cbd oil

CBD Oil South Africa

Facts and Information

This guide is for the layperson and provides a primer of relevant information and study references concerning CBD oil, with some specific context for people living in South Africa. For this purpose, we have kept medical and scientific jargon to a minimum and included explanations for the terms that we have used.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD Oil, also known as CBD hemp oil is typically made from the hemp plant, a variety of cannabis that has high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD) and only trace levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is usually blended with a carrier oil such as Coconut oil, Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil. CBD offers a vast range of healing properties, and studies show that it has significant effects on various neurological and physiological disorders.

Such disorders include anxiety, ADHD and ADD, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, bipolar, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, fibromyalgia and hypertension. These in addition to inflammation, insomnia, migraines and headaches, multiple sclerosis, nausea and vomiting, OCD. Furthermore, many in South Africa use it to treat osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, PTSD, schizophrenia, seizures, spasticity, spinal injury and even stress.

What are Cannabinoids?

There are over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belong to the class of substances called cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that modulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. There are two types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids which originate inside the body, and exogenous cannabinoids which arise outside of the body. 2-AG and anandamide are the two most significant endocannabinoids, while THC and CBD are examples of exogenous cannabinoids.

The Endocannabinoid System

The human body contains an endocannabinoid system which are cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems and in the brain. Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system which responds to these chemical messengers. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the psychological and physiological effects of cannabinoids.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol (CBD), is one of the active ingredients in Cannabis Oil and has been found to exhibit many medicinal benefits for a variety of conditions. It offers a vast range of healing properties and human studies have shown that it has significant effects on various neurological and physiological disorders. Such disorders include anxiety, ADHD and ADD, arthritis, bipolar, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension and even stress.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is another of the main active ingredients in Cannabis Oil. While THC typically has an intoxicating effect in users, it has also been found to have medicinal benefits for various medical conditions and many pain-related disorders.

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What is the Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp?

Marijuana and hemp are simply different varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp, otherwise known as industrial hemp, is commonly used to produce textiles, clothing and rope. It has a very high CBD content combined with a low THC content of typically less than 1%. These days, most manufacturers produce their CBD products using hemp, as a result of the significantly reduced cost of production, as the THC need not be removed from the product.

Marijuana, in contrast, has higher levels of THC, the chemical compound responsible for the “high” that marijuana users experience. Marijuana is used to produce medicinal marijuana or Cannabis Oil, often used by cancer patients and those experiencing extreme pain.


In addition to the cannabinoid content of cannabis, are the related terpenes or isoprenoids. These are the fragrant oils that give the various strains their diverse range of aromas. Terpenes also bind to receptors in the brain to produce multiple beneficial effects. The relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes is sometimes called the ‘entourage effect’, and is one of the factors that differentiate the various strains.

Many brands of Cannabis Oil advertise a full terpene spectrum, which indicates that they have not extracted the terpenes from the product. Strictly speaking, full-spectrum products refer to an extraction and processing method that has preserved the entire spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids in the original plant matter.


CBD products are available in varying strengths, however, it is not accurate to compare a CBD tincture with liposomal CBD. The reason for this is bioavailability. Liposomal encapsulation increases the extent to which the body absorbs the active ingredient in a supplement, however, the liposomal carrier itself limits the amount of CBD that can be blended into the liquid.

This is the reason why liposomal products are of a lower concentration as compared to CBD tincture products. The tradeoff, however, is in the increased bioavailability, but the more complex manufacturing methods increase the cost of these products substantially.

With that said, it is fair to compare various tinctures by concentration, which is typically denoted as a percentage. To do this:

  1. Multiply the total volume of liquid in the bottle in ml by 1000 to get an overall liquid weight in mg.
  2. Divide the CBD content in mg by the liquid weight in mg.
  3. Multiply by 100.

An example is a product with a liquid volume of 10ml, and a CBD content of 1000mg.
The liquid weight is approximately 10000mg  ( 1000mg per 1ml ).
The CBD content is 1000mg.
Therefore ( (1000/10000) x 100 ) = 10% CBD.

1ml of water weighs approximately 1000mg, and while oil is slightly more dense than water, most manufacturers quote percentages in terms of water density. So, if we have a 10ml bottle, the liquid weight would be roughly 10g or 10000mg.

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Extraction Methods

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

The supercritical CO2 extraction method utilises a machine called a closed-loop extractor, which employs liquid carbon dioxide under high pressure and ultra-low temperatures to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter. When the pressure is relieved and the temperature increases, the CO2 evaporates quickly, returning to a gaseous form, leaving behind no residues or impurities. The resulting oil is amber in colour with no trace impurities.

Liquid Solvent Extraction

The liquid solvent extraction method utilises a solvent, usually butane or hexane to extract the resin from the plant matter. The solution which remains liquid under pressure then evaporates on release, leaving behind a dark oil. Drawbacks of this method are that trace impurities can persist, and it also tends to extract chlorophyll from the plant matter, giving a greener colour and a more bitter taste.

Alcohol Extraction

This extraction method involves soaking the plant material for about 5 minutes in high-grade alcohol to extract the resin and then boiling the alcohol off for 15-30 minutes, resulting in a thick dark resin. Some suspect that this method may destroy many of the plant waxes, which could have health benefits.

Oil Extraction

Oil extraction using coconut or olive oil involves heating the plant material and the oil to typically below 100 degrees Celsius for 1-2 hours. This method produces an oil that is full spectrum and does not destroy any beneficial compounds.

CBD Product Types

CBD products are available in a wide variety of forms. Finding what’s ideal for you can often be a challenge and may even involve a level of trial and error. A reliable place to start is to analyse the reason you’re considering supplementing. As an example, chronic pain, cancer and epilepsy sufferers are likely to consider a higher concentration than those suffering from insomnia.

For those who don’t like the taste of CBD extracts, flavoured products are an option. An unpalatable taste might rule out concentrates and some tinctures but would include capsules and sprays as an option.

If you’re a regular traveller and need a portable option, capsules or sprays might be the way to go. If you’re looking to treat localised pain, topicals may be your answer. For people who vape, CBD vape juice may be the logical choice.

CBD Tincture


CBD tinctures are by far the most prolific of all the various types of CBD supplements available. Compared to the other product types, tinctures and concentrates are probably the purest forms of CBD, as there is no further processing of the oil. Many brands now offer flavoured options in addition to the ‘natural’ flavour, which can be unpleasant for some.


Take tinctures sublingually and do not swallow immediately. It is best to place the drops under the tongue and leave it there for as long as you can. With that said, you can most certainly add the tincture to almost any drink you enjoy during the day. However, it is advisable to avoid adding it to hot drinks, as these may destroy some of the beneficial nutrients.

Liposomal CBD


A liposome is a nano-sized bubble or sphere (vesicle) made from a phospholipid (in many cases phosphatidylcholine, the same substance found in our cell membranes). Liposomal encapsulation is a process that fills these bubbles with hydrophobic or hydrophilic supplements. Liposomal encapsulation provides a very effective method of bypassing the destructive elements of the gastric system and aiding the encapsulated nutrient to be delivered to the cells and tissues.


Take liposomal CBD on its own or with a cold drink of your choice. There is no need to take sublingually, as this supplement is designed to be swallowed and pass through the digestive system.

CBD Capsules


CBD Capsules are probably the most convenient way to supplement with CBD. They are naturally much more straightforward to take than tinctures or concentrates. CBD capsules usually come in a softgel form.

These are precisely dosed, making it easy to keep track of your daily serving size. They are particularly useful for those who travel, but also for those who would prefer not to have to measure out drops under the tongue.


Take one capsule or more as recommended by your healthcare professional, with water or your favourite drink.

CBD Isolate


CBD isolate typically contains the most potent dosage of CBD, in some cases up to ten times the concentration compared to other types of supplements. Compared to tinctures, CBD isolate is not flavoured, and the taste can be a bit much for most people.


As with tinctures, take CBD isolate sublingually or with a drink.

Topical CBD


CBD Topicals come in the form of salves, creams, balms, lotions and oils. Use topicals to treat muscle stiffness, inflammation and painful joints. There are now also CBD topical creams available to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. Manufacturers often combine topicals with a range of other ingredients to provide additional benefits such as added pain relief or skin conditioning.


Use topical CBD products are externally on the skin. They are a great way to provide localised pain relief where one does not require full-body effects. Apply liberally to the affected area and rub into the skin until fully absorbed.

CBD Spray


Sprays often have the weakest concentration of CBD compared to the various other types of products. Dosages tend to be more imprecise as spray volumes are more inconsistent, compared to other oral forms of ingestion. Sprays are however quite popular as they are easy to carry and administer while traveling.


Spray one serving (usually 2-3 sprays) into the mouth. Serving sizes should be visible on the bottle label.

CBD Vape Oil


Many brands now offer CBD vape oil, otherwise known as CBD vape juice, produced explicitly for vaping. Vaping CBD appears to have a lesser effect as compared to other modes of administering CBD. It could also be that heating the oil may destroy much of the beneficial substances. The advantage, however, is that one can continue to vape until they feel the desired effects, as one can feel the effects much more quickly


CBD vape oil employs the use of a vaporiser. You can fill the cartridge with a CBD vape juice of your choice.

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Should I use Cannabis Oil or CBD Oil?

The decision should be determined by whether THC is indicated for your particular condition. If it is, then you should consider Cannabis Oil.

What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?

CBD exhibits potent antioxidant, analgesic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-psychotic effects. It alleviates the cognitive decline associated with ageing, and it also reduces the risk of diabetes. For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, check out our article The Benefits of CBD Oil.

CBD Oil South Africa

Is CBD Legal in South Africa?

CBD oil in South Africa is legal primarily because of its lack of THC. The primary law regulating the use of medicines and substances in South Africa is the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act of 1965.

The South African organisations governing medicines and substances in South Africa are the South African Department of Health and the South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority.

CBD Scheduling in South Africa


In Government Notice No. 586, Government Gazette No. 43347, issued on 22 May 2020, the Minister of Health has amended the Schedules as follows:

Previous entries for cannabis, dronabinol, and tetrahydrocannabinol in Schedule 7 have been deleted.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is listed in Schedule 4, except –
in complementary medicines containing no more than 600 mg cannabidiol per sales pack, providing a maximum daily dose of 20 mg of cannabidiol, and making a general health enhancement, health maintenance or relief of minor symptoms (low-risk) claim; or
processed products made from cannabis raw plant material intended for ingestion containing 0,0075 percent or less of cannabidiol where only the naturally occurring quantity of cannabinoids found in the source material are contained in the product.
Products that meet those listed conditions will instead be regulated as Schedule 0.

CBD Oil For Pets

As science continues to discover more of benefits of CBD for humanity, we naturally find ourselves asking whether CBD has the same benefits for our pet friends. From a scientific perspective, cats, dogs and most mammals for that matter have similar anatomy to humans, and therefore also have an endocannabinoid system that modulates their physiology and psychology. Generally, CBD suitable for humans is usually also suitable for pets. Typically one would halve recommended dosages for pets as dosages are based on weight.

Is CBD Safe for Pets?

Research studies have concluded that CBD is generally safe and non-toxic for both cats and dogs.

Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats: View Research Paper

In healthy dogs and cats, an oral CBD-rich hemp supplement administered every 12 h was not detrimental based on CBC or biochemistry values. Cats do appear to absorb or eliminate CBD differently than dogs, showing lower serum concentrations and adverse effects of excessive licking and head-shaking during oil administration.

View Our Range of CBD Products Online


Scientific studies are now bolstering what was once just anecdotal evidence for the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of many ailments and maladies. As always, seek medical advice before trying any new course of treatment.

More Information

If you are interested in Cannabis Oil and would like to know more before you buy, please do feel free to contact our customer service team at support@organica.co.za. We are based in Cape Town and deliver nationwide in South Africa.