The reason why many people ask this question is that the hemp plant doesn’t share the marijuana plant’s psychoactive qualities. They wonder whether hemp oil will provide similar benefits to psychoactive marijuana oils and even whether hemp oil can be regarded as cannabis oil at all.
A selection of our products
Is hemp oil cannabis oil?
Both non-psychoactive hemp oil cannabis oil are extracted from plants of the genus Cannabis. Contrary to popular belief, there is no botanical difference between hemp and marijuana.
The differences that do exist are mainly related to cannabinoid composition and result from human plant breeding interventions. These are by no means recent, although plant breeding aimed at high THC content has been the primary recent drive owing to the high price that recreational users are willing to pay for a strong ‘high’.
The drive towards the cultivation of cannabis with extremely high THC content has been coupled with a huge decrease in CBD content. The former will certainly make one ‘stoned’, whist the latter counteracts THC and does not. But despite its lack of psychoactivity, CBD may be one of the most powerful ingredients to be found in this genus. Recent research has shown that CBD could be of benefit in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses and disorders with a spectrum of uses that overlaps that of THC.
However, for thousands of years people have recognized the practical benefits of hemp and have bred it both as a fiber crop and for the nutritional and medicinal benefits that can be contained from the oil contained in the whole plant, but particularly its seeds. Industrial hemp oils are still used for a variety of applications and have even been studied as an excellent source of biodiesel for the future.
Different types of hemp oil
Rather than asking “Is hemp oil cannabis oil” we should ask ourselves why we are asking this question. After all there are many grades of hemp oil available.
1. Industrial hemp oil once formed the backbone of the coatings industry (paints, etc.) and is still widely used in body-care products. It is not suitable for human consumption and is extracted using harsh processes that alters and neutralizes the natural molecules within the oil.
2. Culinary hemp oil is usually made from cold-pressed hemp – either the whole plant or the seeds. Hemp seed oil is used much as olive oil is used in cookery and is appreciated for its nutty flavor. Those seeking to explore the nutritional benefits of hemp will certainly benefit from using this grade of oil, but it is not highly concentrated and would be unsuitable for those seeking pharmacological benefits.
3. Pharmaceutical grade hemp oil is produced in much smaller volumes worldwide owing to the need for careful selection of CBD-rich genetic strains, the need for organic farm production practices, and the requirement for expensive CO2 extraction techniques in order to concentrate the oil. Regretfully, the recent rise in popularity of cannabis oil has resulted in unsafe solvent extractions, lack of attention to CBD content and the use of plant material from dubious sources by certain manufacturers.
Author: Andrea Durrheim