By Spencer Brooks
Cannabis-infused oil is one of the most popular delivery methods for medical patients. It’s great for a few different reasons:
Convenience. You can carry a bottle of cannabis oil with you wherever you go, and with no smoke and no smell, it’s easy to take a dose of cannabis oil discreetly, no matter where you are.
Potency. Cannabis oil is concentrated, so it’s perfect for patients who need higher doses of cannabis. At the same time, patients who want smaller doses can use cannabis oil with ease as well, which leads into the next point...
Precise dosing. Most cannabis oils come with a measuring dropper, which makes it easy to take the exact amount of THC/CBD that you want, whatever the dose.
Long-lasting effects. For most patients, a single dose of cannabis oil will provide several hours of relief. Taking cannabis orally lasts longer than smoking or vaping does.
Cannabis oil is an excellent choice for many medical patients. But with so many brands and different types of oil, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. How can you tell if a cannabis oil is high-quality? And what are the different options available?
This article will tell you exactly what to look for in a high-quality cannabis oil. You’ll also learn about how cannabis oils are made, the different types of cannabis oil, and how to use cannabis oil so you get the most benefit.
What is cannabis oil?
Cannabis oil is exactly what it sounds like: oil that has been infused with a form of cannabis. More specifically, the form of cannabis that is infused with oil is referred to as a “tincture.”
These tinctures are a highly refined form of cannabis created through a multi-step purification process. First raw cannabis trim is processed into a crude cannabis oil using ethanol or CO2. Then, the crude oil undergoes a “winterization” process, in which unwanted fats and waxes are removed to ensure purity of product. Lastly, this winterized version of the cannabis oil is diluted with a base oil (also known as “carrier oil”) to achieve a desired potency. Most producers use coconut oil, olive oil, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil as a base for their cannabis oil.
The different types of cannabis oil
You have several options when it comes to cannabis oil. The most common ones are:
THC-infused oil. These oils only contain THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. THC provides a variety of possible benefits, ranging from pain relief to relaxation and stress relief. THC also causes euphoria; it’s responsible for the high associated with cannabis.
CBD-infused oil. Cannabidiol (CBD) is non-intoxicating, meaning it won’t get you high. However, it carries an impressive variety of potential health benefits. CBD may help patients with pain, sleep problems, anxiety, mood, nausea, and more, all without impairing your ability to function. CBD oil has only CBD, with minimal-to-no THC.
THC:CBD oil. THC and CBD may work better together for certain patients, especially when it comes to things like pain and sleep. CBD may also prevent side effects of THC, like paranoia, and can reduce THC’s intoxicating effects so you get the benefits but can still function well throughout the day. The interplay between THC and CBD is called the Entourage Effect, and you can read more about it here. THC:CBD oils come in different ratios; you can try a few to find one that works well for your medical needs.
Full-spectrum oil. The Entourage Effect isn’t limited to THC and CBD. Cannabis contains more than 85 other cannabinoids that we’re just starting to understand. Full-spectrum extracts also contain terpenes, compounds that may bring their own set of benefits to the party, and researchers believe they may work alongside THC and CBD to provide additional relief. Some patients find they get the best results from full-spectrum oils.
It’s worth mentioning that no one type of cannabis oil is better than another. Different people respond differently to each type. Which one is best for you depends on your unique biology and your reasons for using cannabis.
How to find high-quality cannabis oil
There are a few things to look for when you’re buying cannabis oil.
Get the right oil type. First of all, you’ll want to check the label to make sure you’re getting the right type of oil: THC, CBD, a combination of the two, or a full-spectrum extract.
Look at the potency. Cannabis oils vary in potency. Some are quite high in THC, for example, while others are lower-dose. Check the labels and pick a potency that suits your needs. And if you aren’t sure how much to use, start with a lower-dose oil and build your way up until you get the results you want.
Check the carrier oil. As mentioned earlier, most producers use coconut oil, olive oil, or MCT oil to dilute the cannabis oil for more precise dosing. But something further to note is that the type of carrier oil used may affect the taste of the product. MCT and olive oil are virtually flavourless on their own and can be seamlessly added to salad dressings without affecting the taste. Coconut oil however can have unique taste that’s more at home in smoothies.
Look for a terpene profile. If you’re buying a full-spectrum oil, you’ll want to check the terpene profile. Most producers list the terpene content on their labels. If you aren’t sure what to look for, check out this guide to different terpenes and their possible benefits.
Full-spectrum vs distillate. Full-spectrum cannabis oils contain a variety of cannabinoids, including THC. Distillate cannabis oils undergo further refining processes to isolate desired cannabinoids; this means distillate cannabis oils are a great choice for patients that want isolated cannabinoids, for example THC distillate which can reach up to 96% THC, or CBD distillate which can contain up to 96% CBD.
How to use cannabis oil
Taking cannabis oil is quite easy. Cannabis oils have their cannabinoid content listed on their label, usually as total cannabinoid content (for example, 250 mg THC per bottle) and single dose content (10 mg/mL).
In addition, most cannabis oils come with a dropper that has milliliter (mL) measurements on it. You can use the dropper to dose your cannabis oil very precisely -- for example, if a cannabis oil is 10 mg/mL THC, and you want a 5 mg dose, you can fill the dropper to 0.5 mL.
Cannabis oil is a great choice if you want more control over your dosage than you get with smoking or vaping. It’s also discreet, portable, almost odorless, and effective for several hours.
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