If you take a look at pretty much any medical site anywhere on the internet nowadays, you’re likely going to see endless articles about the benefits of CBD oil and hemp oil. Whether it’s for treating obscure conditions you now are a little bit frightened you have, or just taking it as a nutritional supplement, it seems like everyone and their grandmother is using CBD and Hemp oil.
But… what’s the difference? Isn’t CBD oil just CBD taken from hemp? If that’s the case, what is hemp oil?
Let’s take a look at the principal differences between the two, as well as why people would choose one over the other.
CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil – What Makes Them Different?
The key thing to note about CBD oil and Hemp oil is that they are, in essence, derived from the same plant. Both CBD oil and hemp oil are extracted from hemp plants, which are a subset of Cannabis sativa (though hemp isn’t the plant you would typically expect to find in coffee shops in Amsterdam).
However, just because they’re made from the same plant type doesn’t make hemp and marijuana the same thing.
The key difference between CBD oil and hemp oil is what the manufacturers are trying to create – are they looking to create a nutritional supplement, or are they trying to make a medicine? If the producers of the oil are looking to make a medicine, they will extract the CBD from the hemp plant and leave the rest, making pure oil filled with CBD concentrate.
If they want to make a general hemp supplement, they will extract a lot more than just the CBD, additionally picking up various nutrients and proteins from within the hemp plant.
But what’s the reasoning behind why they do this? In order to understand this key difference, we need to look into what CBD is, and why manufacturers what to extract it.
What CBD is, and why Manufacturers Want to Extract it
CBD, or cannabidiol by its proper name, is one of the principal cannabinoids within hemp, and indeed within cannabis plants in general. As a result of the evolutionary processes that created THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid), other cannabinoids were also created that do not cause any kind of a high – as evidenced in the government’s official report on CBD.
CBD is one of those cannabinoids – in fact, CBD actually works to help counteract some of the effects of THC, such as reducing the increased risk for psychosis and paranoia in frequent users of THC, as discovered by Dalton et al. in their study for the Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Society.
When CBD enters your system, it is digested and eventually processed in the liver. Once there, it is broken down into usable components and it begins to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This health system interacts with a huge number of bodily functions, principally organized by its two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2.
These receptors’ ability to affect your body are primarily decided by their location – for example, CB1 receptors are mostly located within the brain and central nervous system, wherein they allow the receptors to impact both the release of neurochemicals and the feeling of pain.
However, CB2 receptors are spread throughout the body and control the body’s inflammation response, as well as the rate with which certain cells can regenerate. When CBD enters your body, it begins to trigger these receptors, allowing your body to begin healing itself or relieve the symptoms of certain conditions.
The medicinal effects of CBD are still being studied to this day, but in evidence of CBD’s benefits, the US federal government finally, at long last, fully legalized CBD medicine across the nation for treating two specific forms of epilepsy.
CBD’s effect on your endocannabinoid system is actually also mirrored in THC’s interaction with your body, which is the substance you’re looking for if you want to get high. However, when you imbibe THC, it doesn’t trigger the receptors in the same way that CBD does – instead, it over-stimulates them and causes disorientation and a lack of lucidity, causing that infamous high.
Due to the fact that people who want to treat their various medical conditions aren’t likely to want to get high every single time they need a dose, it makes sense to turn to CBD instead of THC for the answer. This is the primary reason manufacturers extract CBD from hemp plants; to make a concentrated CBD oil that allows patients to administer CBD, and only CBD, to themselves.
There are a variety of cannabis strains that are CBD-heavy and contain a very limited amount of THC, but some people simply don’t want to smoke their medicine – they’d rather take it in pill or oil form.
CBD oil as a medicine makes sense, but then why do people want to extract hemp oil? What is the reason people bother with that when there’s medicinal CBD oil instead?
What Hemp Oil is & Why Manufacturers Make it
Hemp oil is, unfortunately, a bit more boring than the medicinal benefits of CBD oil. Hemp oil isn’t normally taken to actually treat any kind of serious condition or as a way to help mitigate pain – hemp oil is basically a food.
Hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds, which are pressed in the same way that olive pits are pressed to create olive oil. This extraction process creates rich, fatty oil from the hemp seeds that many people utilize as both a food supplement and as a cooking oil.
The nutritional content of hemp seeds speaks for itself, as it contains a huge quantity of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and omega-6, as discovered in numerous studies such as one by Rodriguez-Letva and Pierce for the journal Nutrition & Metabolism.
The consumption of fatty acids is incredibly important for a balanced diet, as there is a significant link between reduction in cholesterol and the regular consumption of fatty acids. Fatty acids might sound like they’re bad, but don’t worry, you quite literally can’t live without them.
In fact, hemp oil has the highest quantity of total polyunsaturated fatty acids per gram out of every single type of commercially available cooking oil. However, one thing to note is that hemp oil has a rather low smoke point when compared to other common cooking oils like soybean, peanut, or canola.
This means that hemp oil doesn’t perform so well when used as a frying oil – instead, you should strive to use hemp oil as a food supplement to add into your dishes, or even just ingest the hemp oil directly with a spoon, just like when your grandmother used to insist on swallowing cod liver oil.
Additionally, hemp oil has a number of other benefits, such as a moisturizer. As strange as it might seem to imagine someone slathering their skin with hemp oil, the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which exist in high concentrations within Hemp Oil imitate the skin’s natural layer of lipids quite well, helping to protect it from external damage. The use of hemp oil produces skin that is a lot smoother and less cracked than you might imagine.
Finally, hemp oil also has a use as a wood finisher. Due to the fact that hemp oil polymerizes into solid form when dried (which simply means that, when cooled, hemp oil takes on qualities similar to a polymer), hemp oil acts as an effective pigment binder in oil paints, as well as a useful varnish in wood finishing. The color that hemp oil provides on finished wood is considered quite sought after, as its pale brown color is difficult to replicate with other finishing oils. So not only is hemp oil a useful addition to your kitchen, it even has a place in your wood workshop!
When Should You Get CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil?
Upon first hearing of CBD oil or hemp oil, you might be tempted to go and pick some up for yourself and find the vast array of different choices, varieties, and types quite confusing. To make it simple, just remember that CBD oil is almost exclusively a medicine; people take it as either a recommendation from a doctor, or in an effort to treat a condition that conventional medicine has trouble curing.
Hemp oil, however, is not usually prescribed by a doctor unless you have demonstrated an improper diet, especially with regard to necessary fatty acids.
If you’re just looking for a nutritional supplement to help improve your diet, look for hemp oil in the supermarket – it’ll likely be pretty close to other cooking oil. Try and go for hemp oil labeled as “refined” or “cold pressed”; if you can find both together, you’ve likely hit the jackpot!
If you’re looking for a treatment for a particularly nasty medical issue, or even just want to try some of the pain-reducing effects of CBD oil, look in your local health store or ask your doctor for a prescription.
To make it even easier, you can find both CBD oil and hemp oil available for order online without a prescription all over the internet. After all, who wants to actually go to a store when you can just order your hemp/cannabis plant oils from home?
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