Although hemp oil is associated with other cannabis products, it is a distinct product from medical cannabis items and has its own uses and benefits. You normally don’t require a prescription or medical referral for hemp oil and may be able to find it on the shelves of health shops and alternative retailers on a high street near you. It has been used for hundreds of years by people all over the world.

Many people don’t understand the difference between hemp and CBD, but it’s a fairly simple distinction. The oils are similar but have different characteristics.

Hemp oil comes from the hemp plant, extracted from its seeds. It can technically be extracted from any plant in the cannabis genus, but for industrial and product use, it is only taken from industrial hemp plants. Its industrial production means that any psychoactive substances are effectively bred out and minimised to allow the health benefits to be the oil’s primary function. There is no psychoactive compound in hemp oil, so it won’t get you ‘high’ or make you feel mentally compromised.

Industrial cannabis and hemp plants contain a significant concentration of CBD or cannabidiol. Rather than being extracted from the plant’s seeds, it comes from the flowers, stalks and leaves.

The high concentration of CBD within this oil means that it’s used primarily for medicinal purposes and usually requires a prescription for purchase and use. CBD also has no psychoactive properties but is often confused with consumption of other varieties of cannabis, which contain another ingredient (THC) that induces this high.

Hemp’s natural properties and their benefits mean that it’s widely available and in a variety of products. There’s not much you can’t use it for!

Research into the benefits of using and consuming hemp has revealed a plethora of health advantages. Amongst other things, it has been proven to prevent blood clotting, to balance hormones, to reduce inflammation, to reduce pain and to positively impact immune responses to promote healing. This has positive effects on a whole range of conditions and complaints. There is even some evidence to suggest that it’s immune system enhancements can help prevent heart disease and cancer.

Pure hemp oil concentrate often comes in a syringe or tincture but isn’t an injection; instead, it is placed under the tongue and swallowed. The taste isn’t always that great, though, and so is often flavoured and made into a dietary supplement. It works best when cold as a salad dressing or can be used to cook with as a substitute for vegetable or coconut oils. Containing a range of essential fatty acids, it makes for a healthy alternative to traditional oils and has a sweet, nutty taste. The FDA doesn’t allow CBD to be consumed without a medical referral, but this is not the case for hemp. Hemp oil can also be vaped and applied topically to the skin in health and beauty lotions, butters and washes.

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