Chances are you’ve been hearing all sorts of things about cannabis oil lately, probably some good, some bad, a lot of it confusing. In fact, oil is a great method for consuming cannabis and offers a whole list of benefits when used properly. For those who are turned off by the idea of inhaling, or who are new to the whole realm of medical cannabis, the oil can be a game changer.
Most medical cannabis oils you’ll find on the market are concentrates that are created by extracting cannabinoids like THC and CBD from cannabis plants. Although figuring out how to use cannabis oil can seem a little complicated at first, it really couldn’t be easier. Here’s an overview of the basics so you will understand how to use cannabis oil:
1. Figuring out your method of consumption
First things first, you need to decide how you like to consume your cannabis oil. Largely a matter of personal preference, there are many different options available. That being said, it is important to understand that while cannabis oil doesn’t work as fast as inhalation methods like vaping or smoking, it can work more quickly than ingesting edibles.
In terms of speed, the most effective way to take cannabis oil is sublingually, where the oil is placed under the tongue with a dropper and absorbed by the mucous membranes that lead directly to the bloodstream. Due to the fact that this method allows it to bypass the stomach, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to kick in.
2. Know the potency of the variety you’re consuming
Before you learn how to use cannabis oil, it is important to understand that not all cannabis oils are created equal when it comes to potency. There is a large variety on the market, ranging from oils that contain only CBD to those with a wide range of THC concentrations.
3. Understanding how to dose
Since commercial cannabis production remains relatively new, many people are still figuring out how to properly convert cannabis oil compared to dried cannabis. Luckily, Health Canada has actually created a hand Equivalency Factor that anyone can use online. It applies cannabis to a more familiar context of dosage of medicine.
4. Learning to read the labels
Just to give you a rough idea, 1g of dried cannabis = 125 mg of THC and 1 ml of oil = 25 mg of THC. Therefore, if you were dosing three grams of dried cannabis per day, and the equivalency factor was 1:5, you would use 15 ml of cannabis oil per day.
Equivalency factors vary though, so we aware that each licensed producer is required to make theirs publicly available. All cannabis oil packaging must also state the percentage of THC and CBD in the oil, and just like strains of dried cannabis, oils can have stronger concentrations that create a very different experience.
5. Eating cannabis oil
You can also use cannabis oil by adding it to various foods or drinks. Although this is welcome option for many, keep in mind that due to lower bioavailability of anything you ingest, you won’t absorb the cannabinoids as thoroughly.
Since they must pass through your stomach and liver, ingesting cannabis oil can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to kick in depending on things like what you’ve eaten and the speed of your metabolism. Also note that foods with a higher fat content will help your body absorb the ingredients and distribute the oil properly.
6. Topical applications
Topical application is also an option, but you need to be aware that you shouldn’t expect the same effect. Due to the fact that topicals don’t make it into your bloodstream, just into your cannabinoid receptors, they’re generally only considered effective for treating localized pain.
7. Storing your cannabis oil
Most cannabis oils that are available from licenced producers are already “active.” This means that the cannabinoids within them are ready to produce the intended effects and don’t require any heating or vaporization. To keep them from spoiling, it a good idea to store the regulated oils in a dark, cool location.
8. Finding the right fit for you
Finally, be patient and understand that it will take a bit of experimentation to find the right dose and method for you. It is always advisable to start slow and know that you can increase little by little. Your goa should be to determine the lowest dose that provides the effect you are looking for.
Always begin with just a few drops and wait at least an hour to see how you feel. Remember that more isn’t always better, and that you might need to adjust your dosage over time depending on other factors. You won’t necessarily develop a tolerance though; many people find that a consistent dose can work for their needs over the long term.