Hemp Oil V’s CBD Oil for Anxiety

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It’s Complicated

Hemp oil and CBD oil are two natural remedies that are gaining popularity among those seeking relief from anxiety symptoms. However, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the two. Many are left wondering if they’re the same thing with different names.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between hemp and CBD and their role in reducing anxiety symptoms.

We’ll also unpack the common misconceptions and marketing tactics that contribute to the confusion around these two products. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the benefits and potential risks associated with using hemp oil and CBD oil for anxiety relief.

Basic Cannabis Botanicals

Hemp oil and CBD are extracted from the same family of the plant, Cannabis sativa.  The big difference is that hemp products have low levels of CBD and THC (THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the ‘high’ associated with marijuana), while CBD oil has a high concentration of CBD and usually higher levels of THC.

An easy way to sort from the other is to understand that hemp oil contains less than 0.3% THC while CBD products often contain more than 0.3% THC.

So, how can one plant produce such different oils?  The answer lies in the parts of the plant used to extract the oils. 

Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plant and this process yields negligible amounts of CBD and THC. Conversely, CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and (to a lesser extent) stalks of the plant, yielding higher concentrations of CBD.

The Confusion:  Oils Ain’t Oils

Cannabis products are marketed under a range of propriety and commercial names and this can be a source of real confusion.  As a consumer, it is up to you to be aware of the ingredients of any product you buy.  Here is our approach.

Hemp Seed Oil:  Made only from hemp seeds and rich in amino acids.  You can get it from the supermarket, health food stores, and cannabis stores.

CBD Oil: Made from other parts of the hemp plant and rich in CBD and THC.  Availability is subject to legislation and local laws.

Hemp Oil:  It could be hemp seed oil or CBD oil or a combination of both.  Read the label. 

How They Work

Anxiety disorders affect millions of people worldwide. It is our most common mental health issue. Both hemp oil and CBD have garnered attention for their potential to alleviate anxiety symptoms, albeit through different mechanisms.

Hemp oil is amazingly rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, magnesium, iron, and Vitamin B. Real brain food, this oil contains all 21 amino acids that our brains need for optimal function. Additionally, hemp oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which may help modulate neurotransmitter function and promote relaxation.  It is the impact of this combination of nutrients that is increasingly being studied as a potential treatment for anxiety.

Often promoted as a supplement, anecdotal reports are very positive and support the view of a gentle easing of symptoms.

On the other hand, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system plays a crucial role in regulating mood, stress response, and emotional well-being. By influencing cannabinoid receptors in the ECS throughout the body, CBD may help restore balance and mitigate anxiety symptoms.

While both hemp and CBD show promise in anxiety treatment, individual responses may vary. Factors such as the underlying cause of anxiety,  dosage, frequency of use, and underlying health conditions can influence their effectiveness.

As with most areas of cannabis as a treatment, more research is needed to understand the limitations and strengths of these compounds.

Before You Choose an Oil

As you decide if hemp oil or CBD is likely to benefit you, it’s essential to consider potential contra-indications, toxicity, and other pertinent factors.

Alongside the no-brainer advice to consult with your health practitioner before adding anything to your regime, we have four key considerations.

  1. Contra-indications: Although hemp and CBD are generally well-tolerated, they may interact with certain medications, particularly those metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. Individuals taking blood thinners, antidepressants, or antiepileptic drugs should consult with a healthcare professional before using hemp or CBD products.
  2. Toxicity: Unlike THC, which can produce adverse effects such as paranoia and cognitive impairment at high doses, CBD is considered non-toxic and does not induce intoxication. However, excessive consumption of CBD may lead to minor side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  3. Quality and Regulation: The burgeoning market for hemp and CBD products has led to concerns about product quality and consistency. When choosing hemp or CBD products, avoid buying on price alone. Plants grown in toxic soils and crudely processed contain all sorts of ‘extras’. Opt for reputable brands that prioritize third-party testing and transparent labeling. Additionally, be wary of exaggerated claims and unsubstantiated marketing tactics.
  4. Legal Considerations: While hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level in the United States, regulations vary by state and county. The US Farm Bill 2018 opened the door to cannabis products with a THC level of less than 0.3%.  Under 0.3%, cannabis is considered hemp while cannabis products with over 0.3% THC, are considered marijuana.  The takeout from this is to do your homework.

Outside of the USA, laws vary widely and it is the individual’s responsibility to understand what’s legal and what’s not, and source products accordingly.

Last thoughts

Natural alternatives, hemp and CBD offer promise for relieving the symptoms of anxiety.

Each has a unique way of working. Hemp oil is rich in nutrients, which may help improve overall well-being while soothing and calming the mind and body. CBD interacts with the neural modulating endocannabinoid system, which makes it particularly useful in targeted anxiety management.

Before choosing hemp or CBD for anxiety treatment, it is important to assess their potential benefits, contra-indications, toxicity, and regulatory considerations.

Don’t be a goose, always check in with your healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective use.

Be happy. Be healthy.

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Maree Machin

Maree Machin is passionate about mind relaxation products and dedicated research. She creates insightful content aimed at guiding her audience towards a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

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