There is a lot of market confusion these days with the everyday health product Hemp Oil and it’s medicinal counterpart, hemp-derived CBD Oil. The two even sort of look similar in small dropper bottles and friendly green packaging. But the two couldn’t be farther apart in contents and overall medicinal benefits.
Hemp Oil is a ‘healthy fat’ like olive or avocado oil and it’s made from pressing the seeds of the mature industrial hemp plant. The kind they use for paper and hemp goods. There are good nutritional benefits and it contains Omega 3, 6 & 9 nutrients. However, there is very little in the way of cannabinoids. It isn’t bad for you but it isn’t going to activate your endocannabinoid system either.
Cannabinoid Rich Oil (CBD Oil) is made from extracting the terpenes & oils from the leaves and flower buds of specially cultivated, high-CBD/low-THC strains of hemp plants. These special plants are mostly prevented from ‘seeding’ and have been bred to contain higher quantities of CBD as well as other trace cannabinoids like CBC, CBN & CBG. The final product can range from very dark green to golden honey-like oil that can have crystals form in it at low temperatures. These crystals are pure CBD and will melt at higher temperatures. Further processing turns these crystals into Isolate which is a dry crystal form of 99% pure Cannabidiol (CBD.)
Now to further confuse the situation, most companies (us included) infuse the rich cannabinoid oil into a tincture to make it more palatable and control the milligram dosage. Raw cannabinoid oil can be very sticky and often is too thick to dispense with a dropper. It can also be very strong in ‘green’ flavor and leave a burning sensation in your throat. It sticks to your teeth and tongue and is otherwise kind of yucky. (Some love it, we don’t judge.) We’ve found that adding it to Coconut Oil makes it smoother, taste better and should even help your body absorb it better since we use 97% C8 MCT Coconut Oil (Caprylic Acid.) The small particles of this highly refined coconut oil are very tiny and thus more bioavailable to your cells than other oils like olive oil or even hemp oil. Adding it to MCT Coconut Oil also protects it and prevents it from degrading so easily from heat and light. This lengthens the shelf life naturally without the need for preservative chemicals to be added.
Regular Hemp Oil can be found in most health food and drug stores and is available widely online at places like Walmart and Amazon. Most of the large online retailers have a policy of not selling CBD products, probably due to it’s sometimes questionable legal status. Most CBD products are only legal if they contain less than 0.3% THC and it’s tough for Amazon to police all the Hemp Oil companies so they’ve made a policy of not allowing CBD products at all. This hasn’t stopped all the Hemp Oil companies from capitalizing on the confusion and listing the many health benefits that are normally associated with hemp-derived CBD Oil. They even put ‘milligram’ dosage information to thoroughly confuse uneducated shoppers.
Make no mistake however, most of the Hemp Oils available have little to no CBD or cannabinoids in them. The word ‘extract’ is used but an extract can be anything from plain seed oil to the real thing (CBD.) The label should specifically say “Milligrams of CBD” or you have no way of knowing what they’re giving you.
So what’s the difference between Hemp CBD Oil and traditional Cannabis CBD Oil?
Hemp is technically a Cannabis Sativa (a low-THC cousin) of the traditional ‘big bud’ cannabis plant which presents in both Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. If you take a closer look at the graph of cannabinoids present in both plant types, you’ll notice that they look fairly similar with one giant difference. The levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC that is present in the traditional cannabis is much higher. There are definitely medicinal benefits to this well known ‘recreational’ cannabinoid. It specifically binds with different cannabinoid receptors than CBD, and the two work well together to make a powerful, medicinal duo. We also agree with scientists that think that CBD without any THC is not as good as when the two are present together. Even the low trace amounts of THC naturally present in Hemp CBD Oil are enough to help with this synergistic entourage effect. The Entourage Effect is the theory that when all of the colors of the cannabinoid spectrum are together, they work better than when isolated. There are however, times and reasons why very low THC is much better for some people who don’t enjoy the loopy effects and don’t want to be impaired in any way. Others may have employment policies to worry about or legal questions depending on the state they live in.
This is why there has been an explosion in the popularity of hemp-derived CBD Oil. It doesn’t fit the standard definition of cannabis and as long as the THC levels are super low, it is considered a Hemp product which is legal. (Under the provisions of the US Farm Bill of 2014, 2015 & hopefully 2018.) Hemp CBD Oil contains the very small trace amount of THC which is helpful for the entourage effect, but not enough for people to feel anything other than, well, good. Feeling good is the whole point of taking CBD supplements and works so well that pharmaceutical companies are now jumping in. Once staunchly against even studying this plant, they now see $ signs in the form of an entirely new market ready for something without side effects.
For the time being, you can’t get CBD Oil on Amazon, but that will probably change in the next 5 years when the United States de-schedules cannabis on a federal level. Consumers must seek out independent retailers and must find one they trust. As an informed consumer, you should seek out companies whose products have the following attributes:
Hemp Grown in the United States – Hemp is a bioaccumulator meaning it removes toxins from the earth as it grows. If it’s grown in the US, you have a much better chance of not picking up the toxins from unregulated foreign soils.
Extracted without Solvents – CO2 is one of the cleanest extraction methods since any remaining CO2 dissolves easily into the air. No Butane or Hexane or Alcohol is left in the final product to be passed along to you. This type of extraction also leaves behind most contaminants that the plant could have absorbed.
Lab Testing – This is one of the few ways that consumers have to know if what they’re getting is legit. Unfortunately, testing isn’t as bulletproof as people think and tests can be outdated or not relevant to the actual product you’re purchasing. We think a more important factor is
Chose a Company you Trust – We recommend choosing a company you trust either from talking to them or from a referral. Chose a company that puts ingredients and education before marketing glitz. It’s probably a good idea to stay away from MLM operations or companies whose product cost is exceptionally low. You get what you pay for and Hemp CBD is no exception to this rule.
Full Spectrum over Isolate – So many companies use Isolate because it’s easy to work with. Pure CO2 extracted and winterized CBD Oil is a laborious and slow process that cuts into profit margins and slows production. But if you care about the health benefits, we think it’s imperative to demand this higher quality medicine.
We hope this guide has helped you make an informed decision
and invite you to give our Cannabinoid Rich CBD Oil products a try!