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Cannabis oil is a term that covers any extract of the cannabis plant, including marijuana and hemp, that removes the plant’s naturally thick, viscous oil from dried or fresh cannabis.

What is Cannabis Oil?

Cannabis oil is a term that covers any extract of the cannabis plant, including marijuana and hemp, that removes the plant’s naturally thick, viscous oil from dried or fresh cannabis.

This raw oil contains the plant’s valuable vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids, and more, but the exact chemical makeup of the oil will vary due to the individual plant, the extraction method used, and any additional processing or filtration that the oil goes through after extraction.  

Although the cannabis plant produces thousands of compounds, it is the cannabinoids that put cannabis oil in such high demand. There are over 100 known cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Of these, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most prevalent. The cannabinoids found in cannabis oil are responsible for its effects through their interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Cannabis oil can be sold and consumed as is or processed into a wide range of consumer products, giving users a choice of how to consume cannabis. Cannabis oil is restricted at a varying degree by governments around the world based on factors like location, source of the cannabis oil, concentration of cannabinoids in the oil, age or medical condition of the purchaser, and more.

cannabis extract vapesMaking Cannabis Extracts

The active compounds in cannabis can be extracted from the plant’s dry or fresh material using a number of techniques, including some that can be done at home.

It is possible to use solvent-based extraction techniques to pull the cannabis plant’s oil from cured or fresh ground cannabis material. In the marijuana industry, popular solvents include, butane, hexane, isopropyl, and others, including some that may be toxic if not properly purged from the marijuana oil. Due to the toxicity and potential combustion of these solvents, it is critical that they only be done by professionals in a licensed facility.

This method produces a thick amber-colored cannabis oil full of the plant’s active chemical compounds. Next, the solvent is purged from the oil using heat and vacuum. The resulting cannabis concentrate is then processed into one of a number of potential forms, including wax, crumble, honeycomb, sap, budder, live resin, and shatter. These products can be vaped or dabbed

When making hemp oil, many producers choose to use non-toxic solvents like supercritical CO2 to extract the hemp plant’s natural oil.

This method extracts a dark green oil that is often packaged and sold to promote wellness due to its nutrient and cannabinoid content. This raw hemp oil can also be combined with other ingredients to be formulated into a range of consumer CBD products, like tinctures, edibles, and capsules.

Cannabis can also be used to create cannabinoid-infused carrier oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, or even butter. Cooking oil extracting of cannabis is simple to do with supplies you have at home, including a slow cooker and small gauge wire strainer.

Cannabis-infused carrier oils can be used as massage oils, moisturizers and lip balms, personal lubricants, and more. They can also be used to make your own cannabis edibles at home.

Learn more in our article on making your own cannabis butter.

Cannabis Oil vs Hemp Oil

Terms like cannabis oil, hemp oil, marijuana oil, THC oil, CBD oil, and hemp seed oil are often misused or confused when discussing cannabis extracts.

To best understand the differences between these types of oils, it helps to know more about the cannabis family of plants.

Hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis plant. That means that both hemp oil and marijuana oil are forms of cannabis oil. Despite being members of the same family of plant, marijuana and hemp have some important differences.

Marijuana is grown to emphasize higher levels of THC (the compound that gets users high) and is used either medically or recreationally. Extracts of the marijuana plant can be used topically, consumed orally, or vaped. Marijuana oil or other marijuana extracts can only be used legally in states that have passed medical or recreational laws. We cover the topic of legality more below.

Some people wrongly refer to marijuana oil as cannabis oil, which forgets that hemp oil is also a form of cannabis oil. Others call marijuana oil Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), named after a vocal advocate for its use medicinally.

Hemp, on the other hand, is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. Hemp can be used commercially or industrially for thousands of products. Commonly extracted using supercritical CO2, hemp oil, also known as CBD oil or CBD hemp oil, has exploded in popularity for daily wellness in recent years due to its natural balancing benefits.

This CBD oil concentrate can then be taken as a daily on its own or infused into products like tinctures, liquids, capsules, topicalsvape oilhair and skin care products, and more. CBD oil can also be purified through a filtration process that removes all excess plant material and compounds other than CBD to make a highly-concentrated CBD powdercalled isolate. Hemp oil products are legal in the U.S. and in over 40 countries internationally.

Also extracted from the hemp plant is hemp seed oil. Nutrient dense like CBD oil, hemp seed oil lacks cannabinoids in a level high enough to be effective as a CBD product and is similar to eating hemp based foods. Hemp seed oil is made by cold pressing the small brown, nutrient-rich seeds of the hemp plant. It has a dark to clear light green color and a naturally mild nutty flavor that works well in salads, dressings, and sauces. Learn more about the differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil.

Often described as a “superfood,” hemp seed oil is packed with vital nutrients, including amino acids, fiber, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as an array of important vitamins and minerals. This makes hemp seed oil a valuable addition to any diet, especially those that may be nutrient deficient.

Buying Cannabis Oil in the U.S.

As mentioned above, the availability of cannabis oil in the U.S. depends upon whether it was sourced from marijuana or hemp, your location, and your age or medical condition.

If you are looking to purchase marijuana oil for medical use you must first live in a location with legalized medical marijuana. Currently, 33 states have legalized some form of medical marijuana law on the books. Browse our Legalization Map page to find a complete list of medical marijuana states, as well as detailed descriptions on each state’s medical marijuana laws.

To access medical marijuana in most states where it is legal, you will need a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana for an approved medical condition. Once you obtain your doctor’s recommendation, you can access marijuana from a licensed dispensary near your home.

Additionally, some U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults. A state ID or driver’s license from any state proving you are over 21 will get you access to legal dispensaries in six of the recreational marijuana states in the U.S.:

  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Nevada

Maine, Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Vermont have also legalized recreational marijuana. However, as of now, there are no legal dispensaries licensed in these markets, so consumers aren’t able to purchase marijuana yet.

Recreational marijuana is also legal in Washington D.C., but there is no system in place to purchase it. The only way to legally purchase marijuana right now in D.C. is with a medical card, and it is illegal to bring marijuana in from out of state, putting residents there in a sticky legal grey area.  

Hemp oil, on the other hand, is federally legal. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed by President Trump in December of 2018, removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, making it legal to cultivate hemp, process it as a raw material, and use it to create a wide range of products, like hemp seed oil, CBD oil, hemp clothing, and more.

Hemp oil is widely available from health food stores, yoga studios, medical practitioners, and alternative medicine stores, among others, sold primarily to encourage wellness because it contains CBD. You can also purchase CBD products from Medical Marijuana, Inc. in our online store. If you’re not sure which product to start with check out our CBD Oil Buyer’s Guide. Stay up-to-date with the latest information on legalization and research in our Cannabis News section.

CBD Products from Medical Marijuana, Inc.

All of the hemp oil products from Medical Marijuana, Inc. are made with CBD oil, not hemp seed oil. Our products feature award-winning CBD oil derived from specifically selected cultivars of non-GMO, high-CBD hemp. They’re designed for those interested in benefiting from the balancing and natural wellness properties of CBD. Our top selling products include those in popular brands like RSHO™ and Dixie Botanicals®.

Our Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ (RSHO™) is our award-winning CBD oil concentrate brand. Available in four different labels, RSHO™ provides 50 mg to 190 mg CBD per serving. RSHO™ CBD oil is also available as tinctures and liquidscapsules, edibles, vape oilstopicals, and isolate.

The Dixie Botanicals® brand was designed with the adventurous at heart. These ready to go CBD products let athletes and weekend warriors support their favorite activities with the benefits of CBD. Whether training, competing, or recovering, CBD products from Dixie Botanicals® give users the edge they need to perform at their peak. Dixie Botanicals® CBD products include tinctures, vape oils and liquidstopical balmcapsules, and more


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