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What is Hemp oil, benefits of hemp oil and how it can help you?

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

Is it worth the hype?

More people than ever before are shifting their opinions about health and medical wellness. CBD is all over the news media and I bet you are wondering what this oil is all about. This article will help you to understand what CBD is and the how it can effect the body. As a medical professional that has treated patients for years suffering from pain and cancer, I will say that no one thing is a magic pill or oil that cures everything. If someone tells you that then you should run for the hills. However, I have seen the benefits first hand in my own personal life and with patients. It is important for you to understand why and how it works.

What is Hemp oil (CBD oil) ?

Hemp plants contain over 140 naturally occurring, active compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids found in the marijuana and industrial hemp plant.  Unlike its close relative, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is completely non-psychoactive. This allows us to benefit from the many health properties of the Cannabis plant without the negative side effects of “getting high.” Because of this, CBD became a very popular option for those seeking a natural alternative for certain conditions. 

History behind Hemp and CBD

Dating back to the ancient civilizations, it was some of the first people on earth who discovered and identified the differences between hemp and began using cannabidiol for various purposes. Archaeologists believe the plant species “Cannabis Sativa,” dates back 10,000 years ago and was likely one of the first crops planted by early man. These people also identified that hemp seeds have high levels of protein, vitamins, and essential fatty amino acids. During this period, hemp seeds were used so frequently that they became essential to human civilization. Hemp has long been grown for a variety of purposes: its seeds can be used to produce food and cosmetics, and its stalks are found in products ranging from construction materials to clothing to biofuels.

As one of the many useful compounds in the hemp plant, CBD has been used to treat ailments for millennia. However, the individual compounds in cannabis remained unidentified until Dr. Raphael Mechoulam revealed the structure of THC and CBD in the early 1960s. In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan poured tens of millions of dollars into a study to prove that cannabis damages the human brain. But rather than showing how cannabis harms the brain, the Reagan administration ended up subsidizing a series of studies that culminated in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, expanding our understanding of how cannabinoids interact with the human body. Due to the role of endocannabinoids in this system, the system was officially named the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of messengers and receptors that regulate the way your body communicates with the brain. The messengers called cannabinoids to bind to the receptors located throughout your body. Cannabinoids are found in three different forms which include endocannabinoids ( produced in the body), phytocannabinoids (produced by the hemp plant) and pharmaceutical cannabinoids ( produced by man). There are also two key endocannabinoids in your body called 2-AG and anandamide. Anandamide is nicknamed the “bliss molecule,” because studies believe it aides in modulating mood, memory, appetite, fertility, and is even believed to halt the proliferation of cancer cells.  2-AG is believed to regulate sleep, immunity, pain, and appetite. Although your body makes your own endocannabinoids as needed, they can be broken down very quickly by enzymes.

That's where CBD comes into play.... it helps prevent the breakdowns of these helpful molecules. Much like a daily vitamin, CBD, one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, supplements the Endocannabinoid System, which plays a vital role in optimal daily life. When the ECS is in balance, one experiences homeostasis. 

HEMP VERSUS MARIJUANA understanding the difference

Hemp and Marijuana are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe any cannabis plant or its derivative. These two plants differ in their cannabinoid and THC ratios but come from the same plant species Cannabis Sativa. Although they are both cannabis plants, hemp and marijuana differ notably in their genetic makeup and are cultivated and harvested in different ways. Hemp plants are typically tall and thin and cultivated to produce foods, oils, paper, textiles, and high CBD extractions. CBD is found in varying levels in both plant varieties. The plant commonly referred to as marijuana contains higher amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component.

While they have different chemical properties, according to the Federal Government, the industrial hemp is defined as Hemp, the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. The magic number is "0.3%" which is defined by the 2018 Farm Act Bill. All of the Pure Therapy products are derived from crops grown in accordance with the Farm Act Bill.

Most patients ask me which one cannabis versus CBD oil is best? I usually tell them that it depends upon what you are treating. Each person is different and having a medical professional that is familiar with the difference is invaluable. Combining medical knowledge and understanding cannabinoid science is very important when it comes to selecting the best products that work for you and your situation. Some of the benefits of using CBD oil is that you do not need a special card or prescription. If you do get quality oil that is sourced from farms that follow organic practices, you may find that CBD can be quite effective without the drowsy effects that some may feel with low THC oil. The elderly patients can be at a fall risk as well if you are naive to taking THC. Some people have conditions that respond better to the higher amount of THC found in cannabis oil but have some side effects of dizziness, heart palpitations or drowsiness. Those patients could benefit from taking CBD oil in conjunction with the cannabis oil to counteract some of the side effects of the higher THC because CBD prevents the binding of THC to the receptors in the brain responsible for "euphoria". This is why you can never get "high" feeling with CBD oil.

Overall, CBD has helped to change the lives of many but there are also some people who see no benefits from the oil. It really depends on if your truly have a deficiency or lack of cannabinoids in your system. People with a low amounts of these cannabinoids in their diet, usually respond more so to the CBD oils. Thanks to advancements in technology and clinical trials, researchers were able to reverse engineer what they’d discovered, trace back through the metabolic pathways of various cannabinoids, and uncover an entirely unknown signaling system between the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies and receptors found in Cannabis compounds, which they called “endocannabinoids.” Clinical trials are underway to determine if CBD is therapeutic for many different conditions such as seizures, inflammation, stiff muscles, joint pain, chemotherapy side effects, migraines, post-traumatic stress disorders, chronic pain, and anxiety. CBD is rapidly gaining in popularity for both humans and pets.

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