Materials & Use

How to Use Cannabis Oil? What You Need to Know

Gabi Antunes

Aug 23, 2019

As the cannabis industry evolves, so do a consumer’s product choices. Cannabis oil, one of the staples of the rapidly growing cannabis concentrates sector, certainly gets a lot of attention. This oil enables consumers to use cannabis without needing to smoke it, while delivering concentrated cannabinoids.

The term “cannabis oil” is used to describe many types of cannabis derivatives that are liquid in appearance but used in different ways. However, understanding those differences and what they mean to you as a consumer is important to having a quality experience with whatever product you choose. What exactly is cannabis oil and what can consumers expect from the cannabis oil experience?

What is Cannabis Oil?

The term “cannabis oil” generally refers to the concentrated, liquid extract of a cannabis plant. The chemical make-up of cannabis oil is largely dependent upon the source plant from which it was derived.

On the same note, the term “cannabis oil,” used colloquially, could also refer to several different products. Tinctures, for example, are cannabis extracts intended for oral ingestion. In a different context, cannabis oil could refer to vape oil, which is likely much thinner than a tincture and compatible with electronic vape pens and vaporizers in legal markets.

It’s important to understand how to properly use each type of product as it is intended.

How is Cannabis Oil Made?

Whatever the type of cannabis oil product, it all begins with the extraction process. There are several methods of extraction, including the common use of a solvent such as butane or ethanol. The solvent is used to draw out the compounds naturally found within the plant. Once extracted, the resulting solution is refined to remove any undesirable materials. Extractors can also further refine the extracts to target specific compounds and separate them from the others.

At the end of the extraction process, a cannabis concentrate remains. There are many different types of cannabis concentrates, including oil. Sometimes, these extracts are simply sold as is for consumption, while other times they are used as ingredients in other products. For example, extracted cannabis oil can be used to create a tincture. Extraction also provides the foundation for infusing a wide range of products, from edible baked goods and beverages to topicals like creams and gels but only in markets that allow these types of forms.

It’s also important to note that the resulting extract is closely related in its chemical make-up to the original plant from which it was extracted. In other words, cannabis oil can vary widely in its contents based on the plant from which it was made. For example, cannabis oil derived from a plant that is high in the compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will also have high levels of THC. By contrast, cannabis oil derived from an industrial hemp plant, which by law must contain 0.3% or less THC, will have very low levels of that compound. To really understand what is in the cannabis oil or infused product you’ve purchased, you should know from which cultivar of cannabis the extract was made.

How Can You Consume Cannabis Oil?

There are many ways to consume cannabis oil and infused products depending on the legal market you are in. One of the key advantages of cannabis oil is its efficiency; a small amount can go a long way when compared to the dried flower of the plant.
How you consume your cannabis oil or infused product will depend on the type of product you’ve purchased. Again, not all types of cannabis oil products are intended for consumption by the same method, so take the time to research how to properly use the type of product you’ve purchased.

  • Tinctures: Generally, tinctures are taken sublingually.
  • Vaping: Cannabis oil extract and THC liquids can be used with electronic vaporizers in states that allow it, which heat the cannabis oil to its boiling point and create a vapor that can be inhaled.
  • Dabbing: Dabbing is a method of consumption that requires the use of a dab rig or electronic device known as an e-nail to partially vaporize concentrates.
  • Edibles: Edibles are a diverse category of infused products that include baked goods, gourmet meals, and beverages. Bakers and chefs use cannabis-infused fats such as butter or oil to create cannabis-based foods and beverages.
  • Capsules: Cannabis oil can be added to capsules to be swallowed. This is a convenient way to take a dose of cannabis oil in a market that permits this product.

Knowing your cannabis oil product and how it is supposed to be used is part of being a responsible consumer.
Never use a product in any way other than its intended consumption method. If you’re unsure about how your cannabis oil or infused products should be used, consult the manufacturer or your local dispensary.

Cannabis Oil is a Versatile Innovation Expanding Consumer Choice

The creation of cannabis oil is spurring innovation throughout the entire legal cannabis industry. Cannabis oil offers consumers a vast array of choices when it comes to consumption. Whether you prefer oral products, vaping, dabbing, or edibles, cannabis oil and the infused products it is used to create cater to all types of consumer preferences. If you are in a state where cannabis oil products are legal, you are likely to have plenty of options to choose from for your next session.