Let’s breakdown Cannabis Oil in South Africa
Cannabis Oil is a complex topic in South Africa, due to a number of reasons. In part, it’s got a lot to do with the name ‘cannabis oil’, which suggests to many that any oil-resembling, cannabis-based substance is cannabis oil. This, however, is not true.
It’s also a complex topic because of the grey area left in place of prohibition laws after the High Court ruling in 2018. Some kinds of cannabis oil are completely legal to sell, cultivate, possess and consume, while others remain completely illegal save for personal use.
There’s so much misinformation out there, both intentional and unintentional, and as a result, we’ve put together this guide on all the different aspects of all different kinds of cannabis oil. This article might confuse newcomers a little at first, but please do persevere – by the end, you’ll be as up-to-date on cannabis oil as a teenager with too much time on their hands.
Technically, there is only one kind of cannabis oil. It’s a black, tar / oil-like substance made by extracting THC from cannabis buds using a solvent like ethanol, and then evaporating the solvent leaving a concentrated extract.
From here on out, this is the only kind we’re going to refer to as cannabis oil, as it’s a huge source of where all this confusion stems from. Now, let’s look at a bit closer at cannabis oil, as well as other oils derived from cannabis which often fall, incorrectly, under the same name.
Cannabis Oil is referred to by a number of different names: hash oil, Rick Simpson Oil, dagga olie, etc. The list goes on. As we previously mentioned, the basic defining principle is the manufacturing process.
It’s made by using a solvent like ethanol to ‘wash’ the THC, trichomes, and as many other cannabinoids as possible from raw plant matter; and then heating the resulting solution thereby evaporating the solvent. Eventually, you’re left with a black, tar-like substance that’s got an extremely high THC content, and a potent concentration of the compound (as high as 60%-90%).
It’s extremely intoxicating and is used mostly by those treating illnesses or ailments such as intense pain or sleep issues, cancer, nausea or appetite loss. Rick Simpson, who popularized this method, claimed that due to the counteractive nature of many cannabinoids in synergy, this full extract method is more effective than isolated CBD due to the entourage effect theory.
Cannabis Oil, being a THC-containing derivative, is still without a framework for sale, making it illegal to buy or sell. Personal consumption or possession is still legal, however, and it makes for an easy extract to make yourself. So, why not try to make your own cannabis oil at home.
CBD or Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating compound that exists naturally in cannabis as one of the most prevalent cannabinoids after THC. It’s non-intoxicating and has shown great promise in treating seizures in children, as well as treating Parkinson’s Disease, nausea, inflammation, and sleep issues, as well as stress and anxiety.
It’s available over the counter at many health and wellness centers and pharmacies around South Africa, quite readily recommended by many due to its lack of intoxication or side effects. This is, in part, what gives it a wonder drug status – there are no real pharmaceutical equivalents for treating the same issues that are both non-intoxicating and free of any side-effects.
When looking to buy CBD Oil, it’s always a good idea to check up on the manufacturer’s website to see if the oil is legitimate. The best way to ascertain whether or not this is the case is by checking if they do third-party lab testing for CBD content. A good example of a company you can trust is the Swiss Cibdol, who perform transparent testing on their CBD products.
Hemp Seed Oil or Cold-Pressed Hemp Oil is a nutritional and edible oil made from cold-pressing hemp seeds, not dissimilar to how Olive Oil is made. It’s extremely rich in vitamins, nutrients and minerals, especially Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
It’s non-intoxicating, and has been legal since long before any sort of legalisation process occurred in South Africa. It’s regulated, making sure that it doesn’t contain any cannabinoids (not that it should, as hemp seeds don’t contain any until they start developing into a mature plant), and getting more and more popular as an addition to any health food-freak kitchen.
Hemp seeds have more protein than both chia seeds and flaxseed, and are high in vitamin E, making them a great way to gain some nutritional benefit from this plant we love so dearly. Hemp seed oil has a nutty, grassy flavour and varying levels of thickness and green colour depending on how it’s manufactured, and by whom.
You can’t heat hemp oil as it has a very low smoke point, but it’s great to use as a cold oil for serving in food, as well as for making smoothies, protein shakes, sauces, spreads and pestos, and especially salad dressings.
Since you can’t currently purchase Cannabis Oil legally in South Africa, you’re either going to have to find a very generous donor, or simply make it yourself! It’s quite simple to make, as long as you have your wits about you and have a little experience working with cannabis and heat, as well as solvents in a quasi-chemistry environment.
All you’ll really need is some bud, a slow cooker or double-boiler, a solvent of your choice and an outdoor, ventilated area in which to cook off the solvent after extraction. You can follow this guide to making your own cannabis oil for a full breakdown of the process and instructions.
Hopefully, after going through all these different aspects of Cannabis oil in all its forms and variants, you should be a little more wys on the matter. It’s complex, yes, but as soon as we start to regulate (hopefully in a positive manner), things should get ironed out and these misconceptions and misinformation should be slowly eradicated.
Hopefully, they’ll be replaced with a market well-educated on cannabis, but only time will tell.