How Cannabis Businesses Can Expand into Cannabis Oil
January 9th, 2019
Branching out into cannabis oil is a good idea, whether you’re starting from scratch or expanding an existing product line. Sure, big-name companies like Canopy Growth Corp., Tilray and Cronos Group are dominating the legal weed market in many aspects, but this doesn’t mean that a small-scale cannabis oil business can’t reap rather generous rewards from getting involved in the nascent industry.
The numbers indicate strong potential from a business point of view, with analysts at the Brightfield Group estimating that the hemp-CBD market alone could top $22 billion by 2022. Since CBD-rich cannabis oil can be derived from both the cannabis and hemp plants – not to mention the fact that the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill was recently passed – small business owners have the option of creating potent oils from either plant.
Why cannabis oil?
The oil that can be extracted from the cannabis plant is suitable for a broad scope of therapeutic treatments. Scientific research has taught us how the natural substance may have anti-tumor, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, the primary cannabinoids contained in cannabis – CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – leave the healthy cells intact, while they work on attacking the cancerous ones.
Aside from its growing use in cancer care, cannabis oil may also be used to treat insomnia, headache, muscle pain, glaucoma, anxiety and arthritis. A highly potent oil that is rich in the psychoactive compound THC may induce a “high”, whereas non-psychotropic CBD oil will not. Hemp grows with no more than 0.3% THC, making it ideal for creating CBD oil.
Vaporizing Cannabis Oil for Health Benefits
Ongoing praise for pot’s medicinal potential has helped the plant to gain more support from the general public; something that is having a direct effect on consumers and, consequently, the consumer demographic. A significant chunk of this expanding demographic includes “vapers” – the modern definition for someone who inhales CBD or THC-rich vapor using a vaporizer device.
Vaporizer devices ensure fast effects and better bioavailability of cannabinoids, with a recent study by California NORML demonstrating how these handheld gadgets can convert 46% of the available THC contained in dry plant matter into vapor. Compare this to the 25% THC that is delivered with a typical cannabis-tobacco cigarette, A.K.A. a “joint”, and it is clear why vaping is so popular among consumers.
Once inhaled, the vapor is delivered to the lungs, where cannabinoids are absorbed through the alveoli before entering the bloodstream.Cannabis oil can also be infused into a plethora of other products, therefore a small scale business will not be limited to the cannabis-vaping demographic.
Steps for small-scale cannabis oil production:
After obtaining incorporation, business licenses and EIN/TIN for your new cannabis oil business, (as well as having brushed up on your science about the plant), take the following steps:
- Understanding and Complying with Local Laws/Regulations– Exceeding the 0.3% THC threshold is a federal offence, since cannabis products containing more than this amount are still illegal under federal law. Sidestep potential pitfalls by using industrial hemp to produce hemp-extracted CBD products, rather than cannabis. Making THC-rich oil? Double-check the local laws and regulations in your specific jurisdiction prior to doing so. Each state’s set laws may differ, but they will be inclusive of transparent packaging and dosing regulations.
- Seek out the best suppliers – Next, it’s time to find a supply of hemp that can be used make federally legal CBD oil. Distributors and resellers ought to find a reputable wholesaler of hemp plants or alternatively, cannabis oils, (should you be thinking about avoiding the actual extraction process.) Standard practices, the equipment and raw materials used by a hemp cultivator must be in accordance with state regulations. Remember to obtain a certificate of analysis (COA) report, which will validate the exact purities, cannabinoid percentages, etc.
- Extract Cannabinoids from the Plant Matter –If you’re not buying cannabis oil in bulk from a supplier, you’ll have the option to make it yourself. A low-cost (albeit time-consuming) way to do this is by soaking the plant’s buds in a solvent or alcohol, before straining and collecting the remaining extract with a tool. Commonly used solvents include acetone, ethanol (alcohol) and isopropyl (IPO).
- Upgrading to a Hi-Flow Extraction System (CO2) – As your cannabis oil business starts to grow, larger quantities of extract can be churned out using a state-of-the-art system, like a Hi-Flow Extraction System (CO2). These high-tech machines are maintenance-free and utilize minimal energy with silent operation, making them ideal for a business that is rapidly expanding. CO2 extractionuses pressurized carbon dioxide to draw phytochemicals from the plant matter.
2018 Farm Bill Presents Opportunity to Make Cannabis Oil
An important bill was passed by the Senate on the 11th day of December, last year. On the following day, the House also passed the bill, which was titled the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” better known as the “2018 Hemp Farm Bill”.
Numerous expenditures that were included in the Agricultural Act of 2014were reauthorized under the passing of the bill. The amended bill was valued at $867 billion and was frontedby Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Its significance for the hemp-derived cannabis oil industry is huge, since it means that the term “marihuana” (included in the 1972 Controlled Substances Act) no longer includes hemp.
Quite rightly so, too. Hemp contains mere traces of THC and therefore will not produce psychoactive effects. As an increasing number of farmers gain permission to cultivate hemp across the U.S., more “cannapreneurs” will be capable of building a cannabis oil business in the foreseeable future.
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