Top Question: Does Hemp Oil Have THC?

does hemp oil have THC

Posted on April 20th, 2022

There is a lot of information in the media about CBD and hemp, and whether or not these oils are legal because of their association with Cannabis. Some people are confused because they do not understand how a derivative of Cannabis can be legal sometimes, and others times it is not. It all has to do with the level of THC in the oil. You might wonder does hemp oil have THC and whether it is legal. To answer this question, you need to understand more about hemp oil, what part of the Cannabis plant hemp oil comes from, the level of THC in the oil and the legality around the different levels.

What Is Hemp? does hemp oil have THC

The hemp plant belongs to the Cannabis Sativa species. Through the ages, people used hemp fibers for a number of industrial purposes due to their strength. People used hemp to make durable fabrics, ropes, paper products, even construction material. The seeds, flowers and leaves of the hemp plant are used to produce oils for nutritional and therapeutic purposes.

Hemp belongs to the same species as marijuana, but there are variations between the two plants that prompted the U.S. government to classify these two differently, affecting legal status.

In 2018, the United States passed a farm bill that separated these two types of Cannabis Sativa plants. The farm bill declassified hemp as a controlled substance and reclassified hemp as a farm commodity.

A controlled substance is something that people can abuse because of its addictive properties. Substances that can significantly alter or influence a person’s mood or behavior, such as marijuana, are addictive, and therefore fall under the category of controlled substances.

Hemp, however, does not have addictive properties because of its low level (less than 0.3 percent) of a cannabinoid called THC. Marijuana contains high levels of THC, and therefore remains a controlled substance. Hemp is now legal, while marijuana remains illegal (for the most part, with exceptions) in the U.S.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds in the Cannabis plant. The plant has over a hundred different cannabinoids. The two that you hear about most often are CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). These compounds are abundant in Cannabis. THC is the major psychoactive compound in Cannabis.

How Do Cannabinoids Affect The Body?

The human body has a complex system called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This is a neural network of signals that cells produce when they communicate with each other. The ECS has three parts: the endocannabinoids (also called endogenous cannabinoids), the cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes.

Your body naturally produces endocannabinoids. They are much like the cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant (also called phytocannabinoids). The difference is that the human body makes endocannabinoids, and the plant makes phytocannabinoids. Both kinds affect the ECS system.

The cannabinoid receptors occur everywhere in the body. They receive the neural signals that the cells send out. The endocannabinoids bind to these receptors, thus signaling the ECS to respond. The two major groups of receptors are CB1, which live in the central nervous system, and CB2, which live in the immune cells and the peripheral nervous system (e.g. skin, arms and legs, etc.). When an endocannabinoid binds to a receptor, it triggers an effect on the body based on where that receptor is located.

The ECS enzymes break down the endocannabinoids after these compounds have completed their tasks.

These actions in the ECS modulate the body’s myriad of functions. These include how you sleep, how you feel, what you remember, your appetite, and much more.

So, the phytocannabinoids can have similar effects on the endocannabinoid system.

Does Hemp Oil Have THC and Other Cannabinoids?

The oil from hemp may or may not contain cannabinoids depending on which part of the hemp plant the oil comes from. If the oil was extracted, or pressed, from only the hemp seeds, it contains no cannabinoids. However, if the oil was extracted from the whole hemp plant, which includes the flower and leaves, then it does contain cannabinoids. It contains a high level of CBD, very low levels (less than 0.3 percent) of THC, and minor levels of other cannabinoids.

Is Hemp Oil Legal?

For people who wonder does hemp oil have THC, they are most likely concerned about whether hemp oil is psychoactive and illegal. Because the U.S. government reclassified hemp as a farm commodity, the oil derived from hemp is legal. This is based on the low levels of THC, which means it has no psychoactive effects. However, in order for hemp to remain under the protected status as a commodity of agriculture, hemp growers must be licensed, and they must comply with the federal and respective state regulations based on the production standards set forth by the 2018 Farm Bill. The level of THC must remain below 0.3 percent or else the crop will not be protected under this bill.

Hemp Oil Has Many Potential Benefits

Because hemp oil from the whole plant is a rich source of CBD, many people use CBD to alleviate certain negative symptoms resulting from various health conditions.

CBD has calming properties that can potentially help people with anxiety. It can help people who have trouble falling asleep. Some research showed that it has the potential to help people deal with anxiety associated with addictions to tobacco and opioids, so they crave them less.

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties.

Inflammation contributes to many health problems, and anything that can reduce inflammation can promote healing. People have used CBD-based products for arthritis with good results. People with skin issues, like eczema, acne, and skin rashes reported that using a skin product that contained CBD helped improve their skin condition.

CBD can help in pain management.

Studies showed that people who experienced pain from cancers and neuropathic pain from conditions like multiple sclerosis often did not get adequate pain relief from traditional prescription pain medicine. They reported better pain management when they took a pain medicine containing CBD. This is based on how CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The CB1 receptors live in the brain and spinal cord, which make up the central nervous system. When CBD interacts with these receptors, it can inhibit the pain signals on the communication pathway between the brain and the spinal cord.

Oil From Hemp Seeds CBD uses and benefits

It is common for some people to refer to hemp seed oil as just “hemp oil”. It is important to make the distinction between hemp oil and hemp seed oil when people wonder does hemp oil have THC. If the oil comes from hemp seeds, then it does not contain any THC or CBD. Hemp seed oil contains no cannabinoids, so it does not provide the same benefits as hemp oil extracted from the flowers and leaves that contain CBD. Hemp seed oil has other benefits like essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, and nutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins B and C. Many people add hemp seed oil to their diet in dips, salad dressings, smoothies, or they cook with it. They also use it in skin care.

Final Thoughts

The next time someone asks, “Does hemp oil have THC?” you will have an informed explanation for them. Hemp products play an important role in our lives at various levels. Gaining a better understanding of hemp, the difference between hemp oil and hemp seed oil, and the sustainable benefits that the plant provides will help us appreciate their versatility. If you want to explore high quality products that contain hemp oil, always get them from a reputable source. And if you are interested in using hemp oil in supplements, consult with your doctor first to see if they are right for you.

References:

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019

https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Cannabinoids.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789136/

https://www.healthline.com/health/hemp-oil-benefits

https://www.forbes.com/health/body/cbd-oil-benefits/

https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/pain-relief-solutions/cbd-for-arthritis-pain

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

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