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Potential Competing Interests: The authors report no competing interests.

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Cannabidiol (CBD) oils are low tetrahydrocannabinol products derived from Cannabis sativa that have become very popular over the past few years. Patients report relief for a variety of conditions, particularly pain, without the intoxicating adverse effects of medical marijuana. In June 2018, the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of rare, severe epilepsy, further putting the spotlight on CBD and hemp oils. There is a growing body of preclinical and clinical evidence to support use of CBD oils for many conditions, suggesting its potential role as another option for treating challenging chronic pain or opioid addiction. Care must be taken when directing patients toward CBD products because there is little regulation, and studies have found inaccurate labeling of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol quantities. This article provides an overview of the scientific work on cannabinoids, CBD, and hemp oil and the distinction between marijuana, hemp, and the different components of CBD and hemp oil products. We summarize the current legal status of CBD and hemp oils in the United States and provide a guide to identifying higher-quality products so that clinicians can advise their patients on the safest and most evidence-based formulations. This review is based on a PubMed search using the terms CBD, cannabidiol, hemp oil, and medical marijuana. Articles were screened for relevance, and those with the most up-to-date information were selected for inclusion.

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These solvents do a great job of extracting the cannabinoids from the hemp plant, but some residues of these solvent chemicals remain after the extraction process, which can be potentially harmful to your health.

Hemp oil extracts can be consumed orally or sublingually (under the tongue). Sublingual application of hemp oil is a common delivery route for tinctures and is thought to facilitate a fast onset of action of the CBD and its partner cannabinoids.

As hemp becomes more extensively researched and widely available, we are starting to realize the true power of this special plant.* But it still generates a lot of confusion. Today, we’re clearing up the murkiness surrounding hemp oil and hemp extract products and how to take them safely to reap their wide array of benefits.*

How to take hemp oil extract.

There are a few ways to extract phytocannabinoid-rich oils from the hemp plant, all of which have their own benefits and drawbacks:

Researchers believe that whole-plant hemp oils and extracts that contain these other compounds are more beneficial than isolated extracts of just CBD, for example, due to a synergy phenomenon called “the entourage effect.”*

It’s important to know that although THC and CBD are the most studied components of cannabis, there are many more active compounds found within the plant, such as the phytocannabinoids cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), as well as terpenes and flavonoids.

Hemp oil extract is generally considered safe. Feeling tired is a common “side effect” (or benefit, depending on your goals) at higher potencies of hemp CBD.* And though quite rare, some less pleasant side effects have been reported with CBD including decreased appetite, nausea, and loose stools.