It seems like everyone and her sister (and grandma, and aunt and second cousin twice-removed, and . you get it) is sprinkling CBD oil in her smoothies because of claims it can help with everything from pain to anxiety. But what about CBD’s sister: hemp oil? Are hemp oil benefits legit? Proponents say it can help with sleep and anxiety, balance your hormones, make your skin glow, and protect your ticker. But here’s what you should know before you start drizzling it on top of your food or slathering it on your skin.
“It probably should be called snake oil,” says Tishler. (So. save your cash.) Not only does hemp oil not have any real health benefits, but it may contain stuff that’s actually bad for you. “At the moment what you can buy is less regulated than the potato at the supermarket,” says Tishler. When hemp oil is extracted, there’s a risk that pesticides, plastics, and heavy metals could make their way in, says Tishler.
What is hemp oil—and is it different from CBD oil?
Oh, and that ideal ratio of omegas? Researchers in Spain say that composition makes hemp oil high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A high ratio of PUFAs to saturated fats has been linked to reductions in cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). That suggests hemp oil may have the potential to help prevent heart disease, according to the study authors. But again, none of this has been tested in people.
Fatty acids and GLA may also help curb the physical and emotional pain linked to PMS. Here’s why: One of the causes of PMS is a hormonal imbalance that leads to a lack of GLA in the body. Research on GLA has shown to help alleviate the symptoms of PMS by bringing hormone levels back into balance. But so far, studies haven’t found ingesting or slathering on hemp oil itself will have this effect.
Yes, and no. Hemp itself is an A+plus source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, it has the 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 that research shows is optimal for health. One of those omega-6s is GLA, or gamma linolenic acid, an anti-inflammatory. That’s why hemp-based food products, like hemp hearts and hemp milk, are gaining reps as legit superfoods.
To determine an exact dose of CBD, remember that each drop of oil equals 0.05 mL of fluid. This means that a 30-mL bottle of CBD oil will have roughly 600 drops. If the concentration of the tincture is 1,500 mg/mL, one drop would contain 2.5 mg of CBD (1,500 mg ÷ 600 drops = 2.5 mg).
Potential drug-drug interactions with CBD include:
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, suggests a 2015 review of studies in the journal Neurotherapeutics. According to the investigators, CBD demonstrated potent anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects in animal research, albeit with counterintuitive results.
How to Calculate CBD Dose
However, the effect of CBD on each addiction type was often very different. With opioid addiction, for example, CBD showed little effect in minimizing withdrawal symptoms in the absence of THC. By contrast, CBD on its own appeared effective in minimizing drug-seeking behaviors in users of cocaine, methamphetamine, and other psychostimulant drugs.
There have also been suggestions that CBD may aid in the treatment of cannabis and nicotine addiction. Further research is needed.
Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can trigger side effects. Severity and type can vary from one person to the next.
CBD oil may benefit those with drug addiction, suggests a 2015 review of studies published in Substance Abuse.
While the cannabis plant has high THC levels (up to 28%), the hemp plant’s THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%. Thus, products derived from the hemp plant are unlikely to create a “high” and are mainly used for medicinal purposes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “State Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Programs Address High Blood Cholesterol.”
A dermatology study found that oral consumption of hemp seed oil improves symptoms of atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. Researchers attribute these results to the fatty acids found in hemp seed oil.
You can drink hemp seed oil straight or mix it into salad dressings or other foods. You can also use hemp seed oil in place of olive oil for cooking.