cannabis oil

Cannabis Oil: The Essential Guide

Cannabis Oil: The Essential Guide

This guide is intended to be an intensive discourse into the subject of Cannabis 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 Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is one of the main active ingredients in Cannabis oil. It is one of over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to a class of substances called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol is the cannabinoid that has been found to exhibit medicinal benefits for many conditions.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC,  is another of the main active ingredient in Cannabis oil. While Tetrahydrocannabinol is the cannabinoid that has a psychotropic or intoxicating effect in users, it has also been found to exhibit medicinal benefits for certain conditions.

What is the Difference Between CBD and THC?

CBD and THC are the two most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis. Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is probably the most well known of the cannabinoids because of its psychotropic activity or psychoactive effect, causing a sensation of intoxication in users, and Cannabidiol (CBD) is well known for its medicinal benefits. These are two of the most abundant of over a hundred identified cannabinoid substances within the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoids vs Cannabis

You may well be confused by the terminology, in terms of what is meant by cannabinoids and how they differ from cannabis. Cannabinoids are a class of several chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors in cells that modify the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Cannabis, on the other hand, is a type of plant, of which marijuana and hemp are varieties.

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.

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 CBD Hemp Oil?

Most CBD oil tends to be CBD hemp oil because it is vastly more cost-effective to produce CBD oil from the hemp plant. The reason for this is that hemp naturally has a high CBD content and a negligible THC content. Producing CBD oil from the marijuana plant would necessitate removal of the THC content, which would be a costly process.

What is CBD Hemp Seed Oil?

It is important to note that some manufacturers now produce a CBD hemp seed oil. However, this should not be confused with the hemp seed oil described above, as this is a CBD product that uses hemp seed oil as a carrier oil or suspension, as opposed to olive oil, coconut oil or MCT oil. For more information, see our article The Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Unlike CBD hemp oil which is extracted from hemp plant matter, hemp seed oil is made from the cold-pressed hemp seeds which contain no CBD or THC. Many experts consider hemp seed oil to be one of the most balanced nutritional oils found in nature. Manufacturers produce hemp seed oil by cold-pressing industrial hemp seeds and extracting the oil. It is a natural source of essential amino acids and omega-3 & 6 essential fatty acids but is virtually free of cannabinoids.

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.

How Does it Work?

Cannabis Oil works because it contains the exogenous cannabinoids CBD and THC, and because the human body contains an Endocannabinoid system, which according to the Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia “is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems.” Cannabinoids manifest their effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, that responds to cannabinoid ‘agonists’, or chemical messengers. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the psychological and physiological effects of cannabinoids, of which there are two types: 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 Cannabis Oil in cannabis.

What are the Health Benefits?

The health benefits are numerous. It exhibits potent antioxidant, analgesic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic effects. It alleviates the cognitive decline associated with ageing, and it also reduces the risk of diabetes.

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

Should I use CBD or Cannabis Oil?

The decision should be determined by whether THC is indicated for the condition you are suffering from.

Chart of the Medicinal Benefits of Cannabinoids

Hover over the chart to zoom in.

cbd oil cannabis

CBD Oil contains CBD and only trace amounts of THC (typically <0.01%). Cannabis has been under intense scrutiny for many years, and its medicinal benefits are well studied and documented. It is often used for conditions such as:

  • Severe and Chronic Pain
  • Arthritis and Inflammation
  • Epilepsy and Seizures
  • Mental disorders and psychoses
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Depression

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

Certain circumstances may prevent one from using cannabis oil containing THC such as:

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

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, as 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, but it should be noted that higher dosages may be required as less of the Cannabis may enter the bloodstream as a result of the destructive effects of the digestive system.

How Much Cannabis Oil Should I Take?

Ideally, your dosage should be prescribed by 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 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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While there is much information to absorb on the subject, there is little doubt that Cannabis truly is one of the wonders of the plant world. It would almost seem that the health benefits of Cannabis are too good to be true, but 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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