Hemp & CBD

Hemp Extract Benefits, Side Effects, Types & How To Take It

As cannabis becomes more extensively studied and widely available, we’re starting to realize the true therapeutic power of these plants and their healing derivatives.

However, they can still generate a lot of confusion. So, today in this article, we will be clearing up the murkiness around cannabis products, the different types, their benefits and side effects, and how to take it.

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Cannabis Varieties: An Intro To Hemp And How It Differs From Marijuana

The Cannabis sativa plant has so many varieties, all of which contain varying amounts of cannabidiol (or CBD, the non-psychoactive compound), Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, the psychoactive component) and other cannabinoids.

The varieties of cannabis with over 0.3% THC are more commonly known as Marijuana. Meanwhile, hemp is a variety of Cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. Thus, ensuring that you won’t get high and have an episode of extreme euphoria.


For so many years, scientists were only concerned with studying the psychoactive component THC concentrated on marijuana. In the past decades, however, they have become interested in the therapeutic benefits of the other major compound in both varieties, CBD.

Take note, however, that although CBD and THC are the most study-focused components of the cannabis plant, there are other chemical compounds found within the plant including CBC (cannabichromene), CBG (cannabigerol), THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), cannabinol (CBN) as well as flavonoids and terpenes.

And while past studies claimed that using CBD alone offer greater benefits, recent studies discovered that a whole-plant hemp extract with all other compounds is much more beneficial due to the phenomenon known as the Entourage Effect. In this process, all other compounds of the extract support and amplify the healing attributes of one another, for faster and more effective results.

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Hemp Oil and Its Types

With the popularity of the hemp plant, you will it in various types and names which can be quite confusing for the first-timers. We’ll clear this one, too!

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1) Hemp Oil Extract

Hemp oils are extracted from the seed and/or stalk of the hemp plant, mainly for its beneficial compounds. Unlike CBD isolates, hemp oil extract is a whole-plant extract. Thus, it contains a blend of various phytocannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, all of which working together to impart the entourage effect.

2) Hemp Seed Oil

As its name implies, this type of oil has been extracted only from the seed of the hemp plant. Unlike a full-plant hemp oil extract, hemp seed oil has little to no CBD and is instead extracted for the healthy fatty acid profile.

This is generally used for culinary purposes as well as promoting healthy nails, skin, and hair.

3) CBD Oil

This is an isolated extraction of the phytocannabinoid called cannabidiol. This means that it contains potent CBD and will not provide an entourage effect. In states where cannabis is legal, the CBD oil can be made from hemp or marijuana. However, in some states where cannabis is illegal, CBD oil should be extracted from the hemp plant.

4) Extraction Methods

The extraction process involves using a solvent to extract the oil from the hemp plant. There are various solvents used, all of which have their own pros and cons.

  • CO2 Extraction

In this method, the hemp is subjected to low-temperature and high-pressure CO2 gas. This helps in isolating and preserving the cannabinoids in the oil. The only disadvantage of this extraction is the slow process and high production cost. Thus, you can expect that these products have a higher price tag.

  • Olive Oil Extraction

Olive oil, on its own, is cost-effective, safe, and even comes with its very own health benefits—from enhancing immunity to supporting inflammatory pathways. In this extraction process, the hemp plant is heated with olive oil in order to extract the cannabinoids.

  • Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol is non-toxic and safe in small amounts. The only problem is that ethanol can destroy the plant waxes, which may have added health benefits.

  • Hexane or Butane Extraction

These solvents are great at extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant, however, some residues may remain after the process which can cause potential harm to your lungs.

7 Hemp Oil Extract Benefits and Uses

 Hemp and CBD oil extracts are gaining momentum in the wellness and health world, with several scientific studies and current research confirming its varying health benefits.

Here are 7 hemp oil extract benefits that are backed by scientific research and evidence.

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1) Pain Relief

As far as 2,900 BC, cannabis has been used to treating pain. In recent years, researchers found out that certain components of the cannabis plant, mainly CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving attributes.


The human body has a specialized system known as the ECS, short for endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for the regulation of a variety of functions including appetite, functioning of the immune system, sleep, and pain response.

The body naturally produces endocannabinoids— neurotransmitters binding to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. Research has shown that CBD in hemp oil can help in the reduction of chronic pain by impacting this endocannabinoid receptor activity, interacting with the neurotransmitters, and easing inflammation.

In one rat study, CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision. Another rat study showed that oral CBD can significantly reduce sciatic nerve inflammation and pain.

Meanwhile, several human studies of hemp extract benefits found that a combination of THC and CBD is effective in treating the pain associated with arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

As a matter of fact, an oral spray named Sativex containing both CBD and THC is already approved in several countries to treat pain associated with multiple sclerosis. A study of 47 individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis examined the effects of taking the said drug for a month. The participants experienced improvements in pain, muscle spasms, and walking. Read Here: CBD Cream for Pain – Everything You Wanted to Know About & Where to Buy It.

Another study found that the same drug has significantly improved pain at rest, during movement and sleep quality in 58 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.

2) Neuroprotective Properties

Scientists believe that the CBD in hemp oil can act on the ECS and other brain signaling systems to provide benefits for those with neurological disorders.

As a matter of fact, one of the most studied applications of CBD is in treating neurological disorders such as epilepsy. Through research in this area is still new, several studies have already shown promising results.

A study subjected 214 individuals suffering from severe epilepsy with 0.9g – 2.3g of CBD oil per pound of body weight  (2 – 5 g/kg). Their seizures were reduced by a 36.5% median.


Another study revealed that CBD in hemp oil can significantly reduce seizure activity in children suffering from Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder.


Another studied hemp extract benefit is its potential effectiveness in treating other neurological diseases. For instance, a few studies have shown that CBD treatment improved sleep quality and quality of life for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.


In addition, test-tube and animal studies have shown that CBD can decrease inflammation and aid in the prevention of neurodegeneration connected with Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, in one long-term study, scientists gave CBD to mice that are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease. The study found out that CBD helped in preventing cognitive decline.

3) Depression and Anxiety Relief

Depression and anxiety are common mental health disorder which can have devastating impacts on your well-being and health. According to WHO, depression is the single largest contributor to disability in worldwide with anxiety ranking 6th. Read Here: Healthy Benefits Of CBD Oil

Depression and anxiety are typically treated with pharmaceutical medicines, which can cause various effects including agitation, drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and headache. What’s more, medications such as benzodiazepines can be addictive and result in substance abuse.

Hemp oils, on the other hand, has shown promise as a treatment for both anxiety and depression. In a Brazilian study, 57 men were given either a placebo or oral CBD 90 minutes before they were subjected to a simulated public speaking test. Scientists found that a 300mg dose of hemp oil was the most effective at reducing anxiety during the test.

Meanwhile, the placebo group, the 150mg dose of CBD group, and the 600mg dose of CBD group have little to no effect on anxiety. In addition, another study has shown that hemp extract benefits children suffering from PTSD, treating their anxiety and insomnia.

In several animal studies, CBD has also shown anti-depressant-like effects. These qualities are connected to the CBD’s ability to stimulate the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter regulating social behavior and mood.

Hemp Extract Benefits

4) Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms

CBD can help in the easing symptoms associated with cancers as well as the side effects associated with cancer treatments like pain, vomiting, and nausea.

A research studies the effects of THC and CBD components of hemp oil in 177 individuals suffering from cancer-associated pain, who didn’t experience relief from prescribed pain medications.

Those treated with the hemp extract containing both compounds experienced a dramatic reduction in pain, compared to those who only received the THC extract. CBD can also help in easing chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea.

A study of 16 individuals undergoing chemotherapy found that a one-to-one combination of THC and CBD administered through a mouth spray has helped reduced chemotherapy-associated vomiting and nausea better than the standard treatment alone.

Some animal and test-tube studies have even revealed that CBD may have anti-cancer properties. For instance, a test-tube study revealed that concentrated CBD helped induced cell death in human breast cancer cells.

Another study has found that CBD also inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells in mice. Take note, however, that more studies in humans are required before a final conclusion can be made.

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5) Heart Health

Recent studies have linked hemp extract and CBD with several benefits for the circulatory system and heart, including the ability to lower your high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is connected to higher risks of a number of health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. Research shows that CBD and hemp extracts benefit people with high blood pressure.

A study treated 9 healthy men with a single dose of 600mg of CBD oil, which resulted in the reduction of resting blood pressure, compared to the placebo. That same study also subjected the men to stress tests which increase blood pressure. The single dose of CBD caused the men to experience a smaller increase in blood pressure than normal in response to such tests. Read Here: CBD And Blood Pressure: How CBD Can Lower Your Blood Pressure Levels

Scientists think that the anxiety- and stress-reducing properties of CBD helped in the lowering of blood pressure. In addition, some animal studies have demonstrated that hemp extracts can reduce cell death and inflammation related to heart disease, thanks to its powerful stress-reducing and antioxidant properties.

For instance, a study revealed that CBD treatment prevented heart damage and reduced the oxidative stress in diabetic mice suffering from heart disease.

6) Acne Reduction

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting over 9% of the world’s population. This skin condition is caused by several factors including bacteria, genetics, and underlying inflammation and overproduction of sebum. Based on new scientific research, hemp extract benefits those suffering from acne, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and the capability to reduce the production of sebum. Read Here: Could Hemp Oil for Acne Be the Secret to Clear Skin?

A test-tube study revealed that hemp extract stopped the sebaceous gland cells from over secreting sebum, provided anti-inflammatory actions, and stopped the activation of pro-acne agents such as the inflammatory cytokines. Another research had similar results, concluding that CBD can be a safe and efficient way to treat acne, mainly because of its anti-inflammatory effects.

7) Other Potential Benefits

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Hemp extracts have been studied for their role in treating a number of health issues other than the ones mentioned above. Although more studies are needed, CBD oil is thought to offer the following benefits:


Hemp-derived CBD has been shown to change the circuits in the brain associated with drug addiction. In a rat study, CBD has been shown to ease morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.


Research shows that CBD can help people with schizophrenia and several mental disorders by easing psychotic symptoms.


Treatment with CBD in diabetic mice reduces the incidence of diabetes by up to 56% and reducing inflammation.


In animal and test-tube studies, CBD oil has shown anti-tumor effects. In animals, it prevented the spread of prostate, breast, lung, colon, and brain cancer.

Hemp Extract Side Effects

Although there are various hemp extract benefits and CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, it can still cause an adverse reaction in some individuals.

Side effects noted in the studies include:

  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and irritability

In addition, CBD is also known to interact with various medications. So, before you even start using CBD oil, make sure to discuss it with your doctor to guarantee safety and preventing harmful interactions.

This is particularly important if you are taking supplements or medications that come with the “grapefruit warning”. Both CBD and grapefruit interfered with the cytochromes P450, an enzyme group that regulates drug metabolism.

Furthermore, a mice study showed that CBD-rich hemp extract can cause liver toxicity. Take note, however, that some mice in the said study were force-fed with extremely large doses of the hemp extract.

How To Take Hemp Extracts?

Hemp extracts may come as powder or oil. These are then mixed into gels, creams and other topicals to be administered directly on the skin. They can also be put into capsules and orally taken or even rubbed on the skin.

Some hemp extracts come in sprays that are sprayed as a liquid into the mouth. Others come as tinctures which you need to drop under your tongue. You can even find hemp edibles such as gummies, cookies, and biscuits that contain hemp extracts.

How hemp extracts should be used depends largely on what it is being used for. Consider talking to your doctor before using hemp extracts since most hemp products are not approved by the FDA for any medical uses and may cause side effects.

Finding The Right Dosage

Once you get your hands on quality hemp extracts, the next thing you need to think of is the right dosage. You can ask your doctor for the ideal dosage, however, since CBD is still not recommended for medicinal use, finding the right dosage can be tricky. Regardless, here is a guideline to finding the ideal dosing:

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Ideal Dosage According To Studies

Since FDA has only approved CBD for treating specific forms of epilepsy, doctors and medical practitioners know little about the right dosage. However, in clinical studies, scientists used various oral CBD dosages ranging from 100 – 800mg daily.

There are some studies that used higher dosages. In a review, a person reported improvement in psychosis after taking a 1,200mg of CBD oil daily for a few weeks. Another study in people suffering from schizophrenia reported positive benefits after taking an increased dosage of 40 – 1,280mg of CBD daily for 4 weeks.


Meanwhile, a study in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease and psychosis, the 6 participants showed dramatic improvements in symptoms with a 150mg CBD daily.

Here is a simplified list of the ideal dosage and administration of CBD that researchers used to study its therapeutic effects on various medical conditions.

Medical ConditionFormCBD Dosage
AnxietyOral300mg – 600mg
Type 2 DiabetesOral100mg 2x daily
Bowel DiseaseSublingual5mg 2x daily
Parkinson’s diseaseOral75mg – 300mg daily
Pain due to cancerOral50mg – 600mg daily
Huntington’s diseaseNasal sprayUp to 12 sprays daily

Factors Influencing Dosage

Several factors can influence the ideal CBD dosage. Depending on the condition you are trying to treat, they will need varying dosages. Some individuals will need smaller dosages for anxiety while some require high dosages to control epileptic seizures.

Weight is another factor that you should consider. In most clinical trials, doctors calculated a dose per kilo of body weight. Thus, people weighing less can take lower dosages than people weighing more.

Alcohol and other CNS depressants can increase the sedation effects of CBD. Thus, people using other medications that cause drowsiness should lower CBD dosage or avoiding it altogether. You also need to consider the dosage in each hemp extract form. A capsule of hemp extracts has a particular dosage, however, the dosage from oral solutions depends on the volume.

The Safe Dosage

Although research in human and CBD remain limited, research suggests that CBD has low toxicity. In a monkey study, CBD has no bodily function or behavioral effect unless the animals are subjected to dosages higher than the 150mg/kg intravenously or 30mg/kg orally daily for 90 days.


Meanwhile, in a human physical dependence study, scientists gave individuals 1,500mg of CBD daily for 4 weeks. The participants didn’t go through withdrawal after the 28-day trial. In another study, doses up to 1,500mg of CBDdaily were well-tolerated. 

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Final Thoughts

In spite of safety concerns and lack of enough data, it is undeniable how a lot of people are choosing CBD and hemp extract products over the pharmaceutically-approved ones for the treatment of various diseases— both mental and physical.

This is mainly because of the fewer side effects experienced and the next to no chance of overdosing. Plus, the promising results of various studies of CBD treatment and applications already made CBD and hemp oil quite famous and even dubbed as the “miracle medicine”.

Research on the potential hemp extract benefits on health and overall well-being is still ongoing, so new therapeutic uses for this natural compound are sure to be discovered, ultimately saving humankind against numerous chronic diseases and health issues.

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