health

Cannabis oil could soon be in your moisturiser. Here's everything you need to know.

One day soon, you’ll be able to walk into any chemist and pick up a moisturiser with cannabis oil in it.

Not marijuana, but CBD oil, also known as cannabis oil and medicinal cannabis.

Since the Australian Government legalised the use of CBD oil for medical purposes in 2016, a limited number of Australians are legally using cannabis oil to treat various medical conditions. The ABC reports as many as 100,000 are sourcing it illegally due to the drug’s complicated prescription process.

Right now, you can’t buy CBD oil over the counter, but once it’s eventually decriminalised in Australia as it has been in America and Europe, CBD products will pop up everywhere. In your skincare, wellness products, sleep products and even in your food.

So, what is CBD oil and how is it different to the marijuana or cannabis you may or may not have come across before? We asked a cannabis oil expert to answer everything you need to know about cannabis oil and the benefits of CBD oil products.

What is CBD oil (cannabis oil)?

“CBD oil, otherwise known as cannabis oil, is a concentrated cannabidiol (CBD) extract from a particular type of hemp plant called cannabis sativa that has more of the health related benefits associated with cannabis,” Chief Operating Officer of Bod Australia and cannabis oil expert Craig Weller told Mamamia.

“The oil comes from the flowers, the leaf and a little bit from the stalk of the plant – the key is not to confuse CBD oil with hemp seed oil, which is still from the cannabis plant, but comes from the plant’s seeds and doesn’t have any of the medicinal benefits that cannabis oil has.”

How to make cannabis oil.

Essentially, cannabis oil is made by putting the cannabis sativa plant in a blender, Weller said. Probably don’t do that at home though, because it’s a bit more complicated than that.

“It’s a simple crushing process – they get the plant, put it through something like a blender and extract the oil using ethanol to draw the oil out of the mixture.”

How is cannabis oil different to marijuana?

marijuana
CBD oil is very different to taking cannabis recreationally. Image: Unsplash.
ADVERTISEMENT

To get your head around the difference between CBD oil products, which are used medicinally, and marijuana, most often used, erm, recreationally, Weller explained they contain different levels of two completely different compounds.

"There are around 500 compounds in cannabis and they all have some kind of benefit. The two major cannabinoids (compounds secreted in the cannabis plant) are: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)," he said.

"CBD has medical properties and THC is the cannabinoid that has psychoactive properties - people who use cannabis recreationally will use a product high in THC to experience a 'high'. CBD also doesn't seem to have the same addictive properties as THC. It's not black and white, but you don't have that euphoric effect straight after taking."

The other important way cannabis oil is different to marijuana is in the way it's regulated.

"When you take recreational product, there's no real consistency with the plant - where it comes from, where it's grown, which part of the plant is being used for extraction - so you're getting a varied product. One day, you're buying a product will have a certain profile, the next day, it's different."

"With the medical products, they're standardised - they only use a certain part of the plant and extract the oil in a certain way, so you get a compound that's reproducible and regulated. It will be the same every time you buy it. You don't get that when buying medicinal cannabis oil on the black market, decriminalising CBD oil will give patients consistency, and doctors more confidence in prescribing it."

Cannabis oil benefits.

There are lots of studies being conducted at this point in time into cannabis oil benefits.

"Cannabis oil works on the body's endocannabinoid system. We have receptors all over our bodies - in your brain, gut, muscles - that react to cannabinoids in an anticonvulsant fashion. It reduces anxiety, it's all the stress and tension we hold in our bodies, that's where it seems to be quite beneficial," Weller said.

"CBD oil can be taken orally, placing drops of the oil under your tongue, we are currently developing a sublingual wafer which is placed under the tongue and the CBD is dissolved into the blood stream."

ADVERTISEMENT

Currently, there is evidence to support CBD oil can be helpful in treating:

  • Pain and chronic pain conditions.
  • Cancer patients - CBD oil can be used to manage post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Epilepsy.

Once CBD oil is decriminalised in Australia, cannabis oil will start popping up everywhere, including your skincare.

"There are CBD creams, CBD has very strong anti-inflammatory properties, so people are working on that topical delivery method, like deep heat. It will be in food, skincare, hair and as a medicine - CBD oil can be used to treat psoriasis or dry skin, inflammation on your skin like acne, dry, rough skin, with hair, dandruff or psoriasis on your scalp, and it works as a very good moisturiser."

Sleep and anxiety is also a huge category for CBD oil product development. Unlike aromatherapy lavender sleep products that work as a spray, CBD oil sleep products would be ingested through a nose spray or under the tongue.

Is CBD oil legal in Australia?

Short answer, yes.

Cannabis oil is legal in Australia, but under special access.

Anything with CBD in it is considered a 'scheduled product'. You need to go to your doctor, and they have to have special approval from the department of health to prescribe this particular type of prescription. It's a time consuming process," Weller said.

As with all medications/health supplements, Weller added your doctor will need to make sure the CBD compound won't interact negatively with your existing medication prescriptions.

"While the CBD compound is relatively safe and doesn't have many drug interactions - we find the THC compound has the most negative reactions for people with addiction - you always have to check with doctors or medical specialists."

Side note - Mamamia Out Loud unpacked the the debate surrounding the decriminalisation of cannabis, get it in your ears below. Post continues after audio.

Where can I buy CBD oil in Australia?

You can only buy CBD oil in Australia after a qualified doctor has prescribed you the cannabis oil product. It's not currently available over the counter.

Currently, there are around 30 CBD oil scheduled products on the market. Once it has been decriminalised, you will be able to buy CBD oil from pharmacies.

What are your thoughts on cannabis oil? Do you think the Australian Government should decriminalise CBD oil?

00:00 / ???