Hemp oil can mean a few different things, and we’re here to explain exactly the differences between the various types of hemp oil. So, when anyone is talking about hemp oil they could be talking about hemp seed oil, CBD oil or hemp essential oil. In modern times, the term “hemp oil” is increasingly used in place of “CBD oil”, whereas in the past it would have more commonly been used to describe hemp seed oil. It could also be used to describe the cannabis oil that is rich in THC, and illegal here in the UK. This is the oil that cannabis activist Rick Simpson championed, and claimed to treat his skin cancer with successfully.
For the purposes of today’s discussion, we’re just going to stick to talking about the 3 “hemp oil” products that are legal here in the UK. Hemp seed oil, CBD oil and hemp essential oil.
Hemp Seed Oil
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil is a highly nutritious, protein-rich plant oil derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. The seeds are cold-pressed to squeeze out all of the natural oil within while keeping all of the health-giving nutrients and enzymes intact.
Hemp seed oil contains high levels of omega oils including Omega-3 and 6 in the perfect ratio for human consumption. It contains all of the essential fatty acids that are bodies need to function. We cannot create these essential fatty acids ourselves, and so we must look to outside sources to acquire them.
Hemp seeds contain vital vitamins and minerals, along with the essential proteins that we need to function. Hemp seed has been called “the most complete source of nutrition on the planet” because of its incredible mix of vitamins, minerals and proteins.
Hemp seed oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, thanks in part to an omega 6 fatty acid known as GLA. Ingesting hemp seed oil is great for joint health, and can help to ease inflammation from conditions such as arthritis. We all know that Omega-3 and 6 are great for your joint health, and hemp seed has higher concentrations of these than a lot of other sources including fish and beef. So, if you’re looking for a natural solution to joint pain and inflammation that is free from side effects, then hemp seed oil might just be the thing you’ve been searching for!
How to Use Hemp Seed Oil
We recommend ingesting up to 5 tablespoons of hemp seed oil a day to get the maximum benefits, but you can always start with a lower amount and work your way up. You can always just administer the oil by itself, on a spoon. Close your eyes and swallow it down. This might not be the most pleasant way of ingesting the oil, but it certainly gets the job done. Of course, if you really don’t like the taste of the oil then you could always opt for the popular hempseed oil capsules, so that you can still get your intake of hemp seed oil, but neatly packaged in an easy to swallow capsule. In this case, just swallow two capsules with some water 2-3 times a day.
There are some more creative ways to get hemp seed oil into your diet. You can drizzle some on a salad or add it to your meals after they have been cooked, right before serving. Whatever it is you’re eating, try just adding a little of the hemp seed oil before you tuck-in. Obviously don’t drown your dinner in oil, but you might find that adding a little hemp seed oil actually brings a new and interesting flavour to your meals. Heating the oil will result in a loss of the nutritionally beneficial elements that we are looking to preserve, so try not to cook with the oil.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid present in the hemp plant, it is legal and non-psychoactive unlike it’s cousin THC which is illegal in most countries around the world (but increasingly becoming decriminalized and legalised in various areas of the globe).
CBD oil is mostly extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant, but is also present in every part of the plant. The natural oil is usually extracted using a technique known as CO2 extraction, a safe and chemical-free method also used to decaffeinate coffee.
Inside our bodies, there is something called the endocannabinoid system, which runs through our entire bodies and interacts with cannabinoids to regulate all sorts of physiological and cognitive processes. It can have an effect on everything from mood, to fertility, appetite, memory, pain and more! CBD is just one of the cannabinoids that can interact with this system to help us to achieve a range of benefits. As well as CBD and THC, there are many other cannabinoids including CBG, CBN, CBC, CBL, CBDa and more. CBD oils often include a range of these cannabinoids which work together with terpenes to provide the effects that many people claim are beneficial to their health and wellbeing.
Now, this is important so pay attention class. If you find what you think might be a CBD oil product, and it is labeled as “hemp oil” and has a “mg” number on the bottle (10000mg for example) then you may want to reconsider your buying decision. Unfortunately there are many scammers out there looking to make a quick buck by confusing the issues of hemp seed oil and CBD oil, and they are often trying to sell you hemp seed oil (with no CBD at all) at a huge markup. Generally CBD oils will specifically be labeled “CBD”, instead of “hemp oil”.
How to Use CBD Oil
The advice for ingesting CBD oil in the most effective way is to simply drop the required dosage under your tongue allowing the oil to absorb sublingually, and then swallowing after 60-180 seconds. Sublingual absorption is the best way to get the most out of your CBD oil, and is widely believed to be the fastest delivery method for the oil. When talking about CBD, we often mention the term “bioavailability”, this is a term to describe how much of the CBD actually enters your bloodstream. Oral ingestion of CBD oil is estimated to have around 6% bioavailability, whereas sublingual absorption has been measured at 13-19% with some results as high as 56%. So if you administer 10mg of CBD oil sublingually, around 1-6mg of CBD is entering your bloodstream, vs 0.6mg if you are swallowing the oil straight down.
Evidence suggests that Vaping CBD would give you even greater bioavailability from the CBD, but that would require a different type of CBD oil than we are discussing today, never ever try to vape CBD oil that is intended for oral ingestion, it’s simply not made to be vaped. Also, not everyone wants to vape and so for thos that want to use CBD oil we suggest that the sublingual method is the best.
If you’re new to CBD then you will want to start at a low dosage, and gradually increase it if you feel the need to. Everyone is different and the effectiveness of any CBD dose relies on a range of variables. From your body weight, to your individual body chemistry and the condition that you are attempting to treat, there are many factors that affect how high of a dose of CBD you will require.
For example, try starting with 20mg per day and assess how you are feeling with that dosage on a day-to-day basis. After a week, assess how you felt and if not satisfied with the effects then increase the dosage by 5-10mg, try for another week, and repeat. Some people find that only a high dose will be sufficient for their needs, whereas others feel that they are getting what they need from CBD oil on a lower dose. It really depends on the individual, so be sure to be mindful of how you are feeling while taking your CBD, and consider keeping a record of your dosages and how you felt each day to help you to guage if CBD is making a difference for you.
Hemp Essential Oil
What is Hemp Essential Oil?
Here at the hemp shop, we sold hemp essential oil for years before CBD was legalised in the UK. Before the CBD floodgates opened this oil was sought out by people for much the same reasons as CBD is sought out today. People have been using hemp essential oil to treat health conditions for thousands of years. Hemp essential oil is a highly distilled essential oil from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. It contains hundreds of terpenes. These terpenes are the compounds of the cannabis plant that protect it from predators and funguses. These compounds are distilled into the Hemp essence to provide a range of health benefits including anti-depressant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
For a more in-depth look at hemp essential oil, you can read our guide to hemp essential oil here.
How to Use Hemp Essential Oil
This versatile essence is excellent for health and beauty products, cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, candles, and as an additive for foods. Many people warm the essential oil in an infuser for the health giving aromas. You can put a few drops into your bath or add 3 – 5 drops to 10ml of a carrier oil like hemp seed oil or olive oil, for use as a massage oil. Essential oils are used in food preparation – so for example Peppermint Essential Oil is used to flavour chewing gum. Apparently 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil is the equivalent of 70 cups of Peppermint tea!
Hemp Essential Oil is powerful and concentrated. Never apply it directly to skin (or hair), and never ingest it in its pure form.
So there you have it, those are the 3 kinds of hemp oil that are legal here in the UK. If you’re shopping for hemp oil, then you will want to make sure that you are getting exactly what you’re looking for, so instead of searching for “hemp oil” we suggest using the more precise terms of “hemp seed oil”, “CBD oil” and “hemp essential oil”.