How Will Low THC Cannabis Oil in Georgia be Made?
Georgia recently approved the use of low-THC cannabis oil for patients who have been approved for a medical marijuana certification. While the production of the oil is something buried a little deeper under legislative sludge, cultivators are preparing to get legal cannabis-based products ready for sale.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cannabis oil, what it is, and how it’s made!
What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis Oils and Extractions
Cannabis oil can refer to several different types of cannabis-based products. CBD oil, low-THC cannabis oil, concentrated extracts, even tinctures and topicals are considered cannabis oils.
Cannabis oil can be made in many different ways as well, with different extraction methods, ingredients, and goals in producing the oil. Manufacturers have a lot of tools in their arsenal for making cannabis oils.
Cannabis oils can comprise a wide array of products based on either hemp-derived or cannabis-derived plants, and they can be further extracted down to only specific parts such as isolated THC, CBD, cannabinoids, or terpenes.
What is Low-THC Cannabis Oil?
For Georgians, low-THC cannabis oil will be the area of focus, which is essentially a cannabis-derived CBD oil with slightly higher levels of THC than its fully legal counterpart.
Low-THC cannabis oil refers to a product that is made of synthesized parts of the cannabis plant that are converted into an oily substance, designed to be consumed orally or topically depending on the specific product.
Low-THC cannabis oils can be made using different techniques and technologies, offering a robust line of options for manufacturers to choose how they will produce their cannabis oil.
What are the Different Types of Cannabis Oils?
Marijuana Cultivators & Cannabis Oil
Because we are still waiting on the sluggish Georgia legislature to get through all the red tape, no one but the manufacturers have a clear idea of what types of low-THC cannabis oils they will make, and how they will make them.
Regardless, there are a few common technologies and extraction methods that are typically used to create cannabis oil, and it’s probably fair to assume they will be using one or several of these extraction technologies.
The Oil Method
The first type of extraction method that is typically used to produce cannabis oil is called the Oil Method.
The Oil Method is utilized by many small-scale cultivators and patients alike, and it’s not likely to be used by large scale cultivators, but the technology that it uses will give you a good idea for how the whole process can happen.
THC & CBD are hydrophobic, which means that they do not bind to water, but are instead repelled by it. However, both CBD & THC are fat-soluble, meaning that they will cling to or bind to fatty acid molecules, which can be found in oils like coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
To make cannabis oil using the Oil Method, all that’s required is that you decarboxylate (slowly heating at low temps) dried cannabis, add your oil of choice and continue heating, and finally, strain the dry cannabis from the oil and voila! You have cannabis oil.
This is precisely how easy it is to make a type of cannabis oil, and although the technology is not advanced at all, it is a reliable and easy method to make cannabis oils.
Cultivator Technology for Producing Cannabis Oil
The second most common method for producing cannabis oil is ethanol extraction. This is favored by large-scale cultivators for its scalability and the efficiency that this method offers.
Ethanol extraction is similar to the oil method, however instead of using oils to pull the compounds from the dried cannabis, you use ethanol.
Ethanol will extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the dried cannabis, and after a refinement process removing the ethanol from the oil, will leave you with a thicker, purer concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Challenges of Ethanol Extraction
Many cultivators utilize this technology to produce vape cartridges, and a bit of extra equipment is required to safely produce cannabis oil using this extraction method. It is less favorable due to the extra equipment needed to refine the product and remove the ethanol, and due to the components involved, is less scalable.
Ethanol extraction also causes some terpenes and cannabinoids to become lost as they are being processed, offering a slightly less efficient end-product.
C02 Extraction & Solventless Extraction
C02 Extraction is How Most Cannabis Oil is Made
C02 extraction is by far and beyond the top choice for cultivators without budget limitations. C02 extraction provides the purest end-product and offers a clean and efficient level of extraction.
C02 extraction works by using supercooled condensed carbon dioxide to chill and extract the cannabinoids and terpenes without losing any along the way, with no chemicals or residues left behind to refine like ethanol.
Many vape cartridges are made using C02 extraction because it offers one of the best ways to get only the cannabinoids and terpenes that you want, offering a purer end-product for consumers.
Solventless extractions work by using heated plates to press dried cannabis flower or hash, creating a gooey oily substance.
While this is typically done to create concentrates, which are hash products designed to be smoked or vaporized, it is an important method to note because it represents a type of extraction called full-spectrum products.
Full-spectrum extracts contain all or as many cannabinoids and terpenes as possible. These products retain all of the known compounds found in the cannabis plant that it is being extracted from.
Alternatively, isolate products are exactly the opposite of full spectrum products.
Isolates are made by isolating only specific things from the cannabis plant, such as CBD or THC.
Most high-quality cannabis-derived products will fall into one of these categories, and understanding the terminology can help you in deciding which products are right for you.
Low-THC Cannabis Oils & Extraction methods
How will Georgia Produce Low-THC Cannabis Oil?
No one knows which extraction methods will be utilized by the cultivators who will eventually be allowed to produce the cannabis products in Georgia.
It’s quite likely that either ethanol or C02 extractions will be used, and products will likely be in both oral and topical forms. Using whole plant material, many cultivators opt to process all the parts of the cannabis plant in their oils, including leaves and stems, advertised as “full-spectrum”, “whole-plant”, or “full plant extraction”.
Techniques & Tricks in the Cannabis Business
This will often provide larger wholesale volume, but does sacrifice taste, flavor, and appearance. Many cultivators also choose to include synthetic terpenes into their cannabis oils, especially in cases where their extraction method is too volatile on the compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant.
How Georgia will produce their low-THC cannabis oil remains a mystery. Cultivators could even use hemp plants to make the oil, so the question will remain until products hit the shelves, likely in 2022.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
We’re expecting Georgia’s low-THC cannabis oil to be produced sometime in 2022. To avoid the delays and setbacks for when products hit the shelves, get your medical marijuana certification in Georgia today!
While we are waiting on dispensaries to become operational you can apply for your medical marijuana card today and skip the long lines of expected applicants once products hit the shelves.
Reserve your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia