First off, so-called “Cannabis oil” is not an essential oil and the name is misleading. At least I know it was for me when I first started to study this topic. Here’s the low-down:
From what we can tell – although this conclusion is mostly based off of personal reports and not clinical trials – conventional Cannabis oil (being rich in THC) gets people “high,” whereas CBD oil cannot.
So, what is cannabis oil? This is where things get really fuzzy. I’m sure you’ve seen the term “Cannabis oil” being thrown around the Internet the last few years. Heralded to cure everything from cancer to glaucoma, activists are using research and countless miracle testimonials to convince legislatures nationwide to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. One of the reasons why we’re hearing so much about Cannabis oil is because of Rick Simpson.
In the 2013, the journal Cannabinoids published a full report on the chemical constituency of 5 different preparations of cannabis extract based off of the following solvents: ethanol, naphtha, petroleum ether, and olive oil. Here are the main takeaways directly from the article: (4)
As an added note, the study was clear to state that, “All the solvent components should be considered harmful and flammable, and some of them, such as hexane and benzene, may be neurotoxic. Both naphtha and petroleum ether are con- sidered potential cancer hazards according to their respective Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) pro- vided by manufacturers. Moreover, products sold as naphtha may contain added impurities (e.g. to increase stability) which may have harmful properties of their own.
In the words of a 2007 article in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neurosciences, “Despite the mild addiction to cannabis and the possible enhancement of addiction to other substances of abuse, when combined with cannabis, the therapeutic value of cannabinoids is too high to be put aside.” (5) Modern research shows that the compounds in Cannabis can: (6)
The reason why Cannabis is such an effective healing agent is because it contains “an enormous variety of chemicals. Some of the 483 compounds identified are unique to Cannabis, for example, the more than 60 cannabinoids, whereas the terpenes, with about 140 members forming the most abundant class, are widespread in the plant kingdom.”
Regarding cannabinoids, they are “a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain.” (7) Essentially, TCH “potently activates the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor CB1 and also modulates the cannabinoid receptor CB2.” (7) Few substances on the planet can do this.
There are several blog posts out there that have gone viral sharing 42 Medical Studies that Prove Cannabis Can Cure Cancer and other similar topics. One thing is clear: THC and other cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit tumour growth and angiogenesis in animal and human in vitro (cells in a petri dish) studies. However, the antitumoral effect of cannabinoids hasn’t been tested on humans to a great extent, and we need to be careful not to jump to any premature conclusions. Otherwise, we’ll start see reports that Cannabis can cure everything but death!
The list below is promising and should give researchers and legislatures reason to investigate the effect(s) that Cannabis can have as a natural cancer solution. When clicking through, take note that several studies report non-psychotropic effects when THC was administered to cancer patients. This should be of particular interest to people who are against Cannabis because of its ability to get people “high.”
There are a variety of ways people make Cannabis oil, and the most popular method has been outlined by Rick Simpson – who recommends using naphtha or petroleum ether as a solvent. This is where the danger lies. According to Dr. Arno Hazekamp – phytochemical researcher at the Department of Plant Metabolomics of Leiden University, The Netherlands: