The hemp plant has strong, fibrous qualities that have made it ideal for manufacturing a variety of goods for centuries. Canvas, rope, paper and even a natural plastic are produced from hemp. Because hemp is a cannabis plant, it is often confused with marijuana and its psychoactive cannabinoid, THC.
People now recognize that non-psychoactive cannabinoids in hemp may have important health effects. Cannabidiol or CBD is receiving most of the attention. The following primer can help you decide if it is right for you.
- There is No “High” Associated with Hemp-Extracted CBD
Cannabis plants contain at least 80 potentially healthful cannabinoids and CBD is one. It is found in hemp and marijuana plants. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it has no mental effects associated with THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid present in marijuana.
- The CBD Extracted from Marijuana
CBD extracted from marijuana (not from hemp) does contain high levels of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that requires marijuana to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Though laws vary by state, in most places marijuana only available by prescription.
- The CBD Extracted from Hemp
CBD extracted from hemp contains extremely low levels of THC (.3 percent or less), so low that the government does not classify hemp oil as drug. Since there is no risk that CDB will impair your cognitive functions, a prescription is not required for its sale and use.
- Hemp Oil and CBD refer to the same thing
CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis extract, and for over-the-counter sale and consumption, is extracted from hemp. You will often see CBD referred to as hemp oil or CBD oil. They all refer to a product extracted from hemp that contains concentrations of CBD.
- There is No CBD in Hemp Seed Oil
While Hemp seed oil may have benefits as a dietary supplement, it does NOT contain CDB. Hemp seed oil is produced by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seeds contain NO CBD.
- Read the Label
CDB content in hemp oil is measured in milligrams (mg). Most manufacturers make product with potencies of 250mg, 500mg and 1,000 mg in 15 to 30 ml bottles. Hemp oil sold as capsules should be labeled by mg per cap. If you do not see the amount of CDB specified, you should consider a different product.
Methods of Extracting CBD from Hemp
The CBD extraction process is similar to the extraction of other essential oils. The most common methods used to extract CBD from hemp include:
- CO2 Extraction
During CO2 extraction, liquefied CO2 dissolves the hemp plant’s molecules, separating the oil. The oil separates out from the liquid CO2 when the CO2 converts back to a gaseous state.
- Ethanol Extraction
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, is used in low-temperature chemical extraction, which also removes chlorophyll.
Potential Benefits of CBD
CBD is not considered a medication or a cure and its possible health benefits have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Various studies seem to confirm that CDB offers support for the body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors in the body react to endocannabinoids, and these receptors and responses are known as your Endocannabinoid Systems. They help keep your body in homeostasis, or healthy balance, by modulating functions such as:
- Pain perception
- Stress responses
- Sleep and sleep cycle regulation
- Reproductive system processes
- Immune system function
- Memory and learning
- Muscle movement and neuroprotection
Endocannabinoids break down quickly. Introducing CBDs seems to improve the important “signaling” endocannabinoids deliver to your body’s cells (and organs) via cannabinoid receptors.
Hemp Oil and your Endocannabinoid Systems
Your cannabinoid receptors do not differentiate between endocannabinoids and CBD, so supplementing with CBDs alleviates possible negative effects of a perceived endocannabinoid deficiency, potentially helping restore homeostatic balance.