Featured on Heady Vermont by VTCNA Member Olga M. Mardach-Duclerc
With the increasing availability of cannabis products, it is easy for consumers to get confused – and perhaps overwhelmed – by the number and variety of products from which to choose. A common – and important – question has to do with the differences in oils and their uses. Let’s take on the two most common oils right now on the market; CBD oil and hemp seed oil, both of which are derived from the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa.
Let’s start with hemp seed oil which is derived from the actual seeds of the cannabis plant. Similar to sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil is extracted with a cold press system.
Hemp seed oil is valued for its nutritional properties, particularly its essential fatty acid (Omega 3) content and vitamins E, B, B1, and B2. Hemp seed oil has been available on the market for over 20 years and has recently become increasingly popular.
Unlike CBD oil, hemp seed oil does not contain any cannabinoids – no CBD or THC. However cold pressed hemp seed oil is a powerful antioxidant and it is often used as an alternative to other oils for low temperature cooking and cosmetic products.
CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant, and is used both topically, and taken internally, for a variety of symptoms including cancer pain, muscular pain, migraines, depression and even alzheimer’s.
Oil can be extracted from the cannabis plant using a variety of methods – frequently CO2, ethanol, or lipid infusions. CBD can also be singularly extracted from hemp, isolating it from all other compounds and cannabinoids. CBD by itself is called CBD isolate.
Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains all the compounds in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids (and very low levels of THC), terpenes, and several others that naturally occur in the plant. All these compounds work together to enhance and increase the therapeutic and beneficial effects of each individual cannabinoid. This synergistic process is known as the entourage effect.
CBD oil is primarily used medicinally to alleviate a variety of symptoms and support the functioning of our endocannabinoid system.
Thanks to the dynamic – and highly beneficial – interaction of compounds, the VTCNA recommends that patients choose full spectrum medicinal preparations. Of course, full spectrum does contain small amounts of THC. So, if THC isn’t desired or appropriate, even in very low levels, then broad spectrum extracts are a great option. Like full spectrum, other compounds are preserved in the extract, but the THC is isolated and removed.
As a basic rule of green thumb, hemp seed oil is ideal for nutritional supplementation, thanks to its optimal ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6. CBD oil is primarily used medicinally to alleviate a variety of symptoms and support the functioning of our endocannabinoid system. It can also be beneficial to use hemp seed oil as the carrier oil for a CBD oil preparation.
Of course, with the increasing number of products becoming available, we always recommend looking for organic and locally sourced hemp and CBD products.
Olga M. Mardach-Duclerc L.Ac, M.Sc, Dipl. OM is the owner/provider at Earth Mama Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine, providing Acupuncture and herbal consults in Burlington and Morristown. Olga is a Cannabis Advocate with Vermont Cannabis Nurses Association.
Disclaimer: The information provided is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, provide medical advice, or otherwise replace consultation with a qualified medical or health provider.