Extracted from the cannabis plant, cannabis oil products like hemp oil and marijuana concentrates and the products created with them are driving a surge in cannabis use.
Traditionally, cannabis is consumed by smoking the plant’s dry flowers. However, it is also possible to extract the cannabis plant’s oil, allowing for incredible innovation in the types of cannabis products that can be created.
Extracted cannabis oil is the raw material that makes it possible to create a wide variety of cannabis products, including cannabis edibles, capsules, vapes, tinctures, beverages, dab oils, and more. It is also commonly taken raw and unprocessed as a high concentration way to capture the cannabis plant’s nutrients and cannabinoids.
A broad term for nearly all forms of cannabis extract, cannabis oil is subject to a patchwork of regulations, depending on location, chemical makeup of the cannabis oil, and the type of cannabis plant from which it is extracted.
Here is our complete guide to cannabis oil, products made with cannabis oil, and where and how to buy them.
What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil is a term that covers any extract of the cannabis plant, including marijuana and hemp, that removes the plant’s naturally thick, viscous oil from dried or fresh cannabis.
This raw oil contains the plant’s valuable vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids, and more, but the exact chemical makeup of the oil will vary due to the individual plant, the extraction method used, and any additional processing or filtration that the oil goes through after extraction.
Although the cannabis plant produces thousands of compounds, it is the cannabinoids that put cannabis oil in such high demand. There are over 100 known cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Of these, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most prevalent. The cannabinoids found in cannabis oil are responsible for its effects through their interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis oil can be sold and consumed as is or processed into a wide range of consumer products, giving users a choice of how to consume cannabis. Cannabis oil is restricted at a varying degree by governments around the world based on factors like location, source of the cannabis oil, concentration of cannabinoids in the oil, age or medical condition of the purchaser, and more.
Making Cannabis Extracts
The active compounds in cannabis can be extracted from the plant’s dry or fresh material using a number of techniques, including some that can be done at home.
It is possible to use solvent-based extraction techniques to pull the cannabis plant’s oil from cured or fresh ground cannabis material. In the marijuana industry, popular solvents include, butane, hexane, isopropyl, and others, including some that may be toxic if not properly purged from the marijuana oil. Due to the toxicity and potential combustion of these solvents, it is critical that they only be done by professionals in a licensed facility.
This method produces a thick amber-colored cannabis oil full of the plant’s active chemical compounds. Next, the solvent is purged from the oil using heat and vacuum. The resulting cannabis concentrate is then processed into one of a number of potential forms, including wax, crumble, honeycomb, sap, budder, live resin, and shatter.
When making hemp oil, many producers choose to use non-toxic solvents like supercritical CO2 to extract the hemp plant’s natural oil.
This method extracts a dark green oil that is often packaged and sold as a daily supplement due to its nutrient and cannabinoid content. This raw hemp oil can also be combined with other ingredients to be formulated into a range of consumer CBD products, like tinctures, edibles, and capsules.
Cannabis can also be used to create cannabinoid-infused carrier oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, or even butter. Cooking oil extracting of cannabis is simple to do with supplies you have at home, including a slow cooker and small gauge wire strainer.
Cannabis-infused carrier oils can be used as massage oils, moisturizers and lip balms, personal lubricants, and more. They can also be used to make your own cannabis edibles at home.
You can learn how to make your own cannabis butter here.
Cannabis Oil vs Hemp Oil
Terms like cannabis oil, hemp oil, marijuana oil, THC oil, CBD oil, and hemp seed oil are often misused or confused when discussing cannabis extracts.
To best understand the differences between these types of oils, it helps to know more about the cannabis family of plants.
Hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis plant. That means that both hemp oil and marijuana oil are forms of cannabis oil. Despite being members of the same family of plant, marijuana and hemp have some important differences.
Marijuana is grown to emphasize higher levels of THC (the compound that gets users high) and is used either medically or recreationally. Extracts of the marijuana plant can be used topically, consumed orally, or vaped. Marijuana oil or other marijuana extracts can only be used legally in states that have passed medical or recreational laws. We cover the topic of legality more below.
Some people wrongly refer to marijuana oil as cannabis oil, which forgets that hemp oil is also a form of cannabis oil. Others call marijuana oil Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), named after a vocal advocate for its use medicinally.
Hemp, on the other hand, is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. Hemp can be used commercially or industrially for thousands of products. Commonly extracted using supercritical CO2, hemp oil, also known as CBD oil or CBD hemp oil, has exploded in popularity as a daily dietary supplement in recent years due to its wellness benefits.
This pure CBD oil can then be taken as a daily supplement on its own or infused into products like tinctures, liquids, capsules, topicals, vape oil, hair and skin care products, and more. CBD oil can also be purified through a filtration process that removes all excess plant material and compounds other than CBD to make a highly-concentrated powder called CBD isolate. Hemp oil products are legal in the U.S. and in over 40 countries internationally.
Also extracted from the hemp plant is hemp seed oil. Nutrient dense like CBD oil, hemp seed oil lacks cannabinoids in a level high enough to be effective as a CBD supplement. Hemp seed oil is made by cold pressing the small brown, nutrient-rich seeds of the hemp plant. It has a dark to clear light green color and a naturally mild nutty flavor that works well in salads, dressings, and sauces.
Often described as a “superfood,” hemp seed oil is packed with vital nutrients, including amino acids, fiber, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as an array of important vitamins and minerals. This makes hemp seed oil a valuable addition to any diet, especially those that may be nutrient deficient.
Buying Cannabis Oil in the U.S.
As mentioned above, the availability of cannabis oil in the U.S. depends upon whether it was sourced from marijuana or hemp, your location, and your age or medical condition.
If you are looking to purchase marijuana oil for medical use you must first live in a location with legalized medical marijuana. Currently 33 states have legalized some form of medical marijuana law on the books. You can find a complete list of medical marijuana states, as well as detailed descriptions on each state’s medical marijuana laws here.
To access medical marijuana in most states where it is legal, you will need a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana for an approved medical condition. Once you obtain your doctor’s recommendation, you can access marijuana from a licensed dispensary near your home.
Additionally, some U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults. A state ID or driver’s license from any state proving you are over 21 will get you access to legal dispensaries in six of the recreational marijuana states in the U.S.:
Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont have also legalized recreational marijuana. However, as of now, there are no legal dispensaries licensed in these markets, so consumers aren’t able to purchase marijuana yet.
Recreational marijuana is also legal in Washington D.C., but there is no system in place to purchase it. The only way to legally purchase marijuana right now in D.C. is with a medical card, and it is illegal to bring marijuana in from out of state, putting residents there in a sticky legal grey area.
Hemp oil, on the other hand, is federally legal. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed by President Trump in December of 2018, removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, making it legal to cultivate hemp, process it as a raw material, and use it to create a wide range of products, like hemp seed oil, CBD oil, hemp clothing, and more.
Hemp oil widely available from health food stores, yoga studios, medical practitioners, and alternative medicine stores, among others, sold primarily as a dietary supplement because it contains CBD. You can also purchase CBD products from Medical Marijuana, Inc. in our online store.
CBD Products from Medical Marijuana, Inc.
All of the hemp oil supplements from Medical Marijuana, Inc. are made with CBD oil, not hemp seed oil. Our products feature award-winning CBD oil derived from specifically selected cultivars of non-GMO, high-CBD hemp. They’re designed for those interested in benefiting from the balancing and natural wellness properties of CBD. Our top selling products include those in popular brands like RSHO and Dixie Botanicals®.
Our Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO) is our award-winning pure CBD oil brand. Available in four different labels, RSHO provides 50 mg to 190 mg CBD per serving. RSHO CBD oil is also available as tinctures and liquids, capsules, edibles, vape oils, topicals, and isolate.
The Dixie Botanicals® brand was designed with the adventurous at heart. These ready to go CBD products let athletes and weekend warriors supplement their favorite activities with the benefits of CBD. Whether training, competing, or recovering, CBD products from Dixie Botanicals® give users the edge they need to perform at their peak. Dixie Botanicals® CBD products include tinctures, vape oils and liquids, topical balm, capsules, and more.
You can view the complete Medical Marijuana, Inc. product line here.
Want to Learn More?
Visit our Cannabis 101 page, where we cover all of the biggest topics in cannabis, or follow the Medical Marijuana, Inc. company news feed for the latest from our international portfolio of companies and brands.
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Author: Jeffrey Stamberger