Often mistaken for each other, hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, the former being cultivated for seeds, oil and fiber, while the latter has historically been cultivated for its high content of THC, psychoactive compound.
Industrial hemp contains less than 1.5% THC and products derived from it generally contain less than 0.3% THC. The cultivation of this plant is legal in numerous countries. The edible products obtained from industrial hemp, mainly the seeds and oil, are rich in protein, vitamins and fatty acids, so they’re an important source of nutrients that causes no side-effects. Thanks to its versatility, hemp is used as raw material for textile and body care products, pet food, paper, detergents and biomass fuel.
The controversy over the legalization of hemp has generated a lot of debate and has brought this plant into the spotlight again, increasing awareness about the properties of cannabinoids and benefits of CBD oil obtained from industrial hemp, as well as about the various hemp products. However, there are still numerous sources of misinformation out there, so it’s worth pointing out the differences between marijuana, industrial hemp and therapeutic hemp.
Characteristics and Differences
Hemp is grown differently than marijuana, and the oil is obtained from specific parts of the plant which do not contain THC. Most of the THC content is found in the buds and flowers of the cannabis plant, but industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds, so this explains the different content of THC in marijuana versus hemp.
The plant owes its therapeutic properties to cannabidiol, a compound that was proven to have beneficial effects in nausea, inflammation, anxiety, convulsions and epileptic seizures. A significant number of studies have shown that CBD has positive effects on blood pressure and nervous system, and can be a potential solution for stimulating bone growth, inhibiting tumor growth and treating diabetes.
Producers of therapeutic hemp breed the plant to increase its content of CBD. Regular industrial hemp is not cultivated for this purpose, so although it does contain a low amount of THC and is not psychoactive, it also contains lower amounts of CBD than the therapeutic plant.
Hemp seeds are a good source of cannabidiol, but they don’t offer large amounts of this compound, so in order to get the most of this plant and obtain a product with a higher concentration of cannabidiol, special breeding & extraction techniques are required.
How Elixinol obtains its 18% CBD oil
Elixinol uses specially bred plants, which have a higher level of CBD, but the original extracts are still low in this compound, so we need to take the extract and then purify it in order to obtain a higher concentration of cannabidiol. The purified industrial hemp extract produced by our company has 18% CBD.
Being a high quality concentrate obtained through a complex procedure, Elixinol CBD is more expensive than other hemp oils available on the market, but it’s one of the few products that is supported by laboratory tests. You can check the evidence of purity and profile by downloading our Lab Results report.
To obtain similar concentrations, one has to use high-CBD strains, Harlequin, Sour Tsunami, Cannatonic or Valentine X. The levels of CBD in these plans vary from grower to grower and even from plant to plant, so what really makes the difference is not the breeding itself but the extraction procedure.
We’re proud to say that the Super Critical Fluid extraction used for obtaining Elixinol CBD oil is a safe, sustainable and superior method that allows us to obtain a pure, highly concentrated and nutrient-rich oil, loaded with phytonutrients. While we believe that our product is the best available on the market, we encourage you to do your research and pick the CBD oil that best fits your budget and needs, but make sure to always ask for lab tests before investing in any product.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked about our CBD oil is why it is so expensive, and this question usually comes from people who see hemp seed oil in supermarkets at very low prices and do not understand the difference. The short answer is because CBD oil is not exactly the same as hempseed oil, and also because the extraction techniques used for producing the cannabinoid-rich products are different from those used for obtaining oil from hemp seeds.
Hemp seed oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds and then extracting the oil, and this procedure is easy to implement at home and requires no special equipment or solvent. However, note that this product, although of great nutritional value, is different from the health-enhancing supplement we produce, so it’s worth taking a look at the different extraction methods used for obtaining hemp oil.
1. Cold pressing for producing hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil is rich in nutrients and is a good addition to any diet, but only contains very small amounts of cannabinoids, as it is made from just the seeds of the plant. This oil is obtained by simply pressing or grinding the seeds at a temperature that’s lower than 120°F, and it retains its nutritional value and flavor.
Hemp seed oil can certainly be added to CBD supplements as a base for these products. CBD oil extracts tend to be thicker and therefore more difficult to handle. For this reason, mixing them into a hemp seed oil base can solve this problem. Several CBD products on the market do, in fact, do this.
However, cold pressing is a good technique for obtaining hemp seed oil, but it’s not useful for CBD oil production, as CBD oil is obtained from the plant’s seeds AND stalks. So what are ways to extract CBD hemp oil?
2. The Rick Simpson Method For Cannabis Oil
One popular extraction method for extracting CBD oil is the Rick Simpson technique, which uses petroleum or naphtha as solvents. This method, although efficient in extracting the active compounds from the cannabis plant (mostly done with marijuana plants), usually leads to products that have a lower concentration of terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBD, while effectively yielding higher concentrations of THC.
It’s therefore not the best choice if you’re looking to obtain a CBD-rich oil, not to mention it’s also considered unsafe due to the residues that may remain from the solvents and potentially interfere with one’s immune function.
3. Extraction with ethanol or Olive oil
Ethanol and olive oil can be used for extracting the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant, and they have the advantage of being safe for consumption as well. On the other hand, ethanol also extracts chlorophyll, so the final product has an unpleasant taste and a not-so-tempting green color. Surely the chlorophyll can be removed by filtering the extract, but this additional step also removes a significant proportion of the cannabinoids, therefore leading to less potent oil.
Olive oil can be an alternative, but again it has its drawbacks. The good part about extracting the cannabinoids with olive oil is that the technique is very simple and only requires to heat up the oil up to 200°F and filtering the extract. The bad part is that this extract cannot be concentrated, so although it does contain CBD, in order to see significant health effects one needs to consume large amounts of this oil.
4. Super Critical CO2 extraction
Finally, a more expensive but non-toxic and extremely efficient method to obtain CBD oil is CO2 extraction. This requires complex equipment and expertise, but uses safe solvents and ensures a highly potent and pure extract.
The CBD oil obtained through super critical extraction is a full spectrum cannabinoid-rich product, with numerous health benefits. The oil is transparent and has an amber color, being more qualitative than the fluid obtained through the previously mentioned techniques. You can read more about this method here Elixinol.
Now that more and more states are passing bills to legalize CBD products and people are starting to learn about the benefits and uses of CBD oil, the market for hemp-derived products is expected to increase even more.
While it’s surely a good thing to make CBD oil easily available for people all over the world, the increasing popularity of products rich in cannabinoids has a not so pleasant side effect. Driven by the desire to explore this business opportunity and get the most of it, producers use misleading marketing and deceptive advertising to increase profits.
In order to convince people to buy CBD oil or other products made of hemp or containing cannabidiol, companies claim that their CBD can cure pretty much anything from cancer to acne scars, yet they have no scientific argument to back up their statements. It’s therefore not surprising to see that people are reluctant when it comes to purchasing such products, or that they feel overwhelmed and have no idea how to buy CBD oil without getting scammed.
What sounds more appealing to you? To search for a hemp shop in your area, or to try an online shop that sells hemp oil or other cannabinoid-rich products? Regardless of your choice, the first and most important thing to do before you buy any product that contains cannabidiol is to do your homework and make sure you know what you’re getting.
1. Look for quality, not for low prices.
With so many products only one click away, it’s more than tempting to grab the most affordable CBD oil you can find online, but cheaper isn’t necessarily better.
If you Google “buy CBD oil” right now you’ll get more than 5,950,000 results, but you know what’s curious? Most of these producers and distributors offer no tangible evidence to support the claim that their products are the best. Surely, lower prices are more attractive, but if I were you, I would think twice before picking the cheap CBD oil over the high quality one.
If you want to make sure you’re getting a safe and effective product, look for quality, not for a low price. How is quality defined when it comes to CBD oil? The higher the concentration of cannabidiol in a product, the more powerful its effects, and thus the wiser the investment.
We’re proud to be among the few companies that provide lab analysis <link to lab results page/pdf> for their products. Results of our lab tests are visible for anyone who wants to see what Elixinol™ contains, and that is 18% CBD, along with all the synergistic cannabinoids in the original plant. We produce a wholesome extract, not an isolate nor a synthetic product, because our focus is on delivering a pure, highly qualitative CBD oil, and not a cheap product with zero benefits for your health.
2. Beware of products that claim to cure everything.
If you decide to order CBD oil online, start by learning about the real properties and benefits of cannabinoids. Hemp seed oil and Hemp CBD oil are two different products, and neither of them is “medical marijuana”.
You’ll hear and read a lot about CBD products that can cure different forms of cancer and about hemp oil that has miraculously healed patients from anxiety, tumors, diabetes and whatnot. My advice? Beware of products whose benefits sound too good to be true. CBD oil is a powerful antioxidant whose strength is greater than that of vitamin C and E, and I’m sure we will soon have strong medical evidence for different health effects.
However, at this point, research is still needed, and the surest way to avoid scams is to beware of those products that claim to cure everything. Maybe they do have beneficial properties, but playing with people’s minds and hearts and with their desperate need to find a reliable treatment for painful conditions is not the right way to promote a product.
At Elixinol, we’re not selling magic potion in a bottle. Our CBD oil is not a miraculous cure that will make illnesses go away overnight. We don’t sell drugs, and we’re not producing medical marijuana. What we do offer you is a powerful dietary supplement with an impressive concentration of CBD, a product that is safe and is obtained through a technology that allows it to retain all the nutrients found in the original plant.
It’s the synergistic action of these nutrients that make CBD oil so valuable and beneficial for one’s overall health. We therefore encourage you to add this nutritional supplement to your diet in order to experience the positive effects of the phytonutrients found in our hemp-derived product.
3. Make sure your oil is Non-Psychoactive.
Some of the hemp and marijuana products available on the market contain psychoactive compounds, however cannabidiol is scientifically proven to be anti-psychoactive, so it’s important to check the label before buying a CBD oil and to choose only products that have no psychoactive effects.
As long as you stick with non-psychoactive products there’s no risk of getting high from them. But again, beware of cheap products. Making a good CBD oil that retains only the beneficial compounds from hemp requires a certain technology, and that technology is costly.
Few days ago I came across this article saying that you can make CBD oil at home by smashing some hemp seeds and extracting that fluid. Let me tell you something – this way you will get (at best!) a poorly qualitative hemp oil. You can’t take the psychoactive THC out of cannabis oil by simply squeezing the liquid from some seeds.
Check out this page to learn more about the process through which CBD is produced, and get well informed before deciding where to buy CBD oil from!
The term cannabinoid can be used when referring to three different classes of compounds. First, we have the phytocannabinoids, or those cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis sativa plant. Then, the substances produced inside the human body, which are called endocannabinoids represent a second category, and the third group is represented by man-made synthetic cannabinoids.
Each of these categories of cannabinoids has its own properties and affects the human organism in a different manner, but in this article we’ll only discuss the most important phytocannabinoids and their characteristics. Keep in mind that both marijuana and hemp are produced from the same species of plant, Cannabis Sativa L., with the former being the narcotic strain and the latter the fiber-producing strain of the plant.
Naturaly occurring plant cannabinoids (Phytocannabinoids)
The most known phytocannabinoids are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), but the cannabis plant also includes CBG (cannabigerol), CBD (cannabichromene), THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), CBE (cannabielsoin), CBT (cannabicitran) and CBL (cannabicyclol). These are the most important cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa, the plant containing a total of 66 such chemicals.
THC is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant and exerts its effects by binding to the CB1 receptor in the brain. The cannabis plant contains around 25% of D9 THC and a low concentration of D8 THC, so the substance that gets people high is D9 THC.
Still, this compound also has positive health effects. Studies showing that tetrahydrocannabinol has analgesic and neuroprotective properties. It also seems to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent, able to reduce neuroinflammation and to stimulate the birth of new neurons.
CBD counteracts the psychoactivity of THC and is the most beneficial compound extracted from the cannabis plant, having strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and being an excellent neuroprotector, antidepressant and anxiolytic agent. It’s also been suggested to alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia.
CBN results from the degradation of THC and is found in lower amounts in the cannabis plant. It has a higher affinity to the CB2 receptor so it’s not as psychoactive as THC. Cannabinoids exert their effects inside the body by interacting with specific receptors found in the central nervous system, immune system and so on, but the psychoactive effects are the result of cannabinoids interacting with CB1 and CB2.
CBG, another phytocannabinoid, binds to the CB2 receptor but is non-psychotomimetic, so it doesn’t make one high. It’s found in higher concentrations in hemp strains, and assists in the regulation of serotonin, adrenaline and noradrenaline release. By inhibiting the uptake of GABA in the brain, CBG decreases anxiety and muscle tension is a similar manner to CBD.
Finally, CBC or cannabichromene is also a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, found mostly in tropical cannabis varieties, but in very low levels (less than 1%). It has been suggested to have strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and to enhance the pain-relieving effects of THC.
Of all these cannabinoids, Elixinol contains CBD in the highest concentration. To learn more about its beneficial effects, check out this article on the uses of CBD oil.
In a previous article, Before you Buy CBD Oil Learn to Read the Lab Tests, we’ve mentioned that lab tests for hemp products analyze not only the content of cannabinoids, but also the amount of solvents and the presence of terpenes in the final products.
You’re probably familiar with solvents and cannabinoids at this point, but what about terpenes? What are these compounds and how do they influence the properties of hemp in general, and of hemp oil in particular?
Terpenes give the aroma, flavor and color of plants
Terpenes are organic compounds found in a variety of plants, and contribute to their flavor, scent and color. These substances are the building blocks for essential oils and plant raisins, and are often used in food additives, perfumery and aromatherapy. Some are even thought to have medicinal properties, and to help in fighting bacteria, fungus and environmental stress.
Plants like rosemary, mint or basil have a strong terpene profile, and this is why they’re referred to as aromatic plants. Cannabis at its turn contains a wide range of terpenes (over 200) that are thought to interact synergistically with the cannabinoids in the plant, and to enhance its health effects.
BCP (beta-caryophyllene) for example is a terpene found in the cannabis plant that is known to activate the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system and to exert anti-inflammatory effects. It’s non-psychoactive, and is the first FDA approved dietary cannabinoid, being used as food additive.
Vitamin A is also a terpene, although we don’t generally think of it this way. Conifers produce large amounts of these compounds, and most plants produce higher quantities of terpenes in the warmer seasons.
Each of the different cannabis strains contains its own terpenes, and some are more abundant, hence the different flavors and aromas. Alpha-pinene for example is one of the most known terpenes in cannabis and is also found in sage and rosemary. It is known to act as a natural bronchodilator and expectorant and to help one focus better. It increases the mental energy and can even act as a topical antiseptic.
Limonene, another terpenes found in the cannabis strains, is also present in citrus fruits, juniper and peppermint, and has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-depressant effects. Moreover, it is suggested that this compound exerts anti-carcinogen properties, and is known to increase blood pressure.
Myrcene is found in menthol, lemon grass and most varieties of marijuana, and is widely used in the perfumery industry. Just like the previously mentioned compounds, it has anti-microbial and anti-septic properties, and acts as a natural anti-depressant, anti-carcinogen and anti-inflammatory agent. It’s a relaxing substance and in marijuana-derived products, it increases the cell membrane permeability, allowing for higher amounts of THC to travel to the brain cells.
Terpenes and hemp oil
Unlike marijuana, hemp does not have a strong flavor and is not referred to as an aromatic plant, therefore the terpene profile of hemp is a bit less significant than that of marijuana. But the plant still contains such compounds, and none of them are psychoactive. Terpenes in hemp have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, the most known of them being caryphyllene and myrcene.
The hemp plant contains 120 terpenes, but depending on the processing method, these can or cannot be found in the CBD oil. Oil made of hemp seeds is less abundant in terpenes than the similar product obtained from other portions of the plant (Hendriks et al, 1978).
Hemp contains mostly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes (Turner et al, 1980), which can be concentrated into essential oils through steam distillation methods. Cannabinoids have no smell, so the flavor and aroma of hemp products depends on their terpenes profile.