Hemp is a remarkable genre of flora!
What did early cultures know about the healing compounds in Hemp — and how are they used today?
What are the changing laws around full spectrum hemp oil and CBD?
What are the best products to use and how do you find the highest quality?
In this guide, we’ll discuss all of the above — plus everything else you need to know about full-spectrum hemp oil.
What is a cannabinoid?
To understand how hemp oil products work in the body, you need to first understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a part of the mammalian central nervous system.
You and everyone you know — even your furry friends — have endocannabinoid systems (ECS). The ECS is thought to play a crucial role in many bodily functions, including appetite, sleep, mood, and injury mitigation.
How do cannabinoids work in the body?
In general, the ECS can be thought of as your body’s regulatory committee. When things get out of balance, the ECS steps in to bring order to the chaos, also known as homeostasis.
Our bodies produce chemicals called endocannabinoids.
Our bodies have two networks of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in our connective tissues, gonads, organs, and throughout the nervous system. CB2 receptors are mostly dispersed through the immune system and related organs.
However, both versions can be found in a wide range of bodily tissues.
What is a phytocannabinoid?
Chemicals contained in hemp plants, known as phytocannabinoids, are similar enough to the endocannabinoids in our bodies that they too can have a profound effect on our ECS.
There are more than 80 known plant-produced cannabinoids — all of which effectively mimic the endocannabinoids 2-AG and AEA that are produced in the body.
These known phytocannabinoids are actually cannabinoid acids that synthesize during production (by a heating process known as decarboxylation) into recognizable compounds like CBD and THC.
Marijuana vs. hemp: What’s the difference?
What is the difference between marijuana and hemp?
Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, marijuana and hemp are not the same, though they are both varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Marijuana is typically cultivated as a horticultural crop, while hemp has long been thought of as an agricultural crop. And while marijuana is thought of singularly as a drug, hemp has been used for centuries in a variety of applications, including household and industrial products.
Today’s uber-popular CBD oil products — including full-spectrum hemp oil — are also derived from hemp, grown at an industrial scale to exacting specifications that ensure its legality and maximize its potentially healing properties and cannabinoid profile.
Is cannabis legal?
That’s a complicated question. The legality of cannabis depends on the type of plant in question.
For many years, federal law lumped hemp in with other cannabis plants, which were effectively outlawed in 1937 under the Marihuana Tax Act and made “officially” illegal in 1970 through the Controlled Substances Act.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated marijuana a Schedule 1 substance “ with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Their definition is certainly up for debate, but until that debate occurs at a federal level, all marijuana products are illegal.
That means it’s technically against federal law both to grow marijuana varieties of Cannabis sativa, and to ingest products made using the plant.
Then there’s hemp, which growers can now legally cultivate, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, cannot contain more than 0.3 percent of THC — meaning it won’t get you high.
Learn more: The 2018 Farm Bill: What This Means for Hemp
Where is medical marijuana legal?
Recent years have seen many states pushing to legalize marijuana at various levels, either for medical or recreational use.
As of January 2019, recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, and medical marijuana is legal in 33 states.
Learn more: Map of Medical Marijuana Legality
Is hemp oil legal?
All CBD and hemp oil products such as full-spectrum hemp oil sold are legal to ship to all 50 states because they contain less than .3% THC, the FDA legal limit. (Individual state laws may vary though with brick and mortar sales.)
What is full spectrum hemp oil?
Full-spectrum hemp oil is a pure extract of the hemp plant, including CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, Flavonoids, Terpenes, and .3% THC. It can be packaged as capsules tablets, salves, balms, tinctures, and more.
It’s important to understand the different types of hemp oil available today, though, because not all hemp products are created equal.
Full-spectrum hemp oil. Full-spectrum hemp oils contain all the compounds manufactured by the plant: cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The cannabinoids in these oils include less than .3% THC. That’s not nearly enough to get you high, but it is enough for the entourage effect to kick in (more on that below).
Broad-spectrum hemp oil. Broad-spectrum hemp oils have all the terpenes, flavonoids, and phytocannabinoids the plant has to offer, minus the THC. Broad-spectrum oils are made by either stripping the THC from the oil, or starting with a CBD isolate and reintroducing all compounds except for the THC.
CBD isolate. CBD isolate are most commonly extracted via cold CO2 methods that strip away all but the CBD molecules from the plant. The result is a fine, white, crystalline powder that easily dissolves in liquid.
Hemp seed oil. While the three products above are made from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, hemp seed oil is made from the seeds and contain beneficial elements such as essential fatty and amino acids, high levels of vitamins A, C, and E as well as protein, fiber, and minerals. Although Hemp seed oil is derived from hemp, it contains no cannabinoids like the above three versions of hemp oil.
What is the entourage effect?
The entourage effect is a chemical reaction that occurs when a combination of cannabinoids is present in the body at the same time, enhancing all their effects simultaneously.
Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam coined the term “entourage effect” in a 1999 scientific paper when they realized that cannabinoids found in the hemp plant work like the body’s own endocannabinoid system.
Studies have revealed that the therapeutic properties of individual cannabinoids weren’t as effective without their sibling compounds.
This suggests a synergistic interaction between the phytocannabinoids known as the “entourage effect,” which makes full-spectrum oils a more productive choice.
How is full spectrum hemp oil made?
Full-spectrum hemp oil is extracted from the hemp plant’s leaves and flowers (also know as the aerial parts of the plant.)
The production of full-spectrum hemp oil starts with drying the stalks, stems, leaves, and flowers of fully matured hemp plants, then mashing the entire plant into a fine powder and extracting the oils using using a gentle extraction method.
This process leaves the phytocannabinoids whole, which ensures that all the potentially-beneficial compounds are being delivered in the extracted oil.
Full spectrum hemp oil benefits
Until the Food and Dog Administration (FDA) does further research on the effects of phytocannabinoids, manufacturers and retailers are limited in the claims they can make about the effectiveness of their products.
While this might seem frustrating, scientific rigor will help pinpoint the effects of specific compounds and combinations – and even lead to new discoveries.
Full spectrum hemp oil vs. CBD isolate
A “purified” oil contains an isolated compound, usually just one of the 90 cannabinoids found in cannabis.
“Full-spectrum” phytocannabinoid oils contain all the compounds manufactured by the plant.
Different strains of cannabis produce different spectrums of compounds. The compounds in a full-spectrum oil vary based on the genetics of the plants from which it’s derived.
For example, hemp doesn’t contain notable amounts of the psychotropic, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); therefore, hemp oils aren’t intoxicating.
Hemp oil vs. CBD oil: What’s the difference?
As Shakespeare said: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!
So are hemp oil and CBD oil the same thing? It depends on who you ask, but often, the difference between “hemp oil” and “CBD oil” is marketing. In general, the terms refer to products with similar ingredients and uses.
Rather than focusing on what the product is called, smart consumers should pay attention to the quality of the products they’re using and how the cannabinoids have been extracted from the plant to make the product.
How to identify quality hemp oil
While hemp and CBD oils have been around for some time, they are only now becoming a more widespread product in the United States as the wider cannabis industry becomes a hot market with less stigma attached.
Growing popularity means an increasing number of companies and entrepreneurs want to take advantage of demand, which inevitably leads to issues like sub-par quality and or even bogus products.
How much hemp oil should you take?
To get the best effects from full-spectrum hemp oil, it’s important to select the correct potency.
If you’re new to using these products, it make take some time to find the right amount to take for your needs. Follow these tips for a better experience.
You may be eager to take cannabinoid oil to address a nagging or chronic condition, but you don’t want to take too much too soon.
This is why you should start with the lowest dosage, and consider keeping a journal to track how you’re feeling with every dose or application.
Because everybody is different, individuals will naturally have different reactions to hemp and CBD products. You may find that just a small amount gives you the results you’re looking for.
Gradually increase the dosage
If that small dosage doesn’t seem to be doing anything for you, you can begin to increase it.
Because it takes some time for these products to build up oil to affect your endocannabinoid system, you should gradually raise the amount.
Take the same dose for a few days or so before you make it a little bigger.
Try different delivery methods
There are several delivery methods to consider depending on the desired effect.
Talk to a healthcare professional
Thanks to countless websites and blogs, you can find quite a bit of medical information online. But to get real answers, there is no substitute for actually talking to a professional.
Whatever ailment you hope cannabinoid oil can help with, a doctor or other type of medical professional should be able to tell you how to use it and the doses to take.
Not all cannabinoid oils are the same
Cannabinoid oil is used for a number of chronic conditions, but the quality is a trait that can’t be ignored. At Veritas Farms, we are dedicated to growing the absolute best hemp to produce superior oils.
We use the whole plant, which ensures that all the essential elements remain intact.
How to gauge potency of CBD oil
Cannabinoid oil potency is segmented into three different types. It’s important to note that doctors can’t prescribe CBD or other cannabinoids; they can only make a recommendation based on your symptoms.
To further complicate the potency issue, there’s no universal dose or recommended daily allowance of CBD to act as a guide. And because of the way cannabinoids interact with the body, there are several variables — including weight, metabolism, diet, and product consistency — that would make it hard to do so.
That’s why we recommend you start with a small, low-potency dose and work your way up only if necessary.
Low potency: 2.5–15 mg per serving
Low doses of cannabinoid oil are a great place to start and may be effective for people with active endocannabinoid systems who don’t need stronger doses. Just a small dose every day may be used to maintain a healthy lifestyle, also known as micro dosing.
Medium potency: 16–33 mg per serving
In most cases, doubling your lower-potency dose can be effective. The severity of your symptoms and the way your ECS works will determine how many doses per day you will need.
High potency: 34–50 mg per serving
Research is under way to see how high-strength doses of cannabinoid oil can be used for a number of ailments.
What are the different types of CBD products?
There are several delivery methods for CBD and hemp-oil products: balms and ointments, tinctures and extracts, tablets and capsules, and even gummies!
Full-spectrum hemp oil is most commonly found in easy-to-swallow capsules or liquid tinctures applied under the tongue with a medicine dropper for easy measurement. Both of these delivery methods allow you to ingest the product orally, where it enters your digestive system and is metabolized by the liver.
Ultimately, which phytocannabinoid product you choose depends on the result you wish to achieve. Regardless of what product you use, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying from a reputable manufacturer that understands how to extract the hemp plant’s essential cannabinoids safely and effectively.