Without a doubt, hemp has become the superfood that will define modern living. The plant just oozes better health. Ok, we’ll admit that’s weird to say, but we can’t help but get excited because it’s so fascinating learning how all parts of the plant can be used to create different oils that improve our health in so many different ways.
Take for example hemp seeds, which are packed full of fiber, healthy fats, and protein that can reduce inflammation, boost your cardiovascular health, lower bad cholesterol, and help you put on some muscle. And that’s just the seeds! They aren’t even the greatest part of hemp either!
Move your way up to the stalks and flowers, and you find phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that come together and deliver one hell of a treatment for fighting an incredible range of medical conditions.
Because hemp has this treasure boat of different molecules that are kicking butt and taking names, we are seeing a lot of different hemp products from CBD oil to hemp seed oil to full spectrum hemp extract and on.
So what’s the difference with these? Well, today you find out!
Hemp Seed Oil
When you walk into a grocery store you’ve probably noticed hemp products — with the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill legalizing hemp in the U.S., we’ve seen it take over many aisles.
You can buy hemp seeds to throw in your yogurt, hemp protein powder, and topicals, etc. and these are all derived from the seeds. We should note that there are CBD topicals, but these are not currently available in grocery stores.
Hemp oils can help:
- Maintain hormonal balance
- Rejuvenate dry skin
- Protect the myelin sheath (the membrane that protects nerve cells)
- Thin blood preventing varicose veins and blood clots
- Prevent Psoriasis
- Boost Immunity and regulate intestinal flora
Alternative Names For Hemp Seed Oil:
- Hemp Oil
- Hemp Protein Powder
CBD oil also comes from hemp plants — this time the stalks and flowers. While called CBD oil, the majority of CBD oil on the market is full spectrum, and this means it contains all the different phytocannabinoids and terpenes. Most people, and all pets do better with full spectrum oil instead of CBD isolate, which is just CBD by itself.
This is due to the entourage effect which is simply the term we use to describe how all the phytocannabinoids and terpenes work together to create a more desirable oil. There are hundreds of molecules in hemp, and they all have positive effects on health — cannabidiol (CBD) does it the most, so we called it CBD. There is CBD isolate, but without the other phytocannabinoids and terpenes, CBD struggles to pass the blood-brain barrier and is poorly absorbed.
Because this, we are starting to see companies move away from the name CBD oil because as you’ll soon see, the other guys and gals help out in a lot of ways. Now, CBD isolate does work better for some people compared to full spectrum, and this is due to our unique body chemistry.
CBD oil has been contributed to helping:
- Immune system protection and regulation
- Chronic Pain
- Alzheimer's and memory loss
Alternative Names For CBD Oil:
- Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
- Phytocannabinoid-rich Oil or PCR Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) and The Endocannabinoid System
While “CBD” isn’t the best term for the full spectrum hemp extract, there are good reasons it was originally called that. As well, CBD is the phytocannabinoid in the heaviest concentration in hemp, and it has the most notable effects on the body.
CBD naturally raises endocannabinoids levels, and this directly strengthens the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS plays an important and crucial role in homeostasis, which is the process that strengthens and protects an organism so it’s best suited for survival in its environment.
As we are coming to find out, modern living and our society are both putting our bodies under stress factors like they have never seen before. While we have more medication and are better at fighting individual diseases, we come across way more unique types. As well, our mental health is deteriorating from a plethora of different stress factors — cases of anxiety and depression are skyrocketing.
Chronic pain and inflammation is another area of concern — 1 in 4 Americans suffer from chronic pain. Homeostasis and the ECS are here to protect us from our environments and has been doing an excellent job for 600 million years, so why now is it not keeping up?
The answer may we live in too many different environments. Work, the internet, grocery stores, hospitals, the 24hr news cycle, etc. all create little mini-environments with their own unique treats from psychological to physiological. Our health and defense systems are getting pulled in too many different directions and our system is evolving fast enough to keep up.
The Other Main Phytocannabinoids in Hemp
For a long time, research on phytocannabinoids — besides THC — has only been indirectly studied, but in the last decade, we’ve seen this all change. In just the past few years we’ve seen a number of studies that only focus on CBD, and they are turning up great results. But, we’ve known for a while that CBD has a lot of benefits for our health, so the focus is changing once again.
Now that we know how crucial the entourage effect plays in the overall effectiveness of hemp’s healing power, we are starting to study the other phytocannabinoids and terpenes that we have completely ignored for far too long.
While CBD is the big guy in hemp, if it wasn’t for this next phytocannabinoid, CBD wouldn’t even exist. Cannabigerol (CBG) is the precursor for many phytocannabinoids, and as such, contains many notable beneficial properties and can be used as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, in cancer treatments because it can block cancer cell growth, and it’s also an effective antibacterial.
One of the paths CBG can take is to become the phytocannabinoid, cannabichromene (CBC), which we know plays a critical role in the entourage effect and promoting the passage of the other cannabinoids through the blood-brain barrier.
Like all cannabinoids, CBC has its own therapeutic properties like lowering pain sensitivity — similar to ibuprofen — and has been seen to even inhibit inflammation and tumor growth in mice.
Terpenes are the essential oils of plants — if you used lavender to lower stress or ate a spicy pepper for its anti-inflammatory properties, then you’re already familiar with how terpenes can improve your health.
The terpene, Linalool, gives lavender its soothing effects, while Caryophyllene is responsible for black pepper, cloves, and rosemary being used in topicals for pain relief for centuries.
These are just two of over two-hundred terpenes that can be found in hemp plants. Even without the phytocannabinoids, terpenes produce impressive positive effects on our health. In 2017, Italian researchers saw that just the terpenes alone lowered anxiety and produce brain wave activity that resembled that of mediation.
What About Marijuana or Cannabis Oil?
Marijuana or cannabis oil will contain two notable psychoactive phytocannabinoids that CBD oil from hemp will not have. It will share the same terpenes as hemp, however — but none of them are psychoactive so they can’t produce a high.
THC is the only real psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis and is the distinction between hemp and marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant. THC produces a high because it partially binds to CB1 receptors which are found largely in the brain.
When CB1 receptors are activated — whether by endocannabinoid or THC — pleasure senses increases. Mothers pass along endocannabinoids to their children through breast milk, and this is because they attach to CB1 receptors and increases appetite — *insert obligated babies getting the munchies from breast milk joke here*.
We’ve mentioned how phytocannabinoids like helping each other out above, but sometimes they actually “fight”. What’s great is this fighting still benefits us.
You may have wondered how marijuana can relieve stress and anxiety yet also make someone paranoid. So how can marijuana produce these opposite effects? Well, much of that depends on the ratio of THC to CBD. THC causes anxiety -- marijuana strains high in THC are well-known for their potential paranoia-inducing effects. However, CBD has anti-anxiety effects, and if there is enough CBD in the marijuana strain, it will combat and overcome THC’s negative effects.
CBD does this in many ways and will also stifle THC’s potency, but it creates a more pleasant, balanced, and safer high not only because of the anxiety issue but because of memory loss — THC by itself will decrease activity in the occipital lobe responsible for muscle memory, but CBD fights back and actually increases activity.
CBN is only slightly psychoactive, but again don’t worry because you need THC to have CBN. CBN is the final destination point in THC's journey, but it's only about 10% as potent at THC — really it just makes you tired and produces more of a body high compared to a head high.
CBN is often confused as CBD because of the name (cannabinoid vs cannabidiol)— so much to the point that CBD is frequently contributed producing a body high, but this could not be further from the truth. People also thought CBD made you tired, but again this is CBN not CBD. CBD may actually wake you up, but again it’s not psychoactive, so it’s more of a pip in your step.
Hemp Oil or CBD Oil: Picking The Best Hemp Product
So which oil should you choose? Well, why not both because you can get CBD oil with hemp seed oil in it. CBD oil actually needs a carrier oil that is high in fat because it dilutes the highly concentrated extract as well it greatly improves its absorption in the body and its stability.
Poor quality vegetable oils can be used and are OK, but simply not the best. Instead look for a CBD product that uses hemp seed oil for a multi-layered oil for better health.
We use hemp seed oil in all of our hemp products because not only does it give you the healthiest carrier oil that alone can help better your health it also allows us to only use hemp — this keeps prices low and make our CBD oil hemp and only hemp.
For more information on CBD products, click here!