Cannabis users traditionally smoked the dry flowers of the cannabis plant. Extracting the oil from the cannabis plant is another way to consume cannabis and many products are being created from it such as edibles, vapes, capsules, tinctures, dab oils and beverages.
The most concentrated way to use the oil is in the raw and unprocessed form. This allows you to experience the full benefit of the cannabinoids found in the plant.
What is cannabis oil?
Cannabis oil is a term for any extract that comes from the cannabis plant and includes both marijuana and hemp oil. The naturally viscous, thick oil contains minerals, vitamins, flavonoids, terpenes, cannabinoids, and more. The exact chemical composition of the oil depends on the type of plant, extraction method, and the additional processing or filtration that occurs after extraction.
The cannabis plant produces more than 100 known cannabinoids, the most desired of which are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This is because of the benefits that occur from their interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
CBD does not affect the same cannabinoid receptors in the body as TCH. CBD has complex effects, causing the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively. It is able to inhibit or activate other compounds in the endocannabinoid system. For instance, it may result in increased levels of anandamide in the bloodstream which reduces pain.
Two types of oil and their regulation
Cannabis oil is subject to a variety of regulations, depending upon the type of plant from which it is extracted, its chemical composition, location, medical condition of the purchaser and more.
Oil extracted from hemp is federally legal, high in CBD and non-intoxicating. Marijuana oil is extracted from marijuana plants and is only legal in certain states. It is high in THC and causes euphoric effects.
Hemp oil can be purchased almost anywhere – online stores, health food stores and farmers markets. Marijuana-derived oil can only be legally purchased from dispensaries in states where it has been legalized.
President Trump signed the Farm Bill in 2018, removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. This made it legal to cultivate hemp and process it as a raw material to create a variety of products.
They may be members of the same plant family but hemp and marijuana have important distinctions. Marijuana is used both medically and recreationally and contains higher levels of THC that gets users high. Extracts of the marijuana plant can be consumed orally, vaped or used topically.
Hemp is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. It does not get users high and is used commercially and industrially for thousands of products and has become very popular as a daily dietary supplement. The purest products are found in oil form and can be highly concentrated. It can also be infused into topicals, tinctures, liquids, captures, vape oils and skin or hair care products.
Making the extracts
Extracting the active compounds in cannabis can be done using various techniques. Solvent-based extraction techniques draw out the oil from the plant. Popular solvents used in the marijuana industry are hexane, isopropyl and butane – some of which are toxic if they remain in the oil. Due to toxicity and the combustible potential of the solvents, they should only be used by professionals in licensed facilities.
The solvent-based extraction method creates thick, amber-colored oil full of active chemical compounds and heat and vacuum get rid of the solvent. Makers of CBD oil add the extract to a carrier oil and create products that come in many different strengths and can be used in various ways.
A cannabis concentrate retains the flavor, aroma and desirable parts of the cannabis plant while removing stems, leaves and other unwanted materials. Cannabis concentrate can be processed into honeycomb, budder, wax, crumble, shatter, sap and live resin.
Concentrate packaging comes in various forms, depending on the nature of the product. It is possible to dab or vape concentrates and because they are more potent, less is needed.
Producers prefer to use non-toxic solvents when extracting the natural oil from the hemp plant. Supercritical CO2 extraction maintains the purity of the oil. The process of using carbon dioxide under high pressure and at low temperatures requires expertise and complex equipment.
Products extracted like this are more expensive but you’re sure of a quality product. The extract of dark green oil obtained in this process is often sold as a daily supplement because it is rich in cannabinoids.
Raw hemp oil may be combined with other ingredients and formulated into a wide range of CBD products such as edibles, capsules and tinctures.
Buying cannabis oil
If you want to buy oil extracted from the marijuana plant, you must live in a location where medical marijuana has been legalized. You need a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana and you can access it from a licensed dispensary. Some states have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults.
Hemp products are widely available and are sold primarily as supplements due to the CBD they contain. CBD oil can be made from specifically selected cultivars that are high in CBD.
One of its major benefits is that it is non-psychoactive and can be used safely for many therapeutic purposes. Its use for therapeutic purposes is promising because it has fewer side effects than many other medications.
If you buy cannabis oil from a reputable supplier, you will find how much active CBD it contains on the label. Strength is measured by the concentration and percentage volume of CBD in the product.
Some products claiming to contain CBD have been found to contain little or none at all when tested. Reputable companies have laboratory results from accredited laboratories. They ensure that extracts are free from pesticides, and toxic metals or microbiological contaminants.
It is quick and convenient to buy cannabis oil products online. A huge variety of products are available for you to choose from and you can easily compare prices. It’s also possible to read reviews and find out more about a particular supplier.