Suddenly, hemp is everywhere! Thousands of new hemp products have flooded the market seemingly overnight, and you might be wondering what the excitement is about. Hemp products offer an astonishing number of health benefits, from boosting your mood and calming stress to easing joint discomfort. Hemp can also bring restful sleep, which helps you stay more alert during the day.
We’ve gathered together the top five reasons why healthy, natural hemp is a must-have for your daily routine.
The 5 Best Benefits of Hemp Extract
Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a remarkable plant full of nutrients, antioxidants, and phytocannabinoids — all of which work together to provide numerous health benefits. Below are the top five.
1. Promotes a Sense of Calm
If you want to remain focused and calm during your busy day or to relax at the end of it, hemp is where it’s at! Hemp can help you feel more peaceful and happy.
The hemp plant contains more than 100 phytocannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system, a physiological system that keeps your body processes in balance — known as homeostasis. Hemp’s naturally-occurring cannabinoids interact with endocannabinoid receptors, boosting brain and nerve health. By directly supporting brain and nerve cells, hemp and the phytocannabinoids it contains can play an integral role in your overall mental well-being.
One of the major components of hemp, CBD (cannabidiol), allows you to relax without feeling cloudy or spacy.
2. Helps You Sleep Restfully
Hemp can help you fall into a deep, restful sleep when you need to. You can take an organic hemp extract during the day and stay alert yet calm and focused — and then sleep well at night.
Some people like to take hemp products a couple of hours before bed because it can actually increase alertness for a while but then leads to deep, full-body relaxation.
Try adding a full spectrum hemp product to your sleep routine. Full-spectrum means that all hemp’s natural phytocannabinoids — including CBD, CBG, and even a little THC — plus terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, fatty acids, proteins, and other synergistic metabolites are contained within. These compounds work together better than any single-ingredient product can — you’ll sleep like a baby.
3. Eases Soreness, Aches, and Joint Irritation
When you have joint irritation, muscle tension, or general aches and pains, a potent, high-quality full-spectrum hemp extract can provide relief.
CBD and other cannabinoids, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), promote a healthy response to inflammation, which provides comfort for the swelling in your joints. Many people with joint discomfort have found hemp products help enormously. Hemp can safely bring relief wherever your body may show systemic swelling and redness.
While hemp contains low levels of THC — below 0.3 percent in the U.S. — even the trace amounts in a full spectrum product help relieve chronic body discomfort.
4. Promotes Healthy, Glowing Skin
Hemp cannabinoids show promise for promoting healthy skin! Hemp may make your skin less oily, and oily skin can contribute to acne. Cannabidiol, in particular, has been shown to reduce the secretions of sebocytes, the skin cells that produce fat or oil.
Hemp contains high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as numerous vitamins and nutrients. Fatty acids form the building blocks of your skin’s surface layers, and healthy fats play an important role in skin health. Taking omega-3s, especially those from plant sources like hemp, can create a smoother, healthier-looking complexion.
Another way that hemp and its components help skin is by reducing overall redness and swelling and promoting a healthy response to inflammation — from the inside out. While you’ll find it in many skincare products, it works incredibly well when you take it internally. It can help your skin glow!
5. Boosts Overall Body Health
If you want a natural product that boosts your overall health, hemp is it! Hemp’s ability to promote body balance works through the so-called endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, especially in brain and nerve cells, but also immune system cells, as well as body organs like the heart, lungs, and liver.
Hemp does many great things to promote overall body health and help general health issues, with few to no side effects, including the following:
- Stimulates brain health and function
- Helps the heart and cardiovascular system
- Boosts your immune system
- Eases head discomfort
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Promotes normal blood pressure
Ways To Use Hemp Extract
If you bought a hemp extract or hemp oil and are not quite sure how to take it, below are a few suggestions.
- Take hemp extract two hours before sleep for more restful slumber.
- Try with coffee and tea, or add to smoothies or no-bake recipes. Some find that it helps counter the jittery effects of coffee.
- Use just before times of rejuvenation, such as yoga or massages.
- Take hemp extract after a workout to promote exercise recovery.
- Use during times of high stress to promote a calm mood.
- Citrus and spicy foods can increase the effects of the cannabinoids, so be mindful of this.
- Tip: When you take a hemp extract, hold in your mouth underneath your tongue for 1 minute then swallow. Some people feel the benefits within 30 minutes.
How to Find a Quality Hemp Extract
With so many products crowding the newly opened marketplace, you want to do your research. There are a lot of companies that have sprouted up overnight that do not have the quality control processes in place that a more established herbal supplements manufacturer would.
Make sure to buy the highest quality product to ensure your extract contains the full spectrum of nutrients and phytocannabinoids that hemp is known for. A high-quality product will be certified organic, high-potency, and made from American-grown hemp.
Most full-spectrum hemp oil or hemp extract products are made from the whole plant, including flowers, stalks, roots, seeds, and leaves. Ideally, it will use an extraction process that ensures you get a full array of cannabinoids.
Everything You Need to Know About Hemp vs. CBD
Are you wondering about the differences between hemp and CBD oil? How do hemp and marijuana differ? With so many new hemp products on the market, conscientious consumers want to pick the best supplements made with the highest-quality processes and ingredients. If you want to learn how to distinguish between all the terms and products — or just see what all the excitement is about — read on.
People have used hemp (Cannabis sativa) since ancient times for its incredible health benefits. This diverse plant has thousands of uses and people used it — legally — for centuries. Early Americans grew the fast-growing plant for textiles and rope due to its stronger-than-steel stalk. But in 1970, due to political pressure, the Controlled Substances Act outlawed both hemp and marijuana in the United States. Companies still sold hemp products after then — you might have seen hemp shirts or jewelry or hemp seed hearts — but they came from imported sources.
With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill (Agricultural Improvement Act), farmers can once again grow hemp in the U.S.
Companies can also sell hemp throughout the country. As a result, you suddenly see thousands of hemp products like CBD or hemp extract on the market — and with them, a lot of possible confusion.
Let’s break it down.
The Beneficial Compounds in Cannabis
Hemp and marijuana are different forms of Cannabis. While all hemp comes from Cannabis sativa and contains low levels of THC, marijuana is bred for high THC and can be Cannabis sativa or C. indica. THC is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects that people experience. Farmers breed hemp to have low THC content. In fact, the law classifies hemp as any Cannabis sativa containing 0.3 percent or less THC.
The hemp plant contains many natural chemical compounds, including the phytocannabinoids it’s famous for. These natural substances stimulate the body’s endocannabinoid system, which keeps the body in balance (physiological homeostasis).
THC — Tetrahydrocannabinol
Most people have heard of THC because of the “high” it produces when used recreationally. Marijuana plants contain around 10 percent THC or even greater, compared to the much lower 0.3 percent or below for hemp. While some states regulate non-hemp Cannabis products, it is not federally legal to sell in the U.S.
If a hemp plant or hemp-derived product contains greater than 0.3 percent THC, it would also not be federally legal. On the other hand, full-spectrum hemp products that do contain up to 0.3 percent THC can now legally be sold nationwide. They can also be shipped in the postal mail, used in most public places, and taken on airplanes across state lines (be careful with international travel as other countries have different laws).
Some hemp products contain no THC. These products are considered broad-spectrum — as compared with full-spectrum. Full-spectrum products are recommended because THC in itself is one of hemp’s beneficial compounds, with analgesic effects that ease physical discomfort as well as relieve daily stress and anxiety.
CBD — Cannabidiol
The benefits of CBD are impressive! It is most known for its ability to bring relaxation and calm, ease joint discomfort, support a healthy inflammatory response.
On top of that, while CBD promotes an alert calm during the daytime, it promotes restful sleep at night.
Growers often breed the hemp plant for a high CBD (cannabidiol) concentration, besides having low THC. Hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3 percent THC is now widely sold.
You can also buy non-hemp CBD derived from marijuana, but it’s only legal in states with medical marijuana laws and is not federally legalized in any state, so you should not mail it, use it in public, or take it on airplanes. Hemp-derived CBD is perfectly fine in these places.
Other Cannabinoids and Nutritious Compounds
While CBD and THC are best known, Cannabis contains trace amounts of a wide variety of other cannabinoids. These include CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), and CBN (cannabinol). Scientists are exploring the health benefits of hemp’s minor constituents, and the research results show promise.
Hemp contains protein, chlorophyll, fiber, plus many vitamins, fatty acids, flavonoids, antioxidants, terpenes, and a wide variety of synergistic metabolites. In a full-spectrum product, all the plant compounds work together, creating a stronger effect on the body than each would alone. This is known as the “entourage effect.”
Types of CBD Products
As you may have noticed, CBD and hemp products are in high demand! You can find many product variations, ranging from liquid extracts or oils, gummies, and vaping options. These products vary greatly in concentration, quality, and how they’re absorbed in the body.
A full-spectrum hemp extract or oil contains all the plant compounds found in the Cannabis plant for maximum health benefit. Full-spectrum products are typically made with all parts of the plant — flowers, stalks, leaves, seeds, and roots.
A high-quality, full-spectrum product tends to be more expensive because it’s made using an artisanal approach, like a fine wine or craft beer. All the naturally-occurring substances work together, creating enhanced health benefits — the entourage effect. A full-spectrum product is recommended so that you get the full range of health benefits from this therapeutic plant.
Full-spectrum hemp extracts are created using a highly advanced process. The hemp plant gets macerated using state-of-the-art equipment, then soaked in liquid for several days. The extraction process results in a highly concentrated product.
A broad-spectrum product, in contrast to full-spectrum, has some components removed — usually THC.
Broad-spectrum offers a distant second-best option because you lose some of the health benefits as well as the entourage effect. It can be a good option for people who may be sensitive to even very low levels of THC or want to avoid it for other reasons.
CBD is not the same as hemp oil. CBD isolates are simply cannabidiol in its purest form, typically as a white crystal powder or waxy resin. They can be synthetic (not recommended) or non-synthetic — isolated and purified from the plant through laboratory processes.
You can also buy CBD oil, which is CBD extracted into an oil base.
While CBD alone offers incredible health benefits, a pure CBD product is the least recommended option for a couple of reasons. First, CBD oil contains a single chemical compound, whereas full-spectrum hemp oils or extracts contain all of the plant’s vitamins, nutrients, and cannabinoids. Second, you can easily end up with a synthetic product. Finally, isolates can create tolerance, where you need more and more to achieve the same effect.
Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract Shopping Guide
Many brands are capitalizing on the Cannabis craze. You can now find hundreds of products — how do you know which you want? Something sold as “hemp oil” can be any number of products, ranging from something from just hemp seed oil to a full-spectrum product. While cold-pressed hempseed oil makes a delicious addition to a salad dressing and does wonder for your skincare regimen, it’s not the product that most people are looking for these days — something that contains CBD and other helpful cannabinoids.
Instead, seek out a pure, high-quality product: certified organic, free of harmful additives and fillers, whole-plant, full-spectrum, and grown from American hemp. Products made with imported hemp do not go through the rigorous quality-control process that American-made, organic products do. Imported hemp can contain impurities or even toxins. Also, make sure to buy from an established supplement company experienced in sourcing, processing, and testing for quality ingredients.
Points to Remember
Full-spectrum hemp extract, CBD, hempseed (or hemp seed) oil, and hemp oil are different things. It pays to know the difference when it comes to your overall health and well-being — and to get your money’s worth. CBD or cannabidiol is a unique phytocannabinoid found in Cannabis that offers many health benefits. In contrast, a full-spectrum product captures all the plant compounds, including CBD plus CBG, CBC, THC, and other beneficial compounds.
Full-spectrum means that the products contain all of hemp’s naturally-occurring cannabinoids and other nutrients. This means you get the ultimate in relaxation, deep sleep, easing of joint discomfort, and other health benefits. Be careful if you are searching for “hemp oil” because you may end up with pure hemp seed oil instead — while it’s great for culinary uses, it does not contain a full-spectrum of cannabinoids.
High-quality full-spectrum hemp extracts are typically made using a connoisseur’s approach. This means that manufacturers use all of the plant parts, including flowers, leaves, roots, seeds, and stems, so they capture all the nutritious and beneficial chemical compounds.