Cannabis essential oil is multi-purpose health tonic without psychoactive effects

by DGO Web Administrator

What’s good for your eyes, your heart, your skin, your hair, your digestion, distilled using steam, high in terpenes, and stored in a dark-colored bottle? 

The answer, my amigos, as it would be referred to in days past is “essence of cannabis,” the pure extracted oil of cannabis, another step on the journey to health with – I’m just going to go ahead and say it – the most amazing plant nature ever produced. 

An essential oil, according to the Wikipediaz, is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. The predominant processes for extracting these oils are cold-pressing, used mostly in citrus essential oil preparation, and steam distillation, the perfect method for creating cannabis extracts that retain the terpenoid profile of the source plant without carrying over the non-water-soluble cannabinoids. Retained are hundreds of chemical compounds including over 140 terpenes, the pungent chemical compounds, which, when combined, are responsible for the scents and flavors present in different cannabis strains.

Certain terpenes are present in higher concentrations in certain strains. Mercene, which can also be found in bay, thyme, parsley, mangoes, lemongrass, and hops, and terpinolene, also present in cardomom, marjoram, and cumin, are components of sativas. Indica-present terpenes include carophyllene, also available in cloves, rosemary, hops, and black pepper, limonene – a component of citrus fruits – and linalool, which is in lavender, cinnamon, basil, goldenrod, mugwort, and, again, hops (one of cannabis’ closest botanical relatives). These terpenes, by themselves and, especially in combination, due to their various synergistic interrelationships, are responsible for directing and assisting a wide range of processes that contribute to health and wellness. Their various uses range from reducing inflammation and interacting with the immune system to treating disease by way of antibacterial and antifungal properties to relieving pain and spasms to appetite stimulation, suppressing seizures, and scads of other uses, which can be addressed by way of knowledgeable strain breeding and selection by those involved. Their effectiveness is backed by both millennia of folk usage and the most contemporary scientific studies.

Cannabis essential oil diverges from many, if not most, preparations of the plant commonly discussed here due to the fact that it does not retain any of its cannabinoid components. Cannabidiol (aka CDB) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are generally the focus of extraction methods but, due to their quality of needing alcohol or fat to withdraw them, they are not subject to being removed using only steam. The exclusion of these compounds, especially THC, allows for concentrated access to the remainder of the cannabis plant without any intoxicating effects, a wonderful reality for individuals who may benefit from the properties found there without psychoactivity.

Essential oils are, like hash oil preparations, extremely concentrated and can be used in very small amounts. They are often chemically volatile and should be stored in dark glass containers away from sunlight in order to safeguard their integrity. They may be found in perfumes, cosmetics, soap, candles, incense, and as flavoring. They can also be further refined to accentuate specific elemental properties. The isolated scents of rose, lavender, and patchouli are staples in the preparation of fragrances. Certain flavor profiles like peppermint, cinnamon, and lemon are also popular. 

Cannabis essential oil offers us the opportunity to combine the chemical profiles found not only within cannabis generally but also within specific cannabis strains (who among us doesn’t have our favorites?) with other oils in order to establish blends that can be used to target pathways to optimal individual health and well-being.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected].

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