Hemp Oil

Hemp Oil: Treatment for Pain, Anxiety, Nausea, Sleep and Skin

Hemp OilAlthough the legality of hemp oil and its myriad of applications has been a topic of hot debate for decades, it seems only recently that we have seen a trend emerge. Lawmakers are finally beginning to create a legal distinction between hemp, hemp oil and all of its derivatives – versus marijuana.

There has been constant pressure on the government from the public and professionals in various industrial and medical fields to cultivate this plant and make it more accessible.

Whereas the 2014 Farm Bill did ease some restrictions on CBD, the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the schedule 1 controlled substances list[1]. Hemp is now viewed as an ordinary agricultural commodity – under the purview of the Department of Agriculture.

This now opens the door for all hemp products including paper, textiles, biofuel, hemp seed oil, hemp oil and everything in between. It is interesting to note that hemp seed oil is considered a ‘superfood’ due to its high level of vitamins and minerals, and consumers can now even purchase hemp protein powder as a vegan substitute.

A Brief History on Hemp

Organic Hemp Oil - George Washington Farming HempThanks to carbon dating, we can safely say that hemp has been used as far back as 8,000 BC and can be considered one of the first crops ever cultivated by man. In particular, Asian regions used hemp cords for pottery, as well as the seeds and oil for food.

It took several thousand years before it found its way to Europe (approximately 1,200 B.C.). In fact, legendary King Henry VIII was known to fine certain farmers for not raising hemp crops in an effort to provide enough material for the British Naval Fleet. Jumping forward to the Americas in 1616, the first English settlement grew hemp to make sails, ropes and clothing.

By the 1700’s, growing hemp was required by law in several American colonies. A little known fact is that the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper in 1776, although the actual signed version is on parchment made of animal skin.

There are countless examples of the uses of hemp throughout history, though skipping forward again, Henry Ford actually wanted to build and fuel one of his cars from hemp. However, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 stymied hemp production. The Act was the direct result of lobbying from influential competitors and synthetic textile companies like DuPont, smear campaigns and the stigma of hemp due to its association with marijuana usage.

Hemp Seed Oil Uses: Unrefined vs. Refined Hemp Oil

Hemp Seed OilThere are countless strains and varieties of cannabis, but industrial hemp is made from the cannabis sativa plant. Most importantly is that it’s derived from industrial plants that contain incredibly low levels of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Hemp oil is obtained by either pressing hemp seeds, or the leaves and flowers. First we will focus on hemp seed oil, which is available either as an unrefined or refined end product.

Unrefined hemp seed oil is very popular due to the high levels of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (and hence referred to as a ‘superfood’). It is cold pressed at a temperature typically less than 120 degrees in order to maintain nutritional value.

Refined hemp seed oil is popular due to its many uses for industrial and consumer product applications. The high level of essential fatty acids makes it valuable for toiletries and cosmetics.

Unrefined Hemp Seed Oil – The unrefined cold press process often involves supercritical CO2 extraction using high pressure and low temperatures to isolate the oil. This yields a pure oil with a ‘nutty’ flavor that is dark green in color and preserves all of the important nutrients including, but not limited to:
• Vitamins – A, C and E
• Complex B Vitamins – Niacin, Thiamine and Riboflavin
• Minerals – Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, and Iron
• Essential and Other Fatty Acids – Linoleic Acid (Omega-6), Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3), Gamma-Linolenic Acid, Stearidonic Acid, and Monounsaturated Fat.

Hemp Body LotionRefined Hemp Seed Oil – Hemp oil can be refined further through a more complicated process that involves treatment with chemical compounds at a high temperature. While this produces a clearer hemp oil with a longer shelf life, it lacks many of the nutrients and is primarily used in a number of commercial and industrial applications.

Common uses and products include:
• Body lotions
• Ointments
• Lubricants
• Paints
• Plastics
• Fuel

The number of uses of this important commodity is staggering, with research providing more insight on hemp and hemp oil each year.

It is worth noting that both refined and unrefined hemp seed oil may be used for skin care products. Many companies choose the refined version due to the longer shelf life and cheaper cost for the consumer, while others prefer to use unrefined hemp oil to take full advantage of the nutrients even though the products will expire quicker.

Hemp Seed Oil vs. Full Spectrum Hemp Oil vs. Cannabis Oil

Hemp Seed Oil vs Full Spectrum Hemp Oil vs Cannabis OilMany people believe that hemp oil is synonymous with cannabis oil, and we haven’t even gotten to CBD oil yet which is addressed in the next section. Let’s address the confusion with the terms:

Hemp Seed Oil – Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. Consumers primarily buy hemp seed oil for its vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids which make it a ‘superfood’. Consumers also use hemp seed oil to assist in healthy skin and hair.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil – Full spectrum hemp oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves and seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. Consumers primarily buy full spectrum hemp oil due to the high level of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other beneficial phytonutrients, aka, the entourage effect.

Cannabis Oil – Cannabis oil contains all of the cannabinoids found in full spectrum hemp oil – but it also contains THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. Unlike full spectrum hemp oil and other hemp products, cannabis oil is only legal in 10 states as of this writing.

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil ≠ CBD Oil

Many people prefer to use full spectrum hemp oil (otherwise known as ‘whole-plant’ hemp extract) to treat various symptoms and ailments. This oil is extracted primarily from the flowers and leaves of the plant, but also from the seeds as well.

One of the main differences between CBD Oil and full spectrum hemp oil is that CBD Oil primarily contains CBD, while full spectrum hemp oil contains CBD, CBC, CBDa, CBDv, CBN, CBG, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, phytonutrients and hundreds of other cannabinoids.

Full Spectrum Hemp OilIn a pair of landmark studies, by Dr. Ben-Shabat in 1998[31], and Dr. Ethan Russo in 2012[32], light was shed on an important phenomenon with cannabinoids called “The Entourage Effect“. These studies detailed how the different cannabinoids (e.g., CBD, CBN, CBG, CBDa, CBDv, terpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids) actually work together synergistically to create far more medicinal power, than say, CBD alone.

We now know that terpenes have the ability to increase or decrease the therapeutic effects of CBD and other chemicals within the body.

For instance, beta-caryophyllene is gastro-protective and has shown promising results in the treatment of certain ulcers, auto-immune disorders and various inflammatory conditions. Limonene is considered one of nature’s best antidepressants. Myrcene has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and analgesic properties, and also helps with sedation for those who have trouble sleeping.

Aside from CBD, the most commonly studied cannabinoids for medicinal purposes include Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN) Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa), Cannabichromene (CBC) and Cannabidivarin (CBDv). There are countless others that are beneficial and still under research.

The list of ailments that CBD oil has been able to effectively treat has grown tremendously over the years, and research is still in it’s infancy.

This includes and is not limited to:

• Nausea[2]
• Vomiting
• Inflammation
• Pain[3,4]
• Arthritis[5]
• Migraines[6]
• Anxiety[7,8]
• Obesity
• Psychosis
• Schizophrenia
• Alzheimer’s[9,10,11,12]
• ALS (Amytotraphic Lateral Sclerosis)
• Parkinson’s[13]
• Multiple Sclerosis[14,15,16,17]
• Crohn’s Disease (IBS)[18,19]
• Epilepsy[20,21,22,23,24]
• Seizures[20,21,22,23,24]
• PTSD
• Cirrhosis
• Spinal Cord Injury
• Spinal Cord Disease
• Diabetes
• Cancer[25,26,27,28,29,30]

How Hemp Oil Works with Our Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

In 1990, Dr. L.A. Matsuda[33] discovered that we have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It was a revelation then, and still surprises many today that the body has the ability to produce its own cannabis-like substances naturally.

The ECS plays a crucial role regulating a number of important functions in the body such as:

• Immune Function
• Digestion
• Appetite
• Mood (Including Stress Response)
• Sleep
• Inflammation
• Reproduction
• Temperature Regulation
• Memory
• Pain

Endocannabinoid SystemThe ECS consists of two primary cell receptors found throughout the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, called CB1 and CB2.

Cannabinoids are actually found naturally within the body and interact with these receptors to regulate the functions noted above.

There are two primary cannabinoid categories, endogenous cannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids. Endogenous cannabinoids are produced naturally within the body. Exogenous cannabinoids are produced externally, and can be found in hemp oil.

It is interesting to note that researchers have discovered that a shortage of cannabinoids in our system, referred to as endocannabinoid deficiency[34], can be a precursor to many diseases.

How to Use Hemp Oil

Hemp Oil DropsHemp oil is used in a variety of products, from body lotion and butters, to shampoos and pure oil. How you choose to take hemp oil will depend on the product you’ve purchased and the reason for doing so.

For internal use some people take hemp oil either in the form of capsules, sublingually or using a dropper or a tablespoon. It’s important that you always follow the directions on the box and consult your doctor if you have any underlying conditions or take medications.

Hemp oil is usually consumed orally when taken for sleep, anxiety, pain relief, inflammation, stress and other similar reasons. However, it’s possible to use hemp oil for skin topically as it is an excellent moisturizer, and is even hailed as having anti-aging properties for improving the composition of epidermal lipids.

Many people also use hemp oil for hair use to moisturize the scalp and hair. Hemp oil has demonstrated an ability to stimulate hair growth and strengthen hair to prevent split ends.

Hemp Oil FAQs

Will hemp oil help with anxiety?

Many people have found that they’ve experienced almost immediate relief for their anxiety after taking hemp oil. It’s worth noting that THC found in other cannabis products (like cannabis oil) can actually make anxiety worse. One of the reasons full spectrum hemp oil is the remedy of choice is due to legal requirements that ban THC from its ingredients. Many users report feeling a sense of calm and well-being after using hemp oil.

Does hemp oil help reduce pain?

If you suffer from pain, it’s recommended to use full spectrum hemp oil for relief. This oil contains the relevant cannabinoids and terpenes to alleviate pain. Of course, without THC, you are able to function with your normal daily tasks without feeling ‘high’. Due to the potential for abusing opiates and other strong medications, more and more health professionals are recommending hemp oil as a safe, but effective alternative for pain.

Can hemp oil help me sleep?

Research has indicated that the CBN and other cannabinoids found in full extract hemp oil can increase overall sleep amounts and reduce insomnia. Hemp oil can also assist those who have REM sleep behavior disorder, which is a condition where sleepers are more likely to physically act out while dreaming. By allowing the body to remain in a state of REM atonia where the body is partially paralyzed while sleeping, it’s possible to have a much better night’s sleep, and of course avoid the risk of injury.

Does hemp seed oil help with acne?

Hemp seed oil is often preferred over special acne creams and ointments as it can moisturize your skin without clogging pores. It’s also known to hydrate the skin and regulate oil production to help prevent acne and other skin conditions.

What are the side effects of hemp oil?

There are very few known side effects of hemp oil, and those experienced are usually rare or minor, and caused by excessively large doses. Side effects that may be experienced include dry mouth, tiredness (especially in large doses), low blood pressure and diarrhea. It’s worth noting that hemp oil should not be used in cooking as it can produce harmful peroxides under intense heat.

Hemp oil may also affect anticoagulant medication, as well as medication that would be impacted by the neutralization of the P450 liver enzyme. Again, all side effects are usually minor if experienced, and we mentioned two rare but specific instances where there may be a conflict. It is always recommended to speak to your doctor before trying any new potential remedy.

Does hemp oil get you high?

Hemp oil is limited by law to contain less than .3% THC, and in most hemp oil products, the THC has been full extracted out of the product. Therefore, there is no chance of getting high. This has allowed hemp oil to become available for sale in all 50 states – even those with stringent laws against the use of cannabis and cannabis products.

References
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