The Hype About Hemp

three women smiling at the camera The woman in the middle  is holding a bike with  a basket full  of flowers and fruit. The youngest woman is holding a basket as she waves to the camera. On the far right is a woman in all white waving as well to the camera

Just a year ago, Grandma was concerned that all her grandkids were hopped up on some new drug called “CBD,” but now she’s on the bandwagon like the rest of us, slathering herself nightly in place of her former love—Vicks VapoRub.

It’s easy to understand the confusion, hype and mystery that continues to surround CBD, or cannabidiol. And, with more CBD products on the shelves than ever, it’s also easy to buy something that touts its hemp content without having any CBD at all. So, what’s what?

First of all, let’s just dispel one misconception: There is no THC in CBD, which is to say, CBD has no psycho-active properties. Secondly, not all hemp products are created equal. Two hemp-based products that can cause a mix-up are CBD and hemp oil. Yes, they both come from the same plant; however, CBD oil is made from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the hemp plant, while hemp oil is made from hemp seeds.

Because it is made from the seeds, hemp oil contains little to no cannabinoid, which means this is not the product you’re looking for to extinguish your anxiety. That doesn’t mean hemp oil has no value; on the contrary, hemp is an excellent source of plant-based protein, Vitamin E, magnesium and omega fatty acids. Like sunflower seed and jojoba oils, hemp oil comes in the form of a cold-pressed extract. Not only is hemp oil considered a superfood, but it is also an excellent moisturizer and skin softener that won’t make your face more oily (crazy coming from an—oil!) In fact, hemp oil has a comedogenic rating of zero, which means it will not clog your pores—great news for people who deal with acne breakouts on a regular basis.

CBD oil, on the other hand, has a high cannabinoid content and is used for medicinal purposes. Its main use includes regulating biological functions, such as mood, pain, appetite, hormones, sleep and the immune system. When ingested, CBD can relieve anxiety as well. Topically applied, CBD acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory and has been used for ages to relieve pain from muscle aches, arthritis, sore joints, neuropathic conditions, headaches, and to aid skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

Whether you’re 80 or 28, there are plenty of health benefits from both CBD and hemp oil—just make sure you’re buying the hemp product you intended to get or you might be packing on muscle instead of zapping your anxiety.