You may have recently been shocked to see a CBD product on the shelf of a mainstream US retailer. Whether you’re searching for high-cost produce at Whole Foods or high-cost beauty products at Sephora, you will likely stumble upon the new trend sweeping the health and wellness industry like fire. This is, of course, CBD. Despite its rising popularity and use amongst the American population, many misconceptions and incorrect preconceived notions about CBD, what it is, its legal status, and what it does persist. We have written this article to help you navigate the discussion and discourse around CBD. Since it is regulated as a supplement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), those selling CBD do not have any liability for misleading, exaggerated, or downright dishonest claims. This means if you are a consumer interested in CBD, you need to take an extra level of caution and effort to investigate the qualities and contents of the product you’re examining. You should always consult a physician before starting CBD or any other supplement. CBD can have side-effects, and it can also have specific adverse reactions with different kinds of prescription medications. If you glean nothing else from this article, it is imperative that you understand you should never take CBD or any other supplement to treat or cure or disease or without the express inclusion of your physician. The supplement can have side effects and you should be well-aware of them before you just start ingesting it. Make sure to do your homework, and by reading this article you are already off to a better start than most.
The short answer is no. Hemp oil is not the same as CBD oil. CBD oil is the shorthand term usually used by most people in everyday language to describe what is more accurately called ‘hemp extract’. Now, people primarily buy ‘hemp extract’ that is specifically synthesized to contain the highest amount of Cannabidiol, or CBD. Thus, the confusion between CBD oil and hemp extract has now been cleared up. Now we can tell you the difference between hemp oil and hemp extract. Hemp oil is an oil solely derived from hemp seeds and contain very little if any cannabinoids common to hemp extract like cannabidiol. So, if you’re looking for the wellness benefits that come along with CBD, then seeking them in hemp oil is the absolute wrong move and will not get you what you are seeking.
What Is Hemp?
The controversy surrounding the cannabis plant and the plant's flower, which is commonly referred to as 'marijuana' is a relatively new development on the planet earth. This is especially true when you consider that there is evidence that cannabis is among the first crops ever cultivated and domesticated by human beings. Aside from the mind-altering 'high' that is caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant has historically had many uses. One of the versatile plants' characteristics is that it provides some of the most robust fibrous material that is offered by nature. This made the crop particularly crucial in pre-industrial societies. Hemp was traditionally a short-hand term for cannabis plants grown to exploit this material benefit of the plant rather than the psychoactive effects that may also prompt folk to seek the plant. The difference in uses is the primary culprit for the historical distinction between Hemp and marijuana. If you are growing cannabis to be used as a drug, you will want to promote an entirely different set of characteristics than if you are growing it for industrial or commercial uses (other than recreational or medicinal use). However, in 2018 the Agricultural Improvement Act significantly clarified the legality around using cannabis for legitimate purposes. The bill created a separate legal distinction for the cannabis plant known as 'Hemp' which is any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% of THC.
This designation opened the door for the rapid and parabolic rise of the US hemp extract industry. Hemp extract is the primary way users get CBD, and depending on which type of mixture they get, CBD may be one of many cannabinoids present.
So that’s the key to remember; Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains less than the legal threshold for THC. What’s even more confusing is that Hemp Oil is often used to refer to something completely different from hemp extract, or CBD oil. This can lead to a lot of confusion if a consumer is not careful.
How Is Hemp Grown?
Hemp, unlike marijuana, is grown to produce as much plant mass as possible. Marijuana grown for purposes of providing THC-rich cannabis plants will have an entirely different set of characteristics. The emphasis is, of course, on the quality of the flower, not overall plant mass. The newly legal status of Hemp has led to an agricultural boom in the growing of Hemp. However, this is not always the best development for consumers. Hemp/cannabis is a plant that is naturally very proficient at removing pollutants like heavy metals from the soil. So a wave of unscrupulous farmers hoping to clean their dirty fields with a hemp crop then turn and sell disingenuously to customers seeking to promote health and wellness. Make sure you don’t become duped by these bad producers of Hemp. Always only select your CBD and hemp extract products from companies that only use the United States Department of Agriculture certified organic Hemp. Otherwise, you risk getting a tainted product that could counteract the goals of health and wellness.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil is usually derived from the seeds of Hemp plants. The primary use of this oil is generally in cooking or beauty products. The confusing thing about hemp oil is that it often contains very little if any CBD. So if you're looking for CBD, then you may get confused and purchase hemp oil only to be disappointed. It would be more accurate to call hemp oil 'hemp seed oil,' but the colloquialisms of the English language are just as mysterious to us as they are to you. Hemp oil is extracted only from the seeds and not from the stalks or other plant material. Some trendy brands sell hemp oil, however, there may be some brands that try to target consumers looking for CBD deceptively, but instead, give them hemp oil. Always be sure to select vendors who lab test their products. Otherwise, you are just taking their word for what their product does and what is in their product.
What is even more confusing? Guess how much CBD you will get from the hemp oil that is traditionally used for culinary reasons? Almost none. So, some duplicitous vendors will label their products as containing CBD and sell it like it is a CBD-rich product when the only thing it contains is the incredibly cheap and very-low-in-CBD hemp oil. This unfortunate practice is also entirely legal, and other than pro-consumer groups who highlight the practice to the public, these vendors will suffer very few other consequences. There are also some vendors who will have no type of cannabinoid, not even hemp oil, of any kind in their product. This is just a straight up scam, and unfortunately, because of the shortfalls of government regulation in the area, consumers have to be empowered by their own individual responsibility and intellectual prowess to ensure they do not fall victim to the type of unscrupulous actors that are allowed to abuse consumers with little consequence from Uncle Sam.
This is why it is important to select only vendors that dramatically exceed the practices of most who sell CBD. This includes making sure that there is a laboratory test, or Certificate of Analysis present on each product that indicates precisely how much Cannabidiol (CBD) is present in each product, amongst other common cannabinoids in hemp extract. One way you can support vendors that go above-and-beyond is only purchasing CBD-rich hemp extract from businesses that source from USDA certified organic hemp. Fortunately, though there is a lot of inefficiency in the way the US government handles the treatment of CBD products, there are still government certifications that can make you more confident of quality. This certification is a particularly important one to have for even hemp oil, and even more so for hemp extract. This is because the hemp plant has a natural characteristic that makes it particularly good at cleaning the land of contaminants. So, if it is not grown using an organic process there is a chance it could contain highly harmful things that would negate the positive health and wellness benefits you would otherwise attain.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is technically referred to, in most cases, as hemp extract. Hemp extract that is CBD-rich, is what people are usually talking about when they say ‘CBD-oil’ unless they are referring to illegal varieties that have been synthesized from federally illicit versions of the plant containing more than 0.3% THC. Now the particular method of extracting the hemp oil relies on processes that result in the mixture being particularly rich in CBD and usually pretty low in THC if it contains any significant amount at all. The CBD compound is sought because of its wide range of perceived health benefits. However, CBD oil can also be extracted from the federally illegal variety of marijuana plant. It is important to note that the 2018 Farm Bill did not make CBD illegal. CBD has never been technically unlawful as a compound alone. Any legal issues have always stemmed from the underlying prohibition of the cannabis plant. If you are taking CBD oil to get high, like people would try to do by taking THC-rich marijuana, you will be sorely disappointed. According to a report by 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." So, we know its not harmful, we know consumers love it and we know there’s a lot of promising medical research forthcoming that should illuminate further potential benefits. Is the substance cure-all or panacea? Certainly not, and anyone that is claiming that it is should be instantly discredited in your mind. People making claims like that also are very unlikely to even be selling you real CBD. Integrity in business will translate to integrity in the product. Support businesses who understand and value their consumers. Support businesses that go the extra mile to deliver their prized customers the quality and value that they’ve come to expect through years of loyal patronage.
What Kind Of CBD Oil Are There?
There are also different general types of CBD oil. There is full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains not only the sought after compound but the complete range of other cannabinoids present in the Hemp or marijuana plant. Unfortunately, if you are adverse to THC for a personal or health reason, this type of CBD oil does contain up to the legal amount of 0.3%. This can cause folks to run into the problem of having a false positive on a drug test. If you want to take CBD and are concerned about a potential false positive for marijuana you may be able to take the issue directly to your HR department. Openness and transparency is always the best policy for matters like this, except when its not.
For folks who may have this concern, the CBD industry created Broad-Spectrum CBD extract. This is almost entirely identical to full-spectrum CBD except that it has had all of the THC removed. It is essentially a THC-free variant of the full-spectrum problem. People who may be in recovery from substance disorders or pilots, federal or healthcare workers may prefer to use this type of product for obvious reasons.
Hopefully though, the concern of drug testing is less and less prevalent. Most states have legalized cannabis to some extent, usually for medicinal purposes. While the political history of the War on Drugs may be a hotly controversial topic, what should not be controversial is chemical compounds that alleviate human and animal suffering and promote general health and welfare. Based on anecdotal evidence and medical research, it can be unequivocally states that CBD is safe to take as a supplement at reasonable levels and that the potential uses as a therapeutic agent or treatment for certain conditions of symptoms is very, very promising.
Finding the right supplement to help boost your health and wellness is not the only thing you have to worry about. You also have to worry about finding the right business to buy it from; one that is aligned with your values and standards. If you want to take a serious approach to your health and wellness than you should do due diligence and select only the best, family-run and oriented companies that put the level of care into each product that comes off their shelf that you, as an informed and intelligent consumer, should come to expect. Making sure questionable motives of farmers looking to make a quick buck doesn’t affect your desire for a healthier lifestyle is important. You can use some other government and private certifications to help you identify the businesses that are the ‘cream of the crop’.