Demand for cannabis oil has skyrocketed. We believe cannabis has the potential to be very effective as part of the integrated therapy for cancer, epilepsy, MS and many other chronic and terminal illnesses. But not all cannabis oil is created equally and it’s important to do your own homework before you buy or make cannabis oil.
Hemp Oil vs. Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil is also known as concentrated cannabis oil, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), Phoenix Tears, or Milagro Oil. Cannabis oil is a dark, thick paste or gel of a highly concentrated cannabinoids made from the flowers (and sometimes leaves) of seed-free female cannabis flowers. Making cannabis oil requires extraction of the cannabinoids from the dry plan matter, with a solvent, and the heating to activate the cannabinoids and to cook off the solvent. It is very different from Hemp oil which is a legal food-grade product made from pressing hemp seeds, (not from the flower or leaf like cannabis oil) grown specifically as a food grade product. This oil is high in healthy nutrients including the very important essential fatty acids. While hemp oil is a highly nutritious product that does indeed support a healthy endocannabinoid system, it does not have the same assumed curative properties of cannabis oil. While hemp and medical cannabis plants are cousins of sorts hemp has very low levels of cannabinoids, especially low (negligible) levels of THC. Keep in mind that cannabinoids (the pharmaceutically active component of cannabis oil) reside in the trichome, a small gland on the exterior of the cannabis flower and leaf, not within the seed. And, that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD have to be heated to 212F to be converted from a cannabinoid acid to a cannabinoid. While each product has their merits, they are completely different products with different purposes.
3 things to consider when purchasing/making cannabis oil
What is it that you want this oil to do for you or your loved one? This will provide guidance as to whether you want an oil high in CBD or THC. They provide different benefits. See our page on “Introduction to Cannabis” for more information on CBD & THC.
High CBD oil has been all the rage in the last year for treating children with epilepsy. While many children are having incredible results with it, the popularity of the product invites scam artist to prey upon desperate parents. Steep Hill Labs and the Werc Shop – both reputable cannabis testing facilities, report that approximately 12 in 750 samples tested are considered high in CBD. Make sure you do your homework in finding the right oil for you and purchase from a reputable source.
To have clean quality product, you must begin with clean, quality cannabis. Regardless if you are buying or making your cannabis oil it is important to use very dry, high quality cannabis flowers that are pesticide, mold, and bacteria-free. You would not want these things in your antibiotics or cough medicine, why would it be ok in your cannabis oil? If you are in a state with access to lab testing they can test your plant material and concentrates for cannabinoid content, mold, bacteria, other microbes, and pesticides and your concentrates for all of that and residual solvents. Purity Matters!
What solvent was used to make the cannabis oil? Know that some of the most common solvents used in making cannabis oil like Naptha and Butane are carcinogenic and should NOT be used in cannabis oil. While they are supposed to be burned off in the finishing process, the only way to be sure is to have that product lab tested. Even small amounts of these chemicals can be harmful to your health. The safest cannabis oil preparation is the CO2 method but that equipment is expensive. Ethanol (alcohol) extraction is the second best choice. The experts that we interviewed for this article urged extra caution for alcoholics using ethanol extracted cannabis – it is important to ensure that no alcohol residue remains in the oil.
Be sure to purchase your cannabis oil from a reputable place. Do not buy cannabis oil on the internet – especially from someone with a random email address! It is likely it is a scam. There is no way to know the quality of the cannabis oil or if it is in fact cannabis oil that is being sold. Again, purchase from a reputable, trustworthy source.
Please remember Purpose, Purity, and Procurement when purchasing or making cannabis oil. We hope this information is helpful to you.
How to Make a Small Batch of Rick Simpson Oil
This is an excellent video on how to make small-batch high-concentrated cannabis oil.