Believe the Hype! The Simplified Version.
If you’ve been wondering what all the hype is about and found yourself on the long list of potential “canna-curious” consumers but need more information to make an informed decision about its possible health benefits – then you’ve come to the right place.
Cannabis is a family of plants with two main classifications, indica and sativa. Marijuana can be a member of either classifications, however hemp is only a member of the sativa family of plants.
Cannabis contains a variety of different cannabinoids. The two most dominant are the ones we hear about most often, which is THC, tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD, Cannabidiol. Both have been shown to have benefits to the human body, however THC has psychoactive effects and CBD does not.
While hemp contains 0.3% of THC, marijuana is abundant in THC and difference strains can have anywhere between 5% - 35%. With such a minimal amount of THC found in Hemp, it makes it impossible to feel any psychoactive effect or get a “high”. Hemp also has high cannabidiol (CBD) content that acts as THC’s antagonist, essentially making the minimal amount of THC useless.
Marijuana is grown for medicinal and recreation uses, because of its psychoactive properties and is generally consumed by eating it, smoking it or vaping it.
Hemp on the other hand has over 25,000 possible applications such as supplements, skin and body care, clothing and fabric; even paper, construction and fuel.
Hemp is legal to purchase in Australia. Marijuana however is not legal to purchase yet in Australia, unless it is for medicinal uses and approved by your GP with a prescription.
A Short History Lesson of Cannabis
Native to India and the Middle East, cannabis inidica came to the western world through colonial trading and anchored in tropical latitudes such as Jamaica and Mexico. Cannabis Indica, a variety of cannabis first arrived in America in the 1800’s where western doctors discovered it’s health benefits in the 1830’s. By 1850-1860 cannabis indica had become a commonly used pharmaceutical in the U.S. where they later grew their own high-grade cannabis.
Cannabis oil continues to be a politically charged issue today, as more people become aware of the amazing health benefits of CBD, which have been suppressed by every nation for nearly 100 years. The concern over the dangers of abusing this plant led to the banning of medicinal marijuana in the 1930’s. Science, common-sense and use of the internet has evolved and allowed every individual to become aware of its benefits to now point us in a new direction.
What’s the difference between Cannabis Oil & Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil (also called Hemp seed oil) is extracted from rich hemp seeds – a slightly different process than cannabis oil, although both come from the same Cannabis species plant – Cannabis Sativa. Hemp, derived from the same genus of Cannabis, only contains small trace amounts of the psychoactive element THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is why it is approved by the TGA provided it doesn’t exceed the maximum levels required to comply. However, marijuana has THC levels above 0.3% (usually between 5-35 percent). Due to low THC levels in hemp seed oil, you can use it without feeling “high” afterwards.
Farmers can now profit legally from hemp (see Hemp Industry Act 2008) and from a growing and production perspective – hemp requires less water, no pesticides and minimal care along with being adaptable to most climates.
Hemp not only provides a great source of high-quality nutrients, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, terpenes and proteins, but it is also used in textiles, cosmetics, auto parts, supplements, food, dynamite, bioplastics and medicine. You will also find hemp seeds in baked breads, cakes, cookies, smoothies, tossed into salads, pasta dishes, pizza, sautés, soups, trail mix and salad dressings. It has become a very popular commodity with a growing number of specialty outlets due to its vast array of benefits.
There are over 60 compounds found in cannabis with the most prominent being:
CBD is the major non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis Sativa plant, whose benefits include ant-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and antipsychotic agent. A study was published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology to confirm the benefits, whilst also serving as treatment or epilepsy, neuroinflammation, anxiety, oxidative injury, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, glaucoma, osteoporosis, vomiting and nausea.
How does it work?
CBD has anti-psychotic effects which seem to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that triggers pain, mood and general mental function. By increasing the levels of this chemical in the bloods seems to reduce psychotic symptoms, as well as pain and anxiety.
This content is strictly the researched opinion of BioHax Australia and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal doctor or health care professional. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither BioHax Australia nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their doctor before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Hemp Seed Oil (CBD) Benefits
- Natural pain relief by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways
- Can suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents without causing analgesic tolerance
- Has antipsychotic effects through studies that show CBD is effective in clinical trials for patients with schizophrenia
- Helps reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder, pain disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Reduces anxiety induced by simulated public speaking
- Scientific reports demonstrate CBD possesses antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic effects that inhibit cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion
- CBD induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy
- Data suggests CBD can also be used to inhibit the invasion of lung and colon cancer, as well as possessing anti-tumor properties in gliomas and for treatment of leukemia
- CBD reduced blood pressure in volunteers during randomised crossover study
- Hemp seed oil is a good alternative to traditional omega-3 fatty acid supplements, doesn’t carry the same risk of mercury ingestion and is also more sustainable for the environment
- Hempseed may improve symptoms of PMS and menopause
- CBD in patients with Autism spectrum disorder appears to be well tolerated, safe and effective to relieve associated symptoms
- CBD reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma
- Lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice
- Evidence for cannabis and CBD treatment to reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy
- Reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis
- Modulates the expression of Alzheimer’s disease-related genes in mesenchymal stem cells
- Promotes cardiovascular health
The 3 types of Cannabis and their Uses
Marijuana has many species that differ in height, size, texture and effects when consumed or used topically. There are also male and females, with different seeds that produce different varieties (also known as strains). In short, there are three different types of marijuana plants as outlined below by Dr Mercola:
Cannabis Sativa– This annual herb in the Cannabaceae family has been cultivated for centuries for use as an industrial fiber, seed oil, food, drug, medicine, and spiritual tool. Mostly used for its long fibers, each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use. These plants are found in India, Thailand, Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia, and other countries situated in a latitude below 30 degrees north.
Cannabis Indica – The annual plant of the Cannabaceae family is considered a species of the genus Cannabis, but separate from Cannabis sativa, and originating in the Hindu Kush Mountains and suited for cultivation in temperate climates. Used to induce sleep, the plant is described as relatively short and conical with dense branches and short, broad leaves, while Cannabis sativais tall with fewer branches and long, narrow leaves. This strain is found above 30 degrees north in countries such as Nepal, Lebanon, Morocco and Afghanistan.
- Cannabis Ruderalis – Thought to be a cannabis species originating in central Asia, it flowers earlier, is much smaller, and can withstand much harsher climates than either Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa. This species purportedly buds based on age rather than changes in length of daylight, known as auto-flowering. It’s used primarily for food production, such as hemp seeds and hemp seed oil and is able to grow in colder climates.
CBD has a very long and emotionally charged history with mankind who have been cultivating cannabis since as far back as 1,000 BCE. Below is an extract from Dr Josh Axe which outlines its colourful history for over a 6,000-year period.
An Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Plastic
Hemp plastic has been dubbed the "material of the future" which has the potential to significantly reduce the need for plastics and their devastating effects on the environment. Hemp can be converted into 100 percent hemp plastic, which is therefore recyclable and biodegradable.
The most common type and method to create hemp plastics are those infused with hemp fibres, where less plastic is used making the final product much stronger and more durable. According to Hemppwered.com, it claims hemp plastic is five times stiffer and 2.5 times stronger than polypropylene.
Below is an extract from Hemp healthy today:
"Using sustainable and renewable natural plant fibres (such as hemp, flax, jute, and kenaf) and through industrial production techniques that mix them into plastics, a new award winning (Biomaterial of the year 2010) granule has been made from a combination of hemp with polypropylene, thus reducing the use of petroleum products.
… Their recoverable component comes from these natural plants and can make up over half of their weight, up to 80 percent. All these features make them suitable to produce durable products. Hemp Plastic granules offer many advantages like good insulation, dimensional stability at high temperatures, a high thermal deformation temperature, and impermeability. The granules are currently produced for a range of applications in automobiles, construction materials, packaging, toys, and electronic products and launched onto the market in 2010."
And if you’re looking for a more in-depth history lesson, here is another interesting read: The World History of Hemp.
Composition of Hemp Seed Oil
Leading Functional Medicine Practitioner, Dr Joseph Mercola explains more about the composition and nutritional value of hemp seed oil:
"Regarding hemp oil, an article on Purdue University’s agricultural website has a lot to say about the positives of hemp oil:
“Hemp is of high nutritional quality because it contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids… Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are the only two fatty acids that must be ingested and are considered essential to human health … In contrast to shorter-chain and more saturated fatty acids, these essential fatty acids do not serve as energy sources, but as raw materials for cell structure and as precursors for biosynthesis for many of the body’s regulatory biochemicals…”
The article states that hemp is the only current natural food source of gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA:
“…known to affect vital metabolic roles in humans, ranging from control of inflammation and vascular tone to initiation of contractions during childbirth. GLA has been found to alleviate psoriasis, atopic eczema, and mastalgia, and may also benefit cardiovascular, psychiatric, and immunological disorders.”
Containing 75-80 percent of the polyunsaturated “good fats” and only 9-11 percent of the “bad fats,” hemp seed oil has the lowest unsaturated oil of all other plants. The GLAs help balance your hormones and maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Of the 20 known amino acids, hemp supplies them all, including the essential ones the body can’t produce, known as EAAs. About 65 percent of the protein in hemp seeds is edestin, a globulin protein that aids in digestion, similar to the globulin found in human blood plasma, and hemp seeds are the only place they’re found. The other third is made up of the protein albumin.
Also high in fiber, hemp seeds are more digestible than any other high-protein food, including meat, cheese, eggs, human milk, or cows’ milk. They’re high in antioxidants, and minerals like iron, zinc and copper as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, carotene, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6 and vitamin E. If that’s not enough, there’s also chlorophyll, sulfur, phosphorus, phospholipids, and phytosterols."
What is the shelf life of Hemp Seed Oil?
If stored correctly, an unopened bottle of help seed oil will last approximately 12-14 months from the date of production. Given the essential fatty acids in hemp are susceptible to degraduation and rancidity, you need to ensure the oil has had minimal exposure to heat and oxygen.
Keep your oil cold in an environment that is consistently lower than 15 degrees for short-term storage. Storing your hemp seed oil in the freezer for longer term storage is also recommended. And don’t worry, your oil will not solidify so you can keep it there for as long as you need, and it will still pour as a liquid. There may be some separation of naturally occurring waxes, which may make the appearance of the oil look cloudy, but its not anything to be concerned about and will disappear as soon as it warms to room temperature.
In general, hemp seed oil should be kept cool and out of direct sunlight and heat.
WebMD explains the possible side effects of Hemp Seed Oil:
Side Effects & Safety
Cannabidiol is possibly safe when taken by mouth or sprayed under the tongue appropriately. Cannabidiol in doses of up to 300 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 6 months. Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 4 weeks. A prescription cannabidiol product (Epidiolex) is approved to be taken by mouth in doses of up to 10-20 mg/kg daily. Cannabidiol sprays that are applied under the tongue have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks.
Some reported side effects of cannabidiol include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness. Signs of liver injury have also been reported in some patients, but this is less common.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking cannabidiol if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
A prescription cannabidiol product (Epidiolex) is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth daily. The most common dose used is 10 mg/kg daily. Higher doses of 15-20 mg/kg daily may be used in some children, but these higher doses are more likely to cause side effects. This product is approved for use in certain children 2 year of age and older but has been used in children as young as 1 year of age. If you think CBD might ease your child’s symptoms, talk with their doctor. You can discuss the possible risks and rewards.
Some early research suggests that taking high doses of cannabidiol might make muscle movement and tremors worse in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Healthline explains the possible side effects of Hemp Seed Oil:
“CBD oil is typically taken via vaping, externally on the skin or by oral ingestion.
Oral CBD is considered less likely to cause side effects, so beginners may want to start here. You can put a few drops of the oil under your tongue, take CBD capsules, or even eat a CBD-infused treat.
Vaping CBD oil may be beneficial if you need immediate symptom relief. The inhalation process delivers the compounds to your bloodstream much quicker than other methods.
At this time, there aren’t any formal guidelines on how to use CBD oil to treat traditional ADHD symptoms. This includes hyperactivity, fidgeting, and irritability.
Researchers have studied doses for related symptoms, such as anxiety. Although more research is needed, one 2017 review suggests that a single 600-milligram dose may be enough to reduce anxiety.
If you’re new to CBD, you should start with the smallest dosage possible — about 25 milligrams (1-2 tablespoons per day). Gradually increasing your dosage will allow your body to get used to the oil and reduce your risk of side effects.”
Please consult your doctor before giving children any form of supplement, oil, mineral or plant extract.
Sold for non-human consumption in Australia.
To be used in accordance with Australian Hemp regulations.
8 Main Benefits of CBD Oil (Hemp Seed Oil)
In this video, Dr Josh Axe and Dr Billy Demoss talks about what is CBD oil?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids. Research suggests this powerful compound can benefit pain, anxiety, cancer, nausea, seizures, cognitive function, diabetes and leaky gut. Watch to learn more…
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