It’s Q&A Tuesday again.
Question (by Christy Kenley): Cannabis essential oil is fairly new, what can you tell us about it?
Answer: Cannabis, or Hemp, essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and stalks of Cannabis sativa strains that are very low in THC http://tinyurl.com/cmtl3bl, and the essential oil typically contains none at all. In Canada, 0.001% of THC is permitted in cosmetics; in the USA, the limit is 0.3% for products made from industrial hemp (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525505016305856). Cannabis essential oil is commercially produced in Canada, Switzerland and France; it has been on the market for at least 20 years.
One reason that not many companies sell it is simply that there is little awareness that it exists. Another may be that it is not particularly unusual – it consists almost entirely of commonly-occuring monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, however this includes some 15% of beta-caryophyllene, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Unfortunately, Cannabis oil oxidizes really fast. It’s high in myrcene, which quite quickly oxidizes and then resinifies. The oil then becomes much more viscous, at which point it is more or less useless, so protection from oxidation is very important for this oil. More on keeping essential oils here http://roberttisserand.com/…/lemon-on-the-rockskeep-your-e…/
There’s also a fatty oil expressed from the seeds, and refined or unrefined Hemp oil has many uses in skin care. The unrefined oil is more therapeutic and more odorous. Hemp (fatty) oil contains no THC, and no cannabidiol. Finally there’s CBD oil, which is a selectively extracted fatty oil that contains a significant amount of cannabidiol http://tinyurl.com/ntwbo6p. Cannabidiol has many interesting therapeutic properties http://tinyurl.com/z789nag. CBD oil is sometimes sold as Cannabis “essential oil” or as “Hemp oil”.