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The importance of the extraction process and the correct cannabinoid

Extracts made with toxic solvents for humans should be avoided


For me it is very normal to see people looking for cannabis oil; as if it were a single guy who fixed everything. Sometimes, due to the lack of information, they are looking for CBD oil to solve their insomnia problems, while those of us who have been in the business longer know that the CBD not only does not make us sleepy, but that it can even increase insomnia.

There is also still the outdated and erroneous idea that the more THC oil has, the more medicine there is. Each cannabinoid serves for something different; knowledge that we have been acquiring through feedback from the several patients.

It is also extremely important to always ask how the extraction was done; whether it was cold or hot, with what solvent, which cannabinoid is the main one and for what purpose the oil was produced. Some people still use the extraction processes of almost 20 years ago as if they were the great wonder or the absolute truth.

Extracts made with toxic solvents for humans should be avoided, for example.

It is very important to note that there is no one type of plant that is more medicinal than another. The medicinal use depends more on the type of use that is given and not so much on the mat. What if there are plants with more abuse potential than others.

Main cannabinoids

Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Known uses: Insomnia, nausea, appetite stimulation, anti-depressant, anti-spasms, analgesia and anti-tumor. The euphoria related to its consumption is also useful to treat conditions such as bipolarity while the temporary effect on memory helps people falling asleep who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

By feedback from the same patients we know that it is the most indicated to reduce pain through topical use and many times more effective than oral use.

Main disadvantage: psychoactivity. In the case of analgesia with fibromyalgia it has been seen that although there is pain reduction; the psychoactivity does not allow you to increase the dose more because the same body no longer allows it. In this case, psychoactivity is an obstacle to greater analgesia.

A very common question is the subject of addiction; in people who seek cannabis for its recreational effects their dependence has been classified as 9%, well below alcohol or tobacco. However, this number is almost zero when looking for this cannabinoid due to its medicinal effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Known uses: anti-epileptic, anti-spasm, regenerative nervous system, anti-inflammatory, bone regenerator.

Many people use it as an analgesic but in reality it only reduces pain if it comes from inflammation but it does not help if the pain is neuropathic. Also the people who consume it for more serious conditions all report that they get sick less or less strongly.

Main disadvantage: possible insomnia, it is considered daytime medicine.

Can you get CBD out of the sheets?

The oil is a reflection of the raw material and therefore, if the variety with which you are working contains little CBD, it is unlikely that you will get much CBD, no matter how hard you try it will not go much. I have already heard “is that the CBD does not work for me” but, did they try with high varieties in CBD?

Acid cannabinoids and full-spectrum extracts

The predecessors of THC and CBD are the THCa and the CBDa. They are extremely delicate cannabinoids and sensitive to temperature. It is impossible to consume them smoked or vaporized because when receiving heat they are decarboxylated or converted into THC or CBD respectively.

Maximum absorbable dose between acid and non-acid cannabinoids

While the maximum dose for THC or CBD is around 10 mg per day, for acid cannabinoids that limit ranges between 500 and 600 mg per day. We know this from Dr. William Courtney and his research.

THCa or THC acid

One of the main advantages of THCa is that it shares the vast majority of the effects of THC but does not produce psychoactivity and only makes you sleepy. That means that it is possible to take a larger dose without any concern and also having an even higher limit of absorption it is possible to lower the dose and feel more benefit.

Patients with multiple sclerosis who previously smoked or vaporized and also consumed THC oil to relieve their condition; now they only consume THCa oil.

CBD or CBD acid

Virtually every effect produced by CBD is better done by CBDA. We have testimonial cases here in Costa Rica not only of anti-tumor effects but also of vertebra regeneration.

The reproducibility

Sometimes an oil (although it does not come from the best bush) ends up being better as a treatment if it is always exactly the same. How is this achieved? Working with children or clones. This guarantees that the genetics and the profile of cannabinoids will always be the same, now or in 6 months. Seeds including the same plant will bring variations in cannabinoids, so an oil that comes from a known variety and with effects exactly equal to the previous oils will always be better.

What is a full-spectrum oil?

Extracting these acid cannabinoids is a slow and delicate process that requires a lot of patience since it is done cold. Many of the other minor cannabinoids and terpenes that normally evaporate from the oil when made with a hot process. A method like Rick Simpson’s will never get full spectrum oil.

The “entourage” effect

For a while it has been known that THC and CBD work better together. This is so true with acid cannabinoids. Even if you feel that CBDA oil does not give you any benefit on its own, taking it at the same time as THCa will amplify the effects of THCa even more. This will allow you to reduce your oil dose without losing any effect.

The cases of cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis that have reacted in a better way to their treatments are those that have taken oils from both acidic cannabinoids at the same time.

What do I do if my oil is not full spectrum?

Actually you can not do anything except try to find it when it’s over. THC or CBD oils are still much better than anything else and many people will still be able to do it.

Oils brought from the United States

Be very careful with the scams and even when there is no real scam, the vast majority of the oil sold there is extremely diluted and is practically expensive olive or coconut oil. If you are considering sending it to order, check with several patients first to see what they recommend.

The best known solvent

The 96% ethanol or alcohol sold by pharmacies is the most recommended solvent for extractions. The problem is that alcohol has been denatured, that is, that things have been added to give it a bad taste and that it is not consumed. Many of those things are toxic to humans if enough oil made with that solvent is consumed.

What is recommended is to evaporate and recondense the ethanol to remove the impurities. This can be done with a still, whether purchased or made at home. They also sell devices made for this purpose. It is important that the ethanol evaporates at 76 * C and therefore we do not want to heat it indiscriminately, the idea is to evaporate only that.

*The author is the director of the Fundación de costarricense Pro Cannabis Medicinal, in Costa Rica. 

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