How to Make Cannabis Oil: Ultimate Guide

History of Medical Marijuana

Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. In ancient times, hemp was used as food. So naturally, people began to realize its medical potential. Early Chinese civilizations used marijuana as a anesthetic and it is actually one of the fundamental 50 herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.

Marijuana was also an important medicine in other ancient civilizations in the Netherlands, Egypt, Greece and India. In India, cannabis was recognized as a treatment for many ailments including insomnia, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders and bodily pain. In fact, cannabis was often used to relieve contractions and pain during childbirth. In Greece, they used cannabis for sores and to dress wounds on their horses. They used dried cannabis leaves to treat nose bleeds as well.

During the mid 19th century, the Western Hemisphere started to cultivate interest in the medicinal properties cannabis had to offer. In the 1830s, an Irish physician introduced cannabis to Western medicine. By the 1840s, cannabis was considered a mainstream medication.

In 1906, a law was passed that required the labeling of all medicines and drugs in products. This act included cannabis. The 1910s brought prohibition and states slowly began to outlaw cannabis. By 1927, over 10 states had outlawed cannabis. During this time, pharmaceutical farms continued to grow substantial amounts of cannabis each year.

Shortly after in 1933, cannabis became the target of government fear-mongering. Its consumption was linked to violent outbursts and attacks as well as creating citizens that were detrimental to society. In 1937, the first marijuana seller was convicted in the United States and was sentenced to four years of hard labor as well as a $1000 fine.

By 1970, cannabis had been reclassified as a drug with “no accepted medical use”. In 1971, President Nixon declared the “War on Drugs”. Throughout the rest of the 1970s and 1980s, various scientists and other professionals came forward with beliefs that cannabis was in fact medicinal and should at the very least be decriminalized. Meanwhile, the government increased penalties for offenders.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Despite several government officials campaigning to steer voters away from medical marijuana, three more states followed California’s lead in 1998. By 2000, eight states had legalized medical marijuana.

With increasing public support, various studies and countless people coming forward with the ways medical marijuana can aid a multitude of health conditions, medical marijuana became increasingly popular. New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana in 2010. Studies continued to be conducted, researching all aspects of medical marijuana legalization from ailments it treated, economic impacts and even the effects on crime.

In fact, one study in 2011 concluded that states with legalized medical marijuana had fewer fatal car accidents. This was thought because substance users were starting to favor marijuana over alcohol. As of April of 2017, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Oil vs. Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil

The main difference in different oils derived from cannabis and hemp are their THC content. Medical marijuana oil will have a higher THC content and will produce psychoactive effects similar to when smoking cannabis. This oil is not legal everywhere, so be careful to abide by your local laws when consuming medical marijuana oil.

Cannabis and hemp oil are both free of THC and are simply made from different plants. Cannabis oil is extracted from cannabis plants and hemp oil from hemp plants. While the plants are more or less the same, the THC content is different. Many high quality CBD oils are extracted from industrial hemp overseas which is what allows them to be legal in the States.

Hemp oil can also refer to hempseed oil. Cold pressed hempseed oil has many nutritional and medicinal benefits. It is particularly high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Hempseed oil can be used for cooking and can also be found various beauty and health products. This oil is also free of THC and has no psychoactive properties.

Where is Cannabis Oil Legal?

Cannabis oil, because it is free of THC, is not psychoactive. This means you don’t actually get high from it. Cannabidiol or CBD, that is extracted from industrial hemp is legal to purchase and use in all 50 states. CBD extracted from medicinal plants is a little more regulated. So depending on the individual product, it can either be legal in all 50 states or only legal in some. Most states that have laws allowing CBD obtained from medicinal plants require a prescription from a doctor.


Making Your Own Cannabis Oil: Which method?

To make a THC or medical marijuana oil, you have two options on what to do. You can either use already-vaped cannabis or fresh cannabis. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s up to you which one you decide to do. Oil and butter are the most common products made with cannabis because they are easy to incorporate into other recipes. Many people like to make desserts like cookies and brownies with cannabis butter or even use cannabis oil for sautéing vegetables and frying eggs.


  1. Making Oil/Butter with Already-Vaped Marijuana

    Using already-vaped marijuana eliminates the need for decarboxylation which is the process that fresh marijuana must go through when cooking in order for it to be effective. So if you use already-vaped marijuana in the recipe below, your cooking time will be shorter. However it still takes a relatively significant amount of time for the cannabis to infuse into the oil or butter so cooking is still needed. You can also use already-vaped marijuana in recipes like smoothies, sandwiches, etc. Because it is already decarboxylated it will be as effective as consuming oil.


  1. Making Oil/Butter with Fresh Marijuana

The other option for making butter or oil is to use fresh marijuana. Fresh marijuana is not effective when eaten because it hasn’t been decarboxylated yet. This is what’s accomplished in the cooking process outlined below. The cooking process is a little longer with fresh marijuana.

Making Your Own Cannabis Oil: Tools and How-To

Making your own cannabis oil that contains THC is only legal in states where medical/recreational marijuana is legalized. Be cautionary when making your own to ensure no laws are broken. Making cannabis oil is relatively simple in comparison to hemp oil.


  1. Tools and Ingredients Needed

    • One ounce of marijuana buds or two ounces of trim
    • Six cups cooking oil – Generally people tend to prefer olive oil or coconut oil. You can also use butter if you prefer.
    • Saucepan or double boiler
    • Metal strainer
    • Grinder
    • Wooden spoon – Make sure it is untreated and unfinished.
    • Airtight container
  1. How to Make the Oil

Begin by heating your cooking oil in your saucepan or double boiler over low heat for a few minutes. Adding a little at a time, add the ground up cannabis into the oil. Stir so the cannabis is evenly covered in oil. Eventually all of the cannabis will be in the pan and covered in oil. Simmer over low heat for several hours and stir occasionally. After a few hours, remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool. Then place the mix into a metal strainer. Press the cannabis against the strainer with the wooden spoon to ensure all the oil is expelled from the cannabis. Store the oil in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. It will stay good for roughly two months.

Making Your Own Hemp Oil: Tools and How-To

Making your own hemp oil that’s free from THC, more similar to CBD oil, is a lengthy process. It’s also generally not considered to be legal outside of states where medical/recreational marijuana is legalized, so exercise caution.

  1. Tools and Ingredients Needed

  • One ounce of marijuana or hemp plant – Choose a strain high in CBD if possible. You can also choose how high in THC your oil is based on the strain as well. One ounce will produce roughly three to four grams of oil.
  • Three plastic buckets
  • One wooden stick – Make sure it is untreated and unfinished.
  • Isopropyl alcohol – Generally you will need 500 milliliters per ounce of marijuana.
  • One coffee filter
  • One strainer
  • One large container
  • One rice cooker
  • One teaspoon water
  • One stainless steel bowl/container
  • One dehydrator
  • One plastic or glass bottle
  • Oven mitts
  • Fan (optional but recommended)


  1. How to Make the Oil

Place the marijuana in one of the plastic buckets. Make sure the cannabis is completely dry. Pour the isopropyl alcohol over the plants and crush with the wooden stick. Add more isopropyl alcohol until the cannabis is barely covered. Mix for three to four minutes. This will allow roughly 80 percent of the THC and CBD to leave the plant and enter the alcohol. Pour the mix into the second bucket and add more alcohol until the material is covered again. Mix again for three minutes and this will allow the remaining 20 percent to be moved into the alcohol.

After this, strain the plant material from the mix using your strainer. Pour the mix through the coffee filter into the third bucket. Next you will have to boil the alcohol off. This is where your rice cooker will come in handy. During this process it’s helpful to have a fan to dissipate some of the fumes. Keep in mind that the fumes created during this process are not only highly flammable but also incredibly toxic, so don’t breathe them in. Fill the rice cooker until it’s about three quarters of the way full. Turn it onto high heat, keeping the temperature at or below 290ºF or 140ºC.

Slowly you will notice the level of the mix in the rice cooker to drop. At this point you can add more mix, but never fill it over three quarters. Repeat this process until all of your mix is in the rice cooker. When there is about one inch of mix left in the cooker, add the teaspoon of water. This will protect the oil and keep it from overheating. Pick up your rice cooker and swirl around the mix until the rest of the alcohol evaporates. Make sure you have your oven mitts on to prevent injury and burns.

Once the remaining alcohol has evaporated you can pour the remaining oil into your stainless steel container. Next place the container inside a dehydrator for a few hours. This is essential in ensuring that the remaining moisture and alcohol evaporate from the oil. Once the oil is no longer bubbling you can pour it into your glass or plastic bottle and it’s ready for use.

Why Make Your Own Cannabis Oil for Medical Purposes?

Making your own cannabis oil allows you to have complete control over the potency and ingredients. It is helpful if you want to keep THC in the oil and aren’t in a state where medical/recreational marijuana are legal.

Cannabis Oil for Cancer

There are countless stories of people treating their cancer with cannabis oil. Others have found relief in chemotherapy and radiation side effects by using cannabis oil. In reality, cannabis oil itself actually can kill cancer cells. The CBD and THC cannabinoids attach to the CB1 and CB2 receptors on the cancer cells and cause ceramide synthesis, which eventually leads to cell death. Normal cells, as opposed to cancer cells, do not have this reaction when exposed to THC and CBD so they are left unaffected. By taking cannabis oil repeatedly and consistently, the cancer cells will be exposed to metabolic stress and will die off.


Cannabis Oil in Suppositories

Cannabis oil suppositories are a great option for those who cannot administer the medication in other ways. Suppositories also work quicker and the effects are felt for longer. Once the suppository is inserted into the anus, the cannabis oil immediately begins to absorb into the intestinal wall and then into the bloodstream. This allows for greater bioavailability, which means that more is absorbed effectively. When compared to other methods of application, suppositories offer the highest bioavailability. Effects generally take 10 to 15 minutes to kick in, but can last for four to eight hours.


Suppositories are especially great for those suffering from conditions such as cancer. Chemotherapy can result in extreme nausea, so a cannabis oil suppository is a great way for the patient to still receive the benefits without having to consume it orally. Other people who can especially benefit from cannabis oil suppositories are babies, surgery patients who aren’t able to consume anything after surgery and people who need relief immediately.


Health Conditions Cannabis Oil Treats

Cannabis oil treats a wide variety of health conditions and ailments. The most common conditions cannabis oil is used to treat include cancer, epilepsy, anxiety/depression and glaucoma. Here are a few other conditions that cannabis oil can treat:


  • Diabetes
  • AIDS
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Anorexia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Heart Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • PTSD
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Migraines
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Asthma
  • Dravet Syndrome
  • Arthritis

Grow Your Own Cannabis for High Quality Oil

Growing your own cannabis plants for the creation of cannabis oil is a viable option. It ensures you know exactly what medium and environment the plants are grown in as well as gives you control over the strain. Some strains of cannabis and hemp plants have higher levels of CBD than others.


Little Known Uses for Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil treats a multitude of conditions beyond the well known cancer, epilepsy, etc. However, cannabis’ medicinal properties transcend beyond life threatening conditions. Cannabis oil can also treat conditions such as acne and insomnia.


Cannabis oil can also be applied topically to the skin to promote skin health. The oil will stimulate the shedding of dead skin and encourage skin to regenerate faster. Cannabis oil is also known to slow down signs of aging and prevent wrinkles. It can also protect the skin against conditions like eczema and psoriasis.


For those suffering from insomnia, cannabis oil can help immensely. Cannabis oil can help to lower energy levels when at a resting state and lower your heart rate which will encourage your body to fall asleep faster. It also helps to relax your mind in addition to your body, giving your mind a break from thoughts that prevent restful sleep.


Cannabis oil has also proven to be an effective method in helping people suffering from cigarette addiction quit smoking. One study found that people encouraged to puff a cannabis oil pen anytime they had to urge to smoke a cigarette decreased their cigarette consumption by over 40 percent in the span of just one week.


Children Who Take Cannabis Oil

There are countless children with various ailments and health conditions that have shown significant improvement when implementing cannabis oil in their daily routine. Because it offers serious medicinal properties without the nasty side effects often found with traditional pharmaceuticals, many parents are opting for cannabis oil over medications.


Oftentimes parents are at their wit’s end and have tried every drug in the book before turning to cannabis oil. CBD has provided many children the chance to live a normal life again that’s free from daily doctor visits, harmful medications, withdrawals, etc. However, many parents get a lot of flack for treating their children with a controversial substance such as cannabis oil.


One of the first children to use CBD to successfully treat a serious health condition was a five year old girl named Charlotte Figi. She suffered from regular seizures beginning when she was just three months old. When she was two and a half, she was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome.


At the peak of her debilitating condition, she was suffering through upwards of 300 seizures a week. After trying several medications to no avail, her parents turned to cannabis oil. At first, Charlotte’s parents were only able to find two doctors willing to treat Charlotte with cannabis.


Fast forward to today and Charlotte is living much more comfortably. She generally only has two to three seizures a month and her physical development is improving everyday. She can walk normally and even ride a bike. She is now able to feed herself and is starting to develop her speech.


There are numerous stores similar to Charlotte’s about the incredible effectiveness of cannabis oil in treating various health conditions. Because cannabis oil has no psychoactive effects, it’s becoming a more popular treatment option for children. Several companies even specialize in cannabis oil for children and offer kid-friendly administration options such as drops you put in food/water.


If I Use Cannabis Oil, Will I Fail a Drug Test?

Drug tests typically test for THC, among other drugs. Other cannabinoids like CBD that are not psychoactive, do not show up on this standard drug screen. Most cannabis and hemp oils only contain a small fraction of the THC found in marijuana. This means that only if you are consuming upwards of 2000mg of oil per day would you even run the slightest risk of testing positive on a drug test.


Side Effects of Cannabis and Hemp Oil

The majority of cannabis and hemp oil users have stated that any side effects related to the consumption of these oils are usually minor. Reported side effects include minor hypotension (low blood pressure), dry mouth and slightly delayed thoughts and/or movements. Some users have reported mild digestive upset such as diarrhea.


Most studies have shown that the quality of the oil is what determines whether or not it has any of the aforementioned side effects. The market for cannabis and hemp oils is poorly regulated as it is still relatively new. In addition, hemp tends to absorb chemicals from the ground in which it’s grown. Oftentimes, hemp imported from overseas has absorbed chemicals such as lead and mercury and is then made into low quality oil that produces unwanted side effects.


Cannabis and hemp oils are completely safe to use but it’s important to research before you buy any product. Not all oils are created equal. Oftentimes it can be stated as simply “you get what you pay for”.


Withdrawals After Stopping Use of Cannabis Oil

There are typically no symptoms of withdrawal when discontinuing the use of cannabis oil. In fact, cannabis oil is often used as a treatment for withdrawal symptoms from other substances. In cannabis, THC is what’s usually responsible for any withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, etc. Oftentimes, those looking to cut back or eliminate their cannabis consumption will turn to cannabis oil to remediate their  withdrawal symptoms.


Famous Medical Marijuana Users

Several well-known celebrities have come forward in recent years about their use of medical marijuana to treat various ailments such as cancer and pain management.


  1. Whoopi Goldberg

The famous actress and host of The View is very open about her use of medical marijuana to cope with her glaucoma. Whoopi Goldberg uses the marijuana to relieve the chronic pain she experiences on a day-to-day basis. Goldberg commends medical marijuana on its ability to lessen dependence on pharmaceuticals and narcotic pain medications. In fact, she actually wrote several columns about her and “Sippy”, her vaporizer pen.


  1. Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong, one of the two most famous ‘pothead’ comedians from the 1960s often referred to as “Cheech & Chong”, is a long-time advocate for marijuana’s medicinal properties. He is a strong proponent of legalization for both medical and recreational marijuana. Chong announced he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. A month later he stated that he was 99 percent cancer free with the help of medical marijuana and hemp oil. Within a year, Chong stated he was 100 percent cancer free thanks to medical marijuana and other natural remedies.


  1. Morgan Freeman

The well-known actor is known for his marijuana use. After an almost fatal car crash in 2008, Morgan Freeman was left with severe nerve damage in his hand. He has also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Freeman has stated that he consistently uses medical marijuana to treat his chronic pain and has done so for years, with no intentions of stopping.


  1. Melissa Etheridge

Popular singer and breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge is a proponent of medical marijuana. She credits its healing abilities and has stated that she used marijuana every day while she was undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Etheridge stated that medical marijuana gave her an appetite so she was able to eat as well as boosted her energy and soothed gastrointestinal pain. Nine years later and she continues to use medical marijuana to help cope with lingering effects of her cancer as well as the chemotherapy. She also uses it to help regulate her sleep.


Buy Cannabis Oil

When buying cannabis oil, there are thousands of companies to choose from. However, as mentioned previously, not all oils are created equal. When comparing companies and products, be sure to look for organically sourced hemp or cannabis that is grown in low-pollution soil. This is because cannabis and hemp absorb chemicals and toxins from the soil. So if the plant is then used to produce oil, your body will absorb the toxins as well.


Another important component of selecting cannabis oil is the extraction method. Look for extraction methods with zero heat because heat kills nutrients. This method is much  cheaper, which is why so many companies use it. Instead look for CO2 extraction. This allows all of the terpenes in the plant to remain intact.


You should also avoid any products that are marketed as CBD isolates. These are cheaper to produce but have been proven to be both ineffective and potentially harmful. By using a whole plant extract, all of the terpenes will be able to work together and will deliver the maximum benefits.


Be wary of companies that advertise a certain percentage of CBD in their oil versus an actual measurement of milligrams per dose and/or bottle. Also make sure that any company you purchase CBD products from has information from a third party lab about the products. Make sure the report states there aren’t any contaminants, toxins or heavy metals in the oil.


Give the Gift of Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil is an incredibly powerful and healing substance. As you now know from the information compiled here, it is effective in treating a large number of ailments and health conditions. Consider gifting your friends and family with this wonderful medicine. Just be sure to adhere to the purchasing guidelines outlined above.


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