What is Cannabis Essential Oil?

January 03, 2017

A woman suffering from insomnia is told by a friend to inhale marijuana before bed to get a good night's sleep. A man undergoing chemotherapy is advised to get a medical marijuana card by his family to deal with the nausea and sickness.

The problem with this advice is there’s still a lot of unknowns and unclear terms when it comes to medical marijuana (cannabis). Because the plant is still illegal in many states, research is fairly limited. But recent studies are showing promising results for the use of cannabis.

“One misconception about cannabis is that people just want to have an excuse to use cannabis because it gets them high,” said renowned chemist and founder of Essential Oil University, Dr. Robert Pappas. “But there is real therapeutic and medicinal value to these plants.”

It is important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved cannabis as a treatment for any medical condition so consult your doctor for all health recommendations.

The Plant

Part of understanding the effects of cannabis starts with identifying the natural elements in the plant. There are more than 400 chemical entities in cannabis, making it incredibly complex reports the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Furthermore, the cannabis plant has two main subspecies, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa.

One of the main active compounds in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD) which unlike another active compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), does not produce euphoria or intoxication according to a study at the Institute of Psychiatry in the United Kingdom.

The study also notes that the Sativa-dominant cannabis have a higher THC content, whereas Indica-dominant plants have a higher CBD content. Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids, chemical compounds secreted by the cannabis flower.

Hemp is also sometimes confused with marijuana. Comparing the two, Dr. Pappas explained, “The only difference is the level of THC. Marijuana is high THC and hemp is low THC. Cannabis is the genus of both plants. Traditionally, marijuana is the high THC strains, hemp is low THC strains.”

Possible Treatments

According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabinoids activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce a drug-like effect, specifically in the nervous and immune systems. Although more research is needed to conclude the effects of CBD, it may relieve pain, lower inflammation and decrease anxiety without the psychotropic effects of THC, as reported by the National Cancer Institute.

Currently, the institute is studying the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids for the relief of nausea, pain, anxiety and loss of appetite. Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by blocking cell growth. Other possible effects of cannabinoids include antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity, and relieving muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. But despite promising results, more research is needed to verify the possibilities.

Cautions and considerations

Although Federally illegal, CBD-rich cannabis oil products can be applied topically. It is imperative to remember, however, that no matter how much CBD is isolated from the rest of the plant, there will still be trace amounts of THC in the product, says Dr. Pappas.

Possible side effects when using cannabis include fluctuations in sugar levels, low blood pressure, increased risk of bleeding, dizziness, dry eyes, stomach issues, itchiness and more according to the Mayo Clinic.

Despite the growing research, there is still a deep level of uncertainty and confusion surrounding the use of cannabis. At Edens Garden, we currently carry Cannabis Essential Oil and Hemp Seed Carrier Oil to our line of 100% pure oils. Research and education is key in understanding the effects of Cannabis and more is needed to conclude the effects of the plant.

Identifying the differences

Cannabis Essential Oil: To be diluted into a carrier oil, Cannabis Essential Oil is produced by the steam distillation of the cannabis flower. The active components are mercene and caryophyllene, which are packed with anti-inflammatory properties. 

CBD: Extracted from the Hemp Plant, Cannabidiol is a potent phyto-cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive.

Cannabis CO2 Total: A concentrate extracted from the flowers of cannabis by the use of carbon dioxide and great amount of pressure. Typically, CO2 Totals have a thicker semi-solid consistency, often referred to as cannabis "mud". The process produces an extract that contains the highest amount the plant’s heavier extractable components which are typically the most medicinally valuable, and a minimal amount of the volatile aromatic essential oil components.  The cannabis CO2 total typically contains 50-60% cannabinoids with the ratio of CBD to THC depending on the genetic strain being extracted. 

Cannabis CO2 Select: Closer to an essential oil than the CO2 total, the select is extracted from the flowers of cannabis using relatively lower pressure. Generally the CO2s select is comprised of the plant’s most volatile essential oil components in addition to a smaller amount of the heavier molecules which cannot be steam distilled.  The cannabinoid content of the cannabis select is typically in the 3-5% range with the CBD/THC ratio being determined by the particular genetic strain used.   As the cannabis essential oil basically has no significant level of cannabinoids, one can think of the CO2 select as sort of a hybrid between the CO2 total and the essential oil.  In general, all CO2 selects are chemically closer to the the essential oil profile but almost always having a richer, fuller, higher quality aromatic profile than the essential oil, due to the inclusion of the heavier components that the standard essential oil production methods cannot access.

Hemp Seed Carrier Oil: Rich with vitamins and antioxidant properties, Hemp Seed Oil is produced through a cold pressed method. The oil is pale to golden yellow. Hemp Seed Carrier Oil can help reduce toxins, clear skin and improve overall health.

Try this recipe

DIY Cannabis Facial Oil

Creamy, supple skin may be just a few drops away with the DIY Cannabis Facial Oil. Don’t get scared away by the aroma because the skin benefits are tremendous. Rich with vitamins and anti-inflammatories properties, Cannabis Facial Oil does not clog pores and leaves your skin feeling hydrated and smooth.

What you’ll need:


  1. Carefully fill ⅔ of the bottle of Hemp Seed Carrier Oil.
  2. Add 2 drops of Cannabis Essential Oil, 3 drops of French Lavender Essential Oil and 1 drop of Frankincense Essential Oil.
  3. Cap your bottle and shake well until blended.
  4. After washing and drying your face, dab a few drops on your face, avoiding the eye area.


  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Kathy! We don’t recommend using EOs undiluted. A general recommended dilution rate for healthy adults is 3%= 15-18 drops of essential oil per 2 Tbsp of carrier oil.

    On May 17, 2017

  • Kathy Hoffmeister says...

    Have just read the above from Jolene McGovern. I also suffer from back pain – MRI’s show I have
    arthritis of the spine, some scoliosis, stenosis, buldging disc & herniated discs along with arthritis in
    my knees & feet. It sounds like Jolene applied the product directly to the skin. Is it ok to do this?
    Of course, I need to check with my doctor first but I am encouraged by the relief she said she got.
    Nothing has really worked for me & I’m always interested in relief. Please give me your input on
    this & tell me how it best should be used.

    On May 17, 2017

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Becky! You might try find these blogs helpful about our OK For Kids sleep blends: http://bit.ly/2rjwpEO

    On May 15, 2017

  • Becky says...

    Hi. My daughter has an extremely rare syndrome that affects her brain. She suffers from night terrors, seizures are part of the syndrome, and she has been having horrible meltdown Tantrums. She is three and a half years old. Is there something that I could use such as hemp oil in a diffuser in her room at night to help with the night terrors? Also when she’s having the Tantrums is there an oil that I could put on her or something that she could smell next to her to help her calm down? Thank you so much

    On May 15, 2017

  • Jolene McGovern says...

    I have OA in both knees and back. For the last two years I was unable to walk with out a cain and had terrible pain. All the perscription drugs were not helping. I needed more and more to keep the pain tolerable. My husband also pushed me on a wheel chair if we were going some where where there was a lot of walking due to my terrible constant pain.

    I bought the small Cannibus oil and put it into a diffuser as well as rubbed a few drops on the bottoms of my feet. I also rubbed it on my knees and back. With in two days I felt 50 percent pain relief. It was the first i two years that I could actually walk with out any assistance what so ever. I use it every night and day and I do not have to take any perscription pain pills.

    I also suffer from skin fungal infections and for three months I was using perscrition cream to get rid of the fungal infection. It just would not heal. I was ready to go to the Dr again but thought I would rub a dropout Cannibus on the open sore. I did it for three days and it just totally healed up with out any problems.
    This essential oil has been a God send to me.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart . You gave me a new outlook on life.

    On May 11, 2017

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