Hemp seed oil. Cannabis oil. Or was it cannabidiol? CBD?
Don’t feel bad if you’re still a bit clueless when it comes to the nomenclature surrounding cannabis products. Hemp seed oil and cannabidiol (CBD) are extracts from cannabis plants that offer medicinal benefits without a psychoactive high.
Yes… you heard me right.
Growing populations are testifying to the incredible effects of non-THC oils spiritually, mentally, and physically.
If you want to choose the right alternative therapy to meet your treatment goals, you need some basic information about the different types of cannabis oils available on the market.
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Today we are going to compare two of the most popular cannabis concentrates and shed some light on the basics of the production methods and suggested uses of hemp seed oil and CBD.
Breaking Up the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
You may find this a bit surprising, but marijuana and hemp are two entirely different types of plants. However, both are members of the same species; cannabis.
Differences in Appearance Between Marijuana and Hemp
Even the untrained eye will catch the stark differences in appearance between hemp and marijuana cannabis plants. In fact, if you were able to look at both types of plants at their farmed locations, you will notice their distinct traits, such as:
- Marijuana plants are typically broad-leaved and tightly budded.
- The plants may take on the appearance of a large nugget with hairs.
- From a distance, a marijuana plant looks like a short plump bush.
- Hemp, on the other hand, grows tall, even as much as 20 ft!
- Similar to a long ditchweed, hemp has actually been found growing along with weeds in places such as in Nebraska.
- Leaves found on hemp cannabis plants are typically thinner and appear near the top of the plant.
- Usually, there are little to no branches or leaves to be found below the upper portion of the plant.
Chemical Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana
When it comes to chemical composition, specifically, the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) needs to be considered which illustrates the main difference between marijuana and hemp. THC is responsible for the psychological effects of cannabis.
Marijuana Chemical Makeup
- On average, a batch of marijuana cannabis harnesses about 5 to 20 percent THC content.
- Premium marijuana strains have the potential to produce an impressive 25 to 35 percent THC.
Hemp Chemical Makeup
- On the other hand, hemp produces a maximum of 0.3 percent THC, thus rendering it ineffective at creating a “psychoactive” effect, also known as a high.
- In countries which have already legalized the use of hemp, but not marijuana, this threshold is regulated closely.
- What’s the use of hemp? It harnesses high levels of CBD which is used for many types of oils, tinctures, and remedies.
- The high levels of CBD practically render the minimum amount of THC useless as CBD acts as THC’s antagonist.
Cultivation Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana Cannabis
Even though hemp and marijuana come from the same family, both of them certainly have their own unique upbringing and require a specific environment in which to be raised. Beyond this, if you were to grow your marijuana near hemp, it will most likely ruin your dank crop as it will lessen the potency and possibly all psychoactive effects of your bud. Proceed with caution.
- Marijuana plants can be grown by your everyday home grower who’s moderate with their skills.
- Specific things will contribute to a higher yield which can help you reap the maximum benefits of your plants.
- Cultivators of cannabis plants nearly only used seeds which have been feminized because this practice guarantees more than 99 percent female plants.
- Organic regular seeds are still another option, but people are moving away from this method because the process of picking out the male plants is time-consuming.
- Marijuana plants require an atmosphere with the perfect level of warmth and humidity – which often necessitates careful controls.
- The growth cycle for marijuana is between 60 to 90 days.
- Specific types of marijuana must be separated further, such as many forms of medical marijuana.
- Marijuana cannot be grown near a hemp field, the pollen from hemp will ruin the marijuana crop.
- While rare in occurrence, it is still possible to have a plant become a “hermie” due to stress which causes pollen sacs and buds to develop. Inevitably, these plants are removed and treated as male plants in order to prevent pollination. In today’s snobby grass market, in which consumers have many choices, only high-grade, seed-free flower will do.
- Hemp plants are meant to grow close together, as much as four inches apart.
- Large plots spanning over multiple acres are typically used to grow hemp.
- Hemp can be grown in a variety of climates, including those common to many northern locations.
- Hemp plants have a growth cycle between 108 to 120 days on average, and not typically beyond 150 days.
- Plants can easily reach a height of 12 ft tall or more.
Low-THC Hemp? What’s the Point?
….To Harness the power of CBD and Hemp Seed Oil
Little to no THC? Who’s got time for that type of weed?
In short… everybody.
At least, everybody should make time for hemp seed oil and CBD.
The combined health benefits of CBD oil and hemp seed oil are monumental. Dampened possibilities for decades of research means that new uses for these cannabis concentrates are continuously coming to light. So how is the hemp plant used to create concentrates such as the popular hemp seed oil and CBD oil?
Farmers use both the monoecious and dioecious varieties of hemp plants to cultivate:
- CBD oil
- Hemp seed oil
A beautiful benefit of growing hemp is that dual purposes for growth often drive the operation, so very little to no plant goes to waste. Out of all the strains available, there are no feminized hemp seeds, rather some varieties which are considered to be female dominant with 65 to 85 percent female populations.
What are Dioecious and Monoecious Hemp Strains?
Dioecious plants have only male or female flowers. Monoecious hemp plants have both female and male flowers, but only the female flower will produce fruit. In the hemp seed oil and CBD market, you actually want the seediest yield possible.
In stark contrast to the desirable traits of a good marijuana plant, when it comes to growing hemp, to have intersexed, or hermaphrodite plants is actually a good thing!
Why are the “hermie” plants of the hemp world are a good thing?
A greater yield of hemp seeds.
Because the production of high-level THC plants is not the goal, the desired outcome would be for the plants to produce as many hemp seeds as possible for the creation of hemp seed oil and other products.
And then you have… autoflowering
Hemp varieties which have been created to autoflower offspring are a hugely popular choice among farmers (for obvious reasons). Plants from of the auto-flowering hemp varieties are also ideal for farmers because their height is poised for maximum yield and they’re able to fit perfectly under the combines.
Typical photoperiod hemp is harvested at five months old or less and is processed before the flowering of the plant begins (completely opposite to the cultivation of marijuana).
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
Think about this, the average hemp seed is comprised of approximately 30 to 35 percent oil by weight! This substance is a precious and rich oil that’s laden with essential fatty acids.
It’s removed via a cold-pressing process, which is also used for the extraction of other seed oils, such as black onion. During this method, the seeds must first be de-husked, or de-shelled, and then they go through chilling and pressure application. Simple as that, viola – the hemp seed oil is extracted.
What Does Hemp Seed Oil Look Like?
Pure. Unrefined. Hemp seed oil offers a very earthy essence with its green hues and natural aromas. Plus, it’s packed full of nutritious elements due to the cold-pressing process.
Hemp seed oil can only be realistically commercially processed because of the amount needed to refine and the problems encountered by farmers, which include:
- Seed shattering
- Variation in hemp seed size
- Variation in oil content of the seeds
Typical hemp plants do not produce a huge amount of seeds. An auto-flowering variety like the Finola Finnish hemp strain has the ability to produce two-ton per hectare of seeds.
Hemp seed oil can also be derived from Cannabis indica strains. In fact, cannabis-indica strains are capable of producing 10 to 14 tons of seeds per hectare. No matter which seeds you press, marijuana or hemp, the hemp seed oil which is derived is not psychoactive and cannot get users high.
What are the Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil?
Rich fatty acids. Omega 3’s. Hemp seed oil products offer the following benefits:
- Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- Edible types of hemp seed oil can have more than 80 percent polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.
- Linoleic acid (LA) and linolenic acid (LNA) are found in hemp seed oil at a ratio 3:1. Nutritionists widely believe this to be the optimum concentration.
- Hemp seed oils have high levels of the powerful antioxidant, vitamin E. In fact, 100g of hemp seed oil contains as much as 150mg of vitamin E. Uses of vitamin E are endless, and the cosmetic industry raves about its anti-aging properties.
Commonly, people will create their own tincture of CBD and incorporate or use hemp seed oil. However, it’s important to make the distinction that when sitting alone, to itself, hemp seed oil does not contain other cannabinoids such as CBD.
Which brings us to…
What is CBD Oil?
Marijuana or hemp can both be used to extract CBD oil. Recreational-style cannabis strains high in THC levels often have less than one percent CBD. However, many of the hemp strain varieties yield two to three percent CBD. New technology and innovation have birthed the ability of home-growers to produce high-CBD, low-THC flowers in quantities enough to keep them stocked for personal use.
Used as a secret weapon of sorts, many hemp CBD oil manufacturers extract the oil by using a supercritical CO² process.
Mostly because of the legalities around harvesting hemp versus marijuana, hemp remains the largest source for CBD oil to date. However, the future is here, and heavy-hitting seed-free cannabis buds rocking more than 20 percent CBD levels will continue to take over the cultivation market.
What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
As if they were designed in the beginning to function harmoniously with one another, the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) shows marked interaction with CBD oil. From relieving pain to treating patients with anxiety and depression, the following are some of the health benefits of CBD oil:
- Highly anti-inflammatory
- Cancer-fighting and preventing properties
- Cannot get a person high, as there is no THC content
- Helps relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression
- Effectively treats acne
- Relieves symptoms associated with cancer
- Treats seizures
- Shown to help protect the brain from injury
- Offers heart health benefits
- Is an effective treatment for substance abuse disorders
- Helps to prevent diabetes
- Possesses anti-tumor properties
- Improves an individual’s overall sense of health and well-being.
Where Does Legal Hemp Originate?
Worldwide, momentum has been gaining for the reform and further legalization of cannabis plants.
In the United States, Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (“Farm Bill”) opened the doors for the cultivation of hemp by some US universities for the purpose of research and development. In order to meet the demand for its market, the US must import CBD oil and hemp seed oil from outside sources.
China is one of the largest producers and worldwide distributors of hemp textiles and paper. No matter where the retailer of hemp clothing or apparel is located, most get their hemp supplies from the international market, originating mostly out of China’s factories and farmers.
China markets produce CBD oil and hemp seed oil, but consumers should be leery of the hemp seed products that are not transparent about their origins. Other suppliers, such as those in Canada, abide by stricter regulations.
Which leads to the next worldwide cannabis concentrate supplying country…
Taking its lead as the world’s largest exporter and producer of hemp seed products, Canada produces high-quality products such as:
- Hulled hemp seeds
- Hemp oil
- Hemp protein powder
In fact, the United States now imports between 60 and 90 percent of all hemp brought in to the states from Canada. Seeds from a Canadian hemp plant are typically very high in quality, as the farmers must use the approved seeds and follow all regulations according to Health Canada’s List of Approved Cultivators.
Take a look at the hemp industry in Europe, and you will notice that the market has been focused on the industrial uses of hemp, including the construction and automobile market. Eastern European countries, such as Hungary, Romania, and Russia are responsible for a majority of hemp cultivation from Europe.
That doesn’t mean that several more European nations are not also growing hemp. rather in smaller quantity for different purposes. Cultivation of hemp across Europe began regrowing and has not stopped since the 90s when the European Union starting subsidizing at the rate of $400 per acre to its farmers to grow hemp. France is also responsible for a good chunk of European hemp growth, as it is the leading country in Europe to produce this type of cannabis.