There was once a time when smoking a joint was one of the only, if not the only, mainstream method of consumption. Luckily for everyone, we’ve come a long way since then. Nowadays, the cannabis market has expanded to adapt to the many needs of its diverse consumers, particularly when it comes to medical cannabis patients. One big player is cannabis-infused oil.
What are the potential benefits of cannabis-infused oil?
Smoking or inhaling vapour, simply put, isn’t for everyone. Particularly when it comes to individuals who have respiratory issues, smoking cannabis in the form of a joint or in a pipe isn’t feasible, and certainly isn’t advisable. Other segments of the medical cannabis community who could benefit from cannabis-infused oil include those who are new to cannabis (welcome, newbies!), those who want to ensure they’re dosing accurately, those who want to dose throughout the day and want to do it discreetly, those with mobility issues who may have trouble handling dried flower, and the list goes on!
Boiled down, cannabis-infused oil is a method of cannabis consumption offering the following:
- It’s discreet and odourless, so you can forget about the smell of smoking!
- Dosing is made easy with the help of a dropper
- It’s easy to use, and doesn’t require any rolling or other accessories
- Generally speaking, it’s a fairly palatable way to ingest cannabis
What is cannabis-infused oil made of?
There are a number of carrier oils used to produce cannabis-infused oil. A few of the most common ones used by Licensed Producers include avocado oil, coconut oil, and by far the most popular, MCT oil.
MCT stands for Medium-chain Triglyceride, and is actually a derivative of coconut oil. Essentially what we’re talking about is fats (also known as triglycerides) of medium length -- somewhere between 6 to 12 carbon atoms. This shorter length, compared to long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which can have anywhere between 13 and 21 carbons in each chain, means MCTs are broken down almost immediately by the body. MCT oil is fairly easily absorbed by the liver, causing quicker onset times.
Please note that at very high doses, MCT oil may cause gastrointestinal distress or even diarrhea, so always begin with a small amount when consuming cannabis-infused oil made from MCT for the first time.
How do I read a cannabis-infused oil label?
When you first receive your cannabis-infused oil, you may find the label a little confusing. But fear not, it’s really quite simple! Below is a breakdown of each component of the label and what they mean:
How do I consume cannabis-infused oil?
To feel the effects the quickest, it’s best to start by dropping the oil underneath your tongue, also known as sublingual administration. This method bypasses your digestive system by entering more quickly into your bloodstream via the veins underneath your tongue.
Alternatively you also have the option of ingesting cannabis-infused oil by mixing it with food or drinks, or even having it on its own. This method will take a little longer to take effect (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours) but the effects are long-lasting (up to 12 hours or more!)
What’s my tolerance for cannabis-infused oil?
If you’re new to cannabis or even new to cannabis-infused oil, always remember to start low and go slow. Begin with a drop or two and go from there -- never start with an entire dropper full of oil! Even if you are a regular consumer of dried flower and have a high tolerance for cannabis, your body can react differently to cannabis-infused oil. To avoid taking more than you intended, consume less than you would normally (or start with a single drop if you’re completely new) and move slowly up from there.