On October 17, Canada willÂ legalize adult-use recreational cannabis. For the first year of the new legalÂ marketplace, CanadiansÂ will have access to cannabis seeds, cannabis seedlings,Â dried cannabis flower, and cannabis oil.
What is cannabis oil? WhatÂ are its legal restrictions? Here are some answers.
Cannabis oil isÂ defined in Canadaâ€™s medical cannabis regulations as a liquid at roomÂ temperatureâ€”that means dense cannabisÂ concentrates, such as shatter and wax,Â are forbidden under the Cannabis Act. Purity is key: Cannabis oil mustÂ contain onlyÂ cannabis, a carrier oil (typically MCT oil), and nothing else.
Purity is key: Cannabis oil must contain only cannabis, a carrier oil, and nothing else.
For the recreational marketplace,Â Health Canada has extended the medical regimeâ€™s 30-milligram-per-milliliter THCÂ limit to non-medical cannabis oil. However, there is no limit on the amount of theÂ non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD that producers can legallyÂ put in cannabisÂ oil. (See medical cannabis producer Tilrayâ€™s 2:100 cannabis oil, used to treatÂ childhood epilepsy and DravetÂ syndrome and featuring 100mg/ml CBD and 2mg/mlÂ THC.)
Cannabis oil typicallyÂ comes in tincture bottles ranging from 25ml to 100ml, containing a dropper or syringeÂ for under-the-tongueÂ oral administration or addition to food or beverages.
Capsules of cannabisÂ oil will be available for oral ingestion, and cannabis oil will also be sold asÂ a topical, so long as it retains itsÂ liquid-oil form, rather than beingÂ processed into a cream. (For example, licensed producers are marketing liquid cannabisÂ oil as aÂ pleasure-enhancing personal lubricant.)
Beyond that, Quebec-based producer Hydropothecary is producing a bottle of cannabis oil with a spray nozzle that delivers close to the allowable 30mg/ml THC in each spray. Called Elixir, itâ€™s sold in the medical-cannabis system and will also be available in some provinces recreationally.
The experience broughtÂ on by ingesting cannabis oil can be quite different from that of smokingÂ cannabis, and the method ofÂ ingestion plays a part in the duration and intensityÂ of effects.
Cannabis-oil dropsÂ placed under the tongue bring the quickest effects, while adding cannabis oilÂ to food or beverages invites aÂ more prolonged experience.
When ingested withÂ food or drink, cannabis oil is processed by the liver, causing effects to landÂ up to two hours after ingestion andÂ stick around for up to six hours. ByÂ comparison, effects from cannabis-oil drops placed under the tongue land withinÂ roughly 10-20Â minutes and stick around for roughly 2-3 hours.