Cannabis Oil: A Beginner’s Guide
Cannabis products are quickly rising in demand as more and more people are realizing its many therapeutic benefits. It seems that the legalization of medicinal marijuana in some states is generating much interest in this previously shamed plant. As an increasing number of people experience both immediate and lasting relief from their varying health maladies, cannabis, especially cannabis oil, continues to gain increasing popularity.
In fact, Forbes reported in 2016 that the cannabis market is expected to be a multi-billion dollar industry by the year 2020. For those who are unfamiliar with cannabis and its many uses, the following information can be highly informative, whether you are seeking relief from a certain health condition, or you simply want to know what all the hype is about.
What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil is a Cannabis sativa plant-based oil that has been known to treat many conditions of the body: anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, other inflammatory conditions, as well as epilepsy. There are even claims that cannabis oil can help prevent/treat neurological degeneration and treat cancer. But this, of course, has not been proven.
The reason this oil is medicinally effective is that it contains cannabinoids that interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, thereby benefiting the brain neurologically.
There are two types of cannabis oil: CBD oil and THC oil. You could also have an oil that has both types of cannabinoids.
CBD Oil vs THC Oil
CBD cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. Traditional cannabis oil, on the other hand, does contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the cannabinoid that does produce a psychoactive high — that famous marijuana high that many people seek out.
Both oils help to relieve pain, inflammation, mental disorders, and insomnia. However, in some people, the high generated from THC may actually increase anxiety in those who suffer from the disorder.
Although hemp oil is made from the Cannabis sativa hemp plant, it is different from THC cannabis oil. Hemp seed oil is made through cold pressing hemp seeds. Cannabis oil is made by extracting the resins, known as hash oil, from the cannabis plant. If you want a hemp CBD oil or cannabis hemp, you must buy or make hemp oil by combining it with the THC part of the plant.
Hemp oil naturally contains high amounts of CBD but does not contain THC. CBD hemp can be made even more CBD potent by adding additional CBD extractions to the oil. Therefore, it the preferred oil for people who want to experience the medicinal qualities of the hemp without the high that THC gives.
If you want the highest levels of CBD, it is best to buy organic hemp versus a more highly processed industrial hemp where the quality of the oil has most likely been compromised.
Is Cannabis Oil Legal?
Cannabis oil that contains THC is only allowed in states that have legalized it. There are states that have legalized cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use, terming the latter as “medical marijuana.”
Cannabidiol CBD oil is legal in most states except for Idaho, West Virginia, South Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, and Kansas where all forms of cannabis, THC or not, are strictly prohibited.
How To Make Cannabis Oil At Home
If you decide to take this route rather than purchasing an already prepared cannabis oil, it is very important that you know what you’re looking for because you don’t want a poor quality cannabis plant. This obviously will not produce great quality cannabis oil and all your hard work in making the oil will pretty much be in vain.
You want a plant that is ideally high in terpenes, which is what gives marijuana its great-smelling and flavorful kick, and also that is either high in THC, CBD, or both. It really depends on what you are treating when it comes to deciding if you want a strong THC or CBD weed strain. If you are treating epilepsy, for example, you want a strain low in THC and high in CBD. For depression, you might want a strain that is high in THC.
Also, if you live in a state where marijuana is illegal and therefore do not wish to buy cannabis plants which obviously contain THC, there are ways to make CBD oil without using the marijuana plant itself. You simply buy CBD crystals instead of the cannabis plant.
The first thing you will want to do is grind up your buds. There are many ways to grind weed. However, it is very important that you do not grind the pieces up to too fine because then the pieces go straight through the strainer and end up in your finished product.
Cook or Bake
After you have ground your buds, the next step is to slowly boil the crushed leaves in oil.
This step is easy. You simply combine an oil of your choice with your cannabis grinds and place this combination in a piece of cookware that works best with your schedule or is your preferred way of slow cooking. For a regular saucepan, simmer on low for 3 hours. For a slow cooker, five to six hours. For a double boiler, cook on low for at least six hours.
You can also bake your oil and cannabis combination in the oven. However, this method requires a low heat setting so that it can heat and cook slowly.
The last step is also simple. After the allotted time is up for the boiling, you then strain it through a strainer, preferably one that has tiny holes versus one with the bigger holes, as it would allow for some of the smaller grinds to escape into your finished oil.
Then you simply store and use as needed.
How To Use Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil can be used for cooking, smoked, or as a supplement. If you decide to use it as a cooking oil, you will need to use more cannabis grinds and oil in order to make enough for consistent use. A good measurement to go by that will give you an adequate supply of cooking oil is to combine one cup of cannabis grinds with one cup of your oil of choice.
A great way to smoke it is through a vape pen. However, if you choose this method of consuming cannabis oil, you want to use an oil that is not too thick so that it will be an effective vape oil.
Note: there are also pure CBD vape oils (no THC oil) that can be purchased or made at home. CDB vaping has become a very popular way to enjoy its medicinal properties.
If you are simply wanting to take cannabis oil as a dietary supplement, not as much is needed at one time, although you can still decide to make a large quantity all at once if you desire. Usually, if you are ingesting it in this manner, a high-quality hemp oil is used. Nonetheless, olive and coconut oils are also great options.
How To Use CBD Oil for Health
Cannabis is known to aid in reducing inflammation in the body. It also calms the nervous system and encourages healthy levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Therefore, if you decide to take CBD for your health, it is best to take it daily instead of at random intervals. The reason for this is because your body must consistently experience the healing and therapeutic effects of CBD on a regular basis in order to maintain mental and physical equilibrium in the body.
How To Use Cannabis Oil For Recreation
Before giving any advice on this subject, it is smart to preface it by stating you need to know your marijuana laws. If your state has not legalized marijuana, then you might want to think twice before using marijuana oil. When people use cannabis recreationally, usually it is to enjoy the THC high rather than treating a condition, although many people enjoy it for both reasons.
That being said, although the CBD oil versions do not give you that famous THC high, it is still a better option if you live in a state that does not allow recreational marijuana use.
If you live in Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, or Colorado, you are free to use the drug recreationally. However, a word of caution: Any drug can significantly alter the brain activity, thus making it dangerous to operate vehicles or machinery. Additionally, people who are not seasoned cannabis oil users may find that it worsens an already existing mental distress.
Therefore, use caution, especially if you’re using cannabis oil for the first time. Start with a low dose and then, if you find that it is safe, you can up the dose.
The existing beneficial results that science has provided allows for CBD oil to be considered a fairly safe supplement to take, even in high doses. People with extreme anxiety or depression have taken very high doses of CBD. That being said, it is still imperative that, if you do decide to start taking CBD oil, that you start with a low dose and then if you don’t experience relief, you can slowly work your way up in milligram dosage.
If you decide to take cannabis oil, which contains the THC, it is even more crucial that you start off at a very low dose and then work your way up slowly. Medical cannabis, which is cannabis that is prescribed by a licensed doctor, will give you the right dosage of cannabis extract to start off with and will be consistently monitored for any adverse effects.
For CBD oil, it is recommended to start at 20-30 milligrams of CBD oil per day, divided into two or three doses. If you do not experience relief within the first week, then every four days you can increase your dosage by 10 milligrams until you experience notable relief from your symptoms.
Where To Buy Cannabis Oil
If you live in a state that has legalized recreational cannabis use, then you may purchase it easily online or at your local marijuana dispensary. If you live in a state where only medical marijuana is legal, then a prescription is required. Cannabis oil purchases are illegal in states that prohibit all cannabis use.
Where To Buy CBD Oil
Like above, in states where CBD oil is legal to purchase, you may easily find it online. Make sure that you do thorough research on the top CBD brands, as this will ensure that you get the right CBD oil for your particular ailment. Additionally, this research will ensure that you do not accidentally purchase a CBD oil that does contain THC.
Is Cannabis Oil Right For You?
If you find that you have one or more of the already mentioned mental or physical health challenges mentioned above, it is worth taking the time to consider whether or not cannabis oil is right for you. Talk with your doctor about your options. If you live in a state where cannabis is illegal, talk with your doctor about using CBD oil.
If you live in a state where it is legal, then proceed with a discussion about the monitored use of medical marijuana. And obviously, some legalized states give you the option for recreational marijuana. But the bottom line is you want relief. You also want to have a great quality of life. Therefore, consider whether or not cannabis oil, or CBD oil, is the next best option for you.