The difference between Cannabis Oil, CBD Oil and Hemp Oil

Cannabis Oil, CBD Oil & Hemp Oil

Cannabis Oil, CBD Oil and Hemp Oil are naturally produced from the plant Cannabis Sativa. This article will aim to distinguish between the different variations, and highlights differences in their use, abuse and legal standing.

Cannabis is the name given to the common drug of abuse, made from various parts of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contain a high level of a chemical called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).  THC is the chemical responsible for most of cannabis’s psychological effects. It stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine and interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, which is part of the brain responsible for forming new memories. Strains of Cannabis Sativa are specifically bred for their high THC content in resinous glands on their flowers and some leaves.

Cannabis Oil contains a high level of THC and if administered can result in psychoactive effects.   There is a growing movement to legalise THC in the form of oils or capsules for medicinal use (pain relief), however, like cannabis itself, it is currently illegal to possess, or supply cannabis oil in the UK.

CBD (or cannabidiol), like THC, is another chemical component extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant.  Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a ‘high’.  CBD is derived from a specific hemp strain that is high in CBD and low in THC and is extracted from the whole plant (and not just the seed like hemp seed oil).  The use of CBD oil is becoming widespread for its reported health-giving benefits. It is perfectly legal to use (because it contains negligible amounts of THC) and can be purchased from health food shops and on-line.

However, it is also sometimes (mistakenly) referred to as ‘cannabis oil’ which causes confusion.

Hemp is a fast-growing strain of Cannabis Sativa specifically bred for its fibre (for textile use), oils (including CBD oil) and nutritional benefits.  However, hemp is bred to be low in THC.  Hemp seed oil is acquired by pressing the hemp seeds only and contains neither THC nor CBD.  Hemp oil is perfectly legal and you may find it in some health food products or even beauty products.

Effects of Cannabis

Cannabis is the most commonly abused drug in the UK and can produce a range of side-effects including an increased risk of developing a psychotic illness. For an extensive list of the side-effects of regular cannabis use download our free educational resource:

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