Published on: 02/12/16
We know that we can get a lot of different things online – not all of them are necessarily legal in the US
We know that even though certain states allow the use of medical marijuana, Federal Law prohibits its use anywhere in the US. But not all cannabis is marijuana – there’s also hemp, and US Federal Law specifically exempts hemp oil in its definition of marijuana. So the question “Can I buy Cannabis oil?” includes some legal distinctions based on the actual source and content of the oil in question.
The primary distinction between cannabis oil derived from hemp (which is legal) and cannabis oil derived from marijuana (which is illegal) lies in the chemical composition of these botanically related plants. Hemp oil contains such trace amounts of the cannabinoid known as THC, that it cannot have any perception-altering effects. Instead, it contains a different cannabinoid that also interacts with the human endocannabinoid system – but without causing any psychoactive effects.
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So what’s the answer – can I buy cannabis oil, or not?
In a nutshell, you can buy cannabis oil legally in the United States, provided that it is extracted from hemp plants and isn’t actually ‘pot’. But just to muddy the waters, there are several different types of hemp oil ranging from industrial hemp oils, to culinary hemp oils, and oils that are produced specifically for their high CBD cannabinoid content.
The variant that you choose will depend on your requirements. Hemp certainly is a ‘superfood’, so you may just be looking for a healthy salad oil. Alternatively, you might be hoping to take advantage of the essential fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins and cannabinoids that are found in hemp oil, and in that case, the type of product that you buy will differ.
Can I buy cannabis oil that is safe?
If you’ve been following the news stories, you’ll have heard of solvent extractions of cannabis causing concern, not only because the process can result in explosions and fires, but also because the solvents that are used, including butane and naphtha are not safe for human consumption. If any traces of these solvents are left behind in the oil extracts, they can actually hurt you more than they can help you.
Because many of these oils are extracted in ‘backyard’ operations, the danger increases. How do you know if the solvents have been properly purged from the oil? You simply can’t tell. Then there is the problem of plant material, the strain that is chosen and how it is grown.
The question “Can I buy cannabis oil?” is easy to answer, but the question of how safe it is becomes a lot more complex. The plants not only need to be produced organically on uncontaminated soil, they also have to be carefully handled after harvesting to ensure that no post-harvest fungal infections occur. When fungi grow on harvested hemp, they produce toxins that become concentrated in the hemp oil extract, along with any other contaminants such as pesticides.
How can I know whether my cannabis oil is completely safe?
In order to determine this, you need to begin at source: the plant. It’s easy to say that organically produced hemp plants with a high CBD concentration have been used – proving it is a whole lot harder. It’s equally easy to produce a faked lab report or to pass off an oil with hardly any CBD as the ‘real thing’. Obviously, some kind of certification is needed. But no such certification currently exists in the US, allowing unscrupulous producers to continue passing off potentially dangerous products as being both safe and healthful.
However, laboratories in the EU are able to obtain certification known as GMP or Good Manufacturing Practices certification. This is a fully verifiable form of certification that governs all product safety concerns as well as ensuring factual labelling and third party analysis for verification. It’s a lot easier to lose GMP certification than it is to gain it, so GMP certification keeps manufacturers on their toes. The slightest sign of unprofessional conduct or product safety concerns, and all the hard work that went into obtaining certification goes down the drain.
Where can I buy cannabis oil that is GMP certified?
Once you start asking this question, you have progressed beyond the simple “Can I buy Cannabis oil?” question and have begun to think like a well-informed consumer.
Endoca is a company based at the World Trade Center in Copenhagen, Denmark and has a branch located in Santa Monica, California. Cannabis oil is produced at their laboratories using the safest means of extracting a pure essential oil, and the products have both organic and GMP certifications. Visit their website to find out more about their manufacturing philosophy and vision for a healthier, happier world.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Endoca and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure. Endoca CBD products have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).