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What Exactly is THC Oil & Will it Get You High? 16 Facts You Need to Know!
- What is THC
- What is CBD
- What is THC oil
- What are THC oil vapes
- What does indica mean
- What does sativa mean
- How to use THC oil
- What are cannabis drops
- How is cannabis oil made
- What is the difference between CBD and THC oil
- Does CBD get you stoned
- What conditions does CBD help with?
What is THC?
The quick low-down on Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol. Photo: @lifegardeningtools
It’s always best to start off with the basics. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is one of many different active ingredients found inside cannabis. The other one people focus on is CBD. THC is the active ingredient inside cannabis that makes you feel high. It is also the chemical that makes most cannabis products illegal. For example, hemp oil, which contains little to no THC, is legal in most countries. However, THC oil, which is made from the cannabis plant and contains a high amount of THC, is illegal in many countries. THC is the psychoactive chemical inside cannabis, and a lot of governments around the world tightly restrict who has access to it.
THC manifests itself inside of the cannabis plant, of which there are different types. Indica and Sativa are two common varieties. Photo: @four20activist
What does sativa mean?
Although the science isn’t exactly out on this subject, the cannabis community does have definitions of what a sativa and an indica are. Sativa plants normally grow tall and thin, making them good for outdoor grows. Some can grow so tall that it would be ridiculous to even attempt to grow these indoors. The feeling of a sativa high is more about becoming uplifted and energetic, even euphoric. A sativa high is based in the brain, so it is often referred to as a cerebral high. These cerebral highs are best for smoking during the daytime; smoke it at night only if you’re not intending on sleeping any time soon. Cerebral highs also tend to make the person experiencing them much more social, so you could smoke a sativa before a party and probably be able to fit in much more than if you smoked an indica. Sativa highs are filled with creative energy, which makes them a great aid in doing chores, writing, or doing work. A lot of people like to paint when they’re high on a sativa.
The benefits of a sativa are:
- The feeling of well-being and contentedness
- Stimulating, energising
- Increased focus and creativity
- Can help curb depression
- Generally a very uplifting high
Problems with a sativa are:
- Can feel slightly overwhelmed
- Can give you a head rush, which can be uncomfortable
- May keep you awake if you smoke it at night
What does Indica mean?Indicas grow much shorter and bushier than their sativa cousins. You can much more easily grow an indica indoors, because of their more manageable height. However, indicas also do well outdoors because they are much more suited to cold-weather climates than sativas. If you want to grow a sativa outdoors, you will need the perfect climate to do so. The high from an indica is much more relaxing, and it may leave you feeling glued to the couch. This may or may not be desirable, depending on what you’re looking for. What is clear, however, is that the indica high is deeply relaxing. Indicas are mainly used to help with sleep and to treat pain. Indicas are also mainly smoked at night, maybe after work. You will almost always start to feel tired a few hours after smoking an indica strain. However, it’s always best to wait a couple of hours after smoking to try and sleep, because sometimes these strains will keep you awake, particularly non-pure indica strains - or hybrids, which have some cerebral energy inside them as well.
Benefits of indica:
- Relieves anxiety and stress
- Relaxes muscles
- Relieves body pain
- Helps with headaches and migraines
- Induces sleep a few hours after smoking, or instantly for some people
Problems with an indica strain are:
- May feel couchlocked
- May feel overly sleepy
- May not be able to do activities you had planned
- May feel “chonged”
What is a hybrid strain?A hybrid strain is a mix of sativa and indica traits in a weed strain. They are normally either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant, although more recently there have been a push towards being 50/50 balanced. This is because the 50/50 balanced highs create a great blend of effects for users; you will receive the relaxing state of an indica and the euphoric state of a sativa without the negative parts of either. Hybrids are particularly good for treating depression. Hybrid plants will either grow as a sativa or an indica, and they are generally more desirable these days than either a sativa or an indica, though some folks will always prefer the classics.
Benefits of a hybrid:
- You can tailor your high much better around your needs
- Normally they have fantastic taste
- 50/50 hybrids are a great aid for fighting depression
Problems with a hybrid:
- It can sometimes be difficult to know whether it’s sativa or indica-dominant strain
- The information surrounding these strains is sometimes wrong
- Different phenotypes may be completely different from the description given
- Can sometimes be very tricky to grow
- Can sometimes have ridiculously high THC percentages, which not everyone wants
What is THC oil?
THC oil comes in many different forms. Which would you choose? Photo: @bodybyjenvey
You’ve probably heard of CBD oil before, however, you may not have heard of THC oil. THC oil can be thought of being similar to THC coconut oil or another type of oil, that simply contains large amounts of THC. This is a popular product for many people, and it comes in loads of different forms. You can take it like CBD oil; you can get it in vape format; or you can dab it. It’s effectively liquid THC. Some people even make THC e liquids to smoke inside their e-cigarettes. Basically, THC oil is the base to make many different products. You could simply say that THC oil is cannabis oil with a large amount of THC inside it.
What is cannabis vape oil, or THC vapes?
One of many companies that makes THC oil for vaping. Photo: @i_vape9
THC vapes are one of the most common forms of smoking THC oil. Well, at least in countries where cannabis is legal or nearly legal. For example, in California these THC vapes are taking over the market. They either come in indica oil, sativa oil, or hybrid oil formats. The other format they can take is strain specific. Companies will take cannabis distillate, add terpenes from everybody’s favourite strains, and then add them to the THC oil. This allows people to get high while tasting their favourite strains. The final method of creating THC oil for THC vapes is to use a method like butane blasting to create a THC mix. This allows the original terpenes from the flower to remain, whereas if you use one of the other methods you will have to re-add the terpenes later. THC vapes also come in either pre-filled cartridge format or disposable format. The difference being that with a pre-filled cartridge you will have to buy a battery, whereas with a disposable vape pen, the cannabis oil already has a vaporising system inside the pen. The reason you need to vape THC oil in this format is that you need to decarboxylate the weed. Without decarboxylation (which requires heat) then the THCA inside the oil does not become THC. This means that it wouldn’t get you high. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to THC vapes, which are discussed below.
Why are THC vapes so good?These vapes are good for a number of reasons. They are portable, they are discreet, and they leave hardly any smell. THC vapes are also incredibly potent, with some sitting at over 90% THC. They also taste pretty damn good, although some definitely have more of a chemical taste than others. The high lasts for a pretty long time as well, and they’re fairly economical. One 500mg vaporiser which costs as little as $25, can last up to a month, depending on how much you use it. It’s also very easy to dose yourself, and you can take a longer or shorter hit depending on whether you want a large dose or a small dose. The batteries are normally pretty strong as well, and even disposable vape pens are made pretty well. However, these THC vapes aren’t all good, and they have some disadvantage as well.
Why are THC vapes bad?
Lab results checking for pesticides present in THC oil. Photo: @datdude41510
Although inherently THC vapes aren’t bad, there are a number of problems with them. Firstly, and perhaps the most dangerous, is that some rather unscrupulous companies use marijuana that was grown using pesticides. Vaping pesticides is not good for you in the slightest, which may seem obvious, but it’s definitely worth pointing out. These buds are grown in massive grow ops, and, unfortunately, because of the lack of quality control laws, the buds sometimes contain pesticides. These pesticides are not removed in all the processes, although if you’re smoking distillate, then they should be removed. However, it’s only really possible to tell if what you’re vaping contains pesticides by sending them to a lab to get tested. The second disadvantage with THC vapes is that the oils and alcohols they use to thin the product and store it in are considered fit for human consumption by the FDA. However, just because something is fit for human consumption does not mean it’s safe to vaporise. They use Polythene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, or coconut oil. None of these products are really safe for vaping, and therefore you should really think about your lungs before you take a hit. It’s the same products used in e-cigarettes, and many people consider e-cigarettes or at least e juices to be incredibly unhealthy. The final disadvantage of THC vapes is that they are illegal in most countries. Unless you're in North America, you will struggle to find these products. Even in Amsterdam, where many people think weed is legal (it’s not, it’s a grey area) these products are not allowed to be sold in coffeeshops. Thus, outside of North America, you probably won’t be able to find THC vapes. You can find CBD vapes, even in the UK, but these are normally made from hemp, and aren’t particularly high quality.
Cannabis oil THC
Would you distill these buds down to oil? Photo: @instamarijuanas
You can also get tinctures or cannabis oil that is placed in something like MCT oil. These are much healthier, because you don’t actually vape them. Instead, the weed inside them is already decarboxylated, and you simply place them inside something to eat or take them straight. They are much healthier, but they take a lot longer to kick in. Many companies make these products out in California. Some have just THC inside them, some have THC and CBD inside them, and some are CBD-only. The choice belongs to you. You can pick what you want if you’re lucky enough to live in a place like California or Canada. However, outside of legal states and countries, the choice is very limited. CBD oil is mostly legal, thereby offering a good alternative if you can’t get your hands on THC oil. If you’re wondering how to use this THC oil, don't worry: you really just need to eat or drink it. Most people prefer to mix it into something, as the taste isn’t great.
How is cannabis oil made?
Are you up for making your own Cannabis Oil? Photo: @geri_wag
There are many different methods of making cannabis (or "hash") oil. However, the most common methods use a solvent-based extraction method. There are a number of different solvents that can be used including chloroform, dichloromethane, petroleum ether, naphtha, benzene, butane, methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, and olive oil. It’s definitely best to use dried plant material. All of the plant can go into the process of making the cannabis oil, it doesn’t simply have to be buds. That includes stalks and leaves. Although, obviously, only buds would be ideal, because they contain the most cannabinoids. Add one of these extracting chemicals, then the cannabinoids are stripped from the plant using one of the solvents. This is a fairly simple method, and you just need to pour the solvent over the plant matter. The main part of this process is actually the refining of the cannabis oil. Without refining, the cannabis oil will be completely filled with solvents, which is incredibly dangerous to eat or vaporise. Carbon Dioxide is also used to extract the cannabinoids from the plant matter, and this is a much safer method of extraction. There are two methods of refining, firstly there’s distillation, which uses the various boiling points of the constituents of the cannabis oil to separate the wanted with the unwanted. The second method is using something like akali washing, which removes the carboxylic acids from the cannabis oil. The final method of refining cannabis oil is to repeatedly wash the base oil with something like a sodium carbonate solution, and then decanting, and then washing with water. This reduces the yield of the oil, but the final product is much safer than if you don’t refine the product to this level. This is another problem with THC vapes and cannabis oil in general, a lot of companies don’t go through this long and expensive refining process.
How much cannabis oil is made from one pound of marijuana?One pound of marijuana yields around 1/5th to 1/10th of a pound of hash oil. However, because of the potency of the cannabis oil, this yield is a lot larger than it seems. A large amount of this yield may be unwanted solvents, so the yield is further reduced by the refining processes which should be put in place by the companies who make the cannabis oil.
What are cannabis drops?
We sure would be Glad to get our hands on this! Photo: @gladcbd
Cannabis drops are simply cannabis oil in a form that allows people to make their own THC e liquids. This is done by taking super potent cannabis oil or THC oil, and giving people the option of adding this oil to their e liquids. This can also be a CBD drop, which allows people to add CBD to their e liquids. Another definition of cannabis drops may simply be another name for CBD or THC oils, which come in bottles, and have droppers on the top. Hence the name cannabis drops. However, most people would agree that a cannabis drop is something to add to an e liquid, to add whatever cannabinoid you like to your e liquid.
What is CBD?
A brief info-graphic courtesy @thecbdadvantage
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of two well-known cannabinoids. The second, which we’ve already discussed in this article, is THC. The main difference between CBD and THC is that CBD doesn’t make you feel stoned. In fact, some people think that CBD actually has the opposite effect, and makes you feel less stoned. Hence, many believe that products which only contain THC and no CBD are potentially harmful. CBD is non-psychoactive, and can offer a number of medical benefits. However, it’s thought that cannabinoids have an entourage effect, and that they work better together. As such, pure CBD oil isn’t thought to be as effective as CBD oil that also has THC inside it. Much of the science isn’t complete on what all of the benefits of CBD are, but it’s scientifically proven to help with:
- The symptoms of chemotherapy, such as vomiting
- Chronic pain
Much of the rest of the evidence is anecdotal, although almost every day a new study is completed which shows more potential benefits for CBD. CBD is thought to help with:
- And more
Although we prefer to wait for the evidence to fully back this up, there’s no harm in trying CBD for one of these ailments if you find traditional medicines ineffective.
The effects of CBD are:
- Counteract strong THC doses
- Many more...
What is CBD oil and how is it different from THC oilCBD oil is massively different from THC oil in one key area: it doesn’t make you feel stoned. Unless you’re talking about massively potent CBD oil, or CBD oil that also has THC oil in it, cbd oil doesn’t get you stoned. It is therefore legal in most countries (although not all) and is more associated with the medicinal side of marijuana. The effects of CBD aren’t felt like they are with THC, however you do feel a sense of calmness and anti-anxiety overcome you if you hit a CBD vape and it has a decent potency. If you’re looking for strong CBD oil and you live out in the states, then you should try a product like Prestige CBD. This is very pure and fairly potent CBD oil that has 0% THC inside it. This makes it legal in a lot of places, although they don’t ship internationally yet, for fear of legal reprisals from the US federal government.
What’s the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?
It's important to know the differences between what you're purchasing! Photo: @avemarie333
The main difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is that hemp oil is made from hemp, whereas CBD oil is made from cannabis plant material. The other main difference is that of quality. Hemp oil is considered to be much lower quality than CBD oil, mainly because a huge amount of hemp is required to make hemp oil. Thus, the cannabinoid count is normally much lower in hemp oil. This means that you would need a much larger dose of hemp oil to get the same effects from CBD oil. As the two are around the same price, it’s much more expensive to use hemp oil as a medicine than it is to use CBD oil as a medicine. The main benefit of hemp oil is that, in general, it’s much more widely available because of its legality. For example, in the UK you can buy hemp oil from Holland and Barrett. However, you can’t legally buy CBD oil in the UK, as it has to be made from hemp to be legal in the first place.
Can you smoke CBD oil?While you can smoke CBD oil, it’s not really recommended. That’s because it doesn’t smoke particularly well, and the oils CBD is normally stored in aren’t really made for smoking. The only reason to smoke CBD oil would be to get instant relief for something like anxiety. That is because CBD oil taken normally needs about an hour or so to start to have an effect. However, it’s not recommended to smoke CBD oil. You can smoke CBD vape oil inside a vaporiser. This is more highly recommended if you’re looking for quick symptom relief for whatever you’re struggling with. You can buy hemp CBD vape pens from most vape shops, and, if you’re lucky enough to be out on the West Coast or in North America in general, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can also buy CBD oil tablets, but these, again, will take a while to kick in.
In Summary:We know we covered a lot in this article. THC oil is a great way to get your high, but it's also easily confused with other products on the market. If you don't know the differences, your expectations will not be met as they're all very different from one another. From the basics differences within THC itself - sativa vs. indica vs. hybrid options - to the differences between THC and CBD, even differences between what CBD oils can be made out of - hemp or cannabis - we hope you feel more confident when you're out there searching for your next great hit!
Written by Hamish
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