When I was first introduced to the world of weed, one of the things that confused me the most was the difference between cannabis oil, CBD oil, and hemp oil. If you find yourself in the same position, this article should serve as a great resource for you!
When you extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from dried cannabis, you end up with a potent and effective oil. Think of the term “cannabis oil” as an umbrella that can also be used regionally to describe other products like:
- CBD oil
- THC oil
- hemp oil
- honey/hash oil
- Rick Simpson oil
…and others. They aren’t all the same, but many are similar. They’ll vary in potency, delivery methods, extraction process, taste, price, and other traits.
You can take cannabis oil by placing it under your tongue, cooking with it, filling capsules with it, and making topicals. Depending on the type of oil, you can also smoke or vaporize it.
How Cannabis Oil Differs from Hemp Oils
You might remember from our last article that the hemp plant is a non-psychoactive version of the cannabis sativa plant. In layman’s terms, it’s weed that doesn’t get you high.
Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant after they have been cleaned. The seeds are often processed using a cold press method to extract their oils.
Cannabis oil comes from every part of the cannabis plant; the flowers (buds), the stems, and the leaves. Higher-end extracts like shatter will often use only the flowers, for increased potency.
Cannabis leaves and stems are not fit to smoke – but you should absolutely keep them! Those are the parts of the plant that can be used to make edibles and topicals.
CBD oil is made with strains of cannabis that have been selectively bred to have a lower THC content. THC is a key component in giving users that “stoned” feeling.
CBD is a key component to many of the medicinal benefits associated with cannabis. This type of oil is desirable for people who want to experience the pain relief and relaxation of cannabis without feeling high.
It’s worth mentioning that there are many compounds at play in the cannabis plant that contribute to the way it makes you feel. Regarding the medicinal effects, THC and CBD are just the primary ones.
How to Make Cannabis Oil
To make cannabis oil for cooking, you need to start with plant material. This includes buds, leaves, and stems, or any combination thereof.
Sometimes, this is done using a slow-cooker, or on a stove-top with a double boiler. The plant matter is ground up and left to sit in oil or butter at a low temperature. Once the plant matter is filtered out, you’re left with cannabis-infused oil.
This isn’t to be confused with the oil-like output you’ll get from performing an extraction process. There are many ways to do this, including the Rick Simpson Oil method. This popular method, named after a Canadian who cured his cancer with cannabis oil, uses alcohol or solvents for the extraction process.
The easiest way to make cannabis oil is by using a cannabis oil extractor. Yes. These really exist!
Here is what one Amazon verified buyer had to say about his cannabis oil extractor:
If cannabis oil is legal in your jurisdiction you should be able to order them online. Just be sure to check your local laws first!
My Favorite Way To Take Cannabis Oil
Now that you have your cannabis oil, what do you do with it? The best way of taking cannabis oil (in my opinion) is by turning it into edibles!
If you’re using a cannabis oil with a base oil like coconut or butter, you can replace the oil in your recipe with your cannabis oil infusion. Other than that, the rest of the recipe stays the same.
Coconut oil is a popular choice. Butter is frequently used when the end-goal is to cook with the cannabis oil. This is commonly referred to as “budder” (bud + butter).
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If you’re making your edibles with a cannabis oil extractor rather than an infusion, you can use much less oil since they’re more potent. So if your recipe calls for an ounce of oil, for instance, you will need to use half an ounce of cannabis oil and half an ounce of your base oil or butter.
What to Look for When Buying Cannabis Oil
If you’re in a part of the world where cannabis is legal, either recreationally or medically, you will have much better options available to you. You have the luxury of knowing that your product was made in a lab with high standards.
That’s not to say that homemade extractions are necessarily bad, but you won’t have the same precise dosage information. Also, there are concerns about the safety of potential leftover solvents from certain methods of extraction.
It’s advisable to look at the potency of the product and what type of concentration it has. Also, different strains will have different effects. Some are used for relaxing and locking yourself to the couch. Others are more widely used for a productivity boost, especially in creative endeavors.
Lower-cost providers will use a mixture of buds, stems, and leaves. Cannabis can be grown using any number of fertilizers and pesticides, not to mention that the solvents used to make extracts aren’t always fully evaporated.
Sometimes, producing oils is a way for growers to get rid of undesirable buds that aren’t appealing enough to be sold.
These are all compelling reasons to stick to well-known brands and licensed producers.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the provider. If they’re putting out a top-quality product they will be more than willing to brag on themselves.
Warning: Be careful using any solvent-based extraction methods to make oil. Not only are the materials flammable, but not properly evaporating them means you’ll be ingesting them.
Using Cannabis Oil For Pain, PTSD, And Other Medical Issues
The medicinal benefits have been a driving force in the popularity of cannabis oil and CBD for people who would rather not smoke all day.
At this stage, some of the uses are still anecdotal or haven’t been studied, but there is also ample research that shows huge potential.
It’s well known that using cannabis can make you feel sleepy and give you “the munchies”. It’s commonly used for eating disorders, people who have trouble sleeping, and even chemotherapy patients who have trouble with their appetites.
Cannabis has been studied for its medicinal potential and has showed promising results. CBD has been studied for its impact on inflammation, for instance.
Doctors, in regions that allow medicinal marijuana, prescribe it for dozens of different ailments. Cannabis treats ADHD, brain injuries, migraines, depression, PTSD, and more.
For conditions that it doesn’t outright treat or cure, it can help with pain management and quality of life.
Cannabis oil is a powerful substance with countless uses and applications. One of the most dangerous risks associated with smoking cannabis is the risk of smoking itself, so oil made from cannabis that can be ingested eliminates that issue altogether.
The health of a nation is the wealth of a nation. And our community can no longer afford to ignore the benefits of cannabis oil!