That’s a really good question because organic “hemp essential oil” can be argued as being any oil extracted from the various species of hemp or otherwise scientifically known as the plant genus Cannabis and its three main species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Hemp seeds are also used to produce hemp seed oil. As a result, it becomes necessary to make distinctions in terminology.
So, I’ll try to classify terms more specifically for some of our less informed visitors, and hopefully clear up misconceptions and misunderstandings for others along the way too. And due to this lack of distinction in this evolving nomenclature surrounding Cannabis, I must say that there are not enough clear delineations between terms like:
Hemp Essential Oil
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp essential oil is not the same as hemp seed essential oil which is a non-psychoactive oil made from cold-pressed hemp seeds of the Cannabis sativa species are highest among hemp (Cannabis) species in Omega 3,6 and gamma linolenic acid (GLA).
Culinary chefs use hemp seed oil for what is described as an earthy, nutty flavor. It is also consumed orally as a dietary supplement for Vitamin E and Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids.
Nor is hemp essential oil necessarily the same as CBD hemp oil, which is non-psychoactive and directly identified with medical applications to treat numerous illnesses, diseases and medical conditions including epilepsy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, autistic spectrum disorders, ADHD, PTSD, depression, alcohol and narcotic rehabilitation, as well as and many forms of cancer.
Although CBD oil is often derived from industrial hemp varieties, the finest and most effective CBD oil is made from the flower tops of the aforementioned Cannabis Sativa species which contain higher levels of CBD (cannabidiol) than other parts of the plant or compared to other species of hemp such as Cannabis Indica, or industrial hemp (Cannabis ruderalis). One such Sativa varietal is commonly called White Widow as seen in the photo to the right and above.
Industrial Hemp Harvesting in France
Historically speaking, the original term “essential oil” referred to the process of extracting what early observers called “the life force or spirits of the plant”. Technically speaking, essential oils are extracted by the distillation of the flowers, stems, and leaves from specific plants that offer unique and desired characteristics. Traditionally, low-pressure steam has produced the highest quality oils.
From a biological perspective, essential oils are those oils that are found to be rich in aromatic and/or therapeutic characteristics. The very components of the cannabis plant that protects it from predators and fungus are the same ones that give cannabis oils their various distinctive aromas.
These fragrances are quite varied and they are individually characteristic of various strains and hybrids. As Mother Nature would have it, these fragrant and healing substances called “terpenes” are the very substances that first attracted humans to cannabis later to discover its medicinal value.
One could say that they play as important a role in the pollination of the plants as they do for humans who have used it for thousands of years in beauty treatments, masking/attracting scents, aromatherapy, stimulant, and aphrodisiac.
My initial interest stemmed from learning that regardless of terminology and chemical construction, most all essential oils have antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and/or antibacterial properties. It’s the health and general wellness benefits that led me to hemp essential oil and an ever-deepening respect for the Cannabis plant.
Its vast potential for multitudes of much-needed products ranging from medicine to sustainable farming for its versatile fibers and extracts. Hemp essential oil benefits are far-reaching indeed.
Commonly known through millennia as “hemp”, the Cannabis plant has consistently been revealing its many values to mankind throughout recorded history via its essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
Among many other nutrients found in Cannabis is a particular globulin legumin protein called edestin which is very close in structure to the globulin in the blood plasma of humans.
There are two main cannabinoids, organic chemicals found in the Cannabis plant that are the leading sources of medicinal and therapeutic research and treatment. The first is Cannabidiol. More commonly known as CBD, it is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant.
CBD affects a wide variety of neurological and reparative processes in humans and animals and has been known to have anti-psychotic effects. The second is much maligned, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is characterized by it’s pleasant and euphoric “high” and thus the principal psychoactive constituent in Cannabis.
Common uses Cannabis Oil containing THC are the treatment of anorexia from dietary problems and AIDS, and treatment for nausea and vomiting common to chemotherapy patients.
Whether used as a standalone aromatherapy source or in combination with other fragrant oils, hemp essential oil benefits are noticeable to body and mind. It has been shown to cause the release of pleasure producing hormones that relaxes the mind-body connection thus relieving stress and anxiety.
Ask yourself, does your cologne, candles and soap help reduce stress and relax your body? Mine does.
Applied topically to the skin, hemp essential oil also affects the ability to relax sore muscles and is therefore used in quality athletic ointments, massage oils, and bath oils.
I use hemp oil personally for my skin care and prevention of actinic keratosis growth (pre-cancer) as well as other skin irritations. Works like a charm – Try it! Also commonly used for the treatment of eczema, acne, and as a general agent I use CBD Living Freeze.
Hemp seed oil is commonly used for the treatment of eczema, acne, and as a general skin conditioner and moisturizer.
High in essential fatty acids, hemp seed oil also nourishes the scalp while giving hair a shinier and more healthy appearance.
Although I don’t suffer from any problems sleeping, my other half does. For any number of reasons she sometimes has a hard time getting to sleep. As a business owner, she often has a hard time keeping her mind from “pre-detonating” as she calls it while trying to get to sleep the motor keeps running.
Apparently, my love of cars and motorcycles has affected her more than I thought. But more to the point, her ritual of burning hemp essential oil candles before bed and combining CBD oil with her “night cream” have both contributed to much less difficulty getting to herself to sleep more regularly. I just ordered a new product that has been recommended for sleep… CBD Living Sleep Aid includes a combination of CBD and melatonin in syrup form.
“Refined” hemp seed oil is clear and colorless and lacking flavor or nutrients, however, it has been used for hundreds of years in paints, inks, and lubricants.
More recently it has been recognized as a fundamental feedstock for biodiesel production, and also used in soaps and shampoos.
Its recent use in plastics and manufacturing is simply astonishing. I look forward to expanding on the subject of industrial hemp applications such as “The Hemp Car”… which is no joke!
So, I think we can all agree that given the cross-pollination of terms over the years and various language translations it has become difficult to answer the question, what is hemp essential oil? As you can now understand, mixing terms (often mismatching) causes more confusion. For an updated post on “What is CBD Hemp Oil?” please click here.
Nevertheless, I hope this helps clarify any confusion you may have had with the various types of oils derived from the cannabis plant. Do you feel the use of the adjective “essential” should apply to all the other cannabis-related oils like CBD oil, cannabis oil, and hemp seed oil inclusively?
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