As hemp becomes more extensively researched and widely available, we are starting to realize the true power of this special plant.* But it still generates a lot of confusion. Today, we’re clearing up the murkiness surrounding hemp oil and hemp extract products and how to take them safely to reap their wide array of benefits.*
These solvents do a great job of extracting the cannabinoids from the hemp plant, but some residues of these solvent chemicals remain after the extraction process, which can be potentially harmful to your health.
An introduction to hemp.
There are a few ways to extract phytocannabinoid-rich oils from the hemp plant, all of which have their own benefits and drawbacks:
There are many varietals of the Cannabis sativa plant, all of which contain different amounts of THC (the psychoactive component), CBD (a nonpsychoactive component), and other phytocannabinoid components.
Topical hemp oil products are different than oral supplements, and they can be applied directly onto the surface of the skin.
CBD oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A 2018 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics warned women to avoid marijuana during pregnancy due to the potential risks to a baby’s development. Although it is unclear how CBD contributes, CBD is known to pass through the placental barrier.
To use CBD oil, place one or more drops under the tongue and hold the dose there for 30 to 60 seconds without swallowing. Capsules and gummies are easier to dose, although they tend to be more costly. CBD sublingual sprays are available as well.
Among the few human trials evaluating CBD’s anxiolytic effects was one published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019. For this study, 57 men were given either CBD oil or a placebo before a public-speaking event. Anxiety was evaluated using physiological measures (such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and a relatively reliable test for mood states known as the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS).
In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution used for the treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy in children under 2—Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Both are exceptionally rare genetic disorders causing lifelong catastrophic seizures that begin during the first year of life.
Scientists believe that CBD reduces nerve pain by binding to glycine receptors in the brain that regulate the speed at which nerve signals pass between nerve cells.
Remember, because CBD oils are largely unregulated, there is no guarantee that a product is either safe or effective.
There is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medications such as Onfi (clobazam) and boosts their concentration in the blood. Further research is needed.