Cannabis culture has developed considerably over the past decade. It now includes a new breed of hemp users that don’t get high. The stigma of cannabis is gradually eroding as hemp seed oil and CBD (cannabidiol) oil are now synonymous with preventing or treating a wide range of health conditions.
What is Hemp Oil?
As the name suggests, hemp oil comes from the hemp plant – a type of cannabis sativa that is usually cultivated for industrial purposes. Hemp contains low levels of cannabinoids, including two of the most commonly known: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids and it is extracted through a process called cold pressing. This technique requires the seeds to be de-shelled, meaning the outer husk is removed. The seeds are then chilled and squeezed before the oil is finally extracted. The green-colored oil is unrefined and all nutrient content is preserved by the cold press process.
Hemp seeds don’t contain THC, so the extracted oil doesn’t contain it as well. However, trace amounts may still be detected because of plant matter clinging to the seeds during processing. Nonetheless, the seeds are decontaminated by as much as 99.99% using modern commercial manufacturing methods.
Certain quantities of THC and CBD may be present in oils extracted from different parts of the hemp plant. These oils may still be labeled as hemp oil since they were obtained and made from hemp, but they should have that information clearly printed on their containers. Therefore you must be diligent enough to read before buying, especially if you want to ensure that the product is indeed THC and CBD-free.
The important thing to remember when differentiating hemp oil and CBD oil is that while the latter is occasionally extracted from hemp, it can also be obtained from other cannabis plants containing higher levels of THC. Note that hemp oil is always extracted from hemp but does not contain CBD/THC (from the seeds).
How is Hemp Oil Used?
Hemp oil has multiple uses, which partly explains its popularity. You can take it as a vitamin supplement because it has high concentration of vitamins B, B1, B2, and E. On average, 100–150mg of vitamin E is present in 100 grams of hemp seed oil. This is significant because vitamin E is known for its potent antioxidant and anti-aging properties. No wonder the cosmetic industry is particularly fond of the oil as it is commonly used in the production of soaps, shampoos, lotions, and other beauty products.
Hemp oil also contains magnesium, potassium, and polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. Just like vitamin E, these acids can help in diminishing the signs of aging and improving cardiovascular health. They also make hemp oil an exceptional moisturizer, since they act in the same manner as the skin’s naturally occurring lipids. This results in enhanced skin elasticity and water retention capabilities. It is therefore beneficial to use hemp oil to hydrate your skin, nails, and hair, helping them to stay healthy and strong.
Consumption of fatty acids can also lower cholesterol levels while simultaneously boosting metabolism. This results in the faster burning of fat and keeping it from adhering to the walls of arteries. Neurons are also protected by omega-3 and omega-6, as they prevent damage to the myelin sheath.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is extracted from hemp, particularly the plants that are specifically grown to contain high quantities of cannabidiol since it only contains minute amounts of THC. This leads to a much higher ratio of CBD to THC. It is the latter that delivers the euphoric effect. The types of cannabis plants that are commonly used for smoking are cultivated to be rich in THC.
CBD won’t give you that ‘high’ feeling because it works in a different way. As a matter of fact, CBD offsets some of the effects of THC. The high CBD to THC ratio in hemp is what makes it deal to produce CBD oil because it will not get you high.
Medical cannabis strains that are rich in CBD have enabled home growers to become self-sufficient in high-CBD flowers. However, hemp is still the main source for commercial CBD oil, largely for legal purposes. In the future, more than 20% of CBD cannabis buds will most likely replace CBD oil that is derived from hemp. At present, most CBD oil producers use supercritical CO₂ extraction techniques to achieve the highest and purest yields.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD works through the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has been recognized recently as a key modulatory system in the function of nervous, immune and endocrine tissues. It is believed to play a crucial role in the secretion of hormones related to the body’s response to stress. ECS also helps the body in synthesizing natural cannabinoids.
CBD aids in stimulating the body’s cannabinoid production in order to maintain receptor efficiency and optimal function of the ECS. However, CBD does more than simply affecting cannabinoid receptors. It also affects opioid receptors as well as dopamine and serotonin receptors. Dopamine helps in regulating certain aspects of behavior and cognition, while serotonin receptors deal with issues like anxiety.
What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
Aside from interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD oil has multiple health benefits, from anti-inflammatory properties to potential treatments for cancer. Again, CBD oil won’t get you high because it doesn’t contain THC or other psychoactive substances. Supplementing with CBD oil improves the body’s state of balance and it can be accurately dosed with a few sublingual drops.
If you are a medical cannabis patient whose exploring hemp, don’t expect it to have similar effects as CBD oil from licensed producers. Be extra careful about its sources and claimed benefits. The truth is that hemp and CBD oil are used for a variety of different reasons, so their growing conditions and extraction techniques also vary. But as long as you understand the difference and its okay for you to include hemp in your diet and put CBD oil under your tongue, the differences are natural and will not cause any problems.