How Does Hemp Differ From Marijuana?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD hemp oil, boasts a number of promising health benefits. It is scientifically proven to treat a host of ailments, ranging from serious conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, to common health issues plaguing many Americans such as fatigue, insomnia, and soft tissue pain.

CBD hemp oil can be extracted from both the hemp and cannabis plant, but the former contains .3 percent THC or less, and therefore bypasses the legal issues associated with cannabis production. THC, which stands for Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive agent in cannabis — essentially, it’s the component of marijuana that gets you high.

CBD hemp oil does not get you high. It’s important to understand that, ultimately, both CBD hemp and CBD cannabis come from the same plant: Cannabis. Zoe Wilder, a journalist who has written extensively on the medical applications of Cannabis, says, “What’s different is how they are treated and handled.” Whereas CBD cannabis oil comes from the Cannabis Indica species of cannabis plant, CBD hemp oil comes from industrial hemp, also known as the Cannabis Sativa species.

The Cannabis Sativa plant produces the hemp we use to eat and wear. Because of its lack of THC, CBD Hemp is not subject to the same rigid federal testing, according to Wilder, who notes that it is still “regulated by the FDA as a dietary supplement.”

CBD hemp oil is scientifically proven to have a positive effect on health.

Let’s examine 4 key advantages of CBD hemp oil:

1. Proven To Treat A Number Of Health Ailments

Chronic pain, sleep loss, anxiety, and nausea are prevalent complaints among American adults, many of whom work long hours and struggle to prioritize their health. CBD is scientifically proven to combat inflammation — a primary cause of many common ailments. In fact, CBD is an effective alternative to NSAID pain medications, which carry a number of health risks, including gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attack, and stroke. CBD oil does not carry these risks, but has anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief.

Studies also indicate that CBD hemp oil fights exhaustion, while simultaneously improving memory and mood. Why? Because using CBD actually improves quality of sleep, thereby increasing restfulness, and enhancing serotonin levels in the body. That’s good news for many hard-working Americans who fail to get enough sleep, and as a result, struggle with sleepiness, memory loss, depressive emotions, and even anxiety.

Perhaps most remarkably, early studies show that CBD may be an effective antibacterial agent. The finds are significant, considering the rapid global spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. A promising scientific study from 2008 demonstrated that CBD could effectively fight a variety of drug-resistant strains of MRSA. According to researchers, CBD is capable of pinpointing and disrupting key operating processes within the bacteria that may allow it to fight bacteria where antibiotics cannot.

2. Alleviates Serious Chronic Health Conditions

Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the success of treating epilepsy with CBD. Patients suffering from extreme epilepsy have reported a vast reduction in seizure frequency while taking CBD oil. In fact, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has moved to call for widespread legalization of medical marijuana after witnessing the transformative power of CBD to treat serious epilepsy in children. It is not necessary for THC to be present for CBD to be an effective seizure treatment, but neither will small amounts of THC detract from its efficacy. The precise reasons that CBD is so powerful in treating epilepsy are unknown, but researchers theorize that it may be due to the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of the compound.

For the more than 15 million American adults suffering from depression and anxiety, CBD hemp oil has shown remarkable potential to mimic common antidepressant drugs — without the nasty side effects. As noted above, CBD can help users overcome exhaustion and poor mood by improving quality of sleep. The remedy extends to diagnosed depressive disorders as well. In addition, CBD contains antidepressant, antipsychotic, and analgesic properties that are potent in treating depression and anxiety, as well as serious mental disorders. One study that focused on use among schizophrenic patients found that CBD had anti psychotic effects on par with common anti-psychotic medication, yet without the detrimental side effects.

Studies also show that CBD can treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, namely by limiting the spasticity and degenerative neuropathic pain associated with the condition. And finally, new data indicates that CBD may even inhibit cancer growth. Further studies are underway to explore this potential.

3. No High

Many people who would find relief from THC products avoid using them because they want to avoid the euphoric sensation associated associated with marijuana. CBD hemp oil is incapable of generating that high, and it will not interfere with motor skills or psychological functioning the way that higher-THC compounds might. The lack of THC in CBD hemp oil is especially good news for a portion of the population for whom THC would be harmful, like pregnant women, nursing women, and children. With CBD hemp oil, a higher proportion of people can enjoy the benefits of CBD without risking the potential detrimental effects of THC on infant and child development — including permanent damage to the IQ and memory.

While it is true that CBD cannabis oil is also effective for pain relief and muscle relaxation, it can actually exacerbate psychological disorders ranging from low-level anxiety to more serious forms of psychosis, like schizophrenia. CBD hemp oil, on the other hand, can actually counter the symptoms associated with negative psychological reaction to THC, including memory loss and chronic paranoia. That is an important finding for people who struggle with the negative emotional effects of using marijuana.

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4. It’s Easy To Access And Easy To Use

Unlike CBD from cannabis, CBD oil from industrial hemp is legal at the federal level and in all 50 states, as well as most developed countries. Whereas access to medical marijuana is dependent on state laws — and in some states, might not be legal at all — CBD hemp oil is easy to obtain online. Furthermore, some CBD hemp oil products do not contain any THC, thereby negating the risk that use will impact job-related drug tests.

CBD hemp oil comes in many different forms — and even a variety of flavors — including drops, tinctures, tablets and capsules. However, it is important to confirm the quality of the form being used and understand the most effective modes of consumption. Ensuring that the right ingredients and method of extraction are used is an important facet of guaranteeing the product’s quality. For example, do not purchase CBD hemp oil made with ethanol or neurotoxic solvents, like propane, butane, hexane, and pentane. Instead, aim for CBD hemp oil obtained through supercritical or subcritical CO2 extraction, which enables the purity of the plant’s trichome compounds to remain in the product. Ingesting the oil under the tongue or through the rectum will increase its bioavailability, and therefore, its efficacy. If you choose to ingest CBD hemp oil in capsule form, then be sure to take it with some form of dietary fat to improve absorption.

CBD hemp oil has been used since ancient times to treat a wide range of ailments. Its proven benefits, and virtually non-existent drawbacks, make it a promising remedy for both common and serious medical conditions.

Watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta Talk About CBD

Maggie Tennis is a writer based in Washington, DC. She enjoys adventuring in the city’s many parks, paddle boarding on the Potomac River and walking until her feet ache. Maggie believes that wellness means pursuing that balanced feeling of feeling good—for your mind, body and spirit—and sometimes that means eating popsicles for breakfast.

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