Medical marijuana is taking the industry by storm with the promise of long-lasting relief from various physical and psychological afflictions. The continuous innovations in harnessing its medicinal benefits have also produced products such as marijuana oil and touted as a cure-all for diseases.
Can marijuana oil treat diseases, or is it one big lie?
- Marijuana Oil Explained
- Medicinal Benefits of Marijuana Oils
- So, Is It a Miracle Cure or a Scam?
Marijuana Oil Explained
In the simplest and most general sense, marijuana oil is a concentrate derived from marijuana plants. But when you dive into the specifics, things get a bit complex and confusing.
For one, marijuana-derived oils go by many names because of specific differences in attributes. There’s cannabis oil, Phoenix Tears, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), CBD oil, hemp oil, and hemp seed oil, to name a few. For someone new to the industry, it is easy to confuse one for the other, so knowing the difference between those terms helps attain the desired benefits.
The common denominator between these oils is that they are extracted from Cannabis sp. plants (family: Cannabaceae; genus: Cannabis). Although not officially recognized in scientific nomenclature, Cannabis sp. plants are distinguished into either hemp or marijuana, depending on THC levels.
- Contains less than 0.3% THC with high levels of CBD
- Legal in all states
- Has tons of medicinal benefits
- Commonly used to produce industrial textiles, paper, building materials, soaps, cosmetics, etc.
- Contains more than 0.3% THC
- Usually contains low levels of CBD, except for varieties specifically bred to have high levels of CBD
- Highly psychoactive, except for high-CBD varieties
- Illegal in most states, except for those with recreational or medical marijuana laws
- Has tons of medicinal benefits
- Used mostly for recreational purposes
Different Types of Cannabis-derived Oils
If you want to consume marijuana concentrates for symptom relief without getting high, opt for concentrates extracted from hemp.
- Hemp-derived CBD oil or hemp oil comes from the extraction of resinous hemp flowers. It contains high amounts of CBD and negligible amounts of THC.
- Hemp seed oil is extracted from cold-pressed hemp seeds. It does not have either THC or CBD. Instead, it derives its health-giving properties from fiber, protein, vitamin E, and omega fatty acids.
Meanwhile, if you wish to get high while medicating, opt for concentrates derived from marijuana.
- THC oil, marijuana oil, and cannabis oil all refer to the same thing: concentrates produced from resinous flowers of the female marijuana plant. It contains high levels of THC and trace amounts of CBD.
- Phoenix tears or Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is an edible marijuana concentrate that usually contains exceptionally high THC levels. Unlike marijuana oils, though, it can also have abundant CBD levels, along with trace amounts of other cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG. Because of this, it is often considered more of a whole plant or full-spectrum medicinal marijuana.
Choosing for marijuana oils as an alternative treatment for various maladies poses several advantages:
Versatile consumption methods. Marijuana oils are highly concentrated THC in liquid form. As such, it could be consumed in a variety of ways. For example, it could be incorporated into food and beverages for a long-lasting effect. You could also place several drops under the tongue directly – a method called sublingual dosing. But if you’re not comfortable with directly ingesting it, you could opt for topical application or inhaling its vapors using vape pens or dab rigs. Such versatility in consumption proves to be useful in tailoring the experience to fit the needs and preferences of the patient.
Less adverse side effects. One of the most compelling reasons for choosing marijuana oils over conventional pharmaceutical drugs is its overall safer drug profile. While traditional medications often trigger severe or even life-threatening side effects, marijuana oil’s offshoots are minimal. When dosed appropriately, it could only cause minor discomforts such as dry mouth, red eyes, and the likes.
Can be bought or made at home. Yet another thing that makes marijuana consumption versatile is its reproducibility. Depending on factors such as budget, convenience, and availability, you can opt to buy it at dispensaries or go the DIY route by making your own. If you live near a dispensary that sells marijuana oils and you don’t have much free time on your hands, it would be more convenient to buy the oils there for your dosing needs. Just make sure you are buying from a trusted source that sells medical-grade marijuana oils. Meanwhile, if you have a hard time finding it in stores, you can always make it at home as long as you have the ingredients and equipment needed. In doing so, you can save a few hundred bucks, all while ensuring that your oils are extracted from the high-quality buds.
Possible Risks and Considerations
It would be better to know everything before thinking about using marijuana oil on the safe side.
Possibility of buying mediocre products. The production of most marijuana products – including THC oil – is mostly unregulated. As such, there is always the risk of purchasing poor-quality products with barely any benefit to it. You could avoid this risk by buying from trusted sources whose products were tested in third-party laboratories.
As an option, you could also make it at home. Granted, it requires time and effort, but when you do it right, you can rest assured that you are consuming products that are free of harmful chemicals and made only from the best buds in your stash.
Legal conflicts. As previously explained, marijuana oil is different from CBD oil. States with medical marijuana laws only allow cannabis products with less than 0.3% THC. So, while CBD oils may be legal in most states, the same cannot be said for THC oils. Using it in places with strict cannabis laws may cause legal conflicts. Hence, it is important to know the cannabis laws in your area before dabbling with THC-rich oils.
Potential overconsumption. It is easy to overdose on concentrates because of its high potency. But unlike recreational substances such as alcohol, heroin, and cocaine, no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose – thanks to its high therapeutic index (TI). You would have to consume impossibly large amounts of weed in a short period for it to result in a lethal overdose. However, that is not to say that overconsumption bears no consequences. Nonetheless, the risk of possible overdosing could be easily eradicated by responsibly sticking to low doses.
Medicinal Benefits of Marijuana Oils
One of the most compelling reasons for legalizing the use of marijuana is its purported health-boosting properties. It is said to alleviate symptoms of many diseases, including but not limited to pain, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and even cancer. While these claims may raise eyebrows among skeptics, you can take comfort in the fact that there is plenty of scientific research and anecdotal evidence to confirm and attest such benefits. After all, marijuana’s medicinal properties can be credited to its compatibility with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system.
With the innovation of highly potent marijuana oils, harnessing the medicinal benefits of THC to relieve physical and psychological afflictions has never been easier. Marijuana oils can be used for the following purposes:
Thanks to THC’s potent analgesic effects, cannabis oil could be used to alleviate deep-seated pains and aches. The science behind this is that THC blocks the pain pathways in the peripheral nervous system, thereby preventing you from feeling pain. The long-lasting pain relief it offers is especially useful for patients suffering from chronic and debilitating pain. Moreover, marijuana oils have an overall safer drug profile compared to NSAIDs, opioids, and other pharmaceutical solutions. Therefore, it can be consumed safely over a long period without triggering severe adverse effects.
THC is renowned for its mood-elevating and antidepressant properties. It works by stimulating the production of feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin to restore the balance in neurotransmitter levels in the brain. As a result, the user feels a euphoric high that effectively uplifts the mood. That makes cannabis oil an excellent alternative for alleviating symptoms of depression.
Slows Down Cancer Progression and Alleviates Cancer-Related Symptoms
Research reveals that the cannabinoids found in marijuana show immense potential in slowing down the progression of cancer cells. That is because cannabinoids play an essential role in regulating signaling pathways involved in cell survival, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis. THC, in particular, has potent anti-tumor and anti-proliferative properties. It can inhibit the proliferation of glioma and induce apoptosis (cell death) in carcinogenic cells. As a result, it significantly slows down the spread of cancer cells.
Neuroprotectant for Good Brain Health
Aside from relieving symptoms of various maladies, the cannabinoids in marijuana oil are also sought-after for its neuroprotective properties. It is especially useful for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as low doses of THC significantly limit neurological damage. It also protects the brain from long-term cognitive impairment due to injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs.
Cannabis is known for inducing the “munchies,” a term for the insatiable urge to eat plenty of food. Consuming THC exerts that effect because it prompts the release of ghrelin. As a result, this hunger hormone signals the brain to crave for food. On top of that, it makes food seem more appealing by heightening one’s sense of olfaction and gustation so that you can smell and taste the food better. Naturally, this makes eating more pleasurable. Such effects are especially useful for patients suffering from a loss of appetite and cachexia due to cancer or HIV.
Remedies Insomnia, PTSD, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Marijuana oils sourced from high-THC strains with above-average levels of sleep-inducing terpenes such as caryophyllene, terpinolene, and myrcene are effective for remedying insomnia. THC alters the body’s sleep-wake cycle either by inhibiting the arousal system or by increasing the production of adenosine. Such interactions result in immense relaxation and sleepiness, which reduces sleep latency, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
Apart from that, THC also reduces the time spent in the REM stage, which reduces the occurrences of dreaming and eases nightmares associated with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Moreover, research shows that THC may improve breathing during sleep. That makes it a promising remedy for obstructive sleep apnea. Given such benefits, THC lessens sleep interruptions and enhances the quality of sleep.
So, Is It a Miracle Cure or a Scam?
Now for the million-dollar question, is marijuana oil a miracle cure or a scam? Based on the presented information above, it is safe to say that medical-grade marijuana oil does have an immense potential in remedying a wide variety of diseases. However, it is still far from being considered a miracle cure for all maladies as it also has its fair share of limitations.
Moreover, since the cannabis industry is largely unregulated, there is the risk of encountering scammers who sell inferior-quality marijuana oils, claiming it could cure any sickness. Hence, consumers are urged to practice due diligence in finding reliable sources of medical-grade cannabis oils. Most importantly, always verify any information before believing it and look for scientific evidence that could back up medicinal claims.