Hemp is often confused with marijuana. The fact that the two plants are similar looking to a naive eye makes it the same or alternate names of the same plant. The products from the two plants have found importance in the industry due to its beneficiary properties. For the inexperienced users, the synonymy of hemp and marijuana creates misconceptions and improper use of the plant products.
In the following context, the difference between the two plants and its primary product, the oil, has being discussed in detail. So let’s get to know these better. Light has also been shed into what research has to say about the usage and effects of the hemp oil and the CBD oil.
Clearing The Confusion Between Hemp Oil And CBD Oil
Hemp and marijuana are completely different from one another in terms of function, cultivation and application. Since the war on drugs declared by president Nixon in the 1970’s, the outlaw of the cannabis plant was carried on. One of the world’s oldest domesticated crop, hemp, was now seen as a banned substance and its usage was doomed. This was the time when the seeds of misconception were sown and what reaped out of it was a grouping of these two plants under a common name.
Marijuana looks way different from hemp. The shape of marijuana tends to be like broad leafed, tight buds or even looks like a nugget with hairs! On the other hand, hemp has skinny leaves that are concentrated at the upper part of the plant, while only a few branches and leaves exist below the top part. The hemp plant can grow up to 20 feet tall. When observed from afar, marijuana looks like a short fat bush, whereas hemp is basically skinnier and taller.
Hemp is particularly a variation of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is grown throughout the country for its industrial uses. The growth and cultivation of hemp has caught increasing attention as industries are relying on hemp for its products that are useful for various applications. The main products of hemp: its oil, milk, juice and fiber are used in cosmetics, food products, bio-diesel, construction and many other industries. This makes hemp an industrial and agricultural crop. Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the industrial hemp plant. The oil is rich in minerals and nutrients and has lower concentrations of the psychoactive substances.
CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, stem and stalk of the marijuana plant. It is unlike hemp oil which is only extracted from the seeds of the plant. CBD oil contains around 5-30% THC. The amount of THC in the oil can be controlled by the plant variety. There are CBD oils which are rich in THC, low on THC and even some which have equal amounts of THC and CBD. High CBD content oils have around 20% CBD and less than 5% THC.
High CBD strains deliver specific functionalities without the euphoric high associated with the high THC strains. This is preferred by consumers willing to reduce pain, inflammations, anxiety related disorders, sleeplessness and other syndromes. Depending on the content of THC and CBD it can be used for recreational and medical purposes.
Hemp Oil Usage Vs CBD Oil Usage
The derived hemp oil is used for cooking purposes as it is full of nutrients like protein and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc, and vitamin E. Hemp oil used for cooking delivers a crispy and nutty taste to the food. It is seen as a replacement for olive oil in salads. The moisturizing features of this oil makes it useful for after shower use. It is used in the manufacture of bathing soaps, lotions, and other cosmetics.
The automobile industry is also experimenting on using the combustion properties of the hemp oil. It is used in the manufacture of bio-diesel. Henry Ford’s model T was based on hemp gasoline. The car even had hemp plastic panels which were much more stronger than traditional steel. The impact strength of the hemp used in Ford’s model was ten times more than that of steel.
One particular application of hemp oil is in the paint industry where it is used for fabrication of eco-friendly paints. This sustainable crop product polymerizes and gives wooden furniture a fine matte finish. The use can be extended to leather products which needs protection and conditioning. Being 100% food grade, biodegradable and solvent free it is suitable for home furniture appliances and also gives a natural matte look.
The use of hemp oil for therapeutics is quite low. The psychoactive potency of the hemp oil is nil. Hemp oil has lower levels of CBD usually lower than 25 parts per million (ppm). The oil has also less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for giving psychedelic euphoria. CBD oil contains around 15-20% CBD and some amounts of THC. THC, the most abundant chemical in marijuana also has its other effects like anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. Among the other cannabinoids present in marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD) is non-psychoactive.
CBD oil finds its way in therapeutic effects as more people are reporting its usage for treating medical conditions without the intoxicating effects of marijuana. It is also due to people wanting to experience the other health benefits of CBD without getting high. CBD oil has been used in the recent years to cure pain and inflammation. It is used for the treatment of epilepsy, seizures and even multiple sclerosis. Many report that the usage helped in reducing induced traumas and stress and anxieties.
Some of the studies have shown that CBD oil is helpful in treating digestive tract infections and Crohn’s disease. When ingested, the CBD binds with the cannabinoid receptors and stimulate the body to prevent occurrences of nausea, stomach acid irregularities, and vomiting. CBD being 100% organic is way better than pharmaceutical drugs. It doesn’t bring unwanted side effects when used. It can be used in the form of vaping, ingestion or patches on the body.
Scientific Studies Associated With CBD Oil
The use of CBD oil has found to improve the health and conditions of many people, including, from improving the sleep patterns, reducing anxiety and pain, to improving social recognition and memory enhancement. Pediatric epilepsy also known as Dravet’s Syndrome is a life-threatening condition. There is currently no conventional treatment method for this. Common treatments include having the child wear eye-patches, regularizing their diet and ultimately brain surgery.
The seizure rate for a child with this syndrome is around a thousand times a month. A young girl named Charlotte who had experienced this condition had a monthly seizure count of more than 1000. With the use of CBD oil for past 8 months now, her parents have reported that it has gone down from 1200 to as low as 3 per month now.
In 2013, a review stated that CBD can help to relieve pain caused by fibromyalgia and others, including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Fibromyalgia is a muscular disorder which is characterized by muscular-skeletal pain, fatigue, memory, sleep and mood irregularities. It is believed that fibromyalgia amplifies the pain sensations by affecting how our brain processes these pain signals. In a review published in 2015 which analyzed research on CBD usage for chronic pain, although not specifically linked to pain caused by fibromyalgia, seven out of the eleven demonstrated pain relief.
Also studies on patients affected by pain in multiple sclerosis, who were subjected to CBD usage reported lower painful conditions. In the various trials done in 2015 which focused on chronic pain induced by multiple sclerosis associated patients, they would prefer medical marijuana over pharma drugs. It is due to the negative side effects of marijuana use for clinical purposes. It has been shown that the way these cannabinoids bind to the respective cannabinoid receptors, and counteract the hypersensitivity of cells to pain, reducing the feeling of pain. It was seen for people suffering from migraines and fibromyalgia. The anti-inflammatory action of CBD would reduce heat and swelling around injury or disease which in response leads to reduced pain.
CBD use has also shown improvement in the health of patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's disease. The enhancement of memory and cognition has been reported by a team of researchers at the University of Wollongong, Australia and also published in the Frontiers In Pharmacology. It was also seen that CBD could help in conditions of stroke, sepsis, meningitis and even deficits which were due to use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Reports of encounters with schizophrenia reduced after CBD oil usage. CBD promotes neurogenesis, which means the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. This helps in improving the memory and recalling and often enhancing it.
Recently people who have reported bad reactions with marijuana use are inclining to CBD oil to enjoy the health benefits without being high from THC. It is increasingly used to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal and other drug addictions. This was proved by a team of scientists who had published their results in the Journal of Addiction Biology. They carried out an interesting experiment with mice who were conditioned to be in only one of the two rooms. One of the rooms had a rewarding morphine drop while the other room had none.
The mice were injected with CBD and then their behavior was studied. It was found that in a course of eight weeks, the tendency to go to the morphine rewarding room reduced drastically and gradually the mice left going to the rewarding room and rather go to the non rewarding room. This behavior can be directed to humans who associate a drug use to some feeling or experience. When the user gets the craving to go back to the same feeling or state induced by the drug, the use of the drug becomes a habit and hence addiction.
CBD can be used to treat these craving of drug use. As a matter of fact, these longings of the body to re-live the drug experience can be suppressed by the CBD activation of the CB2 receptors in the brain, which back fires the neurons and subdue the action. Such treatments are helpful for fighting opioid addiction. People who are wanting to abstain from the psychedelia of marijuana and still enjoy its other benefits, CBD is a wonderful alternative. The disruption of reconciliation of the drug use makes CBD a helpful tool to heal the body and mind.
Legal Status Of Hemp And CBD
The legality of the hemp products is a call to alleviate the use of these eco-friendly techniques in industrial and daily life. Hemp being 100% organic, food safe and biodegradable has found a legal status in the US. The signing of the Farm bill 2018 (The Hemp Farming Act of 2018) by president Donald Trump on Thursday gives a green signal to the farmers and the industries to use hemp and CBD products. Despite regularization, the use of the products will benefit the public and also the market.
This version of farm bill places hemp oil with under 0.3% of THC under the supervision of the Agriculture Department and removes CBD from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act. The FDA had initially approved a drug called, Epidiolex, which contains CBD for the treatment of seizures. U.K.-based GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex syrup was the first prescription drug to be accepted by FDA in June 2018 which was derived from the marijuana plant.
Many food and beverage companies like Tilray Inc., Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Constellation Brands Inc., Molson Coors Brewing Co., Coca-Cola Co. etc have invested in research and made collaborations with cannabis farms and companies for a joint effort to develop better cannabis products which have health benefits. Many people believe in the potency of the cannabis plant and are hailing the recent farm bill as a new herald to usher industrial and health growth. Consumers seeking to use hemp oil and CBD oil should approach a doctor and get it prescribed for personal use.
Final Words On Hemp Oil And CBD Oil
With Christmas around the door and the legalization of hemp and CBD products, it is clearly a good sign for the times ahead where we can incline towards the benefits of cannabis products for daily use. The difference between the two oils and its vivid uses also shed light into its practical applications.
CBD levels may vary from crop to crop and even from plant to plant. Some of the tested and commercially available CBD strains are ACDC, Cana-Tsu, Dancehall, Sour Tsunami which are hybrid strains. Some of the Sativa derived CBD products are Harlequin and CBD Mango Haze. Remedy and Pennywise are the Indica derived CBD strains which are laboratory tested and commercially available.
While hemp oil contains lower CBD concentrations, which are used for household and industrial purposes, the CBD oil having greater concentrations of CBD are primarily useful for treating medical conditions and improving the health of the user. As with any drug, it is advisable to go with a low dosage initially and carefully observe the body's reaction.