As with just about any chemical compound that you ingest into your body, be it natural or otherwise, there are bound to be some side effects. Ranging from virtually undetectable to more ‘severe’, some of these are welcomed and others not.
In the case of dagga oil, or dagga-olie, it’s perhaps wise to learn more about this highly prized product and the associated benefits, before deciding whether or not the side effects are wanted, and worth it.
What is Dagga Oil
Dagga oil (or cannabis oil) in South Africa has taken traction very quickly as a popular holistic, medicinal remedy, or commonly used as a counterpart to conventional medical treatments.
Perhaps the recent change to legislation with regards to the decriminalization of private cultivation and use, has somewhat relaxed the stigma surrounding the humble cannabis sativa plant, and it can now be enjoyed for the myriad of health benefits it poses to both the body and the mind.
There are already an array of synthesized drugs available on the European market (or synthetic cannabinoids) that are based on cannabis compounds, including a synthetic compound that mimics THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
In a nutshell dagga oil, or cannabis oil, is an oleoresin from the cannabis plant. And an oleoresin is a concentrated cannabis extract, comprised of oil holding the resin in solution. This concentrated oil is rich in THC, CBD and other cannabinoids.
How to Make Dagga Oil
Just about everyone seems to be making dagga oil these days. A quick search online will return pages of information and a multitude of ways on how to make dagga oil.
Most typically it is produced by way of butane extraction (BHO extraction or butane hash oil extraction) which is regarded as a relatively easy and cost-effective process. BHO extraction is a type of hydrocarbon extraction that acts to draw out the chemical compounds from the cannabis plant into a concentrated butane hash oil for consumption.
The process uses butane or propane solvents in conjunction with a pressurized and heated system. Vacuum assisted evaporation removes the butane solvent by converting it from a liquid to a vapor, leaving behind only the cannabis hash oil. These solvents are, however, highly volatile and flammable, so caution needs to be exercised.
Other cannabis oil extraction methods include CO² extraction, cannabis-infused oils, and alcohol extractions. CO² extraction makes use of carbon dioxide to extract cannabis compounds from the cannabis plant by way of high pressure and heat. A method that results in higher yields and no residual solvents, but requires expensive equipment and setup.
Cannabis-infused oils are a very popular as they can be made safely by anyone, at home, using consumable materials found in the average kitchen. Coconut oil is a frequently used medium for making cannabis-infused oil, due to its high concentration of saturated fats, or fatty acids, which act as a binding agent and retain more cannabinoids during extraction than with olive oil.
Another common method is cannabis extraction using alcohol. The process involves the use of isopropyl alcohol or ethanol to develop a tincture that is both potent and rich in chemical compounds.
Benefits of Dagga Oil
The list of dagga oil benefits is seemingly endless, many of which are increasingly based on scientific evidence, and a great deal of which are also based on hearsay.
Derived from the cannabis plant, dagga oil (along with other cannabis products) is a natural remedy that has been used for over thousands of years in the treatment of ailments of the body and mind.
When addressing the benefits of dagga oil, these can be mostly attributed to the two ‘hero’ chemical compounds THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) present in the dagga plant.
Cannabinoids are the group of closely related chemical compounds, including THC and CBD, that interact with cannabinoid receptors located throughout the human body (forming the greater endocannabinoid system).
Physiological responses to processes such as appetite, pain management, mood regulation, and memory are affected by this interaction between cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoids and work to favourably influence homeostasis in the body.
So basically, achieving homeostasis is the process whereby stability is achieved in the internal environment of the body, in response to external conditions, resulting in a state of biological balance.
Benefits Associated with Dagga Oil Include:
- Disease prevention
- Disease-fighting properties
- Reduction in inflammation
- Pain relief and pain management
- Reduction in depression and anxiety
- Increase in appetite
- Reduction in nausea associated with conventional cancer treatments
- Sedative effect assists in better sleep patterns
Dagga, or cannabis, oil has long been regarded as an alternative treatment for cancer, as well as being used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments, particularly in reducing nausea, vomiting and improving the appetite of cancer patients.
The connection between cannabinoids and their anti-tumour effects have been recognized by the likes of the American Cancer Association, with speculation that THC and CBD may slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells.
In some cases, these chemical compounds were also found to cause cell death in cancer cells, during studies conducted in a laboratory.
Dagga, or Cannabis Oil Side Effects
With a better understanding of what dagga oil is and the benefits associated with its use, we can delve into the side effects, both from a medicinal perspective and from recreational use.
The most commonly known side effect associated with dagga oil use is the psychoactive ‘high’ produced by the chemical compound THC. There is generally a lesser awareness around its counterpart, CBD, which is, in fact, non-intoxicating and can in some cases counteract the high produced by THC.
Dagga Oil Side Effects
An extract from the marijuana plant, Cannabis Sativa, the concentrations of THC vary according to the compounds originally present in the plant from which the extract is taken, and the method of extraction used.
Because of legalities, there is no regulation really on the percentage of THC present in the dagga oil you are buying or making. The result? You don’t always know how potent or psychotropic it is before actually using it.
Cannabis oils manufactured for medicinal use usually contain very high concentrations of CBD and the ratio of CBD to THC is better regulated, resulting in more accurate dosage and a different experience using the oils.
It is believed by some that equal parts of THC and CBD should be present in dagga oil to reap the complete health benefits it poses, as they work symbiotically. A synergistic interaction, known as the “entourage effect”.
Dagga oil side effects may differ from person to person, depending on whether or not you have tried other cannabis products in the past, and your sensitivity to THC. A good idea would be to start out with a dosage equal in size to that of a grain of rice and build up from there.
If you want the health benefits of cannabis but without the associated high, then opt for CBD oil. But if the goal is relaxation or perhaps relief from stress and anxiety, then THC-rich dagga oil is probably for you.
Physiological effects of using THC-rich dagga oil include:
- A prolonged ‘high’ that lasts longer than when consuming dried cannabis
- Sensations are similar in Intensity to smoking cannabis
- Sedation (which assists with sleep induction and pain management)
- Improved mood
- Changes in appetite (Increased or decreased appetite)
CBD Oil Side Effects
Even though it comes from the cannabis sativa plant, it’s not going to get you ‘high’. Sometimes referred to as hemp extract, CBD oil contains a broad spectrum of cannabinoids, phyto-compounds, and terpenes and is usually produced from the hemp plant by CO² extraction.
CBD oil is primarily used for its health benefits and as such has high levels of Cannabidiol present. It contains very trace levels, to no THC.
Although consuming CBD oil is certainly not going to make you ‘high’, it’s not entirely accurate to say that there are not psychoactive qualities. There is some influence on the mind, in terms of how CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
Some of the physiological effects of using CBD oil include:
- Reduced pain, or pain tolerance
- Mediates anxiety and depression
- Regulates the ‘feel-good hormone’ dopamine in the brain
- Reduction in nausea
Are the Benefits of Dagga Oil Worth the Side Effects?
Perhaps the side effects of dagga oil form the reason entirely for even consuming it in the first place, or perhaps it is the pursuit of perfect health. A general rule of thumb when starting out with dagga oil is to start low and go slow.
Either way, both THC-rich cannabis oil and non-psychoactive CBD oil pose a myriad of health benefits to consider adding to your ‘health arsenal’.