For many years we have been involved with clinical cannabis and the production of cannabis oil with friends who are suffering major illnesses. As the medical group of our local cannabis association expands, more people are coming to the open support meetings, some of whom are successfully treating themselves, others who are looking for information about what is cannabis oil?

The cannabis bud can be vaporized or used in a tincture to alleviate many ailments. But to treat serious diseases such as cancer or Alzheimers, you have to ingest a more concentrated amount of cannabinoids for these to have an effect. (for an overview on how cannabinoids can be used therapeutically please read our Novice Guide to Medical Marijuana)


So what is Cannabis Oil?

When you read about “cannabis oil” in relation to debilitating diseases, the piece you are reading refers to Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO). This is also popularly known as RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) as it was through his website describing how he put his cancer into remission using cannabis oil that thousands became aware of how to make it.


Cannabis Oil is a highly potent and extremely concentrated means of ingesting cannabinoids. Solvent (or rarely, CO2 extraction) is used to separate the resinous glands (trichomes) from the plant and this solvent is then removed through a careful process of heating. The end result is a highly viscous material which almost solid at room temperature, and a deep translucent black – until it is smeared thinly when its golden shine is made apparent.



How much bud (cannabis flowers) do you need to make cannabis oil?

As the final slide above shows, medicinal cannabis oil is made entirely of trichomes, the minuscule glands which cluster over female cannabis flowers. There should be no plant material at all. Gas chromatographical analysis of a well-made oil should show something like 80-90% combined THC & CBD content, with the remaining 10% being made up of other cannabinoids. Thus it takes a great deal of bud to make a quantity of pure cannabis oil. The amount of oil produced will depend in part upon the strain, and in part upon the method used to separate these trichomes from plant matter, but a general guide is that it takes 500g of well-dried bud to make 50-60ml (g) of medical grade cannabis oil.

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