The past decade has led people to seek many organic and natural items to become part of their daily routines. In supermarkets, people seek out natural and organic fruits and vegetables. In restaurants, consumers are ordering food that is antibiotic and GMO-free. And in health, people are seeking remedies that aren’t developed in laboratories but are derived from naturally revived sources.
The last few years have seen the huge growth of the use and availability of hemp oil and CBD oil.
Many believe that these 2 items are the same and use the terms interchangeably. However, they are different and should be consumed in different ways and for different reasons.
Hemp Oil Explained
To understand the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil, it’s important to understand the origins of both.
Hemp oil is a derivative of the hemp plant. The hemp plant is found largely in North America and is commercially grown for the industrial uses. The plant has been popular for millennia for uses in food, clothing, building materials, paper, rope, water, and soil purification, weed control, soil erosion prevention, insulation, and medicine.
Hemp is from the family of Cannabis sativa. This term may immediately illicit thoughts of marijuana, and it is true that marijuana is part of that family, this plant is known to have more than 500 different compounds, of which, over 100 of them are cannabinoids. Most of the cannabinoids are only minor and are found in small amounts. The most common of these cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The different compounds and composition in the various cannabis varieties Differences in the chemical composition of Cannabis varieties produce vastly different effects when consumed.
Hemp oil itself is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. The plant has low levels of the most common cannabinoids THC and CBD. These seeds are collected from the hemp plants and then pressed.
Pressing is a common method of extracting oils from vegetables and flowers. Other types of oils such as corn oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil are extracted in methods similar to the way hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds.
For the most part, hemp seeds THC-free. This is not to say that they are completely free of THC as that would be impossible as the plants that they came from are not 100% THC free. But the trace amounts of THC are removed during the processing and manufacturing of the oil. These process in most cases can make the hemp oil over 99.99% THC free, which is important because laws in the United States require that hemp have less than 0.03% THC or it is considered contraband.
In addition to seeds, oils can be extracted from different parts of the hemp plant. When using the hemp plant, THC can be present when reducing it down to oil. As with the processing of seeds for hemp oil, oils derived from the plant also go through processes that eliminate the THC. However, some processes differ leaving varying trace amounts. This is why it’s important to understand the source and the distributor of the hemp oil that you consume. The manufacturer will list the correct amount of CBD contained in their oils.
You may have read about CBD oils in your research of the subject. In this research, you may have seen that CBD oil comes from hemp. That is absolutely true CDB can come from hemp. But it can also be extracted from other cannabis plans that are high in THC. This includes marijuana strains. This is more common to find in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana.
In the case of hemp oil, it is more specific. Hemp oil is only derived from hemp plants and seeds. These oils will either contain a high amount of CBD and little or no THC in the case of oils that are manufactured via the hemp plant or no CBD or THC if the hemp oil is derived from the seeds.
Hemp Oil Uses
I mentioned earlier that the hemp plant has been used for thousands of years. That is also the case for hemp oil.
The use of hemp oil had dropped off over the 20th century. This was due to the stigma the hemp developed as it was a cousin of marijuana.
However, in the last decade, the use and popularity of hemp oil have steadily increased. This is due to the change in attitudes in laws regarding cannabis around the world.
People have rediscovered the health benefits of hemp. Hemp is known to have high levels of:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Omega-6 fatty acids
These health benefits have led proponents to use hemp oil when cooking their meals, making soap and shampoo, and as a natural additive in skin lotions and other cosmetic products.
Hemp oils are also used in many commercial products. Some examples include:
Hemp Oil Benefits
For decades, nutritionists have touted that fish are the best sources of the fatty acids known as omega-3 and omega-6. These fatty acids are known to support heart health and reduce the signs of aging. Omegas help build the cell membranes in a person’s body by acting as structural components as well as storing energy and helping bind proteins within the cell.
But fish are not the only great sources of these omega acids. Hemp is a great source of omegas. Hemp oil in foods has also increased in the past few years due to the health benefits. The fatty acids in hemp oil can help reduce cholesterol, increase metabolism, and burn fat.
This is why the popularity of hemp oils in cosmetics have increased in the past few years. Hemp oil helps rehydrate skin and hair and promotes healthy nail growth.
Isn’t CBD Oil the Same as Hemp Oil?
This question is often asked and while it’s true the terms CBD oil and hemp oil are used interchangeably, they are not necessarily the same.
CBD is a substance found in most of the cannabis family of plants. So CBD can certainly be extracted from hemp, but it can also come from marijuana.
Why is this important?
First, the legal status of marijuana makes the CBD extracted from it shaky because it will also contain THC, which is the psychoactive substance in marijuana.
THC is what causes the intoxicating effects people experience when smoking or consuming marijuana. These plants are bred specifically for the higher THC content as that is what the consumer is purchasing the marijuana for.
CBD, on the other hand, has not intoxicating effects. CBD and THC actually counteract with each other causing the intoxicating effects to be diminished.
Second, as I mentioned, if hemp oil is extracted from seeds, there’s no CBD in the oil, so it’s not CDB oil at all.
So while you can get hemp oil containing CBD, you can also get hemp oil without CBD, so they’re not the same.
What Does CBD Oil Do?
For many years, CBD oil has been touted as an alternative medicine for a number of ailments. Studies dating back the 1960s show that CDB has a number of medical benefits for both animals and humans.
In 1980, a study found conclusively that CBD was an effective treatment for children that suffered from epilepsy and seizures.
In addition, CBD has been found effective in treating:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- The effects of Cancer
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Huntington’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Tourette’s syndrome
The reason that CBD works well as a medicine is that the human body produces naturally occurring cannabinoids. This is known as the endocannabinoid system.
This system regulates the nervous, immune, and vascular systems in all of our bodies.
Much like injecting hormones can stimulate a person’s own hormone production, CBD helps stimulate the production of cannabinoids in the human body. The introduction of CBD into a person’s body increases the efficiency of the endocannabinoid system.
This increase efficiency results in not only in the body’s cannabinoid receptors being affected, but it increases the body’s ability to produce more dopamine and serotonin. This is why CBD it touted as a treatment for ailments involving pain, mental issues, and sleep issues.
Legality of Hemp and CBD Oil
People looking to buy hemp or CBD oil may be wondering about the legality of such a purchase. While many states have moved towards the legalization of marijuana, it is still illegal in many states and is illegal under federal law. Because marijuana is closely associated with hemp, many try to paint both with the same broad strokes.
The reality is that under US federal law, hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act in 2018. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 along with the Farm Bills of 2014 and 2018 allowed for the sale and interstate transport of hemp products containing less than 0.03% THC.
However, while this removed federal restrictions, that didn’t remove laws that states have enacted over the past 100 years regarding the product. Each state has its own laws regarding hemp.
There are some states that have removed restrictions not only regarding hemp and CBD but marijuana as well. These states allow for the medical and recreational use of marijuana and allow for unrestricted personal use of hemp and CDB. These states are:
Other states allow the use of hemp and CBD in some form but may have some sort of restrictions as to how they’re sold. This includes the largest percentage of states. These states are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
Six states have hemp and CBD in legal limbo. While you can buy hemp and CBD in these states, the legality of the manufacture, sale, possession, or consumption of the products may or may not be illegal. Most of these states have legislation pending, but until laws are passed, some jurisdictions in the state may arrest and prosecute anyone that has hemp or CBD oil. These states include:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
If you live in one of these 6 states, it’s best to check with the jurisdiction (city and county) where you live to see what their take on the law is. Some aren’t enforcing any laws due to the ambiguity, while others see it as a revenue source and will prosecute. This becomes even more of an issue when you’ve hemp or CDB oil sent to your home as the Postal Service can notify local authorities about packages containing items that are illegal in the state.
As time goes on, the ambiguities will be sorted out either through legislation or through the court system. Popular opinion is that not only should hemp and CBD be legalized, but all cannabis, including marijuana, should be legalized, or at the least, decriminalized.
So as you can see there are differences between hemp oil and CBD oil. Both have health benefits including many vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
But the CBD oil has more medicinal benefits that help in aiding a number of medical conditions.
Hemp oils are used for cooking, cosmetics, soaps, and even building materials, while CBD oils are used to alleviate symptoms for cancer, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease, just to name a few.
And while CBD oil is extracted from the entire hemp plant or in some case marijuana plants, hemp oil is derived from hemp seeds, thus eliminating most traces of THC and CBD from the oil.
The destigmatization of cannabis (and specifically hemp) is driving sales of both hemp oil and CBD oil. That fact combined with the changes in the law regarding hemp products will see an increase in use over the next few years. So it will be important to know more about hemp as it makes its way into our everyday lives.