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More Americans have begun to include Hemp Oil as part of their daily routines, whether as a nutritional supplement or in cosmetic applications. According to estimates from Hemp Business Journal, the Hemp Oil market is projected to grow from $190 million to $646 million by 2022. In fact, hemp has become so popular that celebrities are now touting its inclusion in consumer products. From CBD lotions to organic hemp juices, the sky’s the limit for the green herb.
Despite this dramatic growth, however, many consumers are still unclear about what Hemp Oil really is. That’s why wisdom from experts like Synchronicity Chief Science Officer Tim Gordon is critical to public awareness. An international expert with more than 25 years of experience working with the hemp plant, Gordon serves as the board president of the Colorado Hemp Association. He’s also an advisor for the National Hemp Association and is a sought-after speaker and expert in all things hemp.
To set the record straight, Gordon laid out the facts and myths around Hemp Oil:
Myth #1: Hemp Is Just a Variation of Marijuana
It’s one of the most common Hemp Oil myths out there: hemp is just medical marijuana. What you smoke in a joint and take in a capsule is either one and the same or at least comes from the same origins.
The Truth: Hemp and Marijuana Are Different Forms of the Cannabis Plant
In reality, hemp and marijuana aren’t the same. Quite the opposite, in fact. They’re two forms of the cannabis plant that are actually very different from each other. That difference is especially apparent in their chemical makeup. The main distinguishing factor centers on a lower proportion of THC and a much higher proportion of CBD in industrial hemp, compared to its marijuana counterpart.
Myth #2: Hemp Can Make You High
This myth is closely related to the first one. Marijuana and cannabis are known for their psychoactive properties. It’s why the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 banned all forms of cannabis as illegal drugs. As a result, many Americans still think hemp (which is a form of cannabis, after all) can make you high.
The Truth: Hemp Contains Only Trace Amounts of THC
The reason the above is a myth: the lower levels of THC present in the hemp plant and Hemp Oil. While marijuana can contain up to 30% THC, hemp only contains less than 0.3%. That’s not nearly enough to activate its psychoactive properties, get anyone high, or even show up on a drug test. In fact, the FDA specifically defines hemp as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC.
Myth #3: Hemp Is Illegal
Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, it used to be. So, it’s easy to assume that hemp, despite any potential benefits you read about, is still illegal. What good is a natural supplement if you risk breaking the law?
The Truth: Hemp Was Officially Legalized in 2018
It may be a recent development, but the statement that “hemp is illegal” is officially a myth. When the U.S. Congress passed the Farm Bill in 2018, it allowed farmers across America to grow hemp legally. In today’s justice system, hemp is no longer considered an illegal substance but as an agricultural crop that can be grown, sold, and transported without restrictions.
Myth #4: Higher Doses of Hemp Oil Are Always Better
It’s easy to leap to conclusions. Hemp is a natural supplement, so taking more shouldn’t be a problem. To people who believe this myth, higher doses of Hemp Oil isn’t damaging because their bodies already have a high tolerance for the natural substance.
The Truth: Serving Sizes Differ By Person
Tempting as this may sound, it’s far from the truth. As with anything, careful usage is best. The ideal serving size for Hemp Oil isn’t defined but differs for everyone. The strength of the product and your own body’s chemical makeup can influence that size. It’s best to start with small doses, record your reactions, and only increase the dosage in small increments.
Myth #5: CBD Is the Only Element That Matters in Hemp
Too many people conflate Hemp Oil with CBD Oil. It’s a tempting conclusion, given that CBD is one of the core chemical compounds present within hemp. Still, the two aren’t identical, making this assumption another common hemp myth worth busting.
The Truth: CBD Is Just a Small Part of Hemp Oil
There are actually a number of significant differences between CBD Oil and Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil. The most significant one: CBD is just one ingredient in the larger plant, while a Full-Spectrum product contains all of the plant’s phytonutrients. That includes compounds like terpenes, which are in large part responsible for the Entourage Effect that makes Hemp Oil so successful.
Myth #6: NO Medical Evidence Exists for the Benefits of Hemp Oil
It’s true that scientific evidence for the benefits of Hemp Oil lags behind that of more established drugs. It’s a myth, though, to say that no medical evidence exists to substantiate its benefits.
The Truth: Medical Evidence IS Growing
In reality, scientific research on the benefits of both CBD and hemp is accelerating. The FDA, in particular, has begun to fund new research on the topic, and existing evidence is starting to build, as well. Studies have shown potential benefits for nervous system, sleep, and balanced mood support.
Myth #7: All Hemp Oil Is Created Equal
It all comes from the same plant, which generally consists of the same chemical compounds. So, all Hemp Oil should be the same or at least similar, right?
The Truth: Quality Varies Dramatically by Manufacturer
Wrong. Let’s continue the myth-busting. Hemp Oil quality can vary drastically. Even something as simple as the growing method can impact the quality and benefits hemp affords. The extraction process, particularly when it comes to Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil, is another major variable. As a result, you get vastly different hemp products on the market that don’t all provide the same benefits.
Myth #8: Hemp Oil Is Easy to Produce
Let’s call this one a cousin to the above myth. Hemp has long been lauded as an easy crop to grow, thriving in most environments and needing few natural resources. It stands to reason, then, that the same is true for Hemp Oil.
The Truth: Producing Quality Hemp Oil Is a Complex Process
This may be a common myth, but it’s still a misconception. Take our patented hemp plant, as an example. It’s the result of a decades-long research and development project, designed to ensure that the most important and beneficial compounds within the plant are maximized. The extraction process for the oil is just as complex, refuting the claim that Hemp Oil is easy to produce.
Myth #9: Hemp Oil Is a Recent Fad
Sure, it was just legalized recently. And yes, CBD has been sweeping the nation (and local pharmacies) in large part as a result of that legalization process starting in 2014. However, it’s still a myth to assume that the rise of hemp and Hemp Oil is a recent development.
The Truth: Hemp Has Been Around for Thousands of Years
The first mention of the medicinal benefits of hemp date back to 2,800 B.C., when a Chinese emperor used it to treat rheumatism and his poor memory. Mentions of hemp’s benefits can be found throughout history. If anything, the demonization of Hemp Oil in the 20th century is a more recent (and temporary) development.
Myth #10: Most People Have a Deep Prejudice Against Hemp
Given all of the above, especially the recent legal struggles, it’s easy to assume that public opinion is stacked against hemp. After all, if so many people think it synonymous with marijuana, they surely have a negative opinion of it, right?
The Truth: Public Acceptance of Hemp Is Growing
Not quite. In fact, we’ve already seen the majority of Americans swing positively towards hemp and Hemp Oil treatments. In one survey, 61% of respondents said that all forms of cannabis should be legal. According to another, 46% of respondents are more open to legalization than they were a year ago. This increasing recognition is a positive sign for the future growth of hemp and Hemp Oil.
Myth #11: Most Doctors Warn Against Hemp as a Treatment
Of course, public opinion matters little if medical professionals disagree. Surely, doctors and health care providers recommend against natural supplements like Hemp Oil?
The Truth: A Majority of Medical Care Providers Support Hemp
Wrong. Surprisingly, according to one survey, 60% of healthcare providers support cannabis as a legitimate medical therapy. Of course, there’s still a long way to go to achieve consensus on the topic. However, it shows the growing acceptance of hemp and cannabis among the public and within the medical profession, as well.
Myth #12: You Can Easily Make Your Own Hemp Oil
Search for it online, and you can easily find DIY instructions for making your own Hemp Oil. Surely, it’s as simple as infusing coconut oil into the hemp plant?
The Truth: The Making of Quality Hemp Oil Is Best Left to the Experts
The truth, as always, is more complex than that. It’s true that you can make your own Hemp Oil. However, the quality of the product you get may not live up to your expectations. Too often, making DIY Hemp Oil becomes an adventure with uncertain outcomes. That’s why in general, and especially if you’re looking for its potential medicinal benefits, the production of Hemp Oil is best left to the experts.
Myth #13: You Cannot Take Hemp Oil While Taking Other Medications
This is one of the most common Hemp Oil myths out there. People assume that Hemp Oil and many natural supplements will interact poorly with doctor-prescribed medications. They tend to be taken as either/or equations: if you take one, you can’t take the other without potentially harming your health.
The Truth: You May Be Able to Take Hemp Oil With Other Medications
It’s true that Hemp Oil can interact with other medications. It may render some ineffective and cause others to become more potent than you’d prefer. Research is still in its early stages, and effects have been limited so far. Still, the best thing to do if you take other medications is to talk to your medical provider and start with small serving sizes to avoid unnecessary risks.
Myth #14: There’s No Way to Know Whether I’m Buying Quality Hemp Oil
We already touched on the drastically differing qualities of Hemp Oil above. But, it’s also true that this product has only recently been legalized. So, it’s only natural to assume that it’s difficult, if not impossible, for the average consumer to determine whether they are buying a high-quality product.
The Truth: You Can Make Sure You’re Buying Quality Products With a Few Simple Steps
Yes, you’ll need to do some research. But there are in fact a number of steps you can take to ensure that you’re buying a quality Hemp Oil product. Most importantly, you can look at the Hemp Oil COA (certificate of analysis), which credible brands will be happy to provide. It’s based on independent, third-party analysis and touches on potency and the presence of pesticides, mold, harmful bacteria, or toxic chemicals.
Myth #15: Hemp Oil Is Always Beneficial to Take
Let’s end with one of the biggest myths in circulation. After reading all of the above, you may assume that there are no downsides to Hemp Oil. It’s always beneficial to take, can lessen the impact of a number of conditions, and provides little to no harmful side effects.
The Truth: The Benefits of Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Differ for Everyone
We’d love for the above to be true, but hemp isn’t a wonder drug. First, even quality Hemp Oil has potential side-effects that, while rare and minimal in intensity, are important to keep in mind. It’s also true that, at high doses, Hemp Oil tends to produce negative side effects in children. However, those side effects disappeared when serving sizes were halved. Still, studies show great promise for hemp in pediatric nervous system support.
That said, your body’s reaction to Hemp Oil may differ from that of others. So, starting with a small serving size is important. It also helps to write down exactly why you’re taking it, and document the differences in how you feel day-by-day. If you’re new to the product, this process facilitates an understanding of your body’s reactions and allows you to adjust your serving size accordingly.
And, that’s a wrap regarding the Hemp Oil myths out there. To be sure, Hemp Oil has endured its fair share of misconceptions, and we’re proud to do our part in dispelling them. If you’re curious about hemp and how it can help you, contact us. Let’s start a conversation: Share with us your favorite Hemp Oil myths, and we’ll debunk them with science.