Nature provided humans with the Cannabis Sativa plant. Humans then categorised distinctions between different sub-species, bred them to create different strains and then took different parts to extract different ingredients we liked and we are now left with a potentially confusing array of products.
If you are looking for some clarification over what is what with regards to the products that are extracted from cannabis then we will explain this for you.
First, we must understand what cannabis is. Scientifically it is defined as a flowering plant in the genus Cannabis L, which contains 3 different species: –
These different species are distinguished by both the appearance and genetics of the plants and the physical effects they may cause the human body, which is determined by the cannabinoid content of the plant.
A cannabinoid is a chemical within a cannabis plant that interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. Two famous cannabinoids you probably will have heard of are tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, or THC and CBD respectively.
THC is the most researched cannabinoid and is the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Therefore, it is the component that causes the stereotypical feeling associated with cannabis, which you may hear as being called “stoned’ or “high’.
Because it causes these feelings, and is therefore mind-altering, it has been made illegal in the UK as well as most countries around the world. Some people use THC for recreational purposes.
READ MORE: Beginners Guide To Everything CBD
CBD is a cannabinoid that has currently taken the media and the natural-health & holistic worlds by storm due to its uses and properties. It is psychoactive but will not cause the user to get “stoned’ or “high’. Therefore, it is legal in many countries in the world, including the UK.
So, plants in the cannabis family can be categorised based upon the amount of THC that they contain. In the UK, Hemp is legal whereas Marijuana illegal and this is based upon the concentration of THC, the law in the UK is: –
So, in the UK, with regards to industrial hemp, you can grow and sell hemp seed and stem with a license that you apply for through the UK government. It is illegal to sell the unprocessed buds/flower in the UK and law dictates that it must be thrown away unless it goes through some form of processing, so made into oil or tea. However, a grey area exists in the legislation where the cutting, trimming and curing of the cannabis flower counts as processing, hence you will see it being sold, but only if it contains less than 0.2% THC.
Cannabis oil is a generalised term for oil that is extracted and processed from the cannabis plant. Both hemp oil, CBD oil and THC oil are all types of cannabis oil, but they are extracted from different parts of the plant and in different ways.
Hemp oil or Hemp seed oil is the oil that is extracted from the stalks and seeds from Industrial Hemp. Tests have shown that neither the stalks nor the seeds contain either THC of CBD in a sizeable amount, if at all.
It has multiple industrial uses, such as: –
As well as used in body care and healthcare, such as:
Hemp oil can generally be found in two separate varieties. Either as an unrefined oil or as a refined oil. Unrefined oils are generally referred to as â€œvirginâ€ oils and are made by cold-pressing the seeds and stems, meaning that little to no heat is involved. This oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants as well as essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and is generally darker green in colour and has a strong smell.
Refined hemp oil has a cleaner appearance as well as a cleaner odour. This is because it goes through chemical processing involving heating it up to 270OC which removes most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but a lot of the essential fatty acids remain.
Unrefined oils are much healthier when used in healthcare and body care, but refined oils produce a much higher volume per plant and are lots cheaper to produce.
CBD oil can be extracted from either marijuana or hemp plants from the buds/flower. It is the flower that contains the cannabinoids, terpenes as well as nutrients & vitamins. There are several methods of extracting the contents from the flower, such as CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction.
When the compounds are extracted from the hemp plants, because they contain less than 0.2% THC, they are instantly available to sell. However, CBD concentrations in a hemp plants range from around 1 to 10%, sometimes more. However, CBD oils contain concentrations generally ranging from around 3 to 40%. Therefore, you will find that more processing will occur to isolate pure CBD and then this will be added to the original hemp flower extract to increase the concentration of CBD within the oil.
As previously mentioned, you can obtain CBD from marijuana plants, but these will contain levels of THC that would be illegal in the UK, so isolation of the CBD or removal of the THC would be necessary for it to be legal. The raw, unprocessed oil extracted from marijuana plants is called THC oil.
Hemp oil is more of a preventative, with essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to aid healthy growth and repair, whereas CBD oil is used to treat and/or manage a number of physiological and cognitive illnesses and behaviours.
Hemp oil contains a range of vitamins and minerals and, in particular, a perfect balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid.
These are known as essential fatty acids as the body is unable to produce them endogenously and therefore they must be included in our diet.
There are many benefits to hemp oil which include:
Cannabidiol has taken the world by storm with an array of touted potential benefits.
Clinical trials take time but there have been a huge number of studies into the effect of CBD on both human cells and animals, resulting in a mammoth list of benefits.
As more research comes to light we will gain a better understanding of the true potential of this wondrous plant.
To date, there is research suggesting a myriad of potential benefits including, but by no means limited to, CBD oil as a potential treatment for insomnia.
CBD’s anti-anxiety effects will help calm and relax a person prior to sleep, which for a lot of people is half the battle.
One case study of a person living with anxiety and a sleeping disorder showed how cannabidiol improved both the quality and the duration of sleep.
CBD oil works by interacting directly and/or indirectly with receptors located throughout the body and the brain to promote sleep and relaxation.
CBD has also been shown to be a neuroprotective agent with the ability to restore hippocampal interneuron functions that become damaged following sleep deprivation.
Hemp seed oil is high in beta carotene which is broken down in the small intestine to produce retinal, a form of vitamin A.
Carotene can be stored in the liver and fat tissue and converted to retinal when needed.
Vitamin A helps create white blood cells (the body’s immune defence mechanism) as well as helping shape bones, improve vision and improve skin.
CBD oil is synonymous with anti-anxiety. Its effects have been demonstrated in numerous human clinical trials.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, 60 volunteers were given either CBD or a placebo.
Two hours later they were given a random topic and two minutes to prepare before speaking in front of their respective groups.
Those who received the compound from the cannabis plant registered significantly reduced subjective anxiety compared to the control group.
In another simulated public speaking experiment, participants reported drastically lower anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech compared to placebo.
Cannabidiol regulates pain by influencing serotonin receptors located on the peripheral and central nervous system, known as the pain pathway.
When the human body is in pain it releases a natural chemical called anandamide which suppresses the feeling of pain.
Unfortunately, this molecule is broken down quickly and easily by an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase, “FAAH’. CBD has been shown to inhibit the production of FAAH, thereby prolonging the effects of anandamide and reducing the sensation of pain.
Additionally, glial cells in the body play a major role in pain amplification but CBD has been shown to suppress glial activity in cells.
Hemp oil, on the other hand, cannot provide pain relief but its optimum omega 3 content does have anti-inflammatory effects which can aid healing.
Yes absolutely, hemp and CBD oil are both perfectly safe.
Over 5000 research papers published on the National Centre for Biotechnology comment on cannabidiol’s remarkable safety profile.
In fact, one 2017 study goes a step further, suggesting that CBD â€œhas a better side effect profileâ€ than traditional drugs.
Following a surge in popularity, the World Health Organisation conducted its own review and deemed CBD to have â€œa good safety profile which was well tolerated in humansâ€.
Hemp seed oil has been documented for human use in food preparation for at least the past 2000 years according to Chinese texts and even Herodotus in his book “The Histories’ speaks of the Scythians using hemp seeds.
The benefits from CBD oil and hemp oil cannot be overstated and purchasing CBD oil that is contained in a hemp oil carrier results in the consumer getting the best of both worlds.
Hemp seed oil offers a perfect balance of essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6, vitamins, and minerals.
Consumer interest is now leaning towards a CBD-focused market and, given its medicinal use, that is unsurprising.
However, as general knowledge increases, it is believed that hemp oil will also see a surge in popularity once more.
If you are ever in doubt as to which oil is in the product you are considering, simply ask.