What is Hemp Oil

Cannabis exists within the Cannabaceae Family, which exists in the Plantae Kingdom. This Genus of flowering plants includes the species cannabis sativa, cannabis indica and cannabis ruderalis.  All three species contain varying amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) as well as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Cannabis sativa produce marijuana as well as hemp, so what exactly is the difference between these two byproducts?

Hemp, one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, was spun into fiber some 10,000 years ago.  Today hemp is used to make textiles, clothing, plastics, paint, topical ointments, biofuel, food and animal feed.  With its lower concentration of THC and higher amounts of CBD, hemp typically has trace or even no psychoactive effects.  Government regulation of hemp, if any, typically monitors trace levels of TCH. Marijuana also comes from cannabis sativa, but given its higher levels of THC and intended production for medical or recreational use, it sometimes is referred to simply as “cannabis.” 

Born from the same plant, hemp is something to wear, and marijuana is something to smoke or eat.  Federal law prohibits growing either without a permit, although hemp with less than 0.3% THC levels can be imported.  Federal law does not permit public importation of cannabis sativa with THC levels in excess of 0.3%, no matter what it is called.

Recently, some states have passed laws making the cultivation of hemp legal, although federal law remains unchanged, and those states with robust hemp production still wait for formal approval from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Although recent state laws legalizing marijuana keep the production of hemp out of the spotlight and away from excessive federal scrutiny, in 2014 Congress finally passed law permitting colleges and state agencies to grow and conduct research on hemp in those states where it is already legal.

Although state and federal laws remain in conflict, hemp is typically considered safe for most uses due to its naturally higher CBD concentration. One of over 85 cannabinoids identified so far in the cannabis plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, produces no mind-altering affect, and is generally considered safe for use by just about anyone.  While an adverse reaction to CBD may be possible, the cause would be unrelated to reasons the DEA still frowns upon hemp and marijuana production.

What has been named the “Entourage Effect” refers to combining multiple cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids into a more powerful cannabis, usually with hundreds of natural components within the plant interacting together and producing a stronger effect than any one of such component alone.  CBD on its own, does not produce this kind of reaction.

Deciding Between Hemp CBD or Cannabis CBD:

When choosing between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD, be mind of the differences in CBD and THC levels the oil contains. CBD studies show positive implications in a vast number of illnesses, not to mention a general boost in health, hair and skin. THC, on the other hand, is the primary “culprit” in marijuana’s psychological effects, which while a benefit to certain disorders, comes with the disadvantage of side effects such as feeling “high” as well as causing hallucination, tachyarrhythmia, anxiety attacks and general paranoia. In most states, CBD is legal, whereas even in those states in which marijuana is legal, it has yet to shed its controversy caused by conflict with federal law.  There are specific requirements when using medicinal marijuana in any state, such as prescription from a medical doctor.

Hemp CBD has been used safely by children, pregnant or nursing women as well as those who wish to avoid pharmaceuticals altogether. When CBD is taken by itself, CBD, certain studies have shown it to be to be anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety. CBD can be used as a sedative and may even protect neurons and brain cells from various damage. Others firmly believe in CBD’s powerful anti-aging properties for skin cells.

Unfortunately, the lack of clarity in the use of cannabis still cases its shadow on hemp.  Knowing the difference between Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD, however, it an important first step when it comes to the use of alternative medicines.