Hemp Oil versus CBD Oil
The murky legality of hemp products has led to a great deal of confusion among consumers. It is widely believed that the 2018 Omnibus Farm Bill will clarify the legal issues surrounding industrial hemp cultivation and manufacturing. This is tremendous news for consumers and marketers.
What should you look for when purchasing a hemp oil or cannabidiol (CBD) oil product? One of the first issues that needs to be addressed is what differentiates hemp oil from CBD oil and a great deal of misinformation surrounds this subject. These terms are used interchangeably and some effort has been made by manufacturers specializing IN CBD oils to discredit the health boosting properties of whole food hemp extracts. This view overlooks the crucial role played by specialized components and whole food extracts particularly beta-caryophyllene.
Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene that is found in the essential oils of a wide variety of plants. A highly potent CB2 receptor activator, it has shown great potential as a primary CBD agent. In fact, beta caryophyllene is more potent than the more commonly known CBD cannabidiol. CB1 receptor is responsible for the psychoactive properties of the cannabis sativa plant and CB2, and when specifically activated by beta-caryophyllene, shows the greatest therapeutic potential. It is important to remember that CBD oil does not have a monopoly on beta-caryophyllene. It is found in hops, cinnamon, wild oregano, whole food hemp oil, wild rosemary and even black pepper.
A 2008 study by the National Academy of Sciences described the CB2 receptor as being a potential target for the treatment of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. It also showed anti-inflammatory properties and the potential to address colitis. Other studies have shown that this crucial hemp oil compound aids in the regeneration of nerve cells. It is one of the few compounds known to do so.
In 2007, the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology described the anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and anesthetic activities of beta-caryophyllene. It is likely that researchers are only scratching the surface and that the full potential of this plant essential will be further revealed as restrictions on hemp production are relaxed in the United States.
Full-Spectrum vs. Isolate
One of the fundamental failings of modern medicine is the focus on isolated chemicals and failure to consider the synergistic interactions within the plant. Beta-caryophyllene certainly shows great potential as a CB2 reactor, but in nature, it works in conjunction with a wide range of terpenes, esters, and other naturally occurring ingredients.
A full-spectrum hemp oil is precisely how nature intended it, as it contains all the active compounds found in the native hemp plant. This includes the full range of cannabinoids, plant fibers, fiber, chlorophyll and many other essential components.
This is known as the Entourage Effect and was described by the European Journal of Pharmacology (1998). At the physiological level esters present in hemp oil work to potentiate and increase the efficacy and biological activity of the “active” ingredients, even though they do not bind directly to the CB2 receptors.
The Right Way to Make a Hemp Oil
High quality hemp and CBD oil products rely on CO2 extraction. This type of extraction is environmentally friendly and preferable to the industrial scale use of solvents, such as hexane, propane, isopropyl alcohol and butane. Not only does this method reduce the environmental footprint of production but it results in a product that is cleaner, more consistent and palatable.
The use of industrial solvents, a practice originated by the fragrance industry, has been adapted by the purposes of the cannabis industry. In some cases, high heat and pressure are also applied. This would indicate that whole food, unheated, hemp oil extract, which is C02 extracted are the preferred choice over CBD supplements. It would include the beta-caryophyllene and the other terpenes that would be otherwise destroyed by heat, pressure and chemical extraction.