Hemp oil and CBD oil have become synonymous with good health and well-being. But there is always great confusion about their differences. The purpose of this blog post is to shed more light on hemp, CBD oil, hemp seed oil, and their fundamental differences.
Hemp vs Cannabis: essential differences
Hemp and marijuana are two species of a large family : Cannabis Sativa. They have an essential difference :
Marijuana contains THC, a compound known for its psychoactive effects that makes you “high”. As a result, marijuana is banned in many countries, except in a very strict medical setting in the United States and Israel for example.
Hemp does not contain THC, it has no psychoactive effect and has always been 100% legal and very cultivated in Europe. Hemp also contains a pearl: it can be rich in CBD, the compound popular for its unique wellness properties.
Cannabis vs. industrial hemp
Industrial hemp is not smoked ! Cannabis sativa naturally contains too little THC (tetrahydrocannabinol : the psychoactive substance) to produce any effect. Marijuana is actually Cannabis sativa, but selected over generations to concentrate THC (0.2% on average for the industrial plant versus 1-5% for marijuana).
Hemp fibre has been used for more than 10,000 years in the manufacture of clothing. Before the 1930s, almost every European and American peasant cultivated a small plot. This plant ideally complemented the other activities of the farm: its seeds are edible and produce an oil with great nutritional virtues (perfectly balanced in omega 3 / omega 6 for the human body). After pressing, it remains a very protein flour that can be used in the kitchen (just like the leaves). In many small villages, it was for a long time a life-saving food supplement, despite its strong taste.
Legalization of cannabis products and their content of psychoactive THC
Legalization of cannabis: right or Crime?
Marijuana has become the last substance in a global debate as a result of its legalization for recreational purposes in Uruguay and Canada. This measure, in contrast to the coercive approach traditionally adopted by the United States at the federal level, highlights the different legal possibilities for regulating the production, consumption and trafficking of this popular and denoted drug.
In 2013, former President José Mujica of Uruguay became the first president of the government in the world to sign a law that legalized “the production, sale and consumption of marijuana or cannabis.” With the adoption of the law on the part of the Senate, uruguayan, with 16 votes in favour and 13 against, the State in south america was to combat the problems related to the trafficking of drugs, in clear opposition to the traditional “war on drugs” championed by the united States, with a focus on highly punitive to sellers and consumers.
The law, understood as a” socio-political experiment ” and a pioneer in the world, has received unequal reception. While in 2017 researchers from Monitor Cannabis, a platform of the University of the Republic of the country, explained that the legal marijuana market accounted for 20% of annual production, others criticized the state’s opacity, which prevented reaching representative conclusions. Despite the lack of conclusive data, the model uruguayan has prompted other countries to take your example: Canada has legalized the recreational use by 2018, and the new president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, also advocates for the end of the illegality. Is marijuana the new tobacco or the new alcohol?
A substance controversial
The history of marijuana is almost as old as humanity itself. This substance is a specimen of a plant known as cannabis that is characterized by containing a large amount of THC, a compound that produces a psychoactive response from the body. Because of its ability to alter the nervous system, marijuana differs from hemp, with low presence of THC and used in industry and nutrition; although both belong to the Cannabis sativa family, its applications and purposes diverge enormously.
Both plants have been used by numerous cultures. Hemp, for example, was used for the naval industry because of its great resistance; it is said that without this material Christopher Columbus would not have been able to reach the “New World”. Marijuana, on the other hand, was described by the Greek historian Herodotus in referring to the Scythians, who used it for recreational purposes, and was also found in tombs of the shamans of China and Siberia around 500 BC.
Towards legalization of marijuana
In line with the American example, other countries have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. Germany, for example, authorized its use in mid-2017 with the aim of reducing severe pain in patients with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or cancer. Thanks to the concentration of THC in the plant, the feeling of pain is reduced by interacting with the body’s cannaboid receptors. Other countries, such as the Czech Republic —where it has been legal since 2013— or Norway —since 2016— have also approved its use within their national health system.
However, the use of marijuana is not restricted only to the medical field; in many places it has been used for recreational purposes for decades. Perhaps the most traditional place is the Netherlands. Although its recreational use has only been decriminalized since 1976 with the Opium law, the so —called coffeeshops— premises that sell everything but coffee-are a real tourist attraction; it is estimated that in 2017 between 25 and 30% of Amsterdam visitors went to one of these famous places. Portugal, for its part, became the second European country —the first was Spain— to decriminalize the use of all drugs in 2001 as a result of the increasing numbers of HIV infections, which led to it being the most infected country in the European Union. Thanks to this radical initiative, HIV infections fell dramatically, from 104 new cases per million in 2000 to 4 in 2015.
Origin of hemp oil and CBD oil
There seems to be confusion arising from an uncertainty on the net about cannabis oil. We talk about so many different oils from the hemp plant or the cannabis plant. The following names often appear: hemp oil, hemp seed oil, CBD oil, THC oil, cannabis oil, hash oil, hashish oil, marijuana oil, Rick Simpson Oil. But what exactly is cannabis oil, what isn’t it? The following paragraphs aim to enlighten you and give us useful information before buying organic cannabis oil!
The term cannabis oil is used as a generic term for various oils produced from the hemp or cannabis plant, which are undifferentiated and can therefore come from different subspecies. But these oils are not produced from the seeds of the plant. The main differences between cannabis oils are their cannabinoid content, their method of extraction, the type of plant, and the part of the plant from which they are extracted. For cannabinoids, the emphasis is on the psychoactive element tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive substance cannabidiol (CBD). To learn more about cannabinoids from hemp plants, read our overview of cannabinoids.
THC causes a exhilarating effect when consumed. CBD is the main non-psychoactive cannabinoid in the plant. The two substances have the opposite effect, but when combined, they can improve your health. From a medical point of view, it seems logical to keep the phyto-cannabinoid THC in the oil produced, but to be careful to modulate the concentration of THC and CBD according to the use and purpose of its use. When considering buying organic cannabis oil, the first thing to consider is THC and CBD levels.
The cannabis oil, this is not…
As said, cannabis oil is not produced from hemp seeds. These are called hemp oil or hemp seed oil. Hemp seeds do not contain THC. Nevertheless, these oils may contain traces of it, as plant residues may remain attached to the seeds extracted for oil production. In brief: cannabis oil ≠ hemp seed oil and hemp oil!