The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Oils

Introduction

This article takes an in depth look at cannabis oil and its uses.

You will learn more about topics such as:

  • What is cannabis oil?
  • Processing methods for extracting cannabis oil
  • Types of cannabis oil
  • Uses for cannabis oil
  • And much more…
Cannabis Oil
Cannabis Oil

Chapter One – What is Cannabis Oil?

Cannabis Oil 2
Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil is a product that is made from the hemp flower and marijuana plants and is a supplement that is added to several products. A plant is identified as hemp or marijuana depending on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) it contains; plants that have less than 0.3 percent THC are classified as hemp.

Hemp is used for the extraction of cannabidiol (CBD), a legal and approved product found in all fifty states. The key to CBD purity is how it is processed; the methods that vary according to their safety and efficiency.

Chapter Two – Processing Methods for Extracting Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil extraction is a rapidly growing and complicated topic that is made more confusing by the many types of extraction methods. The two main methods for removing and concentrating cannabinoids from cannabis are solvent based and mechanical.

Solvent based extraction involves volatile chemicals that dissolve the trichomes from the plant material. When the solvent is removed, an extracted material is left that is like shatter, wax, or vapor oil.

Mechanical extraction does not use chemicals but is a process where the trichomes are beaten, rubbed, and pressed from the plant, resulting in concentrates called kief, hash, or rosin.

Regardless of its usage, cannabis is a plant that is harvested like any other farm product. When it comes to the extraction process, the first step is removing the flowers and leaves of the plant from the stalk.

Processing Methods for Extracting Cannabis Oil

Harvesting

The cannabis plant can be grown indoors and outdoors. Though both methods produce a viable product, it takes several weeks for the flowers to mature, with indoor plants taking eight weeks and outdoor plants taking even longer.

Every garden is different in regards to harvesting the cannabis plant. How the plant is harvested has a significant impact on the quality, effect, and durability of the finished product. Regardless of the differences in the types of gardens, there are certain basic procedures that are always followed during the harvesting process; these include removal of the leaves, trimming, and removal of the flowers, which are also referred to as buds.

Extraction

The purpose of the extraction process is to separate cannabinoids, terpenes, and the other chemicals found in the cannabis plant. Though there are a variety of chemicals that can be garnered from the cannabis plant, the main goals of the many methods of extraction are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD).

Chapter Three – Types of Cannabis Oil

As simple as it may seem, the term cannabis oil is unbelievably broad and can be used to describe any number of oils made partly or completely from the cannabis plant. It can include hemp oil and CBD based oils as well as loosely refer to THC oils. Each type of cannabis oil has a different absorption rate that users must be aware of.

The type of process used to produce cannabis oils determines purity and can result in hemp oil blended with other types of oils such as sunflower seed oil and olive oil.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC is a psychotropic that can be used as an anti-epileptic, analgesic, and antiemetic. It is one of over 140 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and can have a 35% concentration in the flowers. THC is made from rich cannabis flowers. The main medical application of THC is assistance in seizure disorder reduction.

Tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol (from weirdworm.com)

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Organic CBD Oil
Organic CBD Oil (from cannabiscboiltreatments.com)

CBD oil is the most popular of the cannabis oils and can be made from the flowers of hemp plants or CBD rich strains. Some of the uses for CBD oil include pain relief, reduction of anxiety and depression, alleviation of cancer symptoms, acne control , assistance with mental disorders, and treatment for substance abuse.

Butane Hash or Butane Honey (BHO)

BHO is a resinous oil that is extracted from the cannabis plant using butane as the solvent. It can come in a variety of consistencies, which are determined by the heat and humidity used during extraction. Of the different types of oil, BHO is the least popular due to the dangers involved in extracting it.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

Rick Simpson Oil
Rick Simpson Oil (from marijuanally.com)

RSO is a resinous oil that is extracted using alcohol, and it produces the most concentrated cannabis oil. The oil is produced by stripping the cannabis plant of terpenes and cannabinoids. The process produces CBD and THC exclusively. It has been found to cure skin cancer and is exceptionally strong.

Hemp Seed

Hemp seeds have been used for thousands of years as a nutritional supplement and health product. The seeds contain the beneficial substances of α-linolenic acid, omega-3 fatty acid, and omega-6 fatty acid that have the potential of preventing coronary heart disease. There have been several studies and a great deal of research regarding the benefits of omega-3, but they have not conclusively proven its benefits. Hemp seed oil is a source of protein, vitamin E, and other minerals that are also found in seafood.

The process for producing hemp seed oil is completed by cold pressing the seeds. The oil can be used for cooking and is found in beauty products. Hemp seed oil is less expensive to purchase and more plentiful than CBD oil.

Hemp

Hemp
Hemp (from dailybasicnutrition.com)

Hemp is an extremely rich source of CBD; its THC content is federally regulated. The oil can be full or broad spectrum, with the full spectrum version having all of the compounds from the hemp plant. Full spectrum hemp oil is the most potent form of hemp oil and contains the greatest concentration of health benefits. There is a belief that the total medical benefits of CBD can be found when all of the different elements are taken together as one instead of separately.

Chapter Four – Uses for Cannabis Oil

Though cannabis has gained greater attention in recent years, it has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal aid, health supplement, and curative agent. The three genus of cannabis, indica, sativa, and ruderalis, have been cultivated and harvested for profit and medical benefits due to cannabis’ exceptional and considerable therapeutic benefits.

Since the middle of the 19th Century, cannabis has been used as a medication in the United States. Its health properties include various forms of medical relief: anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anticonvulsant, sedative, and analgesic.

Uses for Cannabis Oil

Digestive Stimulant

Cannabis oil can stimulate the digestive system and induce hunger, which is useful for people who need to gain weight or are recovering from a serious illness. Consumption of cannabis oil stimulates the hormone ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and can be used to treat obesity and anorexia.

Treatment for Stress and Anxiety

CBD relaxes the mind and reduces stress; it brings peace and calm to the mind. It was tested on patients who recently had a traumatic experience and was found to reduce stress and assist in regulating emotional responses in patients. Cannabinoids reduce the effect of the stress receptors in the hippocampus and basolateral amygdala parts of the brain that produce stressful feelings.

Pain Control

One of the main reasons that cannabis oil has been used for thousands of years is its ability to relieve pain, inflammation, and chronic pain. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy use it as a pain reliever. In a variety of medical studies, cannabis has proven to be a successful method for improving the moods of patients as well as relieving their pain.

Eye Health

Cannabis and cannabis oil have been linked to the prevention of macular degeneration and the treatment of glaucoma, a form of loss of vision due to an increase in intraocular pressure. Unfortunately, the relief of these disorders only lasts for a few hours and is a temporary treatment.

Treat and Prevent Cancer

The use of cannabis for the treatment and prevention of cancer has been ongoing for many years. It is believed that cannabis oil can reduce the size of tumors and alleviate pain, weakness, nausea, and lack of appetite. There are several studies that paint cannabis as a treatment for pituitary, colon, lung, thyroid, prostate, breast, and brain cancers. A study completed in 2006 found that THC and CBD had a significant and lasting effect on breast cancer cells.

It is theorized that cannabis induces cancer cell death and cuts off the blood supply to cancerous tumors. Cannabis oil has also been found to be an alternative to chemotherapy, and it increases the vitality of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Skin Care

Every day, millions of skin cells die and need to be shed. Cannabis oil enhances this natural process and promotes the appearance of healthy skin. It produces lipids that treat dry skin, dandruff, and acne and is believed to fight free radical damage as well as reduce the stress linked to eczema, rosacea, and acne.

Heart Health

There are tentative studies that suggest that cannabis oil can be used to treat heart problems. According to the research, cannabis oil improves circulation and reduces blood pressure. At the present time, the data has not conclusively proven that cannabis oil can prevent heart attacks since only one study has been done on humans.

Heart Health
Heart Health (from medicaljane.com)

Sjogren’s Syndrome

Unfortunately, Sjogren’s syndrome has no cure. Medical cannabis has been found to be a treatment that can alleviate the effects of some of the symptoms, such as pain, swelling, and inflammation. Cannabis oil is applied in a variety of ways, such as under the tongue or as a cream. It has been proven that cannabis oil significantly reduces inflammation and joint damage from the disease.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment

The normal interpretation of PTSD is that it is the result of an experience in military combat. In reality, PTSD can be suffered by anyone who has experienced a traumatic event such as an automobile accident, a near death experience, or sexual abuse. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines PTSD as a mental condition that is the result of a life threatening experience.

The CBD in cannabis regulates and controls neurotransmitter release and increases the flow of the pleasure hormone, dopamine. Its use has helped sufferers improve their coping skills and has reduced insomnia and anxiety.

Asthma Treatment

The normal treatment for asthma is the use of an inhaler that opens the air passages and offers short term relief. CBD, as a method for controlling asthma symptoms, serves as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic; this allows patients to control and manage their symptoms. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, retrograde neurotransmitters, to reduce mucus production and works as an immune modulator.

Normal and Asthma Lungs
Normal and Asthma Lungs (from sensiseeds.com)

Helps Improve Sleep

The calming effects of cannabis oil reduce restlessness and anxiety when trying to go to sleep, reduce sleep interruptions, and improve nighttime breathing. A major factor in sleep is the endocannabinoid system, which monitors sleep patterns as well as regulates and stabilizes sleep, and it is stimulated by CBD.

CBD has been found to be effective in addressing symptoms of sleep apnea (a disorder where patients stop breathing in their sleep) and insomnia by inducing states of physical and emotional calm. It stabilizes sleep patterns and alleviates sleep disorders.

Chapter Five – Finding the Right Cannabis Product

The first consideration when selecting the cannabis product to fit your situation is your goal. Cannabis oil can be used to improve sleep, as a health and wellness supplement, for stress relief, for muscle and joint pain, or general pain relief. As with all types of medications, it is important to know in advance your reason for taking CBD.

The next consideration is the strength that will be required to achieve your goals. CBD is measured in milligrams; this determines its potency and strength.

Finding the Right CBD Oil

There are three types of CBD oil. Knowing the differences between the types is essential to an understanding of CBD oil.

Types of CBD Oil

CBD Strength

Methods of Application

Much like any form of medication, there are five ways to take CBD; it can be sublingual, ingestible, water soluble, topical, or inhalable. Knowing how you wish to take CBD goes a long way in choosing the correct product and helping you find the most comfortable way to use it.

Sublingual

Sublingual use is when CBD in any form is placed under the tongue to begin absorption in the mouth. It is a quicker absorption method than ingesting.

Ingesting

Ingestion of CBD is swallowing or eating of it without letting it be absorbed in the mouth. The types of products for ingesting include capsules, pills, drinks, gummies, or foods. It is an easy and comfortable way to take the product, but it takes longer for the effects to be felt.

Water Soluble

Water soluble CBD is taken through ingestion but is absorbed into the body faster. The oil is broken up in the water into tiny particles for quicker and faster absorption. The effects can be felt within 15 minutes. Water soluble CBD can be mixed with any form of beverage.

Topical

CBD topicals are skin care products, lotions, bath bombs, bath salts, and various kinds of soap, and they are designed to be used on the outside of the body. When applied topically, CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin. These types are for targeted problems such as joint, muscle, or skin discomfort.

Inhalation

Inhaling CBD allows it to enter the body within minutes, but it may be dangerous and harmful. It is the perfect solution for people who already inhale vapors or smoke but may be difficult for those who are not accustomed to that process.

Methods of Application
Methods of Application (from cbdamericanshaman.com)

CBD can be taken regularly, such as in the morning and evening, or occasionally when symptoms or discomfort arises. There are various products that can conform to the different timing methods.

Another factor to consider when choosing a CBD oil is any dietary concerns such as allergies, having a vegan diet, and avoidance of gluten products. It is uncommon for gluten to be a factor in CBD processing, but certain contaminants can enter the product depending on the processing method.

Though uncommon, a small group of people are allergic to CBD; reactions can be caused by derivatives in the product or the CBD substances.

Chapter Six – Laws Regulating Cannabis Oil

The legalization of CBD is an ongoing and complicated process with states and certain jurisdictions having their own laws and restrictions. A standard rule that seems to have gained approval is that CBD may not have a THC content of more than 0.3%, a condition that has been added as an addendum to most laws.

Federal legislation has authorized the sale of industrial hemp and CBD. Though this has been approved on the federal level, individual states have their own regulations that supersede federal law. Every state works regularly to change and adjust their legislation to meet the attitude and opinions of the public regarding CBD.

Laws Regulating Cannabis Oil

When the push to legalize CBD began, CBD was classified as a Schedule 1 restricted substance due to its relationship to THC. The Farm Bill of 2014 laid out the distinction between cannabis and hemp, with marijuana having a higher amount of THC than hemp, which has a higher concentration of CBD.

The 2014 law allowed for the growth, transport, and research of hemp with a maximum THC level of 0.3%. THC remains a schedule 1 restricted substance and drug. This particular distinction has assisted in the research into the positive effects of CBD.

For greater clarification, the Farm Bill of 2018 specified that industrial hemp extracts are legal, permitting CBD oil to be used throughout the United States as long as it is extracted from industrial hemp. CBD extracted from marijuana can be used for medical purposes in compliance with individual state laws.

Forty six of the fifty states allow the use of CBD oil at differing levels. Some states allow it for therapeutic purposes, while others permit it for recreational and therapeutic purposes.

Included in the legal requirements are specifications and requirements for labeling, which must clearly identify the contents, such as THC or CBD or both and the percentages of each. Many of the restrictions are for the protection of children and require that packaging be child proof.

CBD product supplements require a supplement facts label on the back that includes an outline of secondary ingredients, warnings, and other instructions. Though it is not legislated, packaging of CBD should be in airtight green, blue, amber, or violet glass bottles since glass does not absorb oils and colored glass prevents deterioration from UV rays or artificial light.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) section 21 CFR 111.455 stipulates the packaging for food and dietary supplements but doesn’t recognize CBD under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) of 1938. It does inspect CBD products being shipped across state lines for proper labeling.

Conclusion