Cannabis affects the body using the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Simply put, this is a specialized system that involves a relationship between cannabinoids and receptors.
When cannabinoids bind to receptors — or in the case of CBD, interrupt receptor activity — certain functions are regulated within the body. Functions like sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response.
Whether the cannabinoids come from within your body — endocannabinoids — or from an external source like marijuana — phytocannabinoids — the ECS plays a major role in regulating your health.
That’s why cannabis oils are so popular.
Cannabis oils allow you to tap into a natural system — essentially letting you influence your day-to-day experience.
The medicinal oil that the public is most familiar with is CBD oil and so throughout this article, when we refer to “cannabis oil”, we are speaking of CBD oil specifically, but not exclusively.
How is Cannabis Oil Made?
To know how a product affects your health, you need to know what it’s made from and how it’s made.
Cannabis oil production is very straightforward, the cannabis compound is extracted from either the marijuana or hemp plant — depending on which type of oil is being produced; THC or CBD — using a variety of methods. Either steam distillation, extraction by solvent, CO2 extraction, or olive oil extraction, among others.
After extraction, the cannabis compound is mixed with a carrier oil — usually MCT (popularly from Coconuts) or hemp seed oils. Not all cannabis compounds get mixed with carrier oils.
We mentioned cannabis oil in two regards, THC and CBD. What’s the difference? Let’s have a look, then discuss the health benefits.
Types of Cannabis Oils
There are two types of cannabis oil: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC-based cannabis products — oils, flower, creams, pills, edibles — are derived from the cannabis plant where the grower’s focus is to cultivate crops with a high THC content. This is your marijuana plant.
CBD-based cannabis products — oils, creams, pills, edibles — are derived from the cannabis plant as well. But the grower’s intent is to reduce the THC content of the plant to below 0.3% — according to U.S. guidelines — and increase the CBD content as much as possible. This is your hemp plant.
THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis — the “high”.
CBD has the health benefits of marijuana but without the psychoactive effects.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of cannabis oil.
Health Benefits of Cannabis Oil
Depending on your medical condition, there are several health benefits of cannabis sativa seed oil and other cannabis-infused oils in general.
1. Can Relieve Pain
A lot of physical pain comes from inflammation in the body. CBD is known to interrupt receptors within the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for regulating pain, and thus providing chronic pain relief.
The science, as well as anecdotal accounts, are all narrowing on the conclusion that CBD does indeed relieve pain via inflammation.
2. Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Studies are catching up, but one of the most lauded health benefits of cannabis, in general, is its ability to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
In contrast, the WHO has stated of CBD specifically, that, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
The same can’t be said of THC oil, probably because of its inherent psychoactive effects.
In a study on humans, researchers were able to prove CBD’s mitigation of anxiety using public speaking as a test.
3. Can Reduce Nausea
Treating general nausea or nausea brought about by chemotherapy is one of cannabis’ main drawing points.
Cannabis oil studies are being shown to reduce nausea in humans, but with some mixed results.
4. Can Reduce Seizures
CBD is so effective in treating seizures, that a CBD-based medication in America, Epidiolex, was the first CBD-based medication to be approved by America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
There are multiple studies on adults and children that show CBD’s effectiveness in treating seizures. Take note that these studies were done with CBD, not THC, as THC’s psychoactive properties likely work against seizure treatment.
Like with anything, dosage and personal health will dictate your experience.
5. Possible Neuroprotective Properties
There is a lot of positive news about CBD’s ability to treat multiple neurodegenerative diseases.
Everything from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, to Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS), CBD’s ability to provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant relief to the body is suspected to be the reason for the positive signs.
Side Effects of Cannabis Oil
- changes in weight
- changes in appetite
- liver damage
- interactions with other drugs and alcohol
- changes in alertness, which can make driving dangerous
- gastrointestinal problems and loss of appetite
- mood changes, including irritability and irritation
- a reduction in fertility for males
There is a reason that cannabis is growing in popularity among those wishing to manage daily ailments. From chronic or temporary pain to mood disorders or stress in general, cannabis across the board is giving people a low-cost, high-benefit alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.
If you for any reason are worried about taking cannabis using methods that require inhalation through vapour or smoke, cannabis oils, in particular, are an non-intrusive and simple way of delivering the many benefits of the cannabis plant.