Updated on January 30, 2019.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
When reading about the benefits of medical marijuana and testimonies from patients, you may have seen something about cannabis oil, or CBD oil. Like other marijuana products, cannabis oil is starting to grow in popularity as the stigma against marijuana reduces.
As an informed patient, you may wonder if cannabis oil could work for you. After all, it has so many glowing testimonies out there. We’re here to give you the straight facts and help you understand the ins and outs of cannabis oil.
CBD oil comes from the cannabidiol, or CBD, in the marijuana plant. Since CBD is already present in marijuana as an oil, it’s easy for growers to extract it.
CBD can help patients with symptoms like severe nausea, inflammation, seizures, mood disorders and pain. Since THC causes the psychoactive effects of marijuana, CBD doesn’t alter your mind at all.
You can find the CBD in a marijuana plant in its trichomes, or resin glands. If you’ve seen a fresh marijuana bud, it has tips on it that look like frost. This “frost” is actually the resin and trichomes of the plant.
Marijuana crafters use a variety of methods for extracting CBD oil, including:
The Carrier Method: Using the carrier method not only saves the producer the most money, but it also results in the purest oil possible. The carrier method involves using an oil like olive oil or hemp oil to draw out a plant’s resin. Oil made using the carrier method tends to have a shorter shelf life than other oils.
The Solvent Method: Extracting CBD from weed using solvents like alcohol and butane saves growers money. Unfortunately, it also has the most risks for producer and customer. CBD oil extracted with a solvent has harmful byproducts and has the possibility of exploding during production.
The Decarboxylation Method: Although it costs the most money and involves a complicated process, decarboxylation creates one of the cleanest kinds of CBD oil. Experienced professionals use carbon dioxide to extract the CBD. If done incorrectly, decarboxylation can damage the marijuana’s terpenes.
How to Use CBD Oil
As the basis for many kinds of marijuana medicine, CBD oil works as a versatile remedy for patients seeking natural relief. You can take CBD oil in the following forms:
As-Is: CBD oil can be sold on its own in a dropper. You can directly ingest the oil or add it to your food. In addition, you can use it for vaping for a faster kick-in.
Tinctures: A classic remedy, tinctures contain medicine dissolved in alcohol. To take a tincture, you use a dropper to put it under your tongue for direct absorption. Don’t swallow right away — instead, let it absorb as much as possible.
Capsules: As someone dealing with a chronic condition, you should be familiar with capsule medications. You take a CBD capsule just like you would a capsule with a different medication. Swallow it down with plenty of water and take it when you have food in your stomach.
Topicals: Topical treatments include lotions, creams, bath soaks and more. Use a topical medication the same way you use non-CBD products.
IV Drip: In cases where you need CBD as soon as possible, a doctor might use an IV to send CBD to your bloodstream. Please don’t try this method at home — only a trained medical professional should give you an IV treatment.
The best way to use CBD oil will depend on why you take CBD in the first place. For instance, do you experience muscle pain? A topical treatment can provide localized relief in the area you rub it into. To look into this issue further, check out our page on cannabis medication methods.
Is Medicinal Cannabis Oil Effective?
Since CBD oil contains pure CBD without the other components of marijuana, it will work for patients experiencing the symptoms that CBD affects. Health problems treated with CBD include:
Anxiety: As opposed to THC, which can make you feel paranoid and on-edge, CBD calms the user down, making it an effective remedy for anxiety disorders.
Seizures/Epilepsy: Seizure relief is one of CBD’s most lauded benefits. A strain called Charlotte’s Web that contains high levels of CBD is frequently used to treat epilepsy patients.
Immune System Disorders/Inflammation: Most patients take their prescription medication because want their immune system to work well. But, when it works too well, it causes inflammation and can even kill off healthy cells. CBD can suppress the immune system to reduce inflammation and lupus symptoms.
Nausea: When used in the right way at the right time, CBD settles your stomach. You may want to opt for a tincture or other direct absorption method so you get fast relief and don’t vomit the medicine back up.
Cancer: In addition to treating general cancer symptoms, CBD has the potential to reduce cancer cell growth. While we still have a lot of research to do, the current data we have looks very promising.
Pain: Many medical marijuana patients use cannabis to take advantage of CBD’s reduction of pain symptoms.
CBD can treat a long list of other health issues, so don’t fret if your condition isn’t mentioned here. Due to its versatility, CBD works great for patients looking for a medicine that takes care of multiple symptoms at a time.
How to Research Medical Marijuana and Medicinal Cannabis Oil
Getting the information you need on cannabis medicine like CBD oil is a snap on MarijuanaDoctors.com. While we have tons of resources you can use, here are some commonly referenced pages:
Ways to Use Medical Marijuana: We go into detail about the ways that different weed consumption methods affect your body.
Find a Local Marijuana Doctor: Although patients could formerly get CBD oil in a legal manner, CBD oil has been federally outlawed. However, patients in legal states that allow CBD oil can get it by getting a recommendation from a doctor.
Find a Local Dispensary: Once you have the clearance to purchase CBD oil, go to a dispensary to browse their wares.