Keena, not her real name, is an avid believer of essential oils. She has been one of the first to sign up when a networking company offered these oils to members. “I do not like multi-level marketing schemes myself, but I made an exception for this one. If anything, they had an affordable starter kit that you can only buy if you become somebody else’s downline.”
At first, Keena only got into the company for the diffuser, which costs a lot less than the ones in other stores. Especially considering that it came with a bunch of essential oils. And she was intrigued by the range of oils they offered. She had first become interested in essential oils because of her allergic rhinitis. She heard some stories about how these oils are able to help.
When she got her starter kit, she started experimenting with the different scents she received. From myrrh to peppermint. She started reading up on essential oils and found that it really does help with allergic rhinitis! It also helped her husband manage his asthma.
She soon found herself reading about CBD and cannabis. The developments in Canada has made her aware of the medical benefits of marijuana. And she wondered if there was an essential oil version for it.
She then found one store that sold it. Cannabis essential oil comes from the leaves and flowering tops of the Cannabis sativa plant.
First things first, an excellent oil does not have THC
THC is the compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. A product that has THC is often labeled as something for recreational use, rather than medical. In short, it is THC that gives you the high you experience with marijuana.
THC is non-volatile, so it does not survive the distillation process used to create the cannabis essential oil.
There is an ongoing disagreement about whether or not cannabis essential oil contains CBD. Some sources say that it does not have CBD at all, but there are also those who say that cannabis essential oil contains trace amounts of CBD. w However, it is agreed upon that whatever CBD is left in the oil is very minimal and would not have a significant therapeutic impact.
Another clarification: Cannabis essential oil is not the same as hemp oil
Both cannabis essential oil and hemp oil come from the same plant. However, while cannabis essential oils come from steam distillation of the flowering tops and leaves of the plant, hemp oil is produced from the seeds, through a process called cold pressing. These two are used differently as well. Hemp oil is more often used as a carrier oil, while cannabis essential oil is more often used as the main blend oil.
Further, you have CBD oil that is manufactured by using carbon dioxide extraction techniques. CBD oil is likewise different from cannabis essential oil.
So what does the cannabis essential oil actually contain?
If cannabis essential oil does not have THC or CBD in it, then what does it have? The short answer to that question is A LOT.
It has several sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes, compounds that have medical benefits and can contribute to the entourage effect of using cannabis. The entourage effect is when the presence of one compound helps bring about the desired results of marijuana.
Among the most significant components of cannabis essential oils is the Beta-Caryophyllene. Cannabis essential oil is said to contain anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of this sesquiterpene, which is a lot more than the concentrations found in other essential oils, such as black pepper, lemon balm, ylang-ylang, catnip, copaiba balsam, and Cananga, among others.
Beta-Caryophyllene is known to be anti-inflammatory. It also interacts with CB2 receptors, which makes it a cannabinoid. It is used to fight inflammation, provide relief from pain, and reduce alcohol cravings. The compound can also affect your mood, making it an excellent way to fight depression and anxiety. Plus, it has shown promise as a way to fight cancer.
Other terpenes found in cannabis essential oil
Aside from Beta-Caryophyllene, there are also other terpenes that have medical benefits that you can get from cannabis essential oil.
Cannabis essential oil also has Myrcene. This compound is among the most studied terpene found in marijuana and has shown to be effective for a variety of conditions. For example, it also has anti-inflammatory properties and is a good way to fight depression. It also has anti-microbial and antiseptic properties, which makes it suitable for treating wounds.
Myrcene is also a potent antioxidant and has several applications against cancer. It can also help regulate the permeability of cell membranes. More than that, Myrcene also relaxes your muscles, and that is the reason why it is used as a sedative and analgesic.
Some diseases that are treated with Myrcene include cancer, inflammation, stress, insomnia, and diabetes.
A terpene that is sourced from several varieties of herbs and fruits, you can find Ocimene in mangoes, cannabis, basil, pepper, and mint, among others. It is believed to have a number of medical benefits as well. For instance, Ocimene is known to be good for inflammation.
Ocimene is also a proper treatment for fungal infections. Some studies have also seen its benefits in fight viral infections.
Terpinolene is one of the rarest terpenes and cannabis essential oil has it. Like other terpenes, it has medical benefits. It has proven effective in calming down mice, plus it delivers both antifungal and antibacterial effects. There are also studies that claim that Terpinolene is very useful in repelling weevils, mosquitoes, and other pests.
Terpinolene also shows promise in decreasing your risk of developing heart conditions as well as preventing the growth of cancer cells.;
Cannabis essential oils have the rare distinction of having the two isomers of Pinene: Alpha and Beta. Pinene is a major monoterpene and can be found in pine trees, frankincense, rosemary, fir, cypress, peppermint, and juniper. It has shown promise in helping people who suffer from chronic pain, as well as having anti-inflammatory qualities.
The list of things that Pinene can do is long. It is a good way to kill microbes, fight asthma, and prevent cancer cell growth. It is also used to treat acute pancreatitis and arthritis. Pinene is also used in everyday life. You are probably using Pinene when you shampoo, or when you use a cleaning agent.
Characteristics of cannabis essential oil
Cannabis essential oil has a distinct smell that some people might find strong and unpleasant. This is because of the Beta-Caryophyllene in it, which gives it a spicy and peppery smell that is akin to black pepper smells. This essential oil is often described as herbaceous and sharp smelling, with a little spicey note.
This steam distilled oil has a pale yellow color and a thin consistency.
What are the main benefits of using cannabis essential oil?
While there are several benefits of using cannabis essential oil, here are the most common and known effects.
1. Reduce anxiety and stress. Cannabis essential oil can help you feel calm and relaxed. You can keep stressful situations in control, and you are less affected by the things happening around you. It brings down stress levels and helps you avoid hypertension.
2. Relieve pain. With the anti-inflammation and analgesic properties of cannabis essential oil, you can use it to reduce pain. If you need a sedative or muscle relaxant, this is the best and organic way to do it.
3. Fight insomnia. Because of its Myrcene content, cannabis essential oil can quickly help you sleep. If you have insomnia and other sleep disorders, one sniff of diluted cannabis essential oil can help you become calmer and then it can help you get some shuteye.
4. Care for your skin. Cannabis essential oil is an organic and effective way to nourish your skin, get rid of red spots and itchiness. This product is perfect for mature skin or those that have combination to dry skin. It is also a proper treatment for skin that has been damaged by psoriasis and other skin conditions.
5. Improve digestion. Cannabis essential oil can activate a hormone that stimulates your appetite and improves the functioning of your digestive system. Expect regular bowel movements when you start using this oil.
More about cannabis terpenes
Terpenes, more than just being useful in treating a variety of medical conditions, also give cannabis essential oils its aroma and flavor. So if your cannabis essential oil has a more spicy and woody scent, it has more Beta-Caryophyllene. If it smells earthy, then it has more Myrcene in it.
There are at least 100 different terpenes that are found in cannabis, and the concentration of this will affect the efficacy of your cannabis product. For example, terpenes can react with each other and magnify each other’s effects, thereby making cannabis more effective in treating a particular medical condition.
More about the entourage effect
The entourage effect describes how different compounds found in cannabis work together and synergize to deliver its desired effects. If you think that the effects of the terpenes we have described above are awesome, it gets more awesome if you consider that cannabis essential oil has several main components that work well together. Ocimene, Pinene, Beta-Caryophyllene, and Myrcene working together can help deliver better anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and analgesic effects.
Some warnings about cannabis essential oil
There is some cautionary stuff that you should know when you are using cannabis essential oil. While there are no particular indications and precautions for using cannabis essential oil, you should still be careful when using it.
Do not apply pure cannabis essential oil on the skin. You should always dilute it using a carrier oil such as hemp or coconut oil. You should also check if the oil has oxidized because it can cause your skin to be more sensitive. Pregnant women should also avoid using cannabis essential oil.
Further, you should know that the reported medical benefits of terpenes are still being studied by researchers and scientists. There is no guarantee that cannabis essential oil will work on anxiety, depression, and other medical conditions that are mentioned here. If you do try it out, please do so under the advice of your doctor.
How to use marijuana essential oil
There are several ways in which you could use marijuana essential oils. For one, you can dilute it in a carrier oil and rub it directly on your skin. For instance, if you are using it as a muscle relaxant, you can put it over the area where you are experiencing spasms. You can also inhale the cannabis essential oil to help you calm your nerves or to pick your mood up.
There are also edible grade cannabis essential oil that you can put under your tongue, much like what you do with CBD oils. You can also cook with it or use it in your salad dressing for a more interesting flavor.
You can also put a few drops of the cannabis essential oil into a diffuser and fill your room with its beneficial effects.