Cannabis oils or concentrated extracts are obtained by the extraction of cannabinoids from the dried flowers (cannabis flos) of the cannabis plant. The purpose of producing cannabis oil is to make cannabinoids and other components (i.e. terpenes), available in a highly concentrated form.
Oils are typically prepared for oral sublingual administration. They have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is because they are easy to use, compared to inhalation by vaporization. Prescribers and pharmacists are more familiar with oral dosing, which also promotes their use.
Medicinal cannabis oil extracted from Bedrocan’s standardised flos is currently available in the Netherlands and several other countries. It is extracted by pharmacies (as magistral preparations) or pharmaceutical companies using GMP-certified production methods.
Bedrocan does not produce nor sell oil for oral sublingual dosing. Please refer to our contact page for an overview of Dutch compounding pharmacists.
The pharmacist prepares medicinal cannabis oil at the Transvaal Pharmacy, the Netherlands
The preparation of cannabis oil or cannabis concentrates at home, or the use of unregulated cannabis oils or concentrates is not advised.
Home or unregulated production can pose risks to patients who consume them. The exact composition of different available oils is frequently unknown. They are not checked for quality by external certified laboratories for the presence of residual solvents, or contaminants such as microbes, pesticides, heavy metals or mycotoxins. The lack of standardisation of both the cannabis starting material and oils makes it impossible to fully evaluate their therapeutic effects over time and, hence, their medicinal value.
Consequently, there is a significant need to standardise and control cannabis extracts and to regulate their distribution as potential medicinal products.
In recent years, a large, unregulated market for CBD (cannabidiol) oils has emerged. These products are typically derived from fibre-type cannabis strains (hemp), which contain large concentrations of CBD, but negligible of THC.
In most countries it is forbidden to create concentrates from cannabis, because cannabis is a controlled substance .. Nonetheless, the appearance of numerous CBD-rich extracts have appeared on the global market.
For more information on CBD oil, see our article The problem with CBD oil.