In this article, we will be looking at cannabis oil, how to make and use it, and what its benefits are. We will look at two kinds of cannabis oil: oil for edibles and medical marijuana oil (often called CBD oil). Cannabis can be used both medicinally and recreationally, so whatever your reasons for wanting to learn more about cannabis oil, we will most likely cover them here. We won’t be looking at butane hash oil (BHO) though, as it is very dangerous to make at home.
What’s the difference between cannabis oil and medical marijuana oil?
The THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) that enters your bloodstream when you smoke, vape or digest edibles is what gives you that feeling of being “high”. However, medical marijuana oil (cannabidiol, also known as CBD) doesn’t give you that same rush of feeling “high”. Instead, it has a more calming effect, relaxing you but not weighing you down and making you feel stoned in the traditional way. This makes it great for helping treat certain medical conditions without turning you into a couch potato.
Having some THC in medical marijuana oil can be beneficial too, as some research has found that THC can react with cancer cells to produce ceramide, which disrupts the mitochondria of the cancer cell, thereby closing off its main source of energy.
When making your own cannabis oil, make sure that you use high quality (preferably organic) weed in order to get the best results. Pick a weed strain that suits your personal needs (e.g. an Indica if you have trouble sleeping) and make sure it is high in THC.
How to Make Cannabis Cooking Oil
First, we will look at how to make cooking oil. This is the oil that you can use in cooking or baking to make edibles for recreational use. You can use both fresh cannabis bud as well as pre-vaped bud to make the cooking oil, so we will cover both methods below.
1) Tools and ingredients to make cannabis oil using pre-vaped weed:
- Medium sized saucepan
- Cheesecloth or coffee filter for straining
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Storage container
- ½ cup of oil (coconut or canola for sweet food, olive for savoury) or ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ ounce of pre-vaped weed
Place the weed inside the cheesecloth and tie it off, and then put this “weed tea bag” and the oil or butter into the saucepan. Heat on low until the mixture begins to simmer, stirring it on and off for about 20 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a bit, and then take out the cheesecloth bag and squeeze the remaining oil out of it. Pour the oil into your container and you’re ready to go.
2) Tools and ingredients to make cannabis oil using fresh weed:
- You can use either a saucepan (3 hours), a double-boiler (6-8 hours), or a crockpot (6 hours to 3 days)
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain
- Storage container
- Ground up weed of the strain of your choice (preferably organic)
- Cooking oil (canola, coconut or olive)
First, measure out a ratio of one part ground weed to two parts cooking oil, then place them both in the cooking device of your choice. Heat the mixture gently for the amount of time required depending on which cooking method you are using, stirring often, and then strain the mixture through the cheesecloth. Pour the strained oil into a storage container and place in the fridge for maximum freshness.
How to Make Medical Marijuana Oil
This process is slightly different from making cooking marijuana oil as you will need to use alcohol, so before you start make sure you keep your oil making area well ventilated, or even make the oil outside, as the fumes are very powerful.
Tools and ingredients for making medical marijuana oil:
- Large food safe container
- Wooden spoon
- 73-micron straining bags
- A double boiler (much easier that using a saucepan)
- Syringes or storage containers
- 1 gallon of 99% pure ethyl/ethanol alcohol (Everclear)
- 1 ounce of marijuana
Place the alcohol and weed in the large food safe container and freeze overnight. The cold helps release more resin. The next morning, take the container out of the freezer and gently stir. Then strain the mixture through a 73-micron bag and repeat with fresh alcohol.
After this, pour the remaining mixture into the double boiler and heat to burn off the alcohol, keeping the temperature between 212 degrees F (100°C) and 290 degrees F (140°C) so as not to destroy the THC. The fumes will be very strong, so be careful.
Once all the alcohol has evaporated off, take the double boiler off the heat and tilt it to one side, allowing the oil to collect. Finally, use your syringes to suck up the oil and store it either in the syringes or in containers.
The History of Medical Marijuana
Marijuana has been around for a very long time, with its earliest documented use dating back to 1,000 BC. Around 1840, cannabis was found to have medical benefits that stemmed from its pain-killing, sedative and anti-spasmodic properties.
However, due to President Nixon’s famously unsuccessful war on drugs, cannabis was taken off the approved list of pharmaceuticals and by the 1950s it was declared a narcotic by US law. In the 1970s marijuana was classed as a Schedule 1 drug, and was therefore illegal to use as a medical treatment.
Eventually marijuana was legalised for medical use in the state of California in 1996. Nowadays, many US states have legalised marijuana for recreational use as well, while many more US states and countries around the globe have legalised cannabis for medicinal use.
Uses for Medical Cannabis Oil
Medical cannabis oil can be used to help treat a number of both physical and mental illnesses. Cannabis oil made from an Indica strain is known to promote sleep and relaxation, and so is used to help patients with insomnia, stress and anxiety. Sativa strains are known to help energize and promote creativity, which can be helpful to those suffering from depression.
Cannabis’s anti-spasmodic properties also make it useful for those who have Parkinson’s disease or epilepsy. Cannabis oil has even been known to help children who suffer from seizures; in Colorado almost two hundred children take marijuana oil capsules for their seizures.
Studies have been recently looking into how cannabis oil can aid cancer patients. Some evidence has been found that shows how cannabis oil can actually slow down and even halt the growth of tumours, both active and benign. Cannabis oil is most often used to help cancer patients with the side effects of their treatments, such as nausea, chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
How to Use Cannabis Oil
Medical cannabis oil can be vaped, ingested orally and anally, and it can even be rubbed onto the skin to provide relief from menstrual cramps and sunburn. If you have been prescribed cannabis oil by your doctor, then follow their recommendations. If not, start with very small doses and gradually increase the amount as your body becomes accustomed to it. It is recommended not drive for the first couple of weeks until your body is used to the cannabis oil.
There are some side effects to using cannabis oil, especially if you have never consumed marijuana in any form. The most common side effects include drowsiness, diarrhoea, cramps, anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations. It is important to start with small doses and work up in order to prevent or reduce these side effects.
If you have been using medical cannabis oil for a while and wish to stop, you may experience some withdrawal. Common withdrawal symptoms include cravings, difficulty sleeping, nervousness and a short temper. Just as you ease into higher doses of cannabis oil when you first begin taking it, it is equally important to wean yourself off the oil gently, so as to reduce or remove the withdrawal symptoms.
Where to Get Cannabis Oil
The easiest way to obtain cannabis oil, provided it is available in your area, is to buy it. If you live in an area where medical marijuana is legal, you can apply for a medical marijuana card and present this to the cashier at your local weed store. If this is not the case for you and you are considering shopping online, be careful. There are lots of scam artists out there who dilute their oil to make more money.
The other option is to make your own oil, using the recipes above. You could even grow your own weed first, to make sure it has been cared for to the highest standard, before making your own cannabis oil at home. This way you can ensure that your bud has been grown with the best chemical-free nutrients and purified water free from chlorine and fluoride.
Note: Please check the laws in your area before growing your own cannabis and making your own oil. If you are already taking medication, please consult your doctor before taking cannabis oil.
We hope you found this guide helpful and informative. Enjoy your cannabis oil safely!