At Honest Marijuana, we love all things weed. We love the wide variety of strains and the always-evolving slang that makes talking about marijuana so much fun. We love the bongs, pipes, vaporizers, blunts and other paraphernalia as well as the concentrates, the oils, the dissolving strips, and the tinctures…everything! But there’s one aspect of weed culture on which we have to cry foul: the use of the word “hemp” when referring to the psychoactive and medical cannabis that we all know and love.The problem arises when we start talking about hemp oil, hemp oil benefits, and hemp oil side effects.
Honestly, it isn’t that big of a problem because most cannaseurs instinctively know that there’s a difference between hemp and marijuana, even if they can’t tell you exactly what it is. That’s because many people confuse hemp oil with the broad category of cannabis oils such as CBD oil, THC oil, and canna-oil. And unlike many of the other marijuana terms we throw around with glee and abandon, hemp oil–and hemp oil side effects– is so vastly different from the other marijuana-based oils that you can’t, and shouldn’t, substitute one term for the other. That may lead you to wonder, “Why, exactly, is hemp oil so much different than the other marijuana-based oils?” Great question! With that in mind, the experts at Honest Marijuana are here to set the record straight regarding hemp oil and hemp oil side effects.
But before we get to that, it’s important to go back to the beginning and learn about hemp and how it differs from marijuana.
What Is Hemp?
Okay, this may get a bit technical, but hang in there! It will help you see hemp in a whole new light.
Scientists have come up with a naming system to classify all living things. You may even have been exposed to it in school. Remember the saying, “Kings Play Cards On Fat Green Stools”? That is a mnemonic to help you recall the categories:
In our discussion of hemp, we’re going to use the last two: genus and species. We’ll also talk a bit about subspecies which is a division of species. But first thing’s first.
The scientific name for hemp—the name using the above genus and species classifications—is Cannabis sativa. “But wait!” you say. “The marijuana I smoked before dinner was a Cannabis sativa. Was I smoking hemp?” No, you were not. That’s because hemp is a non-psychoactive variety of the same plant that took you for a ride last night.
The difference between hemp and marijuana can be thought of like the numerous strains at your local dispensary. Sour Diesel and Straw Cough are both Cannabis sativa, but they are bred to exhibit different traits (e.g., flavor and potency). The same is true of hemp and marijuana. They are both Cannabis sativa but they have been bred for different purposes. We’ll discuss those differences in the next section.
Ideally, we should think of both hemp and the psychoactive variety of marijuana as subspecies of the Cannabis sativa plant. So, for example, hemp should be named (and I’m making these up): Cannabis sativa hempus or Cannabis sativa hemporaticus. At the same time, the psychoactive form should be named Cannabis sativa wheeherewego or Cannabis sativa ican’tfeelmyface. This would help to distinguish the two and allay any confusion, but it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.
Instead, we recommend that you restrict your use of the word “hemp” to the stuff they use to make clothes and rope and paper products. Everything else you can call marijuana. Let’s talk about that now.
How Does Hemp Differ From Marijuana?
The biggest difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp contains less than 1% of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Overall, hemp contains less of the cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, etc.), terpenes, and trichomes that make marijuana so much fun to be around.
Because of this difference in chemical makeup, hemp is primarily used for industrial applications while marijuana is grown solely for its psychoactive and medicinal properties. Various parts of the hemp plant can be used produce:
- Body products.
The list literally goes on and on. The psychoactive varieties of the hemp plant are not as effective in this regard. We’re not saying you couldn’t use your Lemon Haze marijuana plant to make some cardboard, but why in the world would you want to?
Now that we know what hemp is, and how it differs from marijuana, let’s delve into the topic where all the confusion lies: hemp oil.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil, or hemp seed oil to be more precise, is an oil produced from the seeds (and sometimes plant matter) of the hemp plant. The process and the end product are very much akin to more familiar oils like olive, coconut, peanut, and vegetable.
The confusion about hemp oil stems from the careless use of the term “hemp oil” to refer to either a psychoactive oil or a medicinal oil. Hemp oil is neither of those. That brings us to our next topic.
How Does Hemp Oil Differ From Cannabis Oil?
Put simply, hemp oil is primarily a foodstuff like olive oil. Cannabis oil is a concentrate made from the cannabis plant that is produced to have high cannabinoid levels (e.g., THC or CBD or both).
You can use cannabis oil to get high (THC oil) or you can use it treat a myriad of disorders (CBD oil), but you can’t use hemp oil for either of those. This is because of the low levels of cannabinoids in the hemp plant. There’s not enough THC or CBD in hemp to produce an effective concentrate without using a ton (literally) of plant matter. That’s not good for the environment, nor is it good for you. It’s not good for you because hemp is what’s known as a bioaccumulator. In effect, it draws toxins from the soil and holds them in the stalk, leaves, and seeds. In small quantities—as in the production of hemp seed oil—these toxins cause no problems. But if you were to use a large quantity of hemp plant matter to produce a good concentrate (which is possible), you would be getting all the toxins from the plant as well.
With those toxins in mind, let’s turn our attention to the next question: What are hemp oil side effects?
What Are Hemp Oil Side Effects?
Remember, hemp oil is a foodstuff so all of these side effects are going to occur as a result of ingesting the oil. Most of these hemp oil side effects are similar to what you might expect if you have a sensitivity to other oils.
1) Hemp Oil Side Effects: Contains High Amounts Of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are more commonly known as omega-3 and omega-6. In small quantities, these fatty acids are great for your body and contribute to overall health. But in large quantities, they can contribute to bacterial infections, cardiac dysfunction, and cancer growth.
2) Hemp Oil Side Effects: Produces Harmful Peroxides Under High Heat
When hemp oil is exposed to high heat (over 121℉), the polyunsaturated fatty acids break down into potentially toxic peroxides. In small amounts, this is nothing to worry about, though it may lead to the next side effect. In large quantities, these peroxides can do damage to your body. It’s also important to note that, just like other oils, hemp oil can catch fire if not used correctly.
3) Hemp Oil Side Effects: Can Cause Digestive Issues
Hemp oil, like some of the more potent oils, can cause digestive problems in sensitive individuals. The problems include stomach cramps, diarrhea, acid reflux, and nausea, just to name a few.
4) Hemp Oil Side Effects: Can Interfere With The Metabolism Of Other Medications
This side effect is very rare, but it is still possible. The CBD in the hemp oil, even the very low amounts, can cause medications to be improperly metabolized. That means if you’re taking blood pressure medicine in combination with hemp oil, the effects of the medication may be reduced, or even eliminated completely. If you’re on any medications, consult your doctor before adding hemp oil to your diet.
5) Hemp Oil Side Effects: Can Affect Your Blood’s Ability To Clot
Again, this side effect is rare but is still possible. Hemp oil can reduce the blood’s ability to clot, or even stop the clotting ability completely. As with the other side effects, it often takes large quantities to make this an issue. Even so, those with blood clotting deficiencies should consult their doctor before consuming hemp oil.
6) Hemp Oil Side Effects: Can Be Slightly Psychoactive In Very Sensitive Individuals
This last side effect is very rare. Even more rare, in fact than interfering with medication metabolism. Though THC levels in hemp are extremely low (1% or less), and aren’t usually enough to cause a high, certain very sensitive individuals may experience a mild psychotropic effect. If you experience a change in your perception after consuming hemp oil, stop using it immediately and consult a doctor.
So don’t be confused by the terms hemp, hemp oil, and hemp oil side effects. Now you know exactly what each one is. Just remember to use the word “hemp” to refer to the cannabis plant used for industrial and foodstuff purposes. Everything else should be marijuana or weed or ganja or Mary Jane or…you get my point. For more information on all things cannabis, and to check out our 100% all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.