Don’t you love it when simple questions have equally simple answers? “Does hemp oil get you high?” qualifies as a relatively simple question and so is the answer: No, you can not get stoned from hemp oil.
Hemp, also called agricultural hemp or industrial hemp, is a type of cannabis. It does contain cannabinoids, though nowhere near the necessary amount of THC, the one cannabinoid that has a psychoactive effect. Trace amounts of THC can be found in hemp, but we’re talking 0.2-0.3 percent. Not enough to get anyone high; it won’t work.
Now I don’t know your angle, so this can be good or bad news. Either you’re disappointed, or glad to know it can’t get you high, so we’ll cover both.
Of course, by no means do I mean to exclude anyone who’s just curious! Stick around for a bit while we go over the various kinds of hemp oil, and why the term is used for different products.
Hemp oil does not get you high, ever.
The first important thing to know is that nothing that is made from hemp will get you high. While hemp goes by the scientific name Cannabis Sativa and marijuana is also called Cannabis Sativa, they are different plants in more ways than one.
Hemp, unlike marijuana, does not contain enough THC to cause a psychotropic effect. The fact that hemp is not regulated like marijuana speaks volumes, underlining the absence of any mind-altering effect.
Cannabis Sativa cousins
If you’re acquainted with cannabis a.k.a. marijuana, weed, herb or ganja, you most likely know these plants are either pure versions or mixtures of three varieties: Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Very different levels of THC
The Cannabis Sativa variety consists of a few sub-types.
One of these types is what we call marijuana. It contains a lot of different cannabinoids, though THC is the main focus of many recreational and medical users for the mind-altering experience or some kind of relief.
Another type contains very little (under 0.3%) THC and goes by the English name hemp. It is grown agriculturally on a large scale and due to negligible THC contents, this one isn’t illegal anywhere, though still somewhat regulated.
Hemp is a tremendously useful crop, even though it doesn’t have mind-altering superpowers. Its fibers can be turned into rope, fabric, and even building materials. While extremely low in THC, it contains many other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, and CBN.
Two plants, one Latin name
So whether hemp can get you high or not is a very reasonable question, because here we have two plants that are related, and even carry the same Latin name but don’t have the same properties. In English though, one is cannabis or (more unambiguously) marijuana, the other goes by hemp.
Then this is a done deal. If the high is what you’re after, there is no point in lingering around in the world of hemp. It’s the other Cannabis Sativa you need.
Nonetheless, there are two ways in which hemp oil might be of use to THC aficionados. Emphasis on might, becasue you don’t really need it, but you can use it.
- Hemp seed oil can be used as a base.
- CBD-rich hemp oil can potentially counteract THC-induced paranoia.
1. Hemp oil with THC (man-made)
Hemp oil can be used as a base when creating infused/macerated oil, like any other fat, oil or butter. If the cannabinoids in dried cannabis (marijuana) flower or plant material have been dissolved or suspended in hemp oil, then yes – by all means, it can get you as high as that strain’s THC percentage allows.
Hemp seed oil & heat
While using hemp seed oil as a base to create your own infused oil is certainly possible, it should be mentioned that hemp seed oil doesn’t deal well with being heated up.
Heated hemp seed oil no longer has the nutritional benefits of cold pressed ‘raw’ oil. Then again, THC infused hemp seed oil has other perks, so if that’s what you’re going for, the omega’s and whatnot likely won’t be missed much.
It’s a Cannabis family party
There is no real reason to use hemp seed oil instead of another oil for this purpose, except perhaps that it keeps the whole project within the cannabis family. It’s more of a romantic idea than anything else.
Homemade infused oil
Generally speaking, the high price tag of THC-infused oil is one of the reasons to make your own, with hemp seed oil or another vegetable oil. Someone posted a recipe here, describing how to go about it and mentioning that he or she, quote: “got sick of the expensive and ineffective tinctures many dispensaries sell.”
2. CBD can potentially counteract THC-induced paranoia.
CBD and the full spectrum of cannabinoids (that aren’t THC) are worth knowing more about for both medical and recreational marijuana users. If you’ve ever experienced THC-induced paranoia, you should be aware of CBD as the cannabinoid that balances out (not to say counteracts) THC.
THC vs. CBD
In fact, decades ago, marijuana used to be more balanced, with a more equal THC vs. CBD content. Breeders have been focused on creating strains with ever-increasing levels of THC due to its popularity. CBD is of little interest to those in search of a high but now appears to have had an important purpose, quietly in the background, all along. CBD naturally works against the things an excess in THC can trigger.
Anxiety/paranoia when smoking herb
Maybe you’ve been surprised by a certain specific strain having an unexpected undesirable effect. Or maybe, on occasion, you’ve been a bit too eager and ended up overdoing things with a familiar strain.
Suddenly, the intended mellow high turns out to be more of a freak-out-session. Hey, it happens. And for when it happens, you should always have some CBD on hand, because that may just be the antidote. Instead of hemp-derived CBD, a high-CBD marijuana strain could probably work just as good.
So you’re relieved and reassured to know that there’s not a chance for hemp oil to send you tripping. Perfect! That leaves us with all the other good things hemp and its non-psychoactive cannabinoids to discuss.
What kind of hemp oil do you need?
There are still a number of choices. Hemp oil does not refer to one oil and one only but rather to a selection of different oils. To determine which type of hemp oil will be the most useful to you, let’s go over how hemp oils are made, how strong each type is, how to use it and what you can expect.
Please be sure to always scrutinize labels, descriptions and manufacturers websites before making a purchase. Most suppliers are proud and happy to flaunt their product is free of THC and doesn’t cause a high, so it shouldn’t be very hard to notice.
1. Hemp seed oil
Hemp oil extracted from the seeds of hemp plants is nothing other than a nutty tasting culinary and beauty oil. Ideally it should be cold pressed to leave intact its nutrient content.
Hemp seed oil does not contain any cannabinoids, not even CBD.
Hemp seed oil, contains Linoleic acid (LA) and linolenic acid (LNA) in a ratio of 3:1, which is believed by nutritionists to be the optimal ratio for the human body. It is very healthy and loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
Externally, hemp seed oil can be excellent for the skin as well. It is what we call a carrier oil, which means it can be applied to the skin straight and undiluted, unlike essential oils.
2. Hemp essential oil
Hemp essential oil is steam-distilled from the upper leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Fifty pounds of plant material is needed to make one ounce of hemp essential oil.
Odd enough, hemp essential oil does not contain significant amounts of cannabinoids either. It has anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of the terpenes
3. High-CBD hemp oil
High-CBD hemp oil is something I would never buy without taking a good close look at the ingredients. There are so many different brands and companies that sell hemp oil!
Is it a base oil combined with isolated CBD or other cannabinoids? In that case, the base often isn’t hemp oil but cheaper vegetable oil. This can be coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, etc. Check the ingredient list on the label for the make and origin of the hemp extract and other ingredients.
This one, for example (pictured below), is CBD extract suspended in olive oil. It says “CBD oil” on the front, “hemp derived CBD oil” on the other side of the label, and the ingredients can be found in the description: Hemp Oil (Aerial Plants Parts), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vegetarian Softgel (Vegetable Cellulose, Water), Silica.
Here is another example (pictured below again). Made with hemp extract in grapeseed oil, MCT oil, and sunflower oil, it contains a whopping 1000mg of CBD, extracted from industrial hemp.
So as far most CBD oils go, they contain one or more cannabinoids extracted from hemp plants, suspended in a carrier oil (olive, sunflower, coconut,…) to create an easy to use high-CBD oil.
Some of these oils contain CBD as a single, isolated cannabinoid. Full-spectrum hemp oils harbor more than CBD alone. They contain the entire range of
4. Concentrated hemp oil
Concentrated hemp oil or CBD concentrate is denser than the high-CBD hemp oils that come in dropper bottles. It doesn’t contain any fillers or additives, all extra plant material has been filtered out and it has a thicker, paste-like consistency.
This is the highest concentration of hemp extract on the market. It typically comes in a syringe, because it is more of a gel than runny like most oil. CBD concentrate can be consumed sublingually (under the tongue) or vaporized with a dabbing pen.
Are you familiar with RSO or Rick Simpson oil? Concentrated hemp/CBD oil is the closest equivalent. Not the same thing but something of similar strength and texture.
True RSO is made from marijuana and if you’ve ever looked into Risk Simpson, you may have heard him talk about his preference for Cannabis Indica over Sativa as well as the crucial role of THC.
It goes without saying that concentrated hemp oil is not RSO since it is made from hemp and not marijuana. Just as hemp and marijuana are Cannabis Sativa cousins, CBD concentrate is the CBD-rich (and THC-poor) cousin of RSO.
Full-spectrum hemp oil & concentrate
The last thing to decide on is whether you want an oil that is full-spectrum. (This does not apply to hemp seed oil and hemp essential oil, which don’t contain cannabinoids.)
Whether hemp oil is full-spectrum or not is hard to miss. It is seen as a big plus and eagerly emphasized on the packaging. With no indication in a prominent place, chances are it isn’t.
CBD surrounded by its naturally occurring neighbors (other cannabinoids as well as many essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids, and terpenes) supposedly works better than CBD all by itself. This observation is known as the entourage effect.
Hemp contains more cannabinoids than CBD. Using them all together is thought to enhance the positive effect. All things considered, and by all things I mean experts’ opinions and users’ experience, we can safely assume that favoring full-spectrum hemp oil over the ones with only CBD is a good idea.
Although many users report excellent experiences with CBD alone, the concept of full-spectrum is gaining a lot of traction lately.
What makes for a trustworthy place to shop?
Is the oil from a reputable and trustworthy seller? You can easily venture off into the labyrinth of cheaper, unknown and/or mediocre retailers who offer little information about their product. That may not be the best idea.
Not only because this is something to ingest – as any supplement, it should be pure and of the highest possible quality – but also because spending hard earned cash on sub-par CBD is ultimately an expensive mistake. I love Prime shipping as much as the next person but CBD is one of the very few things that may be best found outside of the jungle that is Amazon.
The CBD oils mentioned above are from Made by Hemp. On each product page, they have a prominent link to the lab results for the oil in question, looking like this.
It is a company I’m comfortable recommending because of their high-quality products, versatile selection, fast and decently priced shipping (free above a certain amount), and money back guarantee.
CBDPure oil is full-spectrum. It’s also organic (from Colorado-grown hemp) and each batch is tested by a third party. The tests include cannabinoid profiling, screening for pesticides, solvents, impurities and potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi.
They have dropper bottles in different strengths and capsules, but no syringes with concentrate. Everything comes with a 100% satisfaction and 90-days money back guarantee.