There are more and more people these days that are looking for cannabis products either for recreational reasons or for health-related issues as well.
While modern medicine is more advanced than it has ever been, and we now have available treatments for disorders such as epilepsy, chronic pain, and anxiety, there are still quite a lot of people that either through inaccessibility or a simple lifestyle choice prefer to look for more natural ways of dealing with their conditions.
This is why hemp oil has massively risen in popularity over the last couple of years. With its full federal legalization in 2018, all hemp-derived products are now legal in the United States (although these are still subject to individual state laws).
This means that if you are looking for hemp oil, it fortunately should not be very hard to find - but before you do, let us discuss what it actually is and what it can do for you.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil, which is also often called hemp seed oil, is a type of oil that is made from hemp. Hemp is a cannabis sativa plant that unlike the marijuana plant is very low on THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the component in marijuana that is psychoactive (that gets you “high”).
This means that hemp oil is not psychoactive at all. Instead, it features CBD (cannabidiol), which although it does not get you high, CBD has a wide array of health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.
While hemp oil is not the same as CBD oil and other CBD products, which are often touted for having the most health benefits including helping with skin issues, heart health, sleep regulation, and neuroprotection, hemp oil still contains many of these physical and mental health benefits, albeit in a lower concentration.
CBD oil is more effective for the treatment of these kinds of conditions, while hemp oil is more nutritious. Hemp oil is made up with two kinds of unsaturated fats, which are considered the good kinds of fats. These are omega-6 and omega-3. It also features all nine essential amino acids, which are the chemical compounds the human body uses in order to produce protein.
We will leave you with the full nutritional information here in case you would like to show this to a doctor or nutritionist, or simply have in your possession in case you feel you might need to refer back to it:
- Calories: 170
- Calories from fat: 108
- Total fat: 12 grams
- Saturated fat: 1 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
- Sodium: 0 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Sugars: 1 grams
- Protein: 10 grams
Minerals and Hemp Nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Gamma linolenic acid
- B vitamins
Most of the minerals and nutrients that are mentioned above are absolutely essential to your body’s physical health. The only caveat that we must make is that hemp seeds do contain an unusually large amount of iron (this comes out to about 20 percent of your recommended daily diet).
If you already consume enough iron in your daily diet, then this may be overkill; however, if you are one of the large number of women and people that suffer from an iron deficiency condition such as anemia, then you might just be in luck, because hemp oil might bring your numbers up to a more normalized diet.
What Is THC?
If you have arrived at this article, you might already have a faint idea of what THC is. We have also already mentioned its biggest claim to fame - that it is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, or marijuana. What we have not yet told you, though, is how THC manages to give you that high, buzzed feeling, and that is what we will explain here.
THC (also called tetrahydrocannabinol) is a kind of chemical that is called a cannabinoid. CBD, CBG, and CBC are also different kinds of cannabinoids. These cannabinoids all interact and bind with receptors in a part of your body that is called the endocannabinoid system (often shortened to ECS). The ECS is a major player in many different bodily functions.
THC specifically will act on the ECS receptors called CB-1. CB-1 are mostly found in your brain as well as your central nervous system. THC floods these receptors and overwhelms the system, allowing for the psychoactive feelings to kick in. While the feeling of being high is not reported as dangerous, there are certain side effects such as lack of concentration, slowed reflexes as well as reaction time, and the potential for short term memory loss.
This process should not happen when you are taking hemp oil. Since hemp oil does not contain enough THC, there is not enough THC to flood the system and result in the psychoactive effect on your brain. This is why taking hemp oil should mean you are completely safe from the effects of THC and you should only be able to feel the results of CBD ingestion.
Does Hemp Oil Contain THC?
There are three different kinds of cannabis products. These three kinds are called full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Isolate (such as CBD isolate) means what you would expect from its name - it is made up of that compound, and that compound alone.
Broad-spectrum means there are other cannabinoids involved; however, it does mean that this product has been processed so that all THC is gone from it. Finally, there is full-spectrum, and a full-spectrum product is the only one that should technically have any sort of THC in it, albeit only trace amounts.
When the federal government allowed for the production and distribution of hemp products, it also stipulated that up to 0.3 percent THC content was considered only trace amounts of THC, and therefore legally allowed. This is because it has been confirmed that at this low concentration, THC is unable to produce any psychoactive effects.
Since hemp oil is taken from the hemp plant, which is already low in THC concentration, it should only by virtue of its source already pass the test. While this does not mean there is absolutely no THC in hemp oil (we ask you to refer to the label on your product and choose a broad-spectrum or isolate product if you desire to have absolutely no THC in your product), it does mean that you will never experience an accidental high while taking it.
What Are The Government Regulations On THC?
While the rules on hemp production and distribution and by extension, CBD, have been changed to allow for the legal use and sale of these products, this is not the case with THC.
As we discussed above, THC is legally allowed into products by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) as long as it remains a trace amount of 0.3 percent. This means, essentially, that THC is still legally banned on a federal level.
This is because of America’s (and for the most part, the world’s) view on THC as a compound of marijuana, which they view as a controlled substance. While at least in the United States, the rules seem to be slowly changing, with certain states legalizing both medical and recreational use of marijuana and THC, there is still unfortunately a long way to go.
This might be why you have arrived at this article - with marijuana (and by extension, THC) as illegal substances, you might be worried that you will get into legal trouble consuming hemp oil.
Maybe you have to do recurrent drug testing which will jeopardize your living if you happen to accidentally fail one. This is only one of many valid reasons to be concerned with the level of THC concentration in your hemp oil.
Is Hemp Oil Legal?
We have already answered that yes, hemp oil is indeed legal due to a recent change in regulation.
But what was this regulation all about? Essentially, what the Hemp Farming Act of December, 2018 did was to remove hemp (which under law was defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC concentration) from the Schedule I controlled substances. This 2018 Farm bill made it so that industrial hemp became just another agricultural commodity that could be produced and sold around the country.
What About THC And Drug Testing?
As we discussed before, you may be worried about the legality of the concentration of THC in your hemp oil because of drug testing-related reasons, and you would like to know whether something as insignificant as 0.3 percent of THC could possibly show up in a positive drug test and cause you unwanted trouble.
And unfortunately, the short answer to this is yes, even the tiny amount of THC in your hemp oil could possibly show up in your drug test, so if you are in a position to avoid it, maybe you should look for other kinds of products that contain absolutely no THC at all.
THC can be found in several different ways - it can show up in your saliva, urine, hair, and blood. There are even some tests that can approximate how much you had ingested and how long ago.
At the same time, because of cannabis’ long stay in your body, which can be anywhere from 24 hours to 3 months of use, you can really get yourself into trouble using one of these products even several weeks later.
It is important to be aware of the kind of tests you might have to undergo. A blood test would only be able to detect THC for about 24 to 72 hours after you have used it. If you are tested through your saliva, then it can detect THC from 72 hours to 2 weeks after you have used it.
Finally, if you are given a hair test, then these can detect THC from over 3 months before (even longer depending on the length of the hair sample taken).
What Are The Side Effects Of Hemp Oil?
If by this point you know you will have to take no drug test or you have cleared your hemp oil use with your employer, then it is time to dive back into learning about hemp oil. Another question you might have for us is about its side effects - are they dangerous, or can we not be worried?
As you may have already heard your local legalization advocate say, there are no real side effects to cannabis at all. While this is factually incorrect, we believe the interpretation, although generous, is not too far off. Not only hemp oil but most CBD-related products will, at their core, have very little and very manageable side effects. There is also no actual risk of serious injury or death if you happen to take too much of it.
While the side effects are often mild, they can still be uncomfortable. This means that you should avoid taking more than you know is best for you or if you are just starting out, then starting with small doses would be the wisest way to go about it.
Side effects of hemp oil include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
If you find yourself getting these side effects more than you believe is normal, then you should contact your doctor and make sure you are not allergic to a component in the product you have chosen to buy.
How Will I Feel Taking Hemp Oil?
Along with a reduction in the symptoms you are using the hemp oil to treat, you should also generally get a bit of a feeling of relaxation, a boost in your mood, and perhaps a little bit of drowsiness. While no product comes without its fair share of side effects, hemp oil is still considered extremely safe and it will likely not give you any harmful or unmanageable side effects, as we already mentioned above.
How Should I Take Hemp Oil?
Thankfully, taking hemp oil is almost painfully simple. You can apply it topically (meaning directly to the skin with a cream or ointment) or you can take it orally (as edibles or in the form of capsules, sprays, tinctures, or drops). If you are taking it as an oil, with a dropper, then you can just take the dropper, bring it under your tongue and apply it sublingually (this is just another way of saying under the tongue).
For the absolute best results, you should wait at least thirty seconds and you should feel the results kick in almost immediately after. This is often the most common way that people choose to take hemp oil.
There are a lot of uncovered potential health benefits in cannabis, and we wholeheartedly believe there is only more positive research to come in the upcoming years as legislation gets looser and more research studies are approved.
We often discuss the mental and physical benefits of cannabis products, but we have not even begun to touch upon the nutritional value that products like this might have as food and diet supplements.
We hope that you have come out of this article excited for the possibilities for your health, and excited to try something that has the potential to, maybe, truly enrich your life.