For a long time, researchers were only concerned with studying THC, the psychoactive component that is concentrated in marijuana. However, within the past decade, they have become increasingly interested in the therapeutic benefits of the other compounds found in both varieties, especially cannabidiol (CBD).* It’s important to know that although THC and CBD are the most studied components of cannabis, there are many more chemical compounds found within the plant, such as the phytocannabinoids cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
There are many varietals of the Cannabis sativa plant, all of which contain different amounts of THC (the psychoactive component), CBD (a nonpsychoactive component), and other components. Cannabis sativa varietals that have more than 0.3% THC are commonly referred to as marijuana. Hemp is any varietal of Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC, and it will not get you high.
As cannabis and hemp become more extensively researched and widely available, we are starting to realize the true therapeutic power of these plants and their derivatives.* But they still generate a lot of confusion. Today, we’re clearing up the murkiness surrounding cannabis products, their differences, and the legality of taking them so we can focus on all the benefits of hemp oil extract as well as the ins and outs of buying and consuming it.*
An introduction to hemp and how it differs from marijuana and CBD.
Researchers have discovered that whole-plant hemp extracts that contain these other compounds are more beneficial than isolated extracts of just CBD or THC, due to a phenomenon called “the entourage effect.”*
In studies, the CBD in hemp oil has been shown to reduce seizures in rare types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Regularly taking CBD can also reduce the number of seizures brought on by tuberous sclerosis complex, a condition that causes tumors to form throughout the body.
Some people experience skin irritation when using topical oils containing CBD, possibly due to an allergy. Start with using a small amount to see how your skin reacts to it, and keep an eye on any changes.
Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Oil
Over time, excess inflammation in your body can contribute to a variety of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma. It has been suggested that gamma linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp, acts as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have also linked the omega-3 fatty acids in hemp with reductions in inflammation.
Although hemp and marijuana come from the same species of cannabis plant, hemp has little to no THC. This means that consuming hemp is legal in the U.S. and will not cause you to become intoxicated or impaired.
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports: “Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy: an Update.”