Cannabis (THC) Oil, Dosage, Ingredients and Effects

THC oils are the resins or “concentrates” that are extracted from cannabis flowers and plant material. These oils can be extracted using a variety of methods to create products that shatter like glass, spread like butter, or crumble into fine powders. 

They have a wide range of applications and effects depending on their use. Understanding common terms, how THC oils work and the different types of oils available will give you a good understanding of their benefits and which oils could work for you.

Types of Cannabis Oils

Cannabis oils can be thought of like other essential oils of plants — they are the extracted components such as cannabinoids and terpenes that are responsible for the unique aroma, flavor and potency profiles of cannabis flowers. 

They can be created without the use of a solvent, or with specifically chosen solvents and methodical processes that generate specific flavor profiles and a crystalline appearance. 

Solvent-Based ExtractsSolventless Extracts
CO2 oil


Hydrocarbon extracts (BHO)

Dry sift

Ice water hash



You may hear topicals, tinctures and infused oils referred to as “cannabis oil,” but this is less common. Make sure to clarify this with your budtender or the person offering you the product.

Solvent-Based Cannabis Oil Extracts

  • CO2 oil: Oils extracted using carbon dioxide, they are typically packaged as vape cartridges.
  • Distillate: A potent extract stripped of everything but cannabinoid when in its purest form. Distillates can be consumed sublingually, transdermally, used in edibles, in capsules or packaged as vapes.
  • Hydrocarbon extracts (BHO): Commonly known as butane hash oil because the oils are extracted using solvents like butane. BHO is available as budder, crumble, shatter, and wax.


Solventless Cannabis Oil Extracts

  • Dry sift: A collection of trichome glands taken from cured cannabis, this concentrate is also referred kief or dry sieve. It’s typically added to cannabis to enhance its potency or pressed into a rosin and dabbed.
  • Ice water hash: Also made up of trichomes but created using ice water, different forms of this concentrate are also known as bubble hash, ice wax or wet sift. It can be dabbed or added to cannabis flower.
  • Rosin: Similar to BHO, but without the chemicals, this concentrate is available as dry sift rosin, flower rosin, and hash rosin. It can be smoked, dabbed or vaped.  

Read our tutorial on How to Use a Dab Rig

What THC Oil Can Be Used For

These higher potency cannabis offerings provide relief and relaxation for a variety of symptoms and conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy and seizures, cancer, and even anxiety. 

1. Cannabis Oil for Pain

While cannabis can be used for ongoing pain treatment in a variety of forms, when pain flares up, you need a powerful option that will work within a short period of time. Smoking a joint or eating an edible might take the edge off in a few minutes or hours, but cannabis oils can provide faster relief due to their efficient method of delivery.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids are ideal for treating inflammatory and neuropathic pain because they function as analgesics

Why More Retiring Baby Boomers are Turning to Cannabis For Pain

2. Cannabis Oil for Epilepsy and Seizures

Vaporized and inhaled cannabis oils can provide relief from these debilitating conditions within seconds and minutes. High CBD cannabis cultivars and offerings have been shown to be effective at assisting with these conditions.

Seizure Relief: How Medical Cannabis is Combating Epilepsy

3. Cannabis Oils for Cancer 

Among the original reasons for the push for legalized medical cannabis is its efficacy in mitigating and relieving symptoms associated with a variety of cancers. Of particular note is the famed Rick Simpson Oil, that is created as an ethanol extraction designed to provide a highly-potent delivery mechanism for cannabinoids to attack cancerous cells. 

4. CBD Oil for Anxiety

CBD oils are growing in popularity due to the evidence surrounding their efficacy in the treatment of anxiety. CBD isolates are cannabis oils that have been extracted without a high amount of THC, the psychotropic compound associated with heightened anxiety in some users. Rather, CBD is used to counteract these symptoms.


Cannabis oils are most often vaporized or ingested orally. Typically, a handheld vaporizer or a “dab rig” are used to bring the oils to a heated temperature that begins to release those cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds that are contained within the plant. 

Take special care with dosage since cannabis oils are known for their higher concentrations. They are more potent than flower, edibles, or other cannabinoid-containing products. And according to a study published in Forensic Science International, dabbing BHO delivers significantly more THC than smoking a joint or pipe, so special care should be taken when dabbing.

Dosage will vary depending on:

  • How much you weigh
  • Your body’s endocannabinoid system and body chemistry
  • What you’re trying to treat
  • The type of CBD product you’re using
  • The CBD concentration of the product you’re using

Always start with the smallest possible dose and then wait to see how it affects you.

Oils high in THC may produce unwanted anxiety, paranoia, physical discomfort, and drowsiness. Oils that are high in CBD may be stimulating to both your mind and body, as well as your appetite, but may also be sedating and produce drowsiness depending on your body’s endocannabinoid system and the amount consumed. 

CBD may also interact with some medications, so you should talk to your doctor before combining cannabis oils with other prescriptions.

Buy THC & CBD Oil Products from Licensed Dispensaries

Licensed dispensaries like Happy Valley carry a wide variety of cannabis oils and products that have been infused with cannabis oils. You can find edibles, concentrates, pre-rolls and more on our menu

For more information on cannabis oil offerings that are available in your area, stop by or call either our Gloucester or East Boston dispensary. Our staff will help guide you through your options and keep you informed on new products that may suit your needs.

To learn more about cannabis, read The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Science

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