Hemp oil is the collective term for all the fatty acids and associated compounds extracted from industrial hemp. It is extracted mainly from the floral biomass, which is removed from the main plant structure after drying and curing.
Hemp Oil Production
Hemp oil production in Canada and the United States has been increasing in recent years mainly because of CBD – cannabidiol – a component of hemp that has medicinal properties.
Freshly cut, mature hemp is first collected before they are hung up to dry. Hemp farmers are careful to control the growth of common diseases like mildew, as they can drastically reduce the effectively usable biomass prior to processing.
Hemp plants are considered ideal for oil extraction when the hair-like, follicular growths associated with the buds turn milky white in color. The milky white color is further associated with an increase in the natural production phytocannabinoids in industrial hemp plants.
Prior to the extraction of oil, hemp farmers are known for investing in the weekly testing of the mature hemp plants. They want to know the average levels of vital compounds in the plants, including terpenes and of course, cannabidiol.
Small fluctuations in the CBD content of hemp can have an adverse effect in the final output of the processing.
For example, if a hemp farmer harvests too early when the hemp plants are at 6% CBD that can mean a loss of ten pounds of processed cannabidiol oil. This one percent can mean an economic loss amounting to an average of $20,000.
Uses and Benefits of Hemp Oil
Many medical institutions, including the Harvard School of Medicine, have been opening up about the benefits of using cannabidiol.
As with any kind of substance with medicinal properties, much still has to be discovered about it, but we are getting a good idea as to how it can be of help to mankind soon enough. Here are some scientific factoids about cannabidiol, the active ingredient of hemp oil:
1. Epilepsy – There is strong evidence that cannabidiol therapy may help children suffering from the most severe forms of childhood epilepsy. Conditions like the Dravet syndrome, which can be triggered by changes in body temperature, may find a new nemesis in the humble hemp oil.
2. Chronic Pain – Current studies have shown that CBD treatments can help control chronic and acute pains from various causes, including (but not limited to) migraines, muscle pain, breakout pain from cancer, and arthritis.
If CBD is further studied, it can help revolutionize pain treatments by providing a viable alternative to opioids, which has already caused enough damage as it is.
3. Psychiatric Conditions – There is mounting evidence in both animal studies and in actual therapeutic settings that CBD can be used to treat anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric conditions.
Additionally, there is evidence that hemp oil can help people suffering from insomnia. Insomnia is a tricky condition because addressing it isn’t just about causing a person to fall asleep, he also has to stay asleep as well.