What Is Hemp Oil and The Benefits of Hemp? A Hemp vs Marijuana Comparison
The hemp industry is literally exploding right now. Everyone is asking questions about hemp. What is hemp oil? What is CBD oil? What are the benefits of hemp? We will explore these questions and more as we compare hemp vs marijuana.
Breaking It Down
Hemp and Marijuana are essentially cousins. Hemp comes from industrial hemp, a plant cultivated specially to contain less THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychoactive ingredient that causes people to get high. It specifically interacts with your neurons to cause you lose fine motor skills and exhibit behavior that seems like alcohol intoxication. In other words, THC is what makes you stoned.
Hemp is a crop that is cultivated for use in the hemp related industries of hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, and CBD (cannabidiol) oil. CBD is regulated and must contain no more than .03% THC in the final product. It is helpful to cross strains and specifically cultivate plants that have lower amounts of THC so that separating it is easier in the process of extraction of the oils. If you are confused and are now wondering ‘then what is hemp oil?’ you are not alone. This does get confusing to people who are new to the products.
CBD oil is taken from the entire plant, usually from the stalk and leaves. They are ground up and then the oil is extracted from the whole plant, which creates what is called ‘full-spectrum CBD oil’ because it gets CBD from the entire plant. Concentrations can differ from one area of the plant to another, so this is desirable.
Hemp oil comes from the seeds only. Most people have heard of hemp seed oil and hemp oil is the same thing. The seeds are mashed, then the oil is extracted from them. The main difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil is that the concentration of CBD in hemp seed oil is lower than it would be in CBD oil. Hemp oil contains less than 25 parts per million, compared to CBD oil that can have much higher concentrations, ranging from 2% to 99% depending on the source of the oil.
Hemp Compared to Marijuana
The human body contains special receptors, most of which are in the brain. These are cannabinoid receptors. There are two types of them and they are referred to as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids. THC is the one that has a psychoactive property.
When THC enters your body and reaches the receptors, it acts a bit like a key and it unlocks the receptors. When it does this, a little army marches out into your body and starts working in your neural pathways. It can block pain, which many find beneficial, but it also blocks more important things. Fine motor skills are impacted and so is your ability to think.
This isn’t necessarily desirable for people who need pain relief, nausea help, or relief from chronic conditions. Aside from hoping for health benefits, most people still need to function at work and in day to day life. Marijuana contains THC and when people use marijuana for pain relief, they also sacrifice their cognitive function in large part. THC also triggers sleepiness and hunger, thanks to the neural pathways that it interacts with. It bonds with both receptors CB1 and CB2.
Hemp vs marijuana doesn’t bond to both receptors. Hemp activates CB2. CB2 sends out its little soldiers into your neural pathways and they don’t have the far reach that marijuana does. While hemp contains some THC, the small amount compared to marijuana (which can contain as much as 10% THC), isn’t enough to cause the dramatic effects. This means that you get most of the benefits without being stoned.
As you might imagine, this is a wonderful thing for people who need to go to work and function with all their thinking abilities each day. Most people who are stoned simply want to sleep and eat. Being productive is just not as possible when you use marijuana on a regular basis because of the psychoactive effects.
Several Reasons to Use Hemp Oil
Many people have started to use hemp oil and CBD oil. The reasons are clear. These products make people feel better. Everyone can benefit from using hemp oil. Some of the many benefits include:
- It works as an analgesic, reducing pain and inflammation. This especially helps those who have injuries or chronic conditions. Those with chronic back pain will find relief when using hemp oil. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you may receive benefits that other medications cannot give you.
- It works on your neural pathways in conjunction with serotonin receptors. This means it improves mood, can ease depression, may have a place in mental health care for patients currently suffering with bipolar, PTSD, anxiety, agoraphobia, and even schizophrenia.
- It helps the body avoid infection. When you sprain your ankle, for example, you will have swelling in your ankle. Cannabinoid receptors, when activated, send healing fluids to the area that help reduce the possibility of infections. This benefits people who have chronic conditions as well. If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease and even leukemia, you can benefit from hemp seed oil usage.
- Omega 3 and Omega 6 are present in high percentages in hemp oil. Using it as a daily supplement can help ward off heart disease.
- It works in the body with serotonin receptors that are responsible for controlling appetite and the release of cortisol, sometimes called the stress hormone. By reducing feelings of stress, you can feel less anxiety and not have the desire to ‘stress eat’ as many people often do.
- It has been shown to have an impact on pancreas production of insulin and may help to keep blood sugar more stable.
- It works as an anti-nausea for those who are undergoing chemotherapy. It can also offset pain related to the treatment. Since it also works as an anti-inflammatory, it also is helpful to reduce the change of infections and illness during chemo, due to the weakened immune system that is often a result of undergoing chemotherapy.
Other benefits of hemp oil are that it makes a wonderful supplement for your day to day diet. You can add it to salads, mix it in your coffee to enhance the flavor or enjoy it added right into your soups. It’s easy to take, is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other supplements and medications, and it is natural. You can’t overdose on hemp oil and you won’t wreck your kidneys. You don’t need a prescription to start enjoying the benefits of hemp oil right now. When taken with food, you can expect it to begin working within twenty minutes up to two hours. On an empty stomach, hemp oil should begin working in fifteen to twenty minutes. If you feel tired after your first dose, try taking less each time until your body builds a little tolerance to it.