Tennessee Cannabis Guide: Cannabis Oil
Tennesseans with a medical marijuana card are legally able to purchase and use low-THC oil with up to 0.9% THC. While many will be familiar with the traditional flower form of cannabis, not everyone will be up to date on the specifics of THC, CBD, oils, and extracts. In this guide we’ll cover what low-THC oil means, how it’s made, and what it can be used for!
Tennessee Marijuana Card Guide: Low-THC Oil
Cannabis is a complex plant, it has a lot of parts with a lot of uses. As a plant, it grows and typically becomes consumable after the stages of growing, flowering, harvesting, trimming, drying and curing.
Once it has been properly trimmed, dried, and cured, it’s essentially ready to consume in whatever way is preferred.
At this stage the buds from the flower can be ground up and smoked, pressed with heat to extract oil, raised to a specific temperature and vaporized, or even decarbed and baked into an edible.
There are many different things that can happen to the plant at this stage. Even before it’s dried and trimmed, oils can be extracted and processed from nearly all the parts of the plant.
One of the most desirable parts of the plant are the trichomes.
Like we talked about in our What Does Cannabis Do Guide, the resinous glands on the plant called trichomes are basically tiny oil deposits, they contain the majority of desirable compounds like CBD and THC.
Extracting these oils is a tricky process and extracting specific compounds from these oils is even trickier. You need to be able to identify and isolate specific compounds from each other, and from the plant material.
This can be done in a variety of different ways, for simplicity we will keep it down to two main categories.
Solvent-Based and Solventless.
Solvent-Based vs Solventless
Solvent-based extracts use a solvent (typically butane, ethanol, propane etc.) to extract specific compounds, which then go through a refining process to remove the solvent, leaving you with only the compounds you want to isolate. In some cases, like terpenes for example, compounds may need to be reintroduced to the extract after processing, as the extraction process can remove more compounds than is desired.
Solventless extracts do not use chemicals to reduce down their product. Instead, they typically use heat and pressure to isolate their compounds. By applying heat and pressure to dried flower for example, a resinous goo will be produced containing high amounts of terpenes, THC, CBD, or other compounds.
Solventless extracts usually contain more cannabinoids and terpenes than solvent-based extracts do, and in TN that means the plants would likely need to contain little or no THC from seed to harvest in order to produce solventless extracts from them.
It is therefore likely that most extracts that will be available in Tennessee will be solvent-based.
Extracts, Oils, and THC vs CBD
An extract is just the “extracted parts” of the cannabis plant.
Extracts are most commonly in oil form because that is usually it’s most natural constitution, the tiny trichomes are oily already, and when they are all combined in a large quantity it is usually an oily or oil-based substance.
For Tennessee, this means that extra care will be required in isolating only CBD and cannabinoids, and as little THC as possible. Especially since oil-infused edible products will not be available, it will come down to the science of extraction.
And because the new law allows only a very small amount of THC in cannabis oil products, Tennessee will need to get good at isolating CBD and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, while leaving the THC behind.
The differences between CBD and THC are quite contrasted.
CBD & What it Does
CBD is the shorthand for the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol.
CBD has many functions across your system, with effects ranging from anti-inflammatory all the way to pain management and anxiety reduction. While further research is ongoing to determine all the functions that CBD executes, there are a few things that are coming to light on how CBD actually works.
CBD is considered a “negative allosteric modulator” of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor.
This essentially means that CBD does not bind to the CB1 receptor in your body, but instead forms a different interaction by changing the shape of the receptor.
THC binds to your receptors.
CBD does not bind to your receptors.
CBD is considered a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor because it actually reduces the efficiency of the psychoactive effects of THC on your system by changing the shape of the receptor to be less favorable to THC binding.
This is the opposite of how CBD works as a positive allosteric modulator of the GABBA-A receptor, by strengthening the efficiency of the GABA-A receptor to produce more gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA).
This is possibly responsible for how THC and CBD work synergistically, as certain receptors can form more appropriate shapes for proteins and chemical productions or transmissions.
Due to the complex nature of how these neurotransmitters communicate across a massive network, factoring in that the average size of a neurotransmitter is likely somewhere between 0.5nm to 5nm, you can imagine this is a tough thing to map out in the human body.
For reference, a nanometer is 1,000 times smaller than a micrometer, which is 1,000 times smaller than a millimeter, which is 10 times smaller than a centimeter. That’s quite small.
THC & CBD Together
As it turns out, we can’t yet predict or fully understand the synergistic nature of THC and CBD’s relationship.
Clinical trials show a varying array of results in pairing THC with CBD for various treatments, showing both overwhelmingly positive as well as indifferent results.
Without a detailed scientific understanding of the mechanics of CBD & THC in totality, it will be hard to pin down exactly why some people see extraordinary benefits and some may not.
While anecdotal evidence continues to suggest this relationship is more specific and interactive than could be considered a placebo-based result alone, it is important to identify the functions that are causing different results across different trials.
We are at a point where it is understood medically and scientifically that CBD does produce beneficial effects for patients with many different ailments. We are investigating how those effects are produced, regulated, and how they interact with other compounds in cannabis, as well as in our bodies.
Low-THC, High-CBD Oil can be used in a variety of different applications. From salves to sublinguals, CBD and cannabinoid rich products offer support for a diverse range of benefits that can help with things like:
· Loss of Appetite
· Nerve Pain
· Chronic Pain
· Sleeping Disorders
· Muscle Spasms
· Cancer-Related Symptoms
· Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea
· High Blood Pressure
· Tumor Growth as Potential Anti-Metastatic
Cannabidiol is a powerful component of the cannabis plant that goes to work full time in your system. As a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, the negative side effects are typically minimal to nonexistent under proper dosage, and although uncommon could include things like:
· Changes in Appetite
· Changes in Mood
· Dry Mouth
Consuming low-THC oil as an alternative medicine could be an important conversation for you and your doctor to discuss. When traditional pharmaceuticals can come with abhorrent, common side effects versus the minimal, uncommon side effects from CBD, low-THC oil might be an option to consider.
Medical Cannabis in Tennessee
Low-THC oil can be an incredibly valuable tool for those suffering from unfortunate medical conditions. There are many ways to consume cannabis and Tennessee cannabis patients have exclusive access to low-THC oils.
Being a Tennessee cannabis patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.
We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at (833) 781-5611 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical cannabis card in Tennessee.
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Tennessee Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 781-5611, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Tennessee Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information!