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How to Make Professional Cannabis Oil

Long before the legislations that approved the use and distribution of medical marijuana came to be, cannabis oil has been touted as an effective treatment for a variety of illnesses. As early as 2737 B.C. in China, the use of the plant was prescribed as a treatment for rheumatism, malaria, and even poor memory. These days, cannabis products — cannabis oil, in particular — are used as a means of providing relief for everything from rare types of drug-resistant pediatric epilepsy to common conditions like period cramps.

In addition to pharmacies, clinics, and other dispensing facilities, cannabis oil is also becoming more common in residential kitchens where it is used in crafting infused edibles and revitalizing complete recipes. The medicinal properties of cannabis oil, plus the growing demand for it in states where it is legal, only help drive the availability of this substance and the products based on it.

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The Different Ways of Extracting Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil refers to a thick, viscous liquid from the cannabis sativa plant. It’s far from the only extract you can get from the said plant, but its liquid form allows the user to apply cannabis oil in a variety of ways. It can be ingested directly, applied topically, or used as an ingredient in a dessert or recipe. But before buying cannabis oil from the nearest dispensary in your city, it’s important to note that this cannabinoid-rich substance comes in many different types, depending on how it was extracted from the plant. The most common forms of extracting cannabis oil include:

Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
BHO is made by running butane through the plant matter, extracting the oils from the plant in the process. Butane evaporates in low temperatures so, in order to remove excess solvent, the solution is heated in a vacuum. This process makes for a potent cannabis extract that can contain as much as 90% cannabinoids.

Live Resin
A process based on butane extraction, live resin is one of the newest ways of extracting oil from the cannabis plant. This method involves immediately freezing freshly harvested cannabis plant, eliminating the need to dry and cure it prior to extraction. In other methods, the waiting period between harvesting the plant and drying it can last for up to 70 days. While the process can be costly, live resin is a great way of preserving the terpenes of the plant.

Molecular Separation
Molecular separation is performed in a high-force vacuum, giving the process a number of benefits. This method allows the extraction of cannabinoids — which have a high boiling point — at a much lower temperature. And because the plant is not exposed to heat for a long time, thermal degradation of the desired compounds is minimized.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
One of the most popular ways of harvesting cannabis oil, RSO or Phoenix Tears involves soaking the entire plant in pure isopropyl alcohol. It’s a pretty simple process that draws out all the beneficial compounds of the plant and produces potent oil. RSO is typically ingested or applied to the skin.

Supercritical Fluid Extraction (CO2 Oil)
Unlike the other methods in this list that use solvents, this method uses compressed carbon dioxide to form a supercritical fluid. The fluid functions just like any hydrocarbons, stripping the plant of its essential oils. Because it has the properties of both liquid and gas, the supercritical fluid dissolves plant matter more thoroughly. This method requires expensive and rather specialized equipment, but the process can produce oil with about 10% terpenes -- a lot more compared to BHO’s 0.5 to 3.5%.

Last but not the least are tinctures. Tinctures use alcohol to pull out the cannabinoid and terpenes from the plant. This method doesn’t require heat, plus tinctures can have added flavors. This type of cannabis extract is a perfect choice for people who want to experience the benefits of cannabis but don’t like the natural taste of the plant.

In addition to the extraction method, cannabis oil users and buyers must also be aware of the THC-CBD ratio. CBD oil, for example, is often used for its medicinal benefits, while THC oil is noted for the buzz it gives. Plus, you should also take note of how and where the source was grown and the specific strain of cannabis used. If it’s available in your state, certifications specifically issued to cannabis manufacturers and distributors can vouch for the quality of the product. All these help ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth and that you’ll have the experience you’re expecting from using a specific type of cannabis oil.

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