What is Hemp Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil?
CBD Oil AKA Hemp Extract oil is typically the oil derived directly from the entire Hemp plant – leaves, buds, stems. Since the popularity of CBD and Hemp in general – It is now common knowledge that Hemp seed oil is the oil pulled from the hemp seeds and typically has a lower CBD content than the buds. However, Hemp seed does offer health benefits and it is certainly worthwhile adding to your morning breakfast smoothie or coffee!
The Benefits of Hemp Oil (CBD Oil)
Over the past few years there has been significant research done on the hemp plant and its many properties, this research is supporting positive sentiments of all kinds of benefits, cosmetically as well as from an overall health wellness perspective. CBD has become a rising star and a alternative dietary supplement compared to non-organic. over the counter medications. Since CBD is plant-derived it is considered all-natural, and naturally possesses the reputation and composition as being healthier. However, as with anything, the source should be considered – a plant contaminated with pesticides is going to be more harmful to the consumer than an over the counter medication that has gone through rigorous testing and is categorically safe for the consumer. Once the industry is better regulated, CBD products will also be mandated to undergo the same rigorous testing, so consumers can rest easy, knowing they are not ingesting contaminants, either from the plant or from the extraction process. We have always found it imperative that if your are consuming CBD or Hemp Extract Oil that you are certain to use a company who utilizes a third party lab analysis that is provided to you on each purchase for purity and qualitative purposes.
Pain relief: People use CBD/hemp oil for pain relief. There are more and more research being provided to validate human testing to aligning and report findings and although the results process is a lengthy task and time consuming task. In the meantime, however, many people do use CBD oil to reduce pain caused by inflammation.
Muscle pain/tension: CBD has also shown promising results and has helped many people with muscle strains. These benefits are directly correlated with the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant.
Skin/Acne/Cosmetic: CBD is also used for treating acne. A scientific study has been done and the results are very promising. Click here to read the full study. This sort of study is what’s needed across the board to lend credibility to claims made.
Focus/Concentration: Many people claim that CBD helps them focus and concentrate significantly better.
Insomnia: Studies have shown that it helps promote a deeper, more relaxing sleep.
The CO2 Extraction Process
Most hemp farmers send their feedstock to a processor, who will extract the oil from the plant, package it and sell it as CBD oil. The oil is extracted using a solvent – for hemp, it’s usually ethanol because it’s a very quick method of extraction. However, more people are turning to CO2 because of its robust capabilities and its reputation as a clean method of extraction. What’s not considered is that ethanol is still introduced at the post processing stage and must be removed before being sold to customers. Provided the ethanol used is food grade, trace amounts are not harmful to the end user.
The plant material is fully dried before being ground up and placed into an extraction system. The solvent then flows over it and extracts the oil. The solvent is under high pressure and temperature, which converts it into a powerful solvent – it’s not quite liquid and it’s not quite gas. It’s sort of a milky, hazy substance. This is CO2 at the super critical stage. Once the solvent has passed through the feedstock, it moves into the next chamber, called the extraction vessel, and depressurizes. In doing so, the solvent stream changes back to a gas, dropping the oil from the stream, where it falls down the extraction chamber, and into a collection cup. The solvent stream continues through the system and through the plant stock, over and over, in a closed loop, until the run is over.
The extracted oil is a crude oil, and this is where ethanol is added. To refine the oil (remove the fats, waxes, lipids) it needs to go through a filtration system. Ethanol is added, the combined mixture is fully homogenized (mixed), then placed into a deep freezer overnight. The next day (or later), the mixture is passed through a filter into a flask, sometimes more than once, and this process removes the unwanted compounds that were pulled along with the oil. Once that has all been removed, the ethanol needs to be removed and this is done using a rotary evaporator. The oil/ethanol mixture is placed into a flask, which is lowered into a warm bath. The flask is set to rotate, and as it warms up, the ethanol boils away, into a condenser coil, which then drops into a small collection flask. When the mixture begins this process, the ethanol is not visible, but as it condenses and collects in the flask, it’s as if it was never used – it’s as clear as it was when it started, and it can even be reused.
On the left is the rotary evaporator in action and on the right, the recovered ethanol
Why is CBD so effective?
Organically Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system with receptors that adhere to the cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp. That means the plant compounds are not rejected and is also why some people test positive for THC weeks after ingesting the raw the product (marijuana). New health benefits are being discovered and further scientific testing needs to be conducted before the claims made can be fully verified.
CBD is growing rapidly and consumers of CBD are enjoying it’s benefits as the supplement is unregulated for the time being. There are several human studies being conducted and the FDA is awaiting completion of these results to validate or invalidate health claims. However, despite being included on the Farm Bill and effectively cleared legally, some hemp farmers and processors still face state and local regulatory issues. Once the plant is federally legalized, it will be regulated, which will benefit everyone, but most importantly – it will benefit the consumer.
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