Are there any dangers associated with cannabis extract, including CBD and THC treatments? Read below to find out what researchers have discovered.
Cannabis extract is a sticky resinous substance made by separating the oil from the flowers of the hemp or marijuana plant. The extract is a very concentrated and potent form of the cannabinoids.
If derived from a marijuana plant, extracts can contain up to 90% tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the substance that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. A hemp extract will contain CBDs and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including alkaloids, terpenes, phytocannabinoids, B-Caryophyllene and other ingredients.
Conditions that Benefit from Cannabis Extract or Oil
Research has shown that many health conditions may be alleviated by small doses of cannabis extract. Below is a list of conditions that may benefit from cannabis extractions:
• Cancer – http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq
• Glaucoma – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1772142/
• Auto-immune conditions, such as fibromyalgia and lupus – http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2013/11/07/jbc.M113.503037.abstract?sid=7da5b2a0-9940-4ea3-90b4-eed1d9107a51
• Arthritis – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16282192
• Chronic pain – http://www.nap.edu/read/6376/chapter/1
• Anxiety – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20829306
• Depression – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923339
• Hypertension – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756479/?tool=pmcentrez
• Diabetes – http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2014-05/marijuana-management-diabetes
Marijuana Oil Warnings & Safety Concerns
Some of the other names for marijuana extract are shatter, wax, earwax, and dabbing. Though there are minuscule amounts of the extract in tinctures, edibles and topicals, there are some warnings associated with this product, especially when smoked or otherwise ingested. The warnings come both from advocates and adversaries of marijuana use. Some of the warnings include:
o Injuries – Smoking one hit of a joint made with a marijuana extract can be as potent as smoking three to four regular joints. This strong potency is due to the high levels of THC in the extract. Those caught off guard in social situations have been known to pass out and injure themselves.
o Explosions – There have been more home fires and explosions caused by people trying to extract the solvents using butane or e-cigarette lighters. This problem with explosions has been particularly true for states in which marijuana has been legalized for recreational use.
o Hallucinations – High levels of THC, up to 90%, may cause hallucinations.
o Mold and other toxins – Homemade extract products or products made through DIY methods may have mold or harmful toxins.
o Butane secondhand fumes – Breathing in secondhand fumes from the butane process is damaging to the lungs and respiratory system.
Hemp Oil Safety
In contrast to marijuana oil, products made with hemp extracts are considered to be very safe. Even with high concentrations of cannabinoids and other ingredients, the successful use of these products date back thousands of years to ancient Chinese medicine.
Cannabis extracts and topical products such as hemp creams, serums and oils have been shown to be useful for pain and inflammation. They work on a cellular level without entering the bloodstream. When combined with other ingredients and applied topically, the cream will not produce psychoactive results or a high feeling.
Though recreational marijuana usage may be beneficial for anxiety and stress, care should be taken when ingesting cannabis extract products. Additionally, the process for extracting the resins should be done by professionals to ensure purity and safety. Cannabis extracts are best used under the direction of a healthcare professional for chronic pain and inflammation.
When purchasing products containing cannabis extracts, it is important to make sure the source is a reputable company who is working with licensed farmers. Any questions about side-effects or contraindications with other medications should always be addressed with a doctor or healthcare professional.