Cannabis oil: separating fact from fiction
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From chronic pain to epilepsy, cannabis oil is being used by Canadians to treat a host of medical conditions.
But what exactly is it? How is it made? And is it really the panacea that some enthusiasts claim it to be?
To understand what cannabis oil is, you first need to know about cannabinoids: a class of more than 100 known chemical compounds that are responsible for both marijuana’s psychoactive and medicinal properties.
The most prominent cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (or “THC” for short) and cannabidiol (or “CBD”). Simply put, THC is what causes the “high” while CBD is believed to be responsible for many of the therapeutic effects.
Cannabis oil essentially refers to a product in which cannabinoids like THC and CBD are extracted from marijuana plants, dissolved in an edible oil (such as sesame oil or sunflower oil), and then sold in liquid form or as gel caps. There are various methods of doing this. Cannabis oil can contain THC, CBD or both in varying concentrations and ratios.
In Canada, cannabis oil is legally available from both recreational and medical marijuana suppliers.