Every few weeks there is a new fad that takes over – whether it be in the fashion industry, the food industry, or even the healthcare industry. Right now, that fad is hemp oil – more specifically, full-spectrum hemp oil.
Read on to find out why this is the next big thing that has everyone talking.
- 1 What Is a Full Spectrum Hemp Oil?
- 1.0.1 Why Use It?
- 1.0.2 What Do I Need to Know?
- 1.0.3 Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Side Effects
- 1.0.4 How to Select High Quality Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
- 1.0.5 Regulation of Hemp Products
What Is a Full Spectrum Hemp Oil?
Full Spectrum Hemp oil is the oil derived from industrial hemp plants. It is made from the full hemp plant (hence the term full-spectrum hemp oil). It contains the healthy fatty acid components, such as omega-6 fatty acids, which are thought to contain anti-inflammatory properties among other things. It also contains phytocannabinoids, including cannabidiol, which are most commonly claimed to help with pain and anxiety relief.
These phytocannabinoids are present in both industrial hemp plants and medical marijuana plants. This is because they come from the cannabis plant known as Cannabis sativa. However, there are different kinds of hemp products that can all be advertised as “hemp oil” and it can be hard to keep them all straight. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
Full-spectrum hemp oil is made from the whole hemp plant and contains the proposed health benefits of hemp as well as the proposed health benefits of CBD products due to the cannabinoids present in the plant (as mentioned above). Since it does contain cannabinoids, there is a possibility that these full-spectrum products may contain trace amounts of THC.
THC is a cannabinoid that is widely known due to its psychoactive properties (aka it is what causes the high associated with marijuana). However, United States federal law states that CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. This is such a small amount that it is thought to not have any psychoactive effects. Also, for those of you wondering if full-spectrum hemp oil will make you fail a drug test, this small amount should technically not be enough to trigger a positive on a THC drug test. However, some tests may be more sensitive than others so we cannot confidently claim CBD will not trigger a positive result on a drug test.
With that being said, if you are sensitive to THC or other cannabinoids, full-spectrum hemp oil products are probably not the best choice for you. If you do not have any sensitivities or allergies to cannabinoids, then full spectrum products may be one of the better options. Many people prefer full-spectrum products over others because it can cause what is commonly referred to as the Entourage Effect. The Entourage Effect is what happens when all the components of the hemp oil, including the various cannabinoids and terpenes, work together to have a stronger effect than any single component alone. Due to this, many believe they get the most bang for their buck with these products.
Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil
Broad-spectrum hemp oil is the same as full-spectrum hemp oil, except the THC component is removed. These can also be referred to as “THC free” or “0% THC” on the labels. These products are great for people who are sensitive to THC. They are also great for people who are concerned about taking THC due to drug testing for work or school, social perceptions, and other reasons. These products will still have an Entourage Effect; however, it may not be as strong of an effect as the full spectrum products.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil
The terms “CBD oil” and “hemp oil” are often interchanged as well. Although they are very similar, usually CBD oil has a higher percentage of CBD. It may even have higher percentages of other cannabinoids if it is a full spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD product as opposed to just an isolate CBD product (which usually only contains CBD with possible trace amounts of other cannabinoids).
Generally, CBD oil products have the CBD isolate injected back into the final product to obtain these higher levels of CBD. Some manufacturers mix it with the hemp oil to include the other cannabinoids, such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN), and to obtain the hemp oil benefits. Carrier oils are also included in the tinctures to help make it easier for the consumers to take. Examples of these include hemp seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and others.
One of the most commonly confused terms is hemp seed oil and hemp oil. As the names suggest, hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant whereas hemp oil comes from the whole plant. Hempseed oil is the oil acquired through cold pressing ripened hemp seeds. The primary difference is that hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids or terpenes like hemp oil, therefore you do not get these same benefits from hemp seed oil. However, hemp seed oil does have its own benefits. For example, it is high in essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It also contains phytochemicals, protein, vitamins, and minerals. This may cause many people to use hemp seeds and hemp seed oil as a supplement to their diet and many CBD/Hemp Oil manufacturers use it as a carrier oil./vc_column_text]
Why Use It?
Now that all the terms have been clarified, let’s get into why people use hemp oil. To be more specific, the rest of this article will explain full-spectrum hemp oil as opposed to the other terms. So, what does full-spectrum hemp oil do for you?
Full-spectrum hemp oil has a variety of potential health benefits. Every day, more and more research is showing how hemp oil (and CBD oil) may be of use for people suffering from chronic pain and anxiety, which are the main reasons why people are turning to these products. However, there are other proposed benefits as well such as helping with mental health, autoimmune diseases, weight loss, sleep, skin, hair, heart health, and even for preventative health reasons.
Please keep in mind that all of this is based on preliminary research. This means that larger long-term studies need to be completed before we can say any of this for certain. Therefore, none of this information should be used to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.
What Do I Need to Know?
There is a lot of information out there about full-spectrum hemp oil. Here are some common topics related to full-spectrum hemp oil.
Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Side Effects
Fortunately, there are few side effects with these hemp products. The main reported side effects are nausea or upset stomach. Other reported side effects include weight gain and weight loss, tiredness, dizziness, and diarrhea.
Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Tinctures vs Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Capsules
The most common full spectrum Hemp Oil products that consumers purchase are tinctures and capsules. However, there are other Hemp Oil products such as gummies and lotions.
Beginners to Hemp Oil products often prefer capsules due to them being easier to take, more convenient in terms of dosing, and they do not have as strong of the natural taste as the tinctures. Also, most people are used to taking things in the forms of a capsule or tablet. Therefore, many consumers like to start out by taking capsules.
As for tinctures, they allow for flexible dosing and are one of the dosage forms with higher bioavailability. Bioavailability is the amount of active drug that actually gets absorbed into the bloodstream to have an effect. Therefore, tinctures are often the most popular hemp oil product due to people getting more of an effect from their dosage. There are also other ways to use the tinctures, such as rubbing a small drop of hemp oil on the skin.
Are there Drug Interactions?
As with any medication or supplement, there is a possibility for drug interactions.
Because full-spectrum hemp oil and CBD (and many drugs, supplements, and other chemicals) are broken down and metabolized heavily by the liver, there is a potential for drug interactions if you are taking other prescription drugs or even over the counter (OTC) drugs and supplements. This is similar to why people taking certain medications, such as cholesterol medications called statins, are told to avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruits. Grapefruit juice can inhibit enzymes in the liver that process certain drugs. Enzymes are proteins in the body that can break down substances. The CBD contained in full-spectrum hemp oil acts on similar enzymes as grapefruit juice, known as CYP450 (specifically CYP3A4), to slow them down. These cause the build-up of certain drugs in the body because they are not being broken down as fast. When this happens, it can lead to adverse effects or even be toxic in some cases.
Examples of medications that may interact with CBD include antibiotics, HIV medications, cholesterol medications, antidepressants, opioids, and blood thinners.
However, these interactions need to be studied further to say with more certainty what will actually interact. There have been some studies that show interactions with seizure medications, since that is the approved use of the medication containing CBD, Epidiolex. One study in children with seizures did show that taking CBD increased clobazam (a seizure medication) levels in the children. Additionally, according to the product information on Epidiolex taking CBD with valproic acid (another seizure medication) may result in an increased risk of liver damage. However, this was with higher doses of CBD than what people traditionally take.
As far as contraindications, preliminary research appears that hemp oil does not have many. Contraindication just means that you cannot take two things together. Current contraindications would be if you had an allergy to cannabinoids or any of the oils in the products. If so, you should avoid full-spectrum hemp oil products or choose a different product with an alternative oil if it is the oil that you are allergic to. Always be sure to look at the ingredients in your full-spectrum hemp oil products if you have any allergies or sensitivities.
This does not include all the potential medications impacted by full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD, so you should always talk with a healthcare professional before using any of these products.
How Should I Store These Products?
As with the majority of medications and supplements, it is the best practice to store your full-spectrum hemp oil products at room temperature. This is because changes in temperature, such as heat, can cause the hemp oil to break down and not be as effective. Therefore, keeping it at consistent room temperature will help to prevent this.
For example, storing your full-spectrum hemp oil products in a bathroom cabinet is not ideal. The inconsistent temperatures from the heat of taking a shower could alter the effectiveness of your products.
Additionally, you should avoid having your products be exposed to direct sunlight and excessive light for this same reason.
Storing your full-spectrum hemp oil products in the proper conditions will help keep your products effective for longer, and will help you not waste your money, since many of these products can be a little pricey.
How to Select High Quality Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
When choosing full spectrum hemp oil products, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Here are some tips to find high quality products:
The first thing you should look for with all your full-spectrum hemp oil products is that the company has lab results posted on their website. It is important that the company is transparent about the results of all of their products.
For full-spectrum products, these lab results should show that they contain multiple cannabinoids in addition to the CBD. They should also show that there is THC below detectable limits (less than 0.3 percent). Additionally, depending on the type of lab results, it may show that there are also undetectable limits of heavy metals and other chemicals. Sometimes, they may also include a terpene profile to show which terpenes are included in these products.
Additionally, the lab results should be from a third-party lab, meaning that it is an independent lab. This is important because if the company tests their products themselves, they could provide false results to show their products look better than they actually are. Having a third-party lab reduces the risk of this happening.
Look for Organic and All-Natural Products
Organic and all-natural full-spectrum hemp oil products have less risk of contamination with toxic chemicals.
The USDA defines its certified organic foods as:
“USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.”
These types of products should have lower levels of toxins and heavy metals that can cause harm to people when ingested. These can exist in hemp oil products due to chemicals and pesticides used when the plants are grown and from other reasons. The heavy metals can build up in the body and lead to health issues such as having kidney problems.
Trustworthy companies should have full transparency on their labels. They should list all the ingredients of their products on the label. They will usually consist of a full spectrum hemp oil extract, a carrier oil, and some kind of extract or flavoring to help with the natural flavoring (for tinctures). The labels should also be consistent with the lab results that are associated with that product.
Please be sure to review the labels carefully before purchasing your hemp oil products to ensure that you are okay with all of the ingredients and not sensitive or allergic to any of them.
As with any product you buy, looking over reviews will give you an idea of what to expect. In some cases, the hemp oil products may sound great, but looking through reviews from customers that have already bought and tried the products will tell you otherwise. They will also give you insight into what the customer service of the company is like, and even how smooth the whole shipping process was for them.
Also, sometimes companies will require you to spend a certain amount before the free shipping offer takes place. Other times, their return policies may be strict. Overall, even if companies have great products, if their customer service or shipping policies are terrible then it may not be worth going through that trouble to buy their products.
Regulation of Hemp Products
Even though the world of hemp oil is exciting and offers a lot of great potential in the health community, it is important to keep in mind that it is currently not regulated.
One example of this is when some companies have had their products tested by independent labs and found that the amount of CBD they claimed on their label was more than what was actually in the products. Some have also been shown to have ingredients that could actually be harmful in their products, which was also not reflected on their labels.
Because of this, the main concern is the safety of the products since there are no official “checks and balances” in place to ensure the safety of the products. This is why it is currently up to the consumers to do their research into companies before purchasing their products. This is also a concern related to the FDA when it comes to cannabis-derived products.
Right now, the FDA is also concerned about the claims that people are making about these products. For example, many websites make a state that CBD or hemp oil can “treat” or “is effective” for various conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and even pain. This is not only incorrect, but it is also ethically wrong to make these claims. People are not allowed to make these claims unless the product is an approved FDA medication. FDA-Approved products have gone through extensive testing and quality standards to get approval in order to make these claims. It also leads consumers to think these products are a “magic cure” for them and strays them away from taking the medications that have been proven to be effective at treating their conditions.
Additionally, the FDA is concerned about the lack of knowledge that exists around these products. We really do not know the implications of giving these products to special populations, such as those who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant. Additionally, we do not have the research to show the effects of taking these products long term.
The FDA released an article in June 2019 stating that they are “committed to a sound, science-based policy on CBD”. They recently held a hearing at the end of May to hear the concerns from stakeholders and the public. They also will be taking written comments in a public docket which is open until mid-July 2019.
The FDA is open to hearing the concerns and feedback from the community to work toward a solution that benefits everyone and most importantly keeps people safe.
What is the Future of Hemp Oil?
With all this being said, what does the future of full-spectrum hemp oil look like?
Although research is still in the early stages, it has started to expand as more research on these compounds is being conducted. More research and more data will allow us to better understand all the potential health benefits that full-spectrum hemp oil has to offer, as well as any potential drug interactions or safety concerns with these products. Additionally, more research will help to further support the currently proposed benefits of hemp oil and CBD products.
This research may lead to hemp oil being included in more and more products as people discover additional benefits. It will likely lead to more FDA-approved medications containing cannabinoids as well.
As the FDA starts to get more involved in this industry, we can expect more regulation of these products in the future.