Understanding Hemp Oil

Since the popularity of products like Cannabidiol (CBD) are on the rise, there is a growing misunderstanding about Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, and Cannabis Oil. Some people use the term Hemp Oil to describe CBD Oil and others confuse Cannabis Oil with Hemp Oil and vice versa. It should be understood that these products are indeed 3 separate things, that are distinguished by which part of and from which plant they are derived. The two main components that need to be taken into account when trying to decide what oil it is that people are talking about are; Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). To understand them further, we need to look at which plant each product comes from and how it is made. All three are extracted from the same family of plants but the species of plant and its extracts are very different.

Hemp oil and CBD oil are generally processed from industrial hemp plants. These plants are bred to have very high concentrations of Cannabidiol and very low concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol. In most cases, the THC levels in the these plants are below 0.3%. Industrial Hemp is grown and cultivated to supply grain, fibre, hemp seed oil and CBD oil. Hemp Seed oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the plant, like grape seed oil, and usually yields 49% oil by weight. Hemp seed oil is processed for use as a dietary supplement and in the manufacturer of health and beauty products. It is a major source of, in most cases over 75%, Omega 3 and Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, yet is very low in saturated fatty acid. Unrefined hemp seed oil is usually dark green in colour, with a nutty flavour that makes it a great replacement for other culinary oils that are generally very high in saturated fatty acids. Hemp oil also contains a great many vitamins and some  people take Hemp oil daily, as part of a nutritional and vitamin supplement program. There is no THC or CBD in Hemp seed oil, in fact there are no cannabinoids in the seed at all, in contrast to the other two oils that it is confused with. Hemp Seed oil can be found off the shelf at many pharmacies in the Natural Health Products section, as well as grocery stores and Health and Wellness outlets.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, on the other hand, is actually a  Cannabinoid itself and one of over 80 cannabinoids found in Full Spectrum CBD Oil. CBD Oil is processed from the same industrial hemp strains as Hemp seed oil but from the fibre of the entire plant that is pressed into a pellet form called biomass. The plants fibres are covered in trichomes, which are small tubular sacs attached to the stalk, stems, and flower of the plant which contain the cannabinoids and terpenes used to make up CBD oil. Unlike hemp seed oil, CBD oil is refined using scientific processes like supercritical Co2, and other solvent based extraction methods, to release the oils. CBD oil, as mentioned, contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive compound in medical and recreational cannabis. CBD oil interacts with the human Endocannabinoid System, helping anandamide and 2AG bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors. The Endocannabinoid System is the largest neurotransmitter system in the human body, controlling mood, pain, sensation, appetite, metabolism, sleep, bone development, and immune function, to name a few. The confusion starts because, both Hemp seed oil and CBD “hemp” Oil come from the same plant and people often include the “Hemp” in the name of CBD oil. Hemp Seed oil and CBD Hemp oil are generally Made from the same plant but are two completely different compounds, used for two completely different things.

The third oil that gets thrown into the mix is Cannabis or Marijuana oil. Cannabis oil is processed in similar ways to CBD oil but it is extracted from the cannabis or medical marijuana plant. In contrast to the Hemp plant, CBD oil, and Hemp seed oil, the Cannabis plant is bred and cultivated to contain the most THC possible. Medical and recreational marijuanas have high levels of THC to begin with, extracting and concentrating the THC into an oil only increases the level of THC in the finished product. There are dozens of cannabis plant strains, each with a different level of cannabinoids and THC depending on the intended us, but once the Cannabis oil is extracted, levels can range from 50% all the way to over 90% like those found in RSO. As a sidebar, RSO or Rick Simpson Oil is the cannabis oil concentrate created by Canadian Rick Simpson, as an alternative treatment to Cancer. After seeing the effects of high THC cannabis oil in test rats, Rick decided to see if the oil would have the same effects on humans. After apparently getting his basal cell carcinoma to regress after using the product. He then went on to develop Rick Simpson Branded oil in 2003.  

The three oils have, for years, been synonymous with each other, which is a misnomer that can often create confusion to those searching for certain health benefits, so asking questions about the oils processing and what part of the plant it may have been processed from, can usually clear this up. All three oils are used for the treatment of a number of medical conditions, although less so with Hemp Seed oil, which does serve as a great health and wellness product. CBD oil and cannabis oil are both used to treat certain medical conditions but other than cannabis oils touted effectiveness in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Cancer, CBD oil is reported to work with the same list of conditions. CBD oil is very low, if not void of THC, yet is able to relieve the symptoms of the same long list of ailments as Cannabis oil, making it a far better choice for use in pets, young children and anyone trying to steer clear of psychoactive effects.