CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?
CBD, Hemp & Cannabis: Their Differences Explained
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Is cannabidiol legal?
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
Is cannabidiol safe?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of cannabis sativa while CBD oil is made from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the same plant.
Hemp seeds have an entirely different composition compared to the actual hemp leaves and flowers. For example, hemp seeds contain only trace amounts of CBD, while hemp leaves are more potent and can contain up to 40% CBD.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil, aka cannabidiol, is one of over a hundred active cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis sativa plant. CBD oil is most commonly extracted from the hemp plant but it can also be extracted from CBD-rich indica strains of the marijuana plant.
But don’t worry about getting high from CBD oil. While typical cannabis plants are rich in the cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that’s responsible for that high feeling, hemp leaves only contain less than 1% so there’s no danger of suddenly getting the munchies and winding up at Taco Bell. Instead, hemp is rich in the CBD cannabinoid which exclusively promotes the feeling of relaxation without any psychoactive effects of feeling high.
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil Benefits
Both hemp oil and CBD oil can be used in a variety of ways. They can be taken orally like a supplement, used topically, or even in cooking and recipes!
When applied topically, hemp oil benefits include:
Deep hydration for ultra-dry skin
Moisturizing without clogging pores
Softened skin for a more supple complexion
Boost in hair growth and lessened hair loss
Improved skin elasticity
When consumed orally, hemp oil is:
Rich in vitamins and minerals that create anti-inflammatory effects
Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 to improve eye and heart health
Rich in antioxidants and minerals that fight aging and boost immunity
CBD Oil Benefits
CBD oil benefits are most common from taking it orally. These include:
Analgesic effects (aka amazing pain-relieving abilities)
Relieves muscle aches and joint pain
Soothes headaches and migraines
Anti-inflammatory effects that diminish symptoms of auto-immune diseases like psoriasis
Applying CBD oil topically also comes with benefits that include:
Relieving stress and tension in the muscles
Soothing redness from rosacea, sunburns, and bug bites
The bottom line on cannabidiol
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.