Every new day the popularity of CBD as a potential pharmacological agent increases. This has led to widespread pressure on many governments to legalize marijuana. With scientific research being the driving force behind this rise in popularity of medicinal marijuana, the dawn of CBD oil usage in formal medical therapy seems unstoppable.
However, CBD is not the only bio-active substance that can be extracted from cannabis plants. There are numerous substances that can be extracted with suitable techniques or use of different parts of the plant. Other beneficial and extractible compounds from the cannabis plant include THC and hemp oil.
To most people, differentiating these components of marijuana is quite difficult. Since both CBD oil and hemp oil possess medicinal properties, most buyers seldom know which one to purchase. However, it is CBD oil which currently being used to treat various disease processes while hemp oil is rich with nutritious elements and is used as a food supplement. On the other hand, the use and effects of THC are strikingly unique. It is the psychoactive substance in marijuana responsible for making stoners high.
Despite being sourced from the same plant, CBD, hemp oil, and THC have different physicochemical characteristics which make their extraction and isolation possible. The extraction methods for each of the three substances are quite different.
For CBD oil, which is extracted from the stalks, leaves, and young buds of cannabis plant strains with a high concentration of CBD, the extraction process of choice is the oil-based method. With this technique, the harvested parts of the cannabis plant are heated in a suitable oil such as olive oil or any other vegetable oil for a specific length of time.
Other methods used to extract CBD are carbon dioxide extraction and liquid solvents extraction methods. The CO2 technique is a complex and expensive process that produces the purest CBD. For the liquid solvent process, a suitable solvent such as alcohol or butane is used to dissolve the CBD from the plant products. The solvent is then evaporated leaving behind a concentrate of CBD. The only disadvantage is that these solvents may chemically interfere with the CBD.
Hemp seed oil is obtained fairly easily from the seeds of industrial hemp, a species of cannabis plant. The seeds are harvested, dried and cold pressed to obtain a fatty paste. The hemp oil extracted has a high concentration of beneficial nutrients with virtually no traces of either CBD or THC. For this reason, hemp seed oil is legal in most countries including those that have not legalized the use of marijuana.
Unlike hemp oil and CBD, THC does not require a specific extraction method. It is obtained by just smoking or vaping dried marijuana herbs or by ingesting marijuana edibles such as weed cookies.
Apart from lacking psychotropic effects, CBD does not bind to cannabinoid receptors, unlike THC. The molecular structure of CBD is made in a such a way to allow greater flexibility with an additional hydrogen bond whereas that of THC lacks the additional hydrogen bond but has an additional methyl group. These subtle differences may be the reason for the contrasting effects produced by these two cannabinoids.
The hemp seed has an absolutely different composition when compared to any other part of the cannabis plant. One hemp seed contains carbohydrates, proteins, carotene, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamins (E, C, D, B1, B2, B3, B6) and most importantly, it contains high concentrations of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids: omega 3, omega 6 and other phytosterols. Most of these nutrients are retained in the hemp seed oil after extraction.
Even without mentioning, the benefits of CBD, hemp oil and THC can be inferred from their composition as mentioned above. Both CBD and hemp seed oil have beneficial health effects, however, for hemp oil, the effects result from its nutritional composition while CBD seems to directly target the immune system and the endocannabinoid system.
Benefits of CBD
The main use of CBD currently is the treatment of a wide array of health conditions. It is the main component of medicinal marijuana used to treat diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and epilepsy. It is also used in the treatment of many inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis. CBD has been shown to possess excellent anti-emetic properties and is used in the management of nausea and vomiting, especially cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Additionally, CBD is being used to control pain. It is a potent analgesic with minimal side effects.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
- Source of Omega 3 and Omega 6
These two hard to come by polyunsaturated fatty acids have a ton of health benefits. The omega fatty acids have been shown to reduce the levels of cholesterol in the body. This helps in protecting the cardiovascular system from diseases such as atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. These essential fatty acids also play a role in the maintenance of a perfect hormonal balance, skin protection, and boosting immunity. Hemp oil may help prevent psoriasis, a skin disease caused by a deficiency of omega 6.
- Rich source of phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium
These micro-nutrients play key roles in the normal functioning of the body. Phosphorus is needed for the normal growth and functioning of bones and teeth. For this reason, hemp seed oil may be used in treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, a disease characterized by demineralization of bones.
Magnesium and potassium are needed for the normal functioning of muscles, including those of the heart. Additionally, potassium plays a key role in the maintenance of normal intracellular homeostatic mechanisms while magnesium is also needed for various enzymatic processes and energy production.
- Source of vitamins E, B1, and B2
Hemp seed oil is a rich source of the above vitamins which play crucial roles in the normal body physiology. Vitamin E has a critical role in the regulation of cholesterol levels in the body, hormonal balance and maintenance of a healthy skin. Vitamin B1 has many roles in the body including ensuring normal development and functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B2 is needed for other nutrient metabolism and energy production.
As shown above, despite being from the same plant, CBD and hemp seed oil have different properties. Their effects are, however, beneficial to the body. CBD oil is more of a pharmacological agent while hemp seed oil is a food supplement.