Have you found yourself in the middle of a heated debate about hemp oil vs. CBD oil or marijuana when you suddenly realized you have no idea what you are talking about? As the words “hemp” and “cannabis” become more a part of our modern culture, it’s important that people know what they are talking about. Misinformation is rife within these topics leading to people condemning all types of hemp or misusing hemp-based products. To learn more about hemp oil benefits that you may be able to reap, you will first need to understand more about the plant and its related products to make an informed choice for yourself.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is scientifically known as Cannabis sativa and is part of the Cannabaceae family, which was once mainly harvested for its sturdy fibers. In fact, hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants with its history going back to at least 2800 BC in China. The harvesting process is complex, including drying, crushing and shaking to release the fibers from the wood. These somewhat stiff fibers can then be made into twine or rope and may even be used for burlap.
However, today, hemp is most often known and cultivated in first-world countries for its seeds. These edible seeds are sold in many supermarkets and are incredibly healthful. Some use hemp hearts in their smoothies or cooking or choose to use the whole seed as a complete source of protein and a wonderful source of polyunsaturated fats so that they can quickly and easily reap hemp seed benefits for their bodies.
This explanation brings up a common concern for many, which is the question as to whether hemp and pot or marijuana are the same things. While both come from the Cannabis family, they are grown, cultivated and harvested completely differently. The hemp plant features very narrow leaves mostly toward the top of the plant while marijuana has broader leaves that grow more in a bush-like shape throughout the plant.
Hemp can be grown nearly anywhere and requires very little care. While it can be used for foods and body care, it can also be used for construction, paper, clothing, and many other manufacturing applications. On the other hand, marijuana requires highly specific conditions to grow well and is only used medically or recreationally.
Another key difference between hemp and marijuana is the level of THC in each. THC is a chemical known as tetrahydrocannabinol, which can affect one’s brain. In marijuana, THC levels are high with a content up to 20 percent in a typical batch or up to 30 percent in a premium batch. This is what causes the psychoactive effects or the “high” that one would experience with marijuana. However, hemp has no more than a 0.3 percent concentration of THC, making it impossible to get high on it.
What Is Hemp Oil and What Is Hemp Oil Good for?
One of the most important uses of the hemp seed is to make oil. However, everyone should be aware that hemp seed and hemp CBD oil are not the same. While hemp seed oil obviously comes from the seed of the hemp plant, plain hemp oil containing CBD is made from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant. According to law, hemp oil must have 0.3 percent or less of a concentration of THC.
Hemp CBD oil benefits are so amazing because of the high level of CBD, or Cannabidiol, in the oil. CBD oil benefits the endocannabinoid system, which is made up of special nerve receptors and enzymes in the human body that react specifically with cannabinoids. This system may not be well known, but it is vital for keeping the body stable and healthy as a whole. CBD oil may be able to help regulate the immune system, appetite, mood, fertility, pain, and digestion among other body systems.
On the other hand, hemp seed oil benefits are many and varied because of the high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in the oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly anti-inflammatory and may improve the health of the skin, brain, and heart among many others. The oil is also a great source of vitamins, including vitamin E and carotene, as well as vital minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.
The oil can be used for cooking so that one can glean the benefits of hemp seed oil internally. Other hemp seed oil uses include creams and lotions for the skin and anti-aging products for the face.
Hemp seed oil does not contain THC and will not show up on a drug screening. It is an incredibly safe product that does not contain any CBD, which is Cannabidiol. Therefore, it also will not affect the endocannabinoid system.
So, what exactly is the difference between hemp CBD and marijuana CBD since both contain Cannabidiol and have extensive medicinal functions on the endocannabinoid system? CBD oil that comes from hemp is generally harvested from the stalks and seeds of the plants. These plant parts contain very little THC making it impossible for anyone to get high off this type of cannabis. In general, hemp CBD oil is considered to be little more than a health supplement by most consumers. In fact, it can now be found in many health stores across the United States.
On the other hand, marijuana CBD is harvested from the buds of the plant where more of the psychoactive parts of the plant are. It has far higher amounts of THC, allowing the drug to show up in one’s system on a drug screening and giving an individual a “high” feeling.
Ongoing research shows that CBD oil may have many amazing benefits on the human body. However, a 2018 Cannabis and Cannabinoid research survey showed that over half of those who use CBD oil used it to treat a medical condition, such as anxiety, depression or chronic pain. Other stated medical conditions that people used CBD for included insomnia, migraines or other types of headaches, allergies, nausea, and neurological diseases. The rest stated that they used it for their general health and wellbeing.
A few other studies have been done on CBD to prove its physical benefits. Users may be able to decrease cancer-related symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting or treat high blood pressure. It may also be good for decreasing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Another study published in 2011 showed that Cannabidiol could reduce anxiety over public speaking in certain individuals and could reduce the effects of generalized social anxiety disorder. Although many people regularly use CBD oil, high-quality research on humans is still quite limited because of the federal limitations on the growth of Cannabis plants and on the use of CBD oil.
What Is the 2018 Farm Bill?
With so much confusion over hemp oil, CBD oil, and marijuana, it has been difficult to get even the safe hemp-based products legalized at state or federal levels. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 was a key way in which hemp got grouped with marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. All types of cannabis have generally been considered illegal for decades. Thankfully, the 2018 Farm Bill has helped to come to the rescue of this oft-misunderstood plant.
Of course, the Farm Bill helped to regulate much in the way of family farms and the country’s agriculture. However, it also significantly changed the way that the country sees hemp and CBD. The first changes came with the initial farm bill of 2014, which was signed under President Obama. This first bill allowed institutions of higher education, such as universities, as well as state agricultural departments to grow hemp plants. It also defined what a hemp plant officially was. This is when the 0.3 percent THC limit was first put into place. However, the Drug Enforcement Administration was still allowed oversight over some parts of the cultivation, growth, and production of hemp within the hemp industry.
The new 2018 bill went much farther by making it legal on a federal level to grow hemp agriculturally. Now, hemp is no longer considered a controlled substance under federal law. Still, there are restrictions on how it can be grown, and the 0.3 percent THC restriction still applies. In addition, state laws continue to trump federal laws. Therefore, in states that have stricter hemp production laws, the state law overrides the new federal law.
Another positive that comes from the 2018 bill is the transportation of hemp across state lines. Therefore, people living in states that still have great restrictions overgrowing or selling hemp can now purchase hemp across state lines and reap the many benefits of hemp oil. Hemp is still highly regulated, and no one can grow it in their backyard gardens at this point. However, the law opens the way for continued research into the plant and provides assistance to hemp farmers who are cultivating the crop legally.
Keep in mind that while the Farm Bill legalizes hemp in some senses, it did not legalize CBD across the board. In general, CBD is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level. Therefore, only the approved cannabinoid plants can be grown and only in highly controlled settings at this point.
Even though hemp may still not be fully understood, this new law shows that ideas about hemp and CBD are changing across the country and even in the White House and in Congress. Hemp may now be able to be used more often as a commodity in agriculture and may again regain some more of its once-brilliant manufacturing status. However, there is still much work to be done in educating the general public about the differences between plants within the Cannabis family as well as the differences between pot and hemp oil.
What Are the Benefits of Hemp Oil?
As already mentioned, the major benefits of hemp oil come from the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that produce such a great anti-inflammatory effect on anything they touch. Therefore, hemp oil uses range from internal to external options.
On the skin, hemp oil’s amazing lipid profile may work wonders for moisturizing the skin and even producing several anti-aging benefits. Although it may seem counterintuitive to put an oil on already-oily skin, the special lipids within hemp oil can actually help prevent acute breakouts of acne, and the Cannabidiol within it decreases inflammation commonly associated with acne breakouts.
It may also nourish aging skin, helping to fade away fine lines and wrinkles and keeping the skin looking toned and healthy. Lines and wrinkles often appear when there is not enough hydration in the skin to nourish the individual’s cells. Over time, constant facial movements line the skin especially in highly mobile areas, such as around the eyes, nose, and mouth. However, regular topical application of hemp oil may nourish the skin and keep it looking youthful.
Many also use hemp oil for eczema. Rather than turning to other conventional medicine or topical creams that may contain corticosteroids or other agents with additional side effects, some turn to hemp oil to try to calm the skin. In fact, a 2014 study showed that the Cannabis sativus plant, which produces the hemp seed, may be especially good at relieving itchiness and pain in the skin, strengthening the skin and thus helping the skin resist bacterial, viral and fungal infections. The same study showed that in addition to treating eczema, using hemp seed oil for skin may also help with the following problems.
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Acne rosacea
Another good option is to use hemp oil for hair health. Hair grows directly from follicles lying within the skin. Therefore, it stands to reason that good skin health will also lead to good hair health. Hair thrives when it is thoroughly moisturized. If it starts to dry out, the strands will open up, producing a frizzy look and a very dry texture. The fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins in hemp oil could create an amazingly potent and beneficial product for the hair. This is why several companies now offer shampoos, conditioners and specialty hair treatments containing hemp oil.
The benefits of hemp oil on the hair include moisturization of both the hair strand as well as the scalp as well as stronger hair strands that resist breakage and splitting. Also, hemp oil may also help stimulate hair growth with its omega fatty acids and high protein content. Hair is mainly made up of proteins and thrives on hemp oil. Some notice their hair growing longer and thicker when using hemp oil.
Of course, the health benefits of hemp oil go far below the surface of the skin. When used internally, it may work on several major organs to improve overall health, reduce chronic disease and help individuals experience a better quality of life. Hemp may particularly affect the brain because the brain requires high concentrations of fatty acids to work properly. In particular, CBD oil from the Cannabis plant is becoming quite well known as a possible treatment for epilepsy in people of all ages. In fact, the FDA has recently approved a drug known as Epidiolex for the treatment of epilepsy. This is the first FDA-approved use of a drug from the Cannabis plant. This drug could possibly help control seizures in people who have not responded well to other therapies.
Even one’s four-legged furry friend may be able to see positive results from hemp oil. Hemp oil may be able to reduce a dog’s discomfort from arthritis and chronic inflammation thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It may also be able to prevent heart disease, boost the immune system, prevent the growth of cancerous tumors and decrease allergies in dogs.
Tips and Precautions for Buying Hemp Oil and CBD Oil
While the uses for hemp oil may be many, the best benefits can only come from the highest quality oils. Obviously, not all oils are created equally and some products may not be extracted appropriately or may be watered down. Consumers should always purchase their hemp oil and CBD oil from trusted sources and should do plenty of research into the company and the product before paying.
First, be sure to choose a quality product rather than focusing only on price. A quality oil seller will advertise where they source their hemp, whether or not the oil is full-spectrum and what the THC and CBD content is. For oils coming from the hemp plant, the THC content should always be less than 0.3 percent.
Second, be sure to choose an oil made through CO2 extraction. While there are several other distraction methods used in modern times, including olive oil, dry ice, and solvent-based extractions, CO2 definitely provides the purest and most potent oils.
The hemp grower should also be willing to provide a certificate of analysis. This certificate proves that the hemp was checked while it was growing and that further tests determined THC and CBD levels while also checking for contaminants. Any good seller, including online sellers, should be willing to disclose this.
Of course, before buying or using hemp oil or any other product that comes from the Cannabis plant, one will have to know applicable state laws about these products. Some may limit where one can buy the oil because of their own state-run programs or their current laws that supersede federal law. However, even those who live in states that limit the selling of hemp oil or CBD oil in stores can now purchase these oils across state lines.
Finally, be sure to check with a personal physician before starting any type of hemp oil or CBD oil supplementation. Because it actively works on the endocannabinoid system, it may react with other medications or treatments that one is taking. Be sure to discuss all current prescription medication and natural supplements taken regularly with a doctor so that a workable solution can be created together.
Hemp benefits have certainly grown and changed throughout the years. While it was mainly used for papers, textiles and other areas of manufacturing for millennia, the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen greatly changing attitudes towards it and higher understandings of how it can be safely used for human benefits. You may be able to find relief from a variety of chronic conditions or skin complaints when you use it as recommended either internally or externally.
If you liked this article and learned something new or helpful from it, be sure to share it with your friends so that others can benefit as well.
Resources and Further Reading
- Hemp Plant from the Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds from Medical News Today
- Hemp vs. Marijuana from Ministry of Hemp
- What’s the Difference between Hemp and Pot? from Merry Jane News, YouTube
- Hemp Oil Benefits List from Medical News Today
- What Are the Health Benefits of Hemp? from Medical News Today
- What Is Hemp Oil Made From? from Made by Hemp
- What Is the Endocannabinoid System? from Verywell Health
- What’s the Difference between Marijuana CBD and Hemp CBD? From The Growth Op
- A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
- 7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil from Healthline
- Cannabidiol Reduces Anxiety from U.S. National Library of Medicine
- 2018 Farm Bill Provides a Path Forward for Industrial Hemp from the American Farm Bureau Federation
- The Farm Bill, Hemp Legalization and the Status of CBD from Brookings
- Hemp Oil Benefits List from Medical News Today
- Cannabidiol Exerts Sebostatic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects on Human Sebocytes from U.S. National Library of Medicine
- Plants Used to Treat Skin Diseases from U.S. National Library of Medicine
- 3 Amazing Hemp Oil Benefits for Hair from Healthy Hemp Oil
- Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy from The Epilepsy Foundation
- 5 Reasons to Use Hemp Oil for Dogs from Dogs Naturally
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying CBD Oil from MarijuanaBreak
- How to Shop for CBD from Consumer Reports