Cannabis Oil In South Africa
The benefits of cannabis oil have taken the medical world by storm. Now you can get premium quality cannabis oil in South Africa – in the form of capsules, tinctures, suppositories and more – and use it to treat a number of conditions.
However, from the range of cannabis oil products available – also known as hemp oil, hash oil, butane hash oil (BHO), and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) – make sure you make an informed choice about what you ingest, that you choose a top quality product, and that you have realistic expectations of the benefits you can expect.
What are the main compounds in cannabis oil ?
Cannabis continues to astound scientists with its excellent healing properties. There are over 80 chemical compounds found in cannabis flowers – called cannabinoids – each with unique traits. The impressive thing about cannabinoids is that they can imitate compounds that our bodies produce naturally, called endocannabinoids. These compounds, if activated, maintain internal stability and health.
Here are the main types of cannabinoids to look out for in cannabis oil:
THC is the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, responsible for what is known as ‘getting high’. THC is able to ease moderate pain (analgesic) and to be neuroprotective, to reduce neuroinflammation and to stimulate neurogenesis.
CBD is a cannabis compound with a wide array of medical benefits, without making users feel ‘high’. In fact, CBD can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. Recent research has found that CBD is highly effective as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, from arthritis and diabetes to cancer and depression.
CBN is a mildly psychoactive compound – its most pronounced attribute is its sedative effect. However, unlike THC, CBN induces little to no psychoactive effects.
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
The benefits of the cannabis compound THCA are slowly being discovered but already showing remarkable anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anti-emetic effects. Unlike THC, THCA is a non-psychoactive cannibinoid.
Understanding the differences: THC vs. CBD
The two main elements sought after by professional cannabis producers and patients are the THC and CBD compounds. Strains high in CBD and low in THC are often favoured by medical users who seek to avoid the ‘stoned’ feeling associated with high THC strains. On the other hand, some ailments will require THC heavy strains.
What determines the quality of cannabis oil ?
First and foremost, when choosing cannabis oil in South Africa, it’s important to know what kind of cannabinoids it contains, as those will determine the results you get. Hemp oil which you may purchase at your local pharmacy or health store, is not the type of cannabis oil we are referring to but an oil made from cold pressed hemp seeds. It does not contain the necessary THC or CBD properties required for medicinal treatment.
If you compare the production of cannabis oil with something like olive oil or wine making, you’ll know that quality starts right from what you put into the soil, through to growing the plant to finally what is extracted. In short – what you put in is what you get out. We control the process from soil to oil.
Grade of cannabis used:
It should be medical grade and ideally organic cannabis, not cheap marijuana.
The desired ingredients come from the flowers (top quality buds) only, not plant matter, trim, seeds or stalks.
Use of pesticides:
Pay special attention to the use of pesticides and whether they have been used during the growing process as certain patients may be more susceptible to their toxic effects.
It’s important to know that all solvents used in the process have been properly purged. Take note of these types of extraction methods:
- Solvent-based methods, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), involves soaking cannabis in a solvent and then boiling off the solvent to yield a sticky black cannabis resin. Research on these concentrates has shown that much of the plant’s terpenes content is lost in the heating process, and that often toxic solvents remain as unwanted residue in the final product. These products are also typically sold in syringes – steer clear of those.
- Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is a popular dangerous DIY extraction method amongst avid smokers, wanting to vape the oils, that don’t have access to Liquid gas-based extraction or CO2 Oil. With butane extraction, you are left with a sticky wax (or if it hardens, a crumbly ‘honeycomb’ or glasslike shatter) also commonly referred to as dab. DIY BHO oils found in SA are made using fairly inexpensive devices and butane lighter fuel. These oils are not properly purged resulting in an end product full of contaminants.
- Liquid gas-based extraction is another solvent-based method. Done by professionals, this method is safer than solvent-based extraction as it does not leave contaminants in the end products. A ‘clean’ result is invaluable to discerning doctors and their patients, whose health may depend on the cleanliness of their medicine. One needs very expensive, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to achieve this result – not commonly found in South Africa.
- CO2 (supercritical) oil Method: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a supercritical fluid, which means that when you pressurise it, it converts to a liquid form. This very sophisticated method of extraction is one of the most effective ways of reducing cannabis to its essential compounds and getting a very pure oil that can be smoked, vaporised or taken orally. CO2 is a preferred extraction method because, unlike petroleum-derived solvents like butane, it is a greener method of extraction. Used for: A variety of medicinal uses, as extraction experts can refine the levels of THC in the oil.
The ailments cannabis oil can treat
Cannabis oil has become increasingly popular as a complimentary medicine, whether as pain relief, for its regenerating effects and much more. Every day we are impressed with how it improves the lives of those living with arthritis, cancer and fibromyalgia. See a full list of medical conditions that may benefit from cannabis treatment.
Does cannabis oil cure cancer ?
Because cancer can rear its ugly head in many shapes and forms, it’s not an easy question to answer. Cannabis has shown the potential to fight certain cancers and tumors but it all depends on the type of cancer, the stage and whether it has affected the liver at all. It can certainly help combat the effects of chemotherapy and has in many instances resulted in reduced or even diminished tumors.
Coupled with the right diet, lifestyle changes and exercise, we have seen impressive results. Steve Jobs, a sufferer of pancreatic cancer, managed to prolong his life by 20 years through alternative therapies, a healthy diet and regular detoxing. It was not cancer that claimed his life but liver failure following a transplant operation.
Should you opt for cannabis oil as a cancer treatment, you should choose suppositories of up to 1 gram (1000mg) a day. Read more about the correct cancer treatment protocol.
Don’t be fooled this is my no means a cheap alternative to western medicine. Clean medical grade cannabis oil is not easy to come by and one can expect to pay R600 – R1000 a gram (1000mg). With the high dosages necessary to treat cancer effectively this means one can expect to pay R15000 – R23000 a month. Read more about why cannabis oil is so expensive.
Beware of snake oil salesmen
It requires a degree of faith or desperation to turn to cannabis as an alternative to conventional pharmaceuticals. Your supplier is only as good as his or her word! Please be wary of con-artist! Get informed, do your homework and ask the right questions before handing over your hard earned cash.
Where can I buy cannabis oil in South Africa ?
To get your hands on the best quality cannabis oil in South Africa, take your time to do your research, speak to friends and family, and ask the right questions – for example, about extraction methods, cannabinoid ingredients and so on. If you need any advice, get in touch with us and we will point in the right direction depending on your medical requirements.