Though hemp has been used as a domesticated crop for thousands of years, the past decade seems to have been experiencing an unprecedented level of industry growth. In fact, according to some recent estimates, the hemp industry is currently valued at over $2 billion and is expected to grow by 700% between 2016 and 2020. With all of the activity that has been occurring in the hemp industry, naturally, the public has become increasingly engaged.
The term “hemp industry” is one that describes a very wide range of economic activity. As has been the case throughout the history of human agriculture, hemp is a product that is widely used for industrial purposes. Hemp is an excellent material that can be used for paper, rope, cloth, animal feed, and many other things.
However, in recent years, the use of hemp has significantly shifted from being something that is used for industry to being something that is used for human consumption. With changes in the laws, attitudes, and understanding of the dynamic industrial hemp plant, the recent growth in the hemp industry is something that is far from surprising.
Naturally, the hemp industry inspires a lot of questions from the public. This article will briefly examine the hemp industry as well as the specific uses of hemp extracts.
What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? What is the endocannabinoid system?
Despite the fact they are often used interchangeably, the terms “hemp” and “marijuana” describe distinctively different products. Though these products are derived from the same plant family, their uses, composition, and growing requirements are just a few ways in which they are different.
The hemp plant naturally produces a variety of over 100 chemical compounds that are referred to as cannabinoids. These cannabinoids can interact with the human body in a variety of different ways. THC is the cannabinoid that undeniably has the widest range of psychoactive effects. Because THC is a cannabinoid that only some people desire, the need for two distinctively different varieties of products, from the hemp and marijuana plants, has inevitably emerged.
The term hemp is used to describe a variety of products that are low in THC. These products are ideal for industrial purposes (cloth, paper, etc.) and non-psychoactive human consumption. On the other hand, marijuana describes a class of products in which THC content is a top priority. Though both types directly interact with the endocannabinoid system, the experiences of their consumers will undoubtedly be different.
What are hemp extracts?
Because there are over 100 cannabinoids in existence, focusing solely on THC content is something that dramatically overlooks the nuanced products only the industry can provide. Some of the most commonly used cannabinoids include CBD, CBC, CBN, and many others. Though these specific cannabinoids do not have the same psychoactive effects as THC, they can still have a positive impact on the human body when used correctly.
Instead of consuming hemp products through more “traditional” mechanisms such as smoking, many hemp users have sought a product that is more densely packed with cannabinoids and is safer to consume. Hemp extracts are a specific brand of hemp products that are designed to satisfy this specific need. Hemp extracts are able to produce a variety of consumer benefits including the ability to isolate specific cannabinoids, simpler and safer consumption methods, and a better ability to control what they are specifically consuming. Hemp extracts will commonly be found in oil, wax, edible, or shatter forms.
Do hemp extracts get you high?
One common concern that is justifiably held by many individuals who are new to the hemp industry is that the consumption of hemp extracts will cause them to feel “high.” Considering that hemp is derived from the same plant family as marijuana, this assumption initially seems sound. However, the plant family describes a very wide variety of different plants. The experience you have consuming one hemp or marijuana derivative will not necessarily match the experience that you have with another.
Generally speaking, consuming hemp extracts will not cause you to feel “high.” This is largely due to the fact that hemp extracts contain very little levels of THC. Though CBD, CBN, CBC, and other cannabinoids will likely be present in a given hemp extract, the absence of THC significantly reduces any psychoactive effects. Still, because the consumption of hemp extracts can affect people differently, it is a good idea to be cautious when you are first starting to consume them.
What are the different kinds of hemp extracts that are currently available?
The hemp extraction process has become increasingly more specialized as time goes on. “Hemp extracts” is no longer a term that is used to describe just one derivative of the plant. Instead, the term is used to describe a large family of extracts that each have various specific uses.
The process that is used for creating certain hemp extracts is known as fractional distillation. The purpose of fractional distillation is to isolate various cannabinoids and other components of the hemp plant. Because various cannabinoids have distinctively different boiling points, a liquefied mixture of hemp can by separated by gradually heating the mixture over time. Once the different components of the plant have been effectively separated into “fractions”, it then becomes possibly to create customized products.
There are currently many different hemp extracts that consumers have to choose from. Usually, the most relevant cannabinoid in these products will be CBD.
- Full Spectrum hemp extracts focus on finding the best ways to include many different types of cannabinoids. The synergy that is created by combining CBD, CBN, CBC, and other cannabinoids is frequently referred to as the “entourage effect.” Though THC may be included in these extracts, it is usually not a central focus point.
- CBD Isolate hemp extracts focus primarily on maximizing and purifying the CBD content in a given mixture. Because CBD is the most studied cannabinoid other than THC, it is frequently used throughout various branches of the wellness industry.
- 100% THC Free hemp extracts are typically the most expensive, but are also appealing to some individuals with specific needs. These extracts take an extra step to assure that absolutely all THC is removed. Consequently, these extracts are usually the ones where psychoactive effects are the least common.
With numerous different hemp extracts to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one will be the best for you. In order to get the best results possible, you may want to consider speaking with a physician or wellness professional before adopting any regular routines. Additionally, it is important to note that finding the best hemp extract for you may require some experimentation over time. The extract that is best for one person may not always be the one that is the best for another.
What are the different uses of hemp extracts? What can hemp extracts be used to treat?
The hemp industry is still something that is relatively new and, consequently, there still a significant amount of research that needs to be done (and is already in motion). However, the legitimacy of the industry is something that is rapidly gaining traction and attention over time. The list of potential benefits for consuming hemp extracts is something that will surely continue to increase in the future.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids present in hemp extracts can help improve your body’s immunity
- Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dry skin, and others may be effectively treated (at least in part) through the use of hemp products
- Some users who experience anxiety, depression, bipolar, and PTSD have reported feeling better after introducing hemp extracts into their regular routine
- Possible benefits combatting stomach conditions, loss of appetite, and indigestion
- Possible reductions in chronic pain and central nervous system (CNS) issues
If you are currently taking any medication or have any serious medical conditions, you may want to speak with a physician before making any dramatic changes in your approach to wellness. However, based on testimony from previous users, the potential benefits of consuming hemp extracts should certainly not be overlooked.
The hemp industry is something that has witnessed rapid rates of growth in recent years and these growth rates can be expected to continue. Hemp extracts are currently available in a wider range of forms and consumption methods than ever before. Though there is still a significant amount about the future of hemp extracts that remains unknown, advocates for the industry certainly have a lot to be excited about.