If you live anywhere remotely close to planet Earth, then you've likely been hearing about the recent craze surrounding CBD oil. As more states relax their laws on cannabis and the regulations that once hindered its commercial usage become less stringent, more and more people are finding interesting ways to make use of these plants and their products. One such product is hemp oil.
There are a lot of misconceptions about hemp oil, its purpose, and what it's used for. We'll break everything down for you to bring you totally up to speed on what these cannabis products are all about.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Believe it or not, hemp oil can mean different things to different people; it's all about how it's marketed. Sadly, this opens up the possibility for some companies to be deceptive in their marketing and advertise their products in such a way to make customers believe it contains ingredients that it, unfortunately, does not contain. However, with the following info, you'll be able to see right through any cleverly devised marketing schemes you may encounter and be able to identify exactly what the product in question is really about.
Many who mention hemp oil may, in fact, be talking about hempseed oil. This particular product is made from cold-pressing hemp seeds. Generally speaking, hemp oil is not in any way medicinal and has no profound effects if added to food products. Usually, hempseed oil is used in cooking, to create skincare products, and is even an ingredient in certain brands of paint.
In other words, hempseed oil's purposes are more superficial in contrast to CBD oil. That's not to say that it's unimportant or unworthy of discussion; it's simply not the medicinal powerhouse that so many people think of when they hear the words "hemp oil."
Using Hempseed Oil in Cooking
When it comes to cooking, hempseed oil simply can't compete with the popularity of things like olive or coconut oil. However, it does have a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids (sometimes called omegas). It has a low smoke point, making it a bad choice for frying. That being said, you can still drizzle it over soups or salads to add some flavor.
It's also a great ingredient to add to certain sauces, vinaigrettes, and homemade mayonnaise. It tastes similar to walnuts or sunflower seeds and has a very strong presence that probably won't go well with anything sweet. It could add just the right touch to the right meal, though!
Hempseed oil also has very low levels of saturated fats and contains a good quantity of a-linolenic acid and omega-6 y-linolenic acid. However, the shelf life of hempseed oil tends towards the shorter end of the spectrum as the high level of unsaturation in the product gives it a greater opportunity for oxidation.
The best way to store it is in a cool, dark place before, during, and after the pressing process. It may be worth trying to for the benefits alone. Some recommend that you drizzle your oil on hummus for a tasty treat. Even if you're not looking to add a healthy oil to your diet, it could still be a delicious addition.
Skincare Products and Hempseed Oil
Hempseed oil is also a staple of many beauty products; it has the amazing ability to moisturize your skin without clogging your pores. Moreover, it can regulate your skin's oil production, which helps to balance out oily skin while hydrating it simultaneously. It also works by moisturizing your skin without clogging your pores, which means beautiful, glowing skin.
Likewise, the omegas in hempseed oil aren't just beneficial for consuming; they work as an incredible anti-inflammatory agent that also promotes skin growth and the generation of new cells. This reduces acne and can even serve as a treatment for psoriasis.
Hempseed oil's omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids also give it the ability to treat certain conditions such as atopic dermatitis. One study suggested that dietary hempseed oil could help reduce symptoms of the condition after 20 weeks.
Furthermore, it's thought that hempseed oil has certain anti-aging properties; it may be able to cut down those fine lines and wrinkles and prevent other signs of aging from ever developing. The oleic and linoleic acids in hemp oil aren't made by the human body, but they're still big players in skin health and anti-aging, making hempseed oil an awesome ingredient in many skincare products.
Hempseed Oil for Wood Finishing
Another impressive use for hempseed oil can be found in its ability to finish wood. As hempseed oil can polymerize into a solid form, it can thus be considered a drying oil. It dries to a matte finish and doesn't produce a gloss; in fact, there isn't even much of a sheen to it.
As it has a thin viscosity, it can penetrate porous surfaces and rarely requires a citrus solvent. It's known for being a great finisher for cutting boards, countertops, wooden utensils, and other items typically found in kitchens. You can put it over bare wood, chalk paint, milk paint, or use it to revamp old wood finishes.
CBD Hemp Oil
While hempseed oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, CBD oil is made from the stalks and leaves. There are two compounds that people typically get the most use out of when it comes to cannabis products: THC and CBD. CBD harvested from hemp is perfectly legal under federal law as long as the amount of THC within it falls under .3%.
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol. CBD is known to have many medicinal benefits, and as long as the CBD oil you're using is untainted and you know where it's coming from, it's perfectly safe to use.
CBD as Pain Medicine
Because of the legal implications associated with cannabis, doctors and scientists haven't had much of a chance in the past to study CBD's medicinal benefits. However, all of that's changing, and CBD is now used as a medicine for the treatment of a variety of ailments, diseases, and disorders.
There are studies that suggest it can treat pain, which couldn't come at a better time considering the opioid crisis that America is currently facing. As CBD is proven to be nonaddictive and essentially incapable of causing a fatal overdose, this alternative to opiate-based pain medicine could be exactly what the country needs.
An interesting study was conducted in the European Journal of Pain in which rats with arthritis were given a certain amount of CBD applied topically in gel form. They did this for four days, and afterward, the researchers found that the inflammation and signs of pain in the rats had dropped significantly.
What's just as incredible is that they developed no apparent side effects from using the gel. Though more studies still need to be done on actual human beings, these findings definitely suggest that CBD isn't just smoke and mirrors. It has real medicinal properties with the ability to treat pain.
CBD Treatments for Epilepsy
CBD oil has also been found to be a useful treatment for certain disorders that cause seizures. For instance, perhaps you've seen one of the many videos circulating on social media of a child with seizures being given CBD oil and having their symptoms recede almost instantly.
In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new CBD medicine known as Epidiolex, which treats patients who have two uncommon forms of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS). However, CBD may be useful in treating other conditions known to induce seizures other than these.
CBD Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis
There is also evidence to suggest that CBD oil could be a good way to treat certain symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the nerves and brain, causing problems all throughout the body. One of the most basic symptoms associated with MS is muscle spasms. They can become so severe that they leave the affected individual in constant pain.
However, CBD has been reported to cut down the levels of spasticity an individual feels. While it hasn't been found to be a miracle cure, some claim that it's a tremendous help and provides a lot of relief for their painful symptoms.
CBD and Mental Illness
Some research has shown that CBD may support the hippocampus (the part of your brain that's important for healthy emotion and memory) and has an overall calming effect on the brain. There is evidence that shows the possibility for CBD to decrease feelings of isolation, reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even relieve symptoms associated with autism.
Some studies show that it's able to reduce social anxiety, similar to drugs like ipsapirone and diazepam (valium). This could offer patients a non-addictive alternative to their problems and a way to shed chemical dependency.
There was also a study back in 2012 on CBD's effects on people experiencing psychosis; in it, 40 volunteers were given either an antipsychotic or CBD. Surprisingly, every patient improved to the same degree, and those who took the CBD didn't have to deal with the nasty side effects that come with taking antipsychotics, like weight gain, hormonal dysregulation, and movement issues, such as restlessness.
CBD and Parkinson's
Parkinson's Disease has a lot of similar symptoms to some of the other ailments already discussed. Parkinson's is known for being terribly painful, producing tremors, and, in some patients, effecting psychosis. Though the research that has been done on what CBD can do for individuals with Parkinson's is very limited, there were a lot of cases that demonstrate its potential. However, most of the studies were done with very small groups of people, making it harder to verify the results.
CBD as Skincare
Just as hempseed oil is used as an ingredient in skincare treatments, CBD is also making its way into the realm of beauty products. Some claim that CBD can do exactly what hempseed oil can for the skin and more; however, there is no real scientific evidence of this as of yet.
While it would make sense that they would provide similar benefits seeing as how they come from the same source, it simply has not been verified. So while there's a host of evidence to suggest that CBD has real medicinal value, it may be best to stick with the sure (and cheaper) thing if you want a quality, tried-and-true skincare product.
Hemp vs. Marijuana What's the Difference?
One of the common misconceptions about hemp oil (whether it's hempseed oil or CBD oil) is that it gets you high. However, this is definitely not the case. Hemp and marijuana plants are both classified as types of cannabis, which is where the misunderstanding comes from.
Marijuana plants have a high level of THC (the chemical compound that gets you high); hemp plants have almost no THC (usually under .3%). The fact that such a minuscule amount of THC exists within hemp plants means that it's basically impossible to get high from any product you make out of it.
To further demonstrate the difference between marijuana and hemp, you might consider orange and lemon trees. Both of them are citrus plants, but they are clearly altogether different from one another. This is quite similar to how it is with hemp and marijuana; though they're both types of cannabis plants, they're still very different considering the levels of THC and CBD found within them.
5 Key Facts to Know About Hemp Oil
Though the term "hemp oil" could be a reference to either hempseed oil or CBD oil, our focus is going to be on CBD from this point forward. Though we've already discussed the many medicinal uses and benefits of CBD, there are still some really interesting key facts about its legality and the way it works within the human body that you might find interesting.
CBD Literally Keeps Bliss Alive
CBD interferes with FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) which is an enzyme that breaks down Anandamide (AEA). AEA helps promote feelings of pleasure and is interestingly enough called "the bliss molecule." That means CBD lets bliss live in your system just a little longer than it normally would have.
CBD Can Interact With Other Medications
CBD has the ability to inhibit a group of liver enzymes known as cytochrome P450, meaning it's able to either increase or decrease the potency of certain medications. There hasn't been a lot of research into this subject yet, so if you take any other prescription drugs, you should definitely exercise caution when taking CBD.
CBD From Hemp Is Perfectly Legal
Though the legal situation with cannabis has been a bit sticky in 2018, a bill was recently passed making hemp and its products legal in the United States. Thus, CBD from hemp can be bought and consumed without fear of legal repercussions. However, as marijuana plants also contain CBD, it's worth noting that any CBD obtained from them is still currently considered illegal under federal law so you be careful when considering certain products.
CBD Products Can Be Incorrectly Labeled
As CBD is now the next big thing, everybody is trying to grab their fair share. However, some of what's being sold as CBD oil may very well be incorrectly labeled. It's a good rule of thumb that if you don't know exactly what's going into your CBD oil and where the CBD itself comes from, that you stay well enough away.
Everybody Reacts to CBD Differently
Everybody's body works differently, and just as any common medication may work fine for some and cause weird side effects for others, CBD may work differently for you than it does for someone else. Depending on your metabolism and other key factors regarding your health, it may not be as effective for you or it could take longer to work. The best thing to do is speak with your doctor when treating any ailment with CBD; they can help you make the right decisions and possibly, help you take the right amount.
Now that the legal prohibition of hemp has finally come to an end, people are waking up to the benefits of hemp oil. Some may think of hempseed oil upon hearing that term, but the more popular oil at the moment is undoubtedly CBD. Though research is somewhat limited, there are studies to suggest that it can be a major help to those struggling with various ailments and diseases.
However, one should always keep in mind that while CBD oil can be a great medicine, it also has the potential to interact with other medications and may even come incorrectly labeled depending on where you get it from. The modern world is just getting its first taste of CBD oil. Who knows what else we'll discover about its potential benefits in the years to come.