medical marijuana

Cannabis Oil: The Essential Guide

Cannabis Oil: The Essential Guide

This guide is intended to be an intensive discourse into the subject of Cannabis Oil supplements for the natural treatment of various conditions. We have written this article for consumption by the layperson with little or no knowledge of the issue. It has been written for those who have an interest in either merely finding out more, or who are looking for the best option for themselves or others. For this purpose, we have kept medical and scientific jargon to a minimum, however, we have included explanations for the terms that we have used.

What is Cannabis Oil?

Cannabis Oil is made from marijuana, a variety of the cannabis plant that has moderate to high levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and moderate to high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD). It is known by various names such as medical cannabis, medical marijuana, marijuana oil, or THC oil. Because it has significant levels of THC, in sufficient amounts, it can cause a psychoactive effect. For the most part, however, because dosages are small and spread throughout the day, these effects can be minimised. For more information, see the Wikipedia entry for hash oil.

What are Cannabinoids?

There are two types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids, which originate inside the body, 2-AG and anandamide are the two most significant endocannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids which arise outside of the body, such as the THC and CBD found in cannabis. There are over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to the class of substances called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids act on the cannabinoid receptors in cells that modify the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. The two main cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD. CBD typically accounts for over 40% of the total cannabinoid content in the cannabis plant.

The Endocannabinoid System

The human and many mammalian bodies contain an Endocannabinoid system, which is a collection of endogenous cannabinoid receptors found in the brain as well as the central and peripheral nervous systems. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the psychological and physiological effects of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids manifest their effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, that responds to cannabinoid ‘agonists’, or chemical messengers.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC,  is one of the main active ingredients in the cannabis plant. While Tetrahydrocannabinol is the cannabinoid that has a psychotropic or intoxicating effect in users, it has also been found to exhibit medicinal benefits for various conditions.

Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Otherwise known as CBD, cannabidiol is another of the main active ingredients in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is the cannabinoid that has been found to exhibit medicinal benefits for many conditions. For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, check out our article The Health Benefits of CBD Oil.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is typically made from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that has high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD) and very low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike cannabis oil or medical marijuana, which is usually made from marijuana, another variety of the cannabis plant that has a high level of THC, it has a minimal level of THC, making it non-psychoactive.

For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, check out our article What is CBD Oil?

What is the Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp?

Marijuana and hemp are merely different varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp, otherwise known as industrial hemp is commonly used to produce textiles, clothing and rope. It has a very high CBD content combined with a low THC content of typically less than 1%. These days, most manufacturers produce their CBD products using hemp, as a result of the significantly reduced cost of production, as the THC need not be removed from the product.

Marijuana, in contrast, has higher levels of THC, the chemical compound responsible for the “high” that marijuana users experience. Marijuana is used to produce medicinal marijuana or cannabis oil, often used by cancer patients and those experiencing extreme pain.

What are the Health Benefits?

It is a potent analgesic, offering pain relief and anti-nausea effects for many conditions such as cancer and fibromyalgia. Often used as an alternative cancer treatment, CBD has been shown in various studies to have pro-apoptotic effects (forcing programmed cell death) of cancer cells while leaving normal cells untouched.

For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, check out our article The Health Benefits of Cannabis Oil.

Should I use Cannabis Oil or CBD Oil?

The decision should be determined by whether THC is indicated for the condition you are suffering from. Certain circumstances may also prevent one from using cannabis oil, which contains THC, such as:

  • The need to maintain concentration and focus.
  • Job requirements to undergo routine drug tests (ie. pilots).
  • Personal incongruence with the use of psychoactive drugs.

Chart of the Medicinal Benefits of Cannabinoids

Hover over the chart to zoom in.

Medicinal Benefits of Cannabinoids


Cannabis Oil contains both CBD and THC in various ratios. THC because of its psychoactive property is less well researched from a medicinal perspective. Mainly as a result of its historical prohibition. It is often used for conditions such as:

  • Severe and Chronic Pain
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • Low appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting

Cannabis Oil in South Africa

Is Cannabis Oil Legal in South Africa?

In a landmark judgement on 18 September 2018, the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest court effectively decriminalised the cultivation, storage and use of cannabis in the privacy of one’s home, ruling that the prohibition of private cultivation, possession and consumption of the plant at home was unconstitutional. Before this, it was technically illegal, even for those using medical marijuana to treat the symptoms of diseases such as cancer.

The ruling does, however, decriminalise the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Previously many of those who used medicinal cannabis products to alleviate various symptoms, such as cancer patients, and those suffering from anxiety, PTSD, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, were technically doing so unlawfully. Read the full article: Private Cannabis Use Now Legal in South Africa

How Should I Take It?

Cannabis oil is most commonly taken orally as drops. Take your drops sublingually, or under your tongue and hold there for around a minute before swallowing to allow the drops to be diffused through the mucous membranes beneath your tongue. Because there are a great many capillaries under the tongue, it has a direct route into your bloodstream, allowing it to work faster and more efficiently.

Taking your drops sublingually is preferable to swallowing immediately, as it must first pass through your gastrointestinal tract, the stomach and the intestines where most absorption takes place, but also where some of the Cannabis may be destroyed stomach acids. Then it is filtered by the liver before entering the bloodstream. Cannabis capsules can be swallowed immediately and are preferred by those that can’t handle the taste of Cannabis.

How Much Cannabis Oil Should I Take?

Ideally, your dosage should be prescribed by a qualified and experienced healthcare professional. Various brands have products offering different strengths. Also, different conditions require different dosages to be effective, and some people may need more than others to have the desired effect. Typically, one should start with the recommended dose for a week and build up weekly in small increments until no further benefit is felt. Then, gradually reduce the dosage incrementally until you find an ideal dosage for the desired effect.

Where Can I Buy Cannabis Oil?

Buy Cannabis Oil Online at Organica

You can purchase Cannabis products from our online store, and we will courier your package to your door or to a nearby collection point anywhere in South Africa.

Take a look at our most popular Cannabis products below.

View our complete range of various Cannabis products:

Cannabis Oils and Tinctures
Topical Cannabis

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There is little doubt that Cannabis truly is one of the wonders of the plant world. Scientific studies are now bolstering what was once just anecdotal evidence for the effectiveness of Cannabis in the treatment of so many ailments and maladies. If you are interested and would like to know more, please do feel free to contact our customer service team at, or click the chat button on our website.

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