Hemp is a seemingly magical plant. Why is this? It’s nutritional quality and nutrient content is second to none – almost no other plant quite matches its amazing blend of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are contained in all parts of the plant in varying quantities – from the leaves and buds to seeds and stalks. Some of the healthy fats include gamma and alpha linoleic acids which are incredible for cardiovascular health and improve markers of blood pressure and cholesterol when consumed regularly. Hemp seed is also known to contain omega 3 and 6, rich fatty acids that improve brain health and cognition, while slowing the aging process. In addition, it packs in a huge amount of healthy plant antioxidants. Some of these like flavonoids and chlorophyll protect the cells and may even assist in preventing issues like cancer and high blood pressure. Let’s look at CBD oil and how its properties can benefit your health.
What is CBD Oil Used For?
Hemp can be both female and male as an individual organism. This is called being dioecious, with both types of flowers being able to be active on one plant simultaneously. One of the biggest industrial uses of the plant is for its fibres that it naturally produces in its stems. The fibrous and incredibly strong stems of hemp can be used in concrete to strengthen it, for clothes and many other products (ego bags). Flowers and buds of the plant contain far more cannulations and other beneficial fats and oils than the stems which are mostly just plant fibre. Hemp’s stems do contain cannabinoids however and are not completely useless for nutritional purposes. Terpenes and Phyto cannabinoids are the other products generated in the leaves, flowers and buds of the hemp plant that provide other important benefits for the gut and immune system. Hundreds of types of cannabinoids (CBD and CBDA being just a couple examples) exist within the hemp plant in varying quantities.
Most people only consume the leaves or buds of the plant in supplements like hemp protein powder and oils. The stems with its incredibly strong fibrous walls are much less appetising for consumption and difficult to break down. Products made from the fibres are highly sustainable, green and biodegrade organically which is great in reducing environmental impact. It’s also a crop type that germinates and grows to full height very quickly making its yield and material density very high per hectare of land used which is much more effective and efficient for both the land and water needs than comparable fibre crops like cotton.
Most hemp is also resistant to insects, mould and fungus which means minimal herbicide and pesticides can be used to further reduce environmental damage as well as potential harm or side effects to humans. Versatility and extremely high utility are the key tenets of hemp as a material – it can be strung into rope, twisted into yarn for thread and clothes, worked and developed into brick and insulation or added into concrete for reinforcement as we described. With very high tensile strength and ability to also flex under strain it’s ideal for a huge range of applications – even paper and textile goods for creative purposes.
How Can You Tell Good Hemp oil Apart?
The key differences are the chemical makeup, appearance and how (as well as where) each plant is grown that determine the quality of the final CBD oil end product. Subspecies can have marked differences in quality and nutrient content. Chemically, as we mentioned the biggest factor to ensure with your oil is the plant it comes from contains no THC. Hemp can’t get you high as it contains no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is what provides the psychoactive effect and high of cannabis. It can still relax you however and help to reduce inflammation or bodily pains (e.g., in joints or from bruising in training) through its cannaflavins and phytonutrient content (which is legal). This oil can be ingested through smoked forms or eaten directly via other ingestible forms of hemp extract. The plant can contain significant amounts of both THC and CBN or CBG depending on the subspecies or strain and how it was cultivated. The amount legally allowed in cannabis can vary by country and even states or regions within countries. In the United States this is particularly the case with certain counties and states having much more relaxed laws compared to others where low THC or even full THC may be allowed. In Australia CBD oil was decriminalised in 2020 as laws changed to allow its sale over the counter in pharmacies.
Looking at just the physical appearance of hemp and cannabis can be deceiving. They’re often mixed up but the subspecies of these two cannabis plants have some typical common themes in terms of their structure and looks that distinguish them. Height is a key one – varieties of hemp subspecies are typically much taller (almost tree like in stature) and can be meters taller than their cannabis subspecies counterparts. These look more like shrubs or short bushy trees with lower stem heights. Hemp also has differing leaf and bud shapes. Its leaves look much thinner and more elegant, with less broadness to them and wider, longer reaching expanses end to end. Marijuana leaves and buds are shorter and stockier, with a tighter look and often have hairs and crystals which is not typical of hemp (called trichomes). Although they are both technical cannabises, compared side by side you would think they are completely different species as they look very dissimilar (hemp being much longer, taller, and thinner as a plant).
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
These oils are very different to isolate products, as they don’t go through chilling and winterisation to remove the plant compounds and matter from the product that provide plant nutrients and phytocompounds. There are also critical fatty acids and terpene plant compounds in full spectrum oils which may contribute to the entourage effect. Full spectrum oils still typically remove THC from the extract due to its psychoactive risks. Thus, they also won’t get you high but are able to provide full spectrum CBD oil’s benefits to the body and drive anti-inflammatory effects. This has been demonstrated from studies in the early 2000s and indicates the benefits obtained from CBD oil are enhanced by other compounds. Broad spectrum is slightly different again, where THC is completely removed from the final extract.
These three types of oils usually are contained within a carrier oil which holds the substrate compound in it and is more palatable. When combined with a carrier the final mixed product is known as a tincture, which is usually a liquid mix. You might see full spectrum CBD oil be called a tincture or straight oil – tinctures contain carriers like coconut oil or MCT oil. Because of the long chain fatty acids and omegas in the carriers, the overall nutrition and health profile of CBD oil is enhanced. Their use and lifespan also increase as a tincture, making cooking and combination in drinks possible for each user. Tinctures have a longer lifespan and carry the product for greater periods.
CBD oils and concentrate varieties come in a range of differing oil types, styles, strengths, and final product makeup. We’ve looked at how isolates, full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD oils compare in their makeup and characteristics, what to look for in each and how the numerous additional nutrients like phytocompounds and flavonoids in full spectrum oils drive benefits via the entourage effect. We’ve heard how decarboxylated products from CO2 extraction can avoid the solvent process and how isolates versus full spectrum CBD oils are crafted. We also briefly looked at PCR or Phyto-cannabinoid compound rich CBD oils. We also looked at how broad-spectrum oils differ from full spectrum oils and how products from tinctures to pure extracts can be taken as oil, sublingually applied, or inhaled even when in isolated form.