What is Hemp Extract & What are the Benefits Everyone is talking about hemp, hemp extracts, CBD, and the perceived health benefits of it. There is very little scientific research to support Hemp and CBD are popping up in everything from beauty products to snacks. Here’s the difference between marijuana and hemp, and the products made from them.
What is Hemp Extract & What are the Benefits
Everyone is talking about hemp, hemp extracts, CBD, and the perceived health benefits of it. There is very little scientific research to support claims, but users are reporting very positive results. If you’re not sure what hemp extracts are, keep reading!
What is Hemp?
The hemp plant is closely related to the cannabis plant. They are from the same genus of plant species and are often confused with each other. Very simply, cannabis contains higher levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), while hemp has higher levels of CBD (cannabidiol). THC is what gets people high, while CBD has no properties to make users high. Of course, there are several other differences between each plant, but we’ll just keep it simple here. According to United States law, hemp is not allowed to have more than 0.3% THC in it.
As a plant, hemp has a myriad of uses, from paper, to building materials, to soaps, lotions, and balms. Hemp clothing is becoming more and more popular since it gets softer with each wash! However, in this article, we’ll stick to hemp extracts and their benefits.
What is Hemp Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp oil is typically (not always) the oil derived from the entire plant – leaves, buds, stems. Hemp seed oil is the oil pulled from the hemp seeds and typically has a lower CBD content than the buds. It does offer health benefits though and is certainly worthwhile adding to your morning breakfast cereal or eggs!
The Benefits of Hemp Oil
Very little formal research has been done on the hemp plant and its properties, but what has been done shows promising results, showing all kinds of benefits, cosmetically as well as from a health standpoint. Many people use CBD as an alternative to over the counter medications that are manufactured, and therefore considered unnatural. Since CBD is plant-derived, it has a reputation as being healthier because it’s natural. However, as with anything, the source should be considered – a plant contaminated with pesticides is going to be more harmful to the consumer than an over the counter medication that has gone through rigorous testing and is categorically safe for the consumer. Once the industry is better regulated, CBD products will undergo the same rigorous testing, so consumers can rest easy, knowing they are not ingesting contaminants, either from the plant or from the extraction process.
Pain relief: People use CBD/hemp oil for pain relief, but all the studies have been on mice so far. More human testing will back up the findings and results won’t be available for a while. In the meantime, however, people do use CBD oil to reduce pain caused by inflammation.
Muscle pain/tension: CBD has also shown interesting results and has helped some people with muscle strains. It’s tied into the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant.
Skin problems: CBD is also used for treating acne. A scientific study has been done and the results are very promising. Click here to read the full study. This sort of study is what’s needed across the board to lend credibility to claims made.
Clearer thinking: Some people claim that CBD helps them focus and concentrate better.
Insomnia: Limited studies have shown that it helps promote a deeper, more relaxing sleep.
CO2 Extracted Oil
Most hemp farmers send their feedstock to a processor, who will extract the oil from the plant, package it and sell it as CBD oil. The oil is extracted using a solvent – for hemp, it’s usually ethanol because it’s a very quick method of extraction. However, more people are turning to CO2 because of its tunability and its reputation as a clean method of extraction. What’s not considered is tFhat ethanol is still introduced at the post processing stage and must be removed before being sold to customers. Provided the ethanol used is food grade, trace amounts are not harmful to the end user.
The plant material is fully dried before being ground up and placed into an extraction system. The solvent then flows over it and extracts the oil. The solvent is under high pressure and temperature, which converts it into a powerful solvent – it’s not quite liquid and it’s not quite gas. It’s sort of a milky, hazy substance. This is CO2 at the supercritical stage. Once the solvent has passed through the feedstock, it moves into the next chamber, called the extraction vessel, and depressurizes. In doing so, the solvent stream changes back to a gas, dropping the oil from the stream, where it falls down the extraction chamber, and into a collection cup. The solvent stream continues through the system and through the plant stock, over and over, in a closed loop, until the run is over.
What’s The Difference Between Hemp Oil, Hemp Extract, CBD, And Marijuana?
Hemp and CBD are cropping up in just about everything from beauty products to snacks to ointments these days. But as the hype grows, so does the confusion. Are hemp and pot the same thing? Does CBD get you high?
Here’s the lowdown on the difference between marijuana and hemp, and the products made from them.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana technically come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant contains some 500 compounds and cannabinoids make up about 100 of them. Two of the most well-known cannabinoids out there: CBD and THC.
Different cannabis plants are bred to contain different amounts of CBD and/or THC. The plants we know as marijuana are bred specifically to contain CBD and/or THC. However, “the form of the cannabis plant we know as hemp is bred to naturally not contain appreciable amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive compound in the plant people are after when they want a high,” explains Leslie Mendoza Temple, M.D., A.B.O.I.M., medical director of NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Integrative Medicine Program. THC-free hemp plants are referred to as ‘industrial hemp.’
Foods and products made from that industrialized hemp—including hemp oil, hemp extract, and CBD—will not get you high.
The various products out there that are made from or contain industrial hemp use two forms of the plant: its oil or its extract. And though they’re produced from the same plant, they’re not the same thing.
Hemp oil, which you may find bottled and in beauty products, is made by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant, explains Janice Newell Bissex, M.S., R.D.N., culinary nutritionist and holistic cannabis practitioner at JannabisWellness.com.
“It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E,” she says. Think of hemp oil like you’d think of olive oil: a healthy, antioxidant-rich, plant-based fat that can support your healthy diet.
Even in hemp plants bred to be higher in CBD, the cannabinoid isn’t found in the seeds, so hemp oil made from these plants is still more of a salad dressing ingredient than anything else.
You’ll find hemp extract in everything from beauty products to dietary supplements, as it supports healthy skin, immunity, and cardiovascular health. It’s made from the seeds, stalk, and sometimes flowers of the hemp plant, and contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
If made specifically from industrial hemp, hemp extract does not contain the cannabinoids CBD and THC, says Bissex. However, it may contain other cannabinoids and plant compounds that interact with our endocannabinoid system, which regulates our brain, immune, and hormone function. Through this system, hemp extract helps modulate our body’s response to stress and promote a sense of well-being. Harness your own endocannabinoid system and reap the benefits with a supplement like one of HempFusion‘s hemp extracts, now available at The Vitamin Shoppe.
CBD Hemp Extract
One of the cannabis plant’s 100-plus cannabinoids, CBD (cannabidiol) has exploded in popularity lately.
Why? The compound supports our endocannabinoid system (a.k.a. ECS), which helps our body maintain a state of homeostasis, or balance. It essentially connects our body and mind by helping different cells communicate. Ultimately, the ECS affects everything from our nervous system to our immune system to all of our organs. Research suggests keeping our endocannabinoid system balanced supports our well-being in a number of ways.
That’s where CBD Hemp Extract comes in. CBD blocks the breakdown of AEA, a molecule known as the ‘bliss molecule,’ which is crucial for a happy endocannabinoid system. For this reason, CBD Hemp Extract acts as a defense for our endocannabinoid system—and overall health.
Plus, since CBD Hemp Extract is not psychoactive, it offers these benefits without the high. You’ll find it in the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants bred to contain higher amounts of the cannabinoid, but less than 0.3 percent THC.
Though legislation and research on the cannabis plant continue to develop, it’s clear that CBD supports a balanced endocannabinoid system—and that’s huge for our health.
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