Hemp Oil is extracted from the hemp crop. The difference between Hemp Oil, which is also called CBD hemp oil and hemp seed oil arises because of the area of the plant that the oil is chosen to be extracted from. While Hemp Seed Oil is taken from the seeds of hemp plants, Hemp Oil contains a compound called CBD (cannabidiol) as this oil is extracted from the stalk and stems of hemp plants. Because of the presence of CBD in Hemp Oil, many medical research institutions are looking closely at the potential medicinal and wellbeing benefit of consuming hemp oil. While CBD levels are high in hemp oil, hemp seed oil has low CBD levels but is an excellent source of protein and a popular cooking ingredient.

Hemp Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

If you have ever come across any hemp or CBD-related research, then you may have been baffled by terms such as ‘hemp oil’ and ‘hemp seed oil’ being thrown around. While there may not seem to be a huge difference on first glance, the two are far from identical. It is true that they both come from the hemp crop, but the range and uses of both are very different. The hemp crop is a relative of the cannabis sativa strain or marijuana, which is characterized by the presence of high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Unlike its slightly notorious cousin, however, the THC produced in hemp crop is very low. It is the presence of THC that gives marijuana it’s mind-altering and physical effects. In Australia, the law ensures that hemp plants are less than 50mg/kg THC. While hemp seed oil is taken from the seeds of the hemp plant, hemp oil with CBD inside can be made from either Cannabis Sativa or Hemp variety crops. To put it in simple terms, hemp seed oil contains minimal amounts of THC or CBD as hemp seeds are mostly made up on protein and healthy fatty acids.

Hemp Oil and Health

While the health benefits of CBD oil is still being studied because of the massive potential, hemp seed oil is popularly used in cuisines as it too has a host of medicinal benefits. At the same time, hemp oil has a healthy amount of CBD. While more medicinal research needs to be done to accurately ascertain the long-term effects of many components of CBD-rich hemp oils, more benefits keep emerging with time. As of today, there are over 23,000 medical research papers published examining the benefits of CBD oil.

Some of the commonly accepted health benefits of hemp oil are:

  1. Hemp oils are recommended for numbing pain. Our bodies have a very special set of nerve receptors that controls how sleepy or hungry we feel, how we suffer pain and the response of our immune system. Called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), there is a range of studies showing how CBD, the active component in hemp oil, can impact the activities of receptors in the ECS. By curbing activity, chronic pain can be numbed and there will be less inflammation.
  2. As hemp oil can control pain, they can be used to ease the pains of chemotherapy for cancer patients. The pain, nausea and overall weakness felt by people who have cancer can be made a little easier by using hemp oil.
  3. Anxiety can be controlled by hemp oil use. While the medicinal backing of this claim is still in the early stages of testing, there have been multiple studies that show deep depression and chronic anxiety attacks are being successfully treated through hemp oil use. Because of the massive dependence of Aussie consumers on prescription medication to cure anxiety and depression, this can be reduced if CBD-rich hemp oil can be proven to have a long-term and lasting impact on mental health.
  4. While some early studies have shown promise, it remains inconclusive if CBD oil can be used to help people who are suffering from drug addiction.
  5. Hemp oil has been shown to have reduced the occurrence of diabetes, contributing to the health of the heart.
  6. Hemp oil has been shown to be beneficial in treating seizures.

Regardless of the numerous health benefits, always make it a point to speak to your family doctor and ask about any potential side effects of cross-contamination with any other prescription medication you will be on if any.

Is Hemp Oil Legal In Australia?

Legality has always been a tightly-contested issue for hemp oil in Australia as there is a fine line. Hemp oil can be made from the leaves and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is commonly called marijuana. Due to a tarnished reputation for marijuana, hemp oil also gets a bad rap. According to Australian law, any extract from cannabis has also been defined as a drug. Therefore, hemp oil is also classified as a drug and is regulated by strict regulations. Because of this reason, any farmer who was interested in manufacturing hemp oil from their hemp or cannabis crop will need a license to operate. As of now in Australia, regardless of the THC content of the hemp oil, any product from cannabis is considered illegal.

Regardless, hemp oil with THC levels lower than 50mg/kg can be made practically anywhere. Most hemp oil is marketed as CBD oil online and to meet legal requirements, will almost always be lower than 50mg/kg in THC content. However, it would be prudent to be careful about online sellers as a recent study found that less than a third of online products had CBD levels that were accurate. In any case, don’t worry too much about any nasty surprises! Hemp oil from a reputable importing nation would be safely manufactured and strictly regulated by legal institutions. As you need a large quantity of industrial hemp to produce enough CBD-rich hemp oil, the Cannabis Sativa plant is often relied upon. To follow regulations, the hemp oil is often taken from the stalk or stem of the hemp plant.

What Affects Hemp Oil Quality?

The major factor determining the quality of hemp oil is the soil in which it has been grown. Hemp crop has a property where it sucks in harmful toxins in the soil. While this is an essential quality for farmers in Australia that can plant other crops immediately after a hemp cycle, the purity of the hemp oil depends on the toxins in the soil it is being grown on. The immense ability of the hemp plant to cleanse dirt was displayed in Ukraine, years after the nuclear accident that turned Chernobyl into a ghost town where nothing grows. Hemp plants were introduced into the Chernobyl soil, and there was a jaw-dropping reduction in harmful toxins in the ground. Make sure that you source hemp oil from reputable retailers with access to high-quality farms.

As hemp seeds are not affected by the toxins in the soil, hemp seed oil is the same regardless of where you buy it from. With your hemp oil, however, make sure that you go to a trusted vendor to make sure you receive a safe product. To stay safe, only buy hemp oil that is certified as pesticide-free and non-GMO.

Environmental Benefits of Hemp

Hemp’s incredible ability to cleanse the soil is what allows farmers to plant other crops as soon as their hemp is harvested. The example in Chernobyl is the best testament to this uncanny skill that makes hemp a “bio-accumulator”. When you consider the fact that hemp requires much less water to be cultivated than other common crops, then you can understand why hemp crops are heralded as an environmental boost. For our planet that cannot afford to lose more of its ecosystem to logging for paper productions, the fact that hemp pulp is a proven alternative is encouraging. Through the adoption of hemp pulp to produce paper, we can save our trees from unnecessary cutting.

Hemp Oil: The Golden Extract

Demand for hemp is exploding across the world because of the medicinal qualities of CBD-rich hemp oil. The benefits of medicinal cannabis are making waves all over the world. As more medical trails progress and more medical researchers get involved, the effects of hemp oil will be understood entirely over time. As of now, the benefits of cannabis for pain relief, reducing nausea and curbing inflammation, still need to be proven in more ways.  

Nearly two decades since industrial hemp entered Australia, hemp was seen as a nutritious food source. Hemp-related food items now make up a $4 billion global industry. What once entered Australian shores as textiles, biodiesel and paper, could now be found in the forms of hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and hemp protein powder. Medical cannabis in Australia is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and only doctors can approach them for authorisation before providing a medical prescription to their patients. Any medicinal users of hemp oil will need to get a medicinal cannabis product prescribed by an authorised doctor.