The Difference Between Cannabis and Cannabis Oil
Cannabis oil generally refers to any kind of product made up of cannabis extracts fused with an oil base. However, cannabis and cannabis oil are two substances currently on opposite sides of the law. The difference between their contents has been the main determinant of their different legal status.
Cannabis oil products that comply with certain criteria have been approved for medicinal use, whereas legal access to the cannabis plant is tightly regulated and made available mostly to critically- and terminally-ill patients. The whole plant has great medicinal potentials, but its psychoactive effects have been shown to inhibit the normal functioning of the senses.
A subset of cannabis oil, CBD oil, contains mostly CBD extracts with trace amounts of THC, the drug’s main psychoactive component. Since it’s rarely associated with psychoactivity, CBD oil has been approved for widespread use across most regions of the world.
Cannabis Oil vs Hemp Oil
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you’ll find these two terms thrown around a lot in forums, online platforms, as well as on product labels. Both cannabis oil and hemp oil come from the cannabis plant, and that’s just about as far as their similarities go. They’re wildly different in various regards, from their production methods to their chemical contents, uses, and effects on the body.
Cannabis oil mostly refers to oils derived from marijuana and hemp – the two main genotypes of the cannabis plant. Cannabis oil can come in isolate or full-spectrum form, with the former containing an isolated compound like CBD or THC, while the later contains most- if not all- of the compounds present in the whole plant. While some cannabis oils can cause psychoactivity and are geared to recreational users, most others are devoid of psychoactive compounds and are suited to therapeutic purposes.
Cannabis oil can be highly effective in the management of a wide range of symptoms, including those of chronic pain, anxiety disorder, sleep disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and host of others.
On the other hand, hemp oil is produced from cold-pressed seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seeds, unlike the flowers, leaves, and stalks, are completely devoid of cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. Hemp seed oils, therefore, are low on therapeutic potentials. But they have lush nutritional contents. They contain a full range of proteins, omega-3, and omega-6 oils, as well as many other essential nutrients.
Also, hemp oil is known for its deep, earthy taste. Its rich nutritional and flavor profiles make it an ideal cooking oil.
How is Cannabis Oil Produced?
A range of CO2 extraction machines for CBD oil production. src
There are myriads of ways to produce cannabis oil, but they’re not all created equal. They differ from each other mostly in terms of the quality of the final product. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular ways of producing CBD oil:
Liquid Solvents: This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways, but it also raises a lot of quality concerns. It involves the use of liquids like ethanol, butane, and alcoholic solvents to draw down the cannabis extracts. However, the liquids can contain impurities that contaminate the final product.
Carbon Dioxide: This method harnesses the unique capacities of CO2 found in its solid, liquid, and gaseous states. First, a solid piece of CO2 is dropped into a chamber filled with the cannabis plant, and then the contents are pressurized to convert the CO2 to a liquid form that absorbs the plant’s oils and flavors, and then the liquid is channeled to another chamber where the CO2 is allowed to evaporate and leave the oil extracts behind.
Oil Infusion: One of the oldest production methods of CBD oil, oil infusion is simple, cost-effective, and newbie-friendly. Simply decarboxylate the whole plant by heating it to activate its components, soak it in a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil, and then heat to 100C for an hour or two.
Where is Cannabis Oil Legal? Is it Legal in Australia?
Cannabis oil is legal across most parts of the world under varying regulatory conditions. One of the most common conditions is the limit on the THC contents of CBD products. In Australia, cannabis oil is legal in so far as it doesn’t contain more than 2% THC, with a certificate of analysis from an independent lab confirming that.