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At this point, you've probably seen cannabis oil being sold in one capacity or another. But are you wondering what exactly it is? Well, cannabis oil is the concentrated oil extracted from the marijuana plant. It comes in many forms-some with THC, some without. In recent years, CBD oil has exploded in popularity, becoming a multi-billion dollar industry. However, CBD oil isn't the only kind of cannabis oil there is. The main kinds of cannabis oil are:
- CBD Oil
- Hemp Oil
- Rick Simpson Oil
In this article, we'll explore each, how they're used, how potent they are, how each is made, and where you can get your hands on it. Let's get to it.
How To Use Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil is a popular way of using both medical and recreational marijuana. It can be smoked, vaporized, eaten or rubbed into the skin.
It's often taken orally by dissolving a few drops of the oil concentrate under the tongue (a delivery system referred to as a “sublingual” delivery). Some believe this delivery method works better because the bioavailability of the essential cannabinoid oils is introduced immediately into the circulatory system.
Oil can also be added to capsules, as is common with Rick Simpson Oil, or added to foods for edible treats. This is the slowest way to feel psychoactive effects, but it lasts longer. Users typically feel effects at between 30 to 90 minutes, and the "high" can last anywhere from 3 hours to 8 hours depending on the amount taken. As you can see, the effects are extremely variable from person to person.
When applied topically to the skin, it can be used in pure oil form, or the oil may be added to skin creams. Some patients suffering from joint pain (arthritis), and lesions on the skin find it to be very useful. Cannabis oil is also becoming a more popular ingredient in anti aging creams and other skin care products. Users typically don't feel any psychoactive effects from cannabis topicals or topical oils.
The most common use for cannabis oil is to vaporize it. The oil is added to a cartridge that the user attaches to a heating element that heats the oil to just below the level of combustion. This releases the THC and other cannabinoids in vapor form that is then inhaled. This is the fastest way to feel psychoactive effects from cannabis oil, but it's also the shortest-lasting. The effects typically start after about 5 minutes, peak in 30 or so and wear off after 90 minutes to 3 hours. Everyone is different though, so don't plan your day around that schedule.
Types of Cannabis Oil
As we mentioned, there are a few different kinds of cannabis oil-some containing THC (the primary psychoactive component in marijuana), and others that do not.
CBD-only oil contains the non-psychoactive CBD, which is responsible for many of the fully-recognized health benefits associated with cannabis. For instance, CBD is the active ingredient in Epidiolex, which is an FDA-approved drug for certain types of seizures.
Without the THC, there is no altered or intoxicated state of mind. Although some patients have reported some cognitive effects after consuming high doses of CBD, most users simply report a sense of relaxation or like it "takes the edge off."
CBD-only oils are gaining acclaim among new and experienced patients as a pain-reliever and mental relaxant. However, as the name would suggest, CBD oil found in most places usually contains no THC.
To find CBD oil with THC, users will need to go to a cannabis dispensary. CBD/THC oils are usually sold in specific ratios of CBD to THC. High CBD/low THC oils like 5:1 oil and 20:1 oil don't tend to make the user very high, but 1:1 oils tend to give the user stronger psychoactive effects. Many dispensaries also sell high THC/low CBD oils that will make the user very high. These oils are often used at night for sleep.
Made from hemp, a less potent form of marijuana that contains little to no THC, hemp oil contains some cannabinoids, but usually not enough to create any of the medical benefits associated with consuming CBD. Hemp oil is usually pressed from the seeds of the plant.
It's often taken for its complement of many essential fatty acids. It's also used for cooking and imparts a very earthy taste to foods. Hemp seeds are also eaten in their natural form as well because they provide one of the most complete protein profiles of any food from the plant kingdom along with the unspoiled essential fatty acids.
This makes hemp seeds a mainstay in many vegan diets.
Rick Simpson Oil:
One of the most famous cannabis extracts of all is Rick Simpson Oil. The extract is named after the marijuana activist who claims to have cured himself and thousands of others from cancer through the use of this concentrated marijuana oil.
It’s important to note that Rick doesn’t sell or produce his oil for public consumption; he merely provides the recipe for making it.
RSO is made using the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant, so the oil will contain THC, CBD, and cannabinoids.
How To Make Cannabis Oil
Because CBD and THC are hydrophobic, meaning they're repelled by water, they can be separated from cannabis using boiling methods. There are other ways to use solvents to extract the THC, CBD, or cannabinoids, but they aren't recommended for use at home as they are highly dangerous and potentially illegal without the proper licenses.
- 1 cup of cannabis flower
- 1 cup of olive or coconut oil.
- Cannabis Grinder
- Slow cooker or saucepan (slow cookers are best)
- Grind up all of your cannabis.
- Mix your choice of cooking oil and ground cannabis. Coconut oil and butter are both very popular choices.
- Cook on a low temp for a couple hours.
- If making oil using a slow cooker, cook for 4-6 hours or longer. If cooking with a saucepan, cook for 3 hours. Be mindful the oil does not burn at any point. Make sure the temperature of the oil does not exceed 240-245°F, otherwise, the THC and CBD will burn, leaving only inert oil behind. No fun!
- Then, let the oil cool down before straining it with the cheesecloth.
- Afterward, store the newly fashioned cannabis oil in an airtight container. The oil will be good for approximately two months in a cabinet or three months if stored in a refrigerator.
Warnings and Dangers of Using Cannabis Oil
Those patients looking to buy cannabis oil need to carefully investigate the oil extracts they’re considering. The marketplace for these products can occupy a legal gray area. Also, a lack of health and safety standards can mean that some shady operators and mislabeled products can be present in the cannabis oil market.
For example, in 2019, a mysterious lung illness called VAPI erupted across the nation. The cause of the lung disease has been narrowed down by the CDC to vape oils, both THC and nicotine, containing dangerous contaminants. Therefore, users should always buy their vaping products from a legal retailer and should talk to their doctor if they experience any negative symptoms while using a vape product.
Depending on the marijuana laws in your state, cannabis oils that contain THC may be illegal to buy or own, or, at the very least, may require a medical marijuana license. However, cannabis oils, such as hemp oil or CBD oil, which does not contain THC, is legally available anywhere, without the need for an MMJ license.
You should note that you can make your own cannabis oil at home legally by cooking cannabis in butter or coconut oil with a crockpot, etc. But most methods involving volatile solvents or gases are illegal for safety reasons.
How to Find and Buy Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oils, especially CBD oils, have become very popular in the past few years. As a result, you'll find cannabis oils are widely available in many grocery stores, gas stations, etc.
Depending on the cannabis laws in your state, cannabis oils containing THC may only be available in dispensaries. Your state may also require you to have a medical marijuana license to use or make certain kinds of cannabis oils. Lucky for you, NuggMD has you covered. Using our telemedicine platform, you can receive an online marijuana doctor's recommendation in just a few minutes if you're approved.
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