Getting medicine from the doctor is one thing. But when it comes to cannabis oil, many patients rely on the illegal circuit, themselves or a cannabis social club.
Most cannabis oils come with no leaflet. There are, however, a number of things to keep in mind when making or buying cannabis oil.
Not all cannabis oils are the same
Aspirin is aspirin, there is little difference. However, cannabis oil is not always the same. That’s because of the different variables involved in the production of cannabis extracts. And to make it even more confusing, they are all called cannabis oil.
You have to deal with various cannabis strains and cannabinoids, extraction methods, solvents and dilutions.
As a result, there are many possible combinations, each of which produces a different effect. When you are going to make your own cannabis oil, for example, or purchase homemade cannabis oil, it is important to know which of these combinations you are getting, and what kind of oil it is.
THC, CBD, and terpenes
One of the most important factors in the effect and efficacy of cannabis oil is the genetics, or cannabis strain, used. The cannabis strain used has a huge influence on the effect of cannabis oil.
This has to do with the active substances present in the cannabis plant, which therefore also end up in the cannabis oil.
To start, we’ll look at the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, a group of plant chemicals that includes THC and CBD. Two very different substances, both of which are important to the effects of cannabis oil.
However, the specific medicinal effects of a strain are determined not only by cannabinoids but also by terpenes. These are the aromatic substances that influence the effect of the active substances THC or CBD.
This is also called the entourage effect. It means that the cannabinoids work synergistically with the terpenes and are much more potent together than in isolation. This entourage effect only occurs by using so-called full-spectrum cannabis oil containing both terpenes and cannabinoids.
Sativa vs. Indica
There are many hundreds – if not thousands – of cannabis strains to be found. Yet these strains are mainly divided into the categories of sativa and indica. In general, sativa strains give a more uplifting effect that you notice in your head. Perfect for people with depression, but less suitable against anxiety or pain.
Indica plants are calming, pain relieving and you feel more in the body. An indica cannabis strain is characterized by a higher concentration of the terpene myrcene. This substance makes oil from indica or indica dominant cannabis strains, an effective sedative and sleep aid.
Making a clean and safe cannabis extract does not have to be difficult. However, it is important to use the right products and to work hygienically. There are numerous ways to extract the active substances from cannabis.
Private individuals often use alcohol extraction. This involves briefly rinsing the cannabis in pure consumption alcohol to get the active ingredients into the alcohol. By allowing the alcohol to evaporate afterwards, a pure cannabis extract remains.
On an industrial scale, cannabis oil is usually made using liquid CO2 as a solvent.
This produces a very clean product, with many terpenes and cannabinoids retained. In the low countries, this really only concerns the full-spectrum CBD oil that you can legally purchase.
But beware because not all CBD oil is a full-spectrum oil. Often a pure CBD isolate is used to dissolve in edible oil. This oil contains only CBD and is less effective medicinally.
Making cannabis oil with coconut oil
Another and very safe method of making cannabis oil at home is by using coconut oil. By simmering the cannabis in coconut oil over low heat for several hours, the active ingredients in the cannabis dissolve in the fats in the coconut oil. This method also does not require anything to be evaporated.
Diluting and dosing
When it comes to cannabis oil, people often talk about the percentage of active ingredients, but this is irrelevant to how it works. Only to know if you are paying a fair price does it make sense to calculate how much THC you are getting per dollar.
After all, two drops of cannabis oil with 14 percent THC is the same as one drop with 28 percent THC.
It is more important to slowly build up your dosage to the desired effect. If you ingest a lot of THC without having built up a tolerance for it, you can experience an unpleasant feeling. Especially when you are not used to it.
Fortunately, overdosing on cannabis or cannabis oil never leads to death. If you have ever ingested too much cannabis oil, read these tips to know how to get rid of an unwanted high feeling.
A pure extract makes dosing very difficult. Mainly because the active ingredients are concentrated and therefore each drop is very strong.
By diluting your extract with a cooking oil or grease you make it less strong, and therefore easier to dose. Many people use a dilution of 1 part pure cannabis oil to 4 parts kitchen oil.
You can find different products to dilute your cannabis oil with. Once you have found a good dilution, it is very handy to store your cannabis oil in capsules. This way you have a self-standardized medicine that gives exactly the desired effect.