What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil as the name suggests is an oil made of extracts obtained from the cannabis plant. This oil is also referred to as marijuana oil, cannabinoid oil or even hemp oil. Cannabis oil contains over 100 of the cannabinoid compounds found in a cannabis plant. These are the compounds that give the oil its unique properties and its ability to treat different medical conditions.
As we have already pointed out, cannabis oil usually contains over 100 of the known cannabinoids. The oils are hence usually considered as an umbrella that houses different compounds with different effects. It’s also due to this fact that the oil is generally surrounded with lots of complexity and controversy on its usage and legality.
Two of the most studied compounds in the cannabis plant are CBD and THC. These compounds have been used in making different oils which can also be considered as cannabis oil, but unlike a typical cannabis oil, CBD or THC oils contain more of CBD or THC, respectively, than all other compounds. So, while cannabis oil may contain both CBD and THC, the oil won’t be as effective in yielding the effects of the two compounds compared to an exclusive CBD or THC oil.
The concentration of the different compounds found in cannabis oil is also hugely dependent on the specific plant they are extracted from. If, for instance, you get the oils from skunk plants, they will contain more THC than CBD. Using such oils will, therefore, result in the high feeling associated with smoking marijuana since THC is the compounds responsible for the “high” properties. On the other hand, if you extract the oils from the hemp plant, there will be more CBD than THC. These oils are more popular since they deliver incredible medicinal benefits without making the users high. This information also answers one of the most common questions associated with the use of cannabis oil, i.e. will be using this oil make one feel high? The answer is it depends on the concentration and the source of the cannabis oil you are using. If you are using oils from the hemp plant, you will most probably enjoy its various benefits without getting high. This also means that you have to keen on who your supplier is and you must also read through the dosages of the various compounds in oils. The more the CBD, the higher the medicinal benefits. The more the THC the “higher” you’ll get after using it.
How Does the Cannabis Oil Work?
Cannabis oil contains dozens of cannabinoids. What are cannabinoids? Cannabinoids are active compounds contained in the cannabis plant that give it its specific properties. When consumed, these cannabinoids operate within a special system in our bodies referred to as the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoid system is part of the nervous system, and it helps with regulating various processes including pain, mood, memory, appetite, sleep cycles among others. In this system, the cannabinoids interact with the receptors present to influence these processes resulting in different effects.
It’s important to note that cannabis oil is only as important as the cannabinoids it contains. The two main cannabinoids found in marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will determine what sort of effects one witness after using the oils. You should, therefore, buy the oils while considering the specific result you are looking for.
Benefits of Using Cannabis Oil
The use of cannabis and cannabis-derived products had been banned for decades. This seemed like a sensible thing back in the years when we only knew the plant for its “high” effects, but dozens of trials have proved that we can get so much more from the marijuana plant. It is also due to these studies that we have also seen the public opinion shift drastically with more governments welcoming the idea of legalizing the use of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
These studies have shown that if used correctly, cannabis oils can be of benefit in various ways including:
- Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Clinical trials and studies were done on animals show that cannabinoids contained in cannabis oils can be used to relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. These oils could help in dealing with tremors, pain, nocturia, and spasticity among other symptoms. Cannabis oil will hence enhance recovery while also improving the quality of life of the patient.
- Aiding Cancer treatment
Various studies have been done looking into how cannabis can be used in the treatment of cancer. One study done in China used a synthetic cannabinoid to determine its impact on an aggressive form of liver cancer. The results showed that cannabinoids demonstrated promising ability in treating liver cancer. Its, however, not yet clear on the full impact it had and how it can be used for this purpose. More clinical trials are hence necessary to understand cannabinoids, cannabis oils and their potency in dealing with cancer.
What is clear, is that cannabinoids can be used to provide palliative care not just to cancer patients but also to people with other terminal illnesses. This is something that cannabis has been used since the 19th and 20th centuries when it was given to rabies patients to ease suffering. For cancer patients, cannabis oil can be used to reduce pain, nausea and boost appetite.
- Treatment of Epilepsy
This is a relatively popular benefit and use of cannabis oil. Studies have shown that THC can be used in controlling convulsions and it has even been used for this purpose. The problem, however, is its psychoactive properties which most people find discomforting. The good news is that there is also evidence that cannabidiol can also be used to achieve the same outcome without getting the users high. Various trials showed that CBD is capable of treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, two very severe forms of epilepsy.
Most scientists don’t really understand how exactly the cannabinoids achieved this. It is believed that the ability of the compounds to inhibit inflammation within the brain and to control neuron activities could be the reason behind it.
Other benefits associated with the use of cannabis oil include:
- Pain relief
- Treatment of insomnia
- Alleviating stress and depression
- Treatment of different forms of anxiety
What are the side effects of using cannabis oil?
Getting pure cannabis oil with the different cannabinoids dozed safely is usually very difficult. The commercial made medical cannabis oils are generally the most reliable. These oils are extracted much more keenly before they are cleansed and dozed to deliver the desired benefits with as little side effects as possible.
Other than impurities, THC is another enemy when dealing with Cannabis oils. This is because when it is used in excess, the cannabinoid will cause some adverse reactions such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Reduced memory
- Poor learning ability
- Tiredness and constant fatigue
- The “high” feeling
- Increased appetite
It is always advisable to get cannabis oil with the lowest amounts THC possible unless you are looking for an effect that can only be delivered by it.
Using Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil can be used both orally and topically. Oral use is recommended for treating most of the conditions discussed above. Topical use is more effective when dealing with inflammation, acne and for overall skincare routine.
Is Cannabis Oil Legal?
Cannabis oil is legal in the UK, and even there, the oil must contain less than 0.05% of THC otherwise they become illegal. Very few manufacturers are capable of making oils with such low doses of THC given that it is impossible to have a cannabis plant without THC or extract the oils without having traces of the cannabinoid finding their way into the oil.
Various other countries in Europe are still working on the legalization of cannabis-derived products. In the Netherlands, these products can be prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of Tourette’s Syndrome, HIV/AIDs, Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis.
In the US, around 29 states have already legalized the use of cannabis for medical use while eight states have also permitted the plant for recreational use.
Legalization of cannabis oil and other cannabis products is a work in progress. With more trials showcasing their benefits, we are likely to see more states and countries permit its use not just for medicinal use but also for recreational purposes.