Hemp may be one of the most versatile plants on the planet. The fibers and stalks are used in clothing, construction materials, paper, biofuel and more.  More recently, we have begun to understand the health benefits of hemp oil, and they are numerous.

Before I go any further, it is vital to understand hemp is not marijuana. While both are the same species of plant, cannabis sativa L., they have very different chemical properties. Simply put, hemp oil cannot produce a ‘high’, even if you consumed an entire bottle and unlike marijuana, industrial hemp is legal in all 50 states.

You can see this type of difference elsewhere in nature. The difference between hemp and marijuana is much like the difference between red and yellow tomatoes. Both variety of tomatoes come from the same species (Solanum lycopersicum), yet yellow tomatoes have no lycopene while red tomatoes are an excellent source.

So, how can hemp help with our health? Most of the research focuses on specific plant chemicals called phyto-cannabinoids, like CBD (cannabidiol) and their effects on the Endocannabinoid system - a network of receptors in the bodies of all mammals that helps maintain a healthy balance and overall well-being. The ECS helps regulate functions such as sleep, immune system responses, and pain among others. Recent research has shown consuming a CBD-rich hemp product, can be beneficial for a variety of conditions including anxiety, autism, inflammation and seizures. While research is on-going, there appears to be significant promise.

It's important to note that not all hemp oil products are produced to maximize CBD content. CBD oil is extracted from the stalks, leaves, and buds of hemp plants while hemp oil is typically produced by pressing the seeds. While both possess health benefits, simply put, CBD rich hemp oil (or CBD oil) has been studied for more therapeutic benefits like those conditions mentioned above, while hemp oil provides more basic nutritional support acting as excellent source of essential fatty acids among others. 

If you are considering trying a CBD rich hemp product, two brands I highly recommend are Charlotte’s Web and CV Sciences' Plus CBD Oil. While CBD products are exploding on the market, many do not possess the quality controls, potency or efficacy of either of these two brands. 

This information is not intended as personal medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.