The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 restricted access to cannabis, even for medical and research purposes. This prohibition severely limited clinical research that would have investigated the safety and efficacy of cannabis in controlling symptoms of chronic illnesses. In recent years, however, there has been growing interest in studying and reviewing the potential of cannabis to treat a variety of debilitating conditions – specifically those that are resistant to conventional treatments.
Today more people are aware of the many benefits that hemp-derived products can offer. The increasing popularity of the hemp CBD industry has unfortunately led to deceptive marketing practices. This article aims to help you differentiate the many types of cannabis extracts and become a well-informed consumer.
What is cannabis oil?
The term cannabis oil often refers to the thick, sticky, resinous substance that is extracted from the cannabis plant. It contains more than 100 identified cannabinoids – including the much talked about chemical compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Cannabis has two primary species: hemp and marijuana. The limitations on cannabis research have led to almost a century of misinformation on the distinction between hemp and marijuana. To be clear, hemp and marijuana are not the same plant. Their anatomy, chemical composition, applications, and legal status are very different.
People consume cannabis in varied forms – oil, resin or flower. Among the three, cannabis oil is the most potent.
Medical cannabis is often used to relieve muscle pain and stiffness as well as reduce anxiety and panic attacks. It is also popular among cancer patients who have to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy. Those who suffer from seizures due to epilepsy are also beginning to turn to cannabis for relief.
Cannabis oil can be introduced into the bloodstream in four ways:
- Ingested orally
- Vaporized and inhaled
- Applied topically
- Inserted as a suppository
Different types of cannabis oils
Cannabis is a family of plants with three distinct species:
Most cannabis products available at your local dispensary come from strains of Cannabis Indica or Cannabis Sativa or a hybrid of the two species.
Medical marijuana oil
The original medical marijuana oil is extracted from the flower of the female marijuana plant. It is the most psychoactive of all cannabis oils containing more than 70 percent of THC and only about 5 percent of CBD.
Hemp oil comes from an extraction of hemp plant seeds. Since hemp seeds do not contain THC, the oil extract does not contain any THC as well. Hemp oil is known for its nutty taste and high levels of unsaturated fats, including Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Hemp oil comes from a strain of Cannabis Sativa that has a very low cannabinoid count.
In countries where THC is considered illegal, hemp plants that contain high concentrations of CBD are the source of cannabis oils.
CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, buds and stalks of the hemp plant. CBD oil from industrial hemp has become very popular in the medical cannabis industry because it is derived from the cannabis compound that has the most therapeutic properties.
When extracted from hemp, CBD oil contains a high concentration of CBD with only trace amounts of THC. Because of the absence of psychoactive side effects, CBD oil has become a more appealing substitute for medical marijuana and cannabis oil.
CBD oil comes from a strain of Cannabis Sativa with high cannabinoid count.
Rick Simpson oil
Rick Simpson oil (RSO) is a type of cannabis oil that is processed using non-petroleum-based solvents such as alcohol, vegetable oil, or carbon dioxide. It is named after a Canadian medical marijuana activist who developed a super potent cannabis extract used for medicinal and recreational purposes – particularly the treatment of cancer symptoms.
Different types of CBD oils
One way to distinguish one type of CBD oil from another is by looking at its appearance.
Raw CBD oil
Raw CBD oil contains not just CBD but many other compounds that are found in hemp. This includes THC. The color of raw CBD oil ranges from dark green to black. It has a very thick and sticky consistency and is available in multiple strengths and quantities. Raw CBD oil is the cheapest type of CBD oil.
If you are looking for pure CBD that is completely legal and has no psychoactive properties, then raw CBD oil may not be for you.
Decarboxylated CBD oil
If you intend to purchase CBD oil as an ingredient for your homemade CBD edibles, then this type of CBD oil is the most ideal for your recipe. Decarboxylated CBD oil is dark green to black in color and has a thick consistency.
When raw CBD oil undergoes the process of decarboxylation, the effectiveness of the CBD content is amplified. It also results in a much faster onset time compared to ingesting raw CBD oil.
Filtered CBD oil
Filtered CBD oil has the highest concentration of CBD among the three types. After raw CBD oil is decarboxylated, it is filtered to remove other plant compounds such as lipids and chlorophyll. The final product is a pure gold-colored CBD oil variety.
Filtered CBD oil is also available in a multitude of concentrations and quantities. It is the most expensive type of CBD oil because it is the most potent.
Benefits of CBD oil
CBD oil has shown great potential in providing a natural plant-based alternative to pharmaceutical therapies.
Apart from anecdotal reports, there is now a growing body of scientific evidence that supports the possible benefits of CBD oil in treating following medical conditions:
- Muscle spasms
- Seizures and convulsions
- Chronic pain
- Cancer pain
- Nervous system degeneration
- Artery blockage
- High blood sugar
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor appetite
- Anxiety and depression
CBD oil vs. hemp oil
CBD oil and hemp oil are the most popular types of cannabis-derived extracts available on the market today. It is important to know the difference between the two so you do not purchase the wrong product for your symptoms.
- Hemp oil contains low levels of CBD (around 3.5%)
- Hemp oil is valued for its nutritional and industrial applications
- CBD oil can contain up to 15% cannabidiol
- CBD oil is valued for its therapeutic applications
Extracts from the seeds of a hemp plant contain very low CBD or THC. Extracts from the resin glands of a hemp plant contain high CBD and trace THC.
CBD oil can be extracted from the hemp plant as well as the marijuana plant. CBD oil from marijuana has a much higher THC content than CBD oil from hemp. Read the packaging information if want a CBD product that is completely THC-free.
The popularity of CBD oil has created a booming market for cannabis products. Unfortunately, the upward trend has also led to the proliferation of deceptive advertising campaigns and counterfeit merchandise.
If you want to try CBD, be sure to ask the vendor where the plant is grown, how the oil was extracted, and if there are any other ingredients added to the process. A reputable supplier will be able to provide a copy of third party testing results for all of its CBD oils.
Alternatively, you may also opt to make your own CBD oil at home to ensure its purity, quality, and effectiveness.