of cannabis. Children and babies with developing brains should not be exposed to cannabis unless they have a severe health issue that requires medication.

Do you have a couple doctors in Hilo you recommend for getting a cannabis (329) card?

Please check out our list of certifying physicians. We recommend that you contact the physicians and see which one best meets your needs.

When does the dispensary in Kona open? Where is it located?

The Kona dispensary is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019. It’s located in the Costco industrial area on Olowalu St.

What are the requirements to get a medical marijuana license?

For more information on getting a license (329 Card), click here. 

Do you need a doctor to be able to buy?

You need to have a doctor certify you for a 329 Card in order to purchase medicine at the dispensary. For more information on getting a card and finding a doctor, click here.

Will product prices come down over time? How will price guidelines be established?

A: Product prices are dependent on a variety of factors, including costs associated with growing, processing, packaging and testing each product. Hawaiian Ethos does its best to balance cost for patients and cost of doing business, including the cost of paying all of our workers a living wage. We are also doing our best to keep costs down by keeping production efficient and sustainable. Some of our initiatives include using as much sunlight as possible, using solar/renewable energy, recycling water, and using energy efficient LED lights for supplemental lighting.

When will there be a dispensary open in Hilo?

We are doing everything we can to open in Hilo, and are projecting that our Hilo location will open shortly after the Kona location.

Once operational will the Hilo dispensary have a lab on site?

No. All cultivation, processing, and lab testing will happen off site.

Will delivery service be available?

Current rules and regulations do not allow for delivery. When these rules change, we are open to providing delivery service if that is something that will be helpful for patients and caregivers.

What extraction methods are you using to make concentrates?

We use a cold, solvent-free extraction technique that allows us to preserve as much of the plant’s cannabinoid and terpene profile as possible.

Do you have concerns with the glycerine in the vape cartridges? What will your cartridges contain? What kind of concentrate will be in the cartridges? Will you add terpenes to the cartridges?

We do have concerns about glycerine in concentrate cartridges, and as a result, we will not be using any vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol in our cartridges. Our cartridges will only contain cannabis rosin and added terpenes.

Do we build a tolerance to cannabis?

Yes we do. That can be a benefit if high doses are required, allowing a patient to tolerate extremely high doses with minimal side effects, if worked up to slowly. If you don’t need to get up to extremely high doses for your medical needs, it is good to take a ‘cannabis holiday’ occasionally to reset your receptors so they remain sensitive to the medicine, even if only for a day or two.

What is the difference between CBD and THC other than: CBD is non intoxicating and legal for anyone, and THC is intoxicating and not legal except for medical conditions?

The scientifically supported uses for the two cannabinoids overlap and have their own individual uses as well. You may find these uses listed in the Talk Medicine section of our website. The two are quite different in their uses, in their activity in the body, and in dosing recommendations. They work best when combined in some ratio rather than isolated.

Are there support groups for arthritis? Chronic pain? Are there any plans to start them?

Hawaiian Ethos is planning to offer support groups based on the interest of patients and caregivers. We believe that these groups will help patients build a community of support and friendship, share information, and ultimately aide in the healing process and contribute to quality of life.

Where does delta-9 THC fit in with other forms of THC?

Delta-9 THC is the form most are familiar with and it is intoxicating, and also good medicine for some conditions. Delta-11 THC is what it becomes when it passes through the liver (when one eats it) - delta-11 THC is a more intoxicating form of THC. This is one of the reasons to be cautious when ingesting THC. Most research on the medical benefits of THC is being done on delta-9 THC.

How do you test a lot--will each plant have different chemotypes? (if growing from seed)

Each plant in the lot will be the same chemotype since a “lot” will consist of plants that are all cuttings/clones from a single mother. Plants grown from seed, even if of the same strain, would exhibit some variation in chemotype.

Edibles? Will you be buying them locally?

Currently, edibles are not on the Department of Health’s approved product list. If and when they are, we will more than likely be required to produce them in house, as we are required to produce all other products in house as mandated by Hawaii’s vertically integrated dispensary model.

Will the average person be able to test their grow?

Theoretically, the average person could send in samples to any of the approved labs on island. Hawaiian Ethos will not be providing testing services to the public at this time. It is important to note that the cost of getting your grow tested can be significant.

Are there contaminants that come out along with the rosin, like plant waxes?

If rosin is pressed too hot or too fast, “impurities” can end up in the finished product. There may always be a small amount of plant waxes in rosin, but our method has been developed to minimize this.

For mild epilepsy, is there a form of cannabis that doesn’t produce (or induce) a high? Do you know anything about Charlotte’s Web?

CBD does not intoxicate. It has been helpful to many with seizure disorders. Charlotte’s Web is a cannabis strain that is primarily CBD - it is cannabis, not hemp sourced. A high CBD cannabis strain would be a good starting medicine for someone with epilepsy to see if it decreases the number or the intensity of the seizures. Prescription medicines should be monitored for safe levels if someone starts using cannabis because the prescription medicine can build up in the body and cause side effects when combined with cannabis.

Will products list specific terpenes, including their strength?

Products will list the dominant terpenes present. This is not a Department of Health requirement. Rather, it is information that Hawaiian Ethos feels is important and wants to provide. We will not be listing their strength, as this will vary based on every individual’s sensitivity to each terpene. Also, terpenes are generally present in very small amounts (much less than THC in THC rich strains or CBD in CBD rich strains) so it may not make sense to put an actual value or percentage for each terpene.

What is ‘low dose’ for CBD? 5mg?

5mg is low dose. 2.5mg is even lower. If never used before, consider starting with 2.5mg to see if the desired effects are achieved and increase if necessary. Remember - more is not always better!

Are you open to isolating the cannabinoids and terpenes and then recombining them for individual treatment?

We are not currently producing medicine in this way. While it is possible to isolate, we have seen that patients tend to respond better to whole plant medicine rather than isolates. Although there are many known cannabinoids and terpenes, there may be even more that we are not aware of that are providing benefit either on their own or in combination with other compounds. With that being said, we are looking towards offering personalized medicine if someone has a very specific need. That personalized medicine, however, will most likely come from blending whole plant-based medicines rather than isolating and recombining.

What is the difference between THC and THCA?

THCA is in the raw plant. It is an acidic form of the cannabinoid and does not cause intoxication. THC is what THCA becomes when the plant product is heated, exposed to light, or exposed to oxygen. THC is intoxicating. The two have somewhat different uses as medicine. Click here for more info.

Are other plant terpenes safe to inhale?

Yes, however you have to use the right terpenes in the right concentrations. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Some terpenes are made by plants to deter insects or herbivores from eating them. If you take too much of those terpenes they might deter you as well.

Are cannabis terpenes the same as other plant terpenes?

Some say they are. As far as we know, no studies have compared the two. However, a ‘purist’ would appreciate the terpenes from cannabis being the ones present in their cannabis medicine.

Do terpenes provide medical benefits by just sniffing them? Aromatherapy?

“Sniffing” is just a short interval of inhalation, so yes, terpenes do have an effect when “sniffed.” However, like cannabinoids, they typically act best together. For example, sniffing lavender oil which contains linalool along with other compounds would probably provide more benefit than just sniffing straight linalool.

What is the best dose for insomnia?

This depends on the individual and their experience with the medicine. 2.5mg or 5mg of CBD is a good low starting dose. THC can help a person fall asleep depending on the terpenes present. Start with no more than 5mg of THC to avoid anxiety or overdosing keeping you awake.

Recommendations for autoimmune diseases?

Cannabis is recommended for some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis like muscle spasticity. So far there is not scientific evidence supporting the direct activity of cannabis on autoimmune diseases, but there is hope for this in the future. We simply do not yet know.