Finding cannabis oil is easy these days- it seems everyone and their aunt knows someone who’s making it. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing at all, as long as the person making it knows what they are doing and can answer a few basic questions about their products.
This needs to be your first question. Did they use alcohol – and was it food grade or industrial alcohol they used to extract the oil?
In the early days of cannabis oil extraction, people were using isopropyl alcohol to make their cannabis oil. Although effective, isopropyl alcohol contains harmful substances which are left in the oil after extraction. These harmful elements are then ingested when you use the oil, which is counter-productive to holistic healing.
You need to ensure your supplier used a food grade alcohol like ethanol to extract the oil. When healing your body, you want to ensure you are putting only the good into it.
These days we know a lot more about cannabis and it’s make-up: THC, CBD’s and how they all interact with the body. Gone are the dark days where we didn’t know what strain was good for what ailment or having to guess the potency of oil.
In my experience, South African oil suppliers are no slackers when it comes to upholding standards and they have been diligently finding laboratories that will test their products and provide them with the relevant information. Anyone who is serious about making cannabis treatments for sale will have had their products tested.
Tests to ask for include: pesticides, heavy metals, solvent residue and potency (CBD:THC). As mentioned above, when you are taking a substance to improve your health, the last thing you want is it to have harmful pollutants that could sicken your system.
If you are paying money for the oil then you deserve to know exactly what you are buying – it’s that simple.
3. What’s The Potency?
If they’ve tested their oils they will know the ratio of THC to CBD as well as a few other things about the make-up of their oil.
For certain conditions, a higher ratio of CBD is more effective, whereas for other issues a high ratio of THC is better- do some research about which is best for you and then ask your supplier what they can offer you in their range.
4. What Strain?
Not all oil makers are in it for the money and many kitchen-pharmacists are doing it right – and for the right reasons – but they can’t afford the tests to prove it. If you trust your supplier and you know they grow their plants organically, then finding out the strain can be a beneficial alternative for working out the CBD:THC. The internet is a treasure trove of information on different strains, their genetics, flavours and general potency so this will give you a good idea of what effects you can expect. Keep in mind that each plant is different and soil, climate and care do play a large role in how potent your plant will be. The better cared for, the better the quality.
5. Is it Full Plant Extract ?
Studies show that cannabis works best when all the properties of the plant are extracted. This allows for the ‘entourage’ effect. The entourage effect refers to how the compounds present in cannabis work in concert to create a powerful healing effect. Recent studies have shown that isolates are far less effective, have unforeseen side-effects and typically become less effective over time. So, when sourcing your oil it’s a good idea to double check you are getting full plant extract and avoid products that promise you CBD or THC “only” products.