The side effects and risks involved with consuming marijuana-based products aren’t clear, either, Bonn-Miller said. It’s important to “determine cannabinoids that are useful therapeutically while understanding and using cannabinoids that are associated with less risk,” he said. At least with CBD, he said, it doesn’t appear to have the potential for addiction. That’s different from THC, which has been associated with addiction, he said, and negative side effects, including acute anxiety.
Because of this classification, it’s not easy for researchers to get their hands on the drug. “That’s not to say you can’t do it, but there are hoops you need to jump through that can be a pain, which may deter researchers from going into this space,” Bonn-Miller said. “Relatively speaking, it’s a small group of people in the U.S. that do research on cannabinoids in humans.”
It’s important to know that the research in this area is in its infancy, partly because we haven’t really understood much about CBD until relatively recently,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He pointed out that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA makes it difficult to get material to use in laboratory studies. Schedule 1 drugs have a high potential for abuse, according to the DEA, and are illegal under federal law.
Why medical experts are hesitant about CBD
The popularity of medical marijuana is soaring, and among the numerous products consumers are seeking are CBD, or cannabis oils.
Simply put, cannabis oil is the concentrated liquid extract of the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.
The physiological effects of cannabinoids can vary widely from person to person, and also depend on how they’re consumed. That lack of predictability is one of the reasons why cannabis oil is a challenging candidate for developing into a medicine, Ward told Live Science.
A review published in 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology described how CBD may work to protect the hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for several important functions, such as learning, memory and navigation — during times of stress, and may also help prevent brain-cell destruction that results from schizophrenia. Another 2017 review published in the journal Annals of Palliative Medicine summarized a handful of studies that suggest cannabis oils containing THC or CBD, or both, may help with chronic pain management, but the mechanism is unclear.
Oils are typically prepared for oral sublingual administration. They have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is because they are easy to use, compared to inhalation by vaporization. Prescribers and pharmacists are more familiar with oral dosing, which also promotes their use.
Home or unregulated production can pose risks to patients who consume them. The exact composition of different available oils is frequently unknown. They are not checked for quality by external certified laboratories for the presence of residual solvents, or contaminants such as microbes, pesticides, heavy metals or mycotoxins. The lack of standardisation of both the cannabis starting material and oils makes it impossible to fully evaluate their therapeutic effects over time and, hence, their medicinal value.
Consequently, there is a significant need to standardise and control cannabis extracts and to regulate their distribution as potential medicinal products.
In most countries it is forbidden to create concentrates from cannabis, because cannabis is a controlled substance .. Nonetheless, the appearance of numerous CBD-rich extracts have appeared on the global market.
But why bother with concentrates when you have tried-and-true bud? Flower may be good enough for you, but there are many reasons to explore the many options—and medicines—offered in extract form:
In this series, we’ll explore the many cannabis concentrate options available to you (depending on your local cannabis laws). Here’s a brief list of broad extract types to familiarize you with what’s to come in this series:
Cannabis concentrates, oils, and extracts offer many unique benefits that you won’t find smoking flower. From easy, precise dosing to clean and refined flavors, concentrates focus on the ingredients in cannabis that matter most. In this 4-part series, you’ll learn the fundamentals of concentrates, explore product options, discover how extracts are made, and more.
Types of cannabis oil
An oil, concentrate, or extract is any product derived from cannabis flower that is processed into a concentrated form, but each type of cannabis oil is unique.
C annabis oils, concentrates, and extracts—these all serve as umbrella terms under which sits a warehouse of different products: vape oil, hash, tinctures, dabs, CBD oil, and every other product dreamed up by cannabis chemists.
(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)
Every extract serves a different purpose and consumer type, so we’ve broken our recommendations down based on your experience with concentrates: