I think there is a lot of confusion out there regarding what hemp really is, so let’s turn to Merriam-Webster! Here’s how hemp is defined:
(noun) : a tall, widely cultivated Asian herb (Cannabis sativa of the family Cannabaceae, the hemp family) that is cultivated for its tough bast fiber and edible seeds and oil, and that is often separated into a tall loosely branched species (C. sativa) and a low-growing densely branched species (C. indica)”
NOTE: Cultivated hemp is often distinguished from cannabis by possessing very low levels of the psychoactive substance THC.
I like this definition because first it mentions the strong fibers of hemp, then it talks about the seeds and oil. Not only this, but it adds the note at the end differentiating the definition of hemp from the definition of cannabis as it relates to marijuana. Our products are made from hemp extract, but are also THC free, so even the low levels the plant is bred with are removed. While hemp is part of the cannabis family, the legal system recognizes the difference between industrial hemp and cannabis plants containing a higher concentration of THC, so this distinction keeps us CBD companies alive!
The definition mentions the edible seeds and oil, both of which offer their own specific health benefits. Hemp seeds, for example, are high in protein and omegas – they are a great source for all those micronutrients. As a matter of fact, I just had some on my salad while writing this! I like them to just supplement my diet a little more, but they really don’t taste like anything, which makes them easy to eat, and they add a little more texture to my meals. Hemp seed oil is usually cold pressed from the seeds to create what GoodHemp.com calls “an omega-rich culinary oil.” Hemp seed oil is made only from the seeds of the plant and is a great option for cooking oil. Lots of companies also offer hemp seed oil hair products for you and your dog, or hemp seed oil supplements – many sources talk about hemp seed oil benefits for hair and skin, so if that’s what you are looking for check that out!
Unfortunately, the advertising on a lot of these products emphasizes the word ‘hemp,’ giving the false impression the product is a CBD product. While it does offer its own benefits, hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids. We want to make sure everyone is able to distinguish between hemp seed oil and hemp extract, simply so you know what you are buying!
I also want to talk a little bit about the use of hemp fibers, because I think it’s an important option towards a more sustainable future. The National Hemp Association lists many uses for hemp fibers. In the interest of preserving history, paper derived from hemp rather than wood is stronger, and also doesn’t yellow nearly as quickly, which would allow for archives to be better maintained for the future. Not only are hemp fibers the strongest plant fiber in the world, they’re also the longest fibers and can be used to make any composite materials from skateboard decks to cars to houses!
Now, you’re thinking, that’s really cool Joli, but why do I care? Well, hemp can be grown almost anywhere – it is that versatile. It also has a very high crop yield, where one acre produces twice as much oil than an acre of peanuts. That’s impressive on its own, but hemp can also grow without any pesticides and has allelopathic properties, meaning it inhibits growth of some kinds of weeds around it. All these things make hemp a very sustainable option for manufacturing a huge variety of products.
We love hemp for the sake of our business, and all the benefits of CBD, but also because of the potential for a sustainable future that we know needs to be achieved soon. As always, we strive to provide the best education, we can for you! I hope this helps you distinguish the different kinds of hemp oil, and stresses the importance of advocating for the use of hemp to manufacture ANYTHING!