Hemp oil, much like CBD oil, is a derivative of the cannabis type of plant. However, while CBD is usually derived from marijuana itself and carefully refined to remove the THC and other unwanted ingredients, hemp oil is pressed from the seeds of the lower-THC hemp plant, and is completely unfiltered. It’s sold exactly the way it occurs in nature within the seeds of the plant.
The difference in where it comes from has a lot of consequences for the effects of hemp oil and even for whether or not it has been studied. I’ll try to explain everything you need to know.
Where to Find Hemp
One of the key differences between CBD and hemp is that hemp is generally less popular. This makes it more difficult to find. You can find almost anything online, but unless you find a really good hemp site, shopping might be more limited. Amazon may have some, but just googling could possibly land you in trouble.
Some sellers are disreputable and untrustworthy. They’re just jumping on the health trend. Since the FDA does not regulate supplements, there’s no way to tell these sellers from any others, and the government won’t stop them from getting imported into the country. There are reputable third parties that do nothing but test consumer products; look for a third-party tested sticker on anything before you buy it.
Another part of the problem with hemp being less popular than CBD is that there’s been much less studies done on it by scientists. There’s reasonable evidence by now that CBD is fairly useful for certain health conditions, although still nothing definite, and it’s easily debatable by a lot of people. If it’s still uncertain whether, and how much, CBD oil helps, imagine how much less studied and less certain hemp oil is!
There’s no evidence, so far (emphasis on so far), that hemp does much of anything. However, there have been few or no studies on whether or not it does, so the lack of evidence doesn’t mean there’s nothing to find. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC351831/
How to Use Hemp Oil
It might be a bad idea to take hemp oil before a drug test. This is because, since it’s not filtered after being squeezed, it might have higher concentrations of THC than a filtered, processed oil would. Hemp has much less THC than marijuana, but still some, and if it isn’t filtered out, there could be too large an amount left.
It’s unlikely the amount would get you high—at least, not with the recommended dosage. But it could definitely and easily cause you to fail a drug test mandated by your employer, and the amount of time it could take to fully metabolize is uncertain. Try not to use hemp oil within at least a week of a drug test.
The same thing applies with full spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum has no THC, but full spectrum includes it along with every other cannabinoid compound. It’s important to avoid anything that could contaminate your sample even days before a test. Have you heard the story about the man who ate poppy seed bagels and then tested positive for opium? That. Don’t do that.
Processing and Concentration
Oddly, despite having a higher THC content, hemp oil also simultaneously has a lower content of most other relevant compounds. This is because it isn’t processed at all. Other formulations of cannabinoid compounds are carefully refined and processed to include higher concentrations of active ingredients than are found in nature. That means that other products will be more concentrated and more active than this will.
However, that’s not necessarily a good thing. You only have to walk down any supermarket aisle to see the bad things that happen when you process food too much, even healthy food. Maybe some of the compounds people are removing from the plant oil—things they assumed were just filler—are actually useful. Kinda like the story of artificial flavoring.
When scientists go to make an artificial flavor (we’ll say grape because I still have horrible childhood memories of grape cough syrup), they look through all the compounds found in a grape and find the one that contributes most to the flavor. Then they make that compound in a lab and leave behind the rest. And they end up with something that tastes nothing like grape.
Why? Because grape flavor isn’t composed of just one molecule! There are literally thousands of little compounds in the grape that make up grape flavor. But nobody could ever create all of those just to make cough syrup, or candy, or whatever grape-flavored monstrosity they’re working on right now. So they just pick the biggest one or two, and then wonder why it tastes nothing like grape, like this user noted.
The point is this. Even if scientists look really closely at all the cannabinoid compounds to try to figure out which of them are the important ones and which are just filler, they could be wrong. All of them together might add up to make something they didn’t expect. The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.
So maybe hemp oil is better for you than CBD oil. Or maybe it’s not. Like I said, the research isn’t really in yet. Maybe try one and then the other and see what works for you. Until more information is gathered, we don’t really know… well, anything!