Can Hemp Oil Get You High?

Can Hemp Oil Get You High

Can Hemp Oil Get You High?


Hemp oil, Hemp seed oil, and CBD oil are words that are popping up all over the internet these days.  There are attention-grabbing headlines about the amazing benefits that each of these products offers.  If you are like most people, you’ve grown up being told that marijuana or cannabis and hemp and all the products that can be made from them are one and the same. But is that true?  Can hemp oil get you high and will hemp seed oil get you high too?


Simple answer – not unless you want it to.


There is so much information available in these times of changing laws and evolving regulations.  For consumers, the information is readily available, and the scientific community is doing their part to help us have a deeper understanding of just what these oils are, how they work and what their potential benefits are.  In this article, I want to take some time to explain some of this research and dispel some of the persistent myths that cling to hemp products.


Hemp (Or its Different Oils) Cannot Get You High

To understand why Hemp oil cannot get you high, you should understand a little plant biology first.


Hemp and Marijuana both belong to the Cannabis genus of plants, which is further divided into C. sativa and C. indica families.  There are “hemp-type” cannabis plants and there are “drug-type” marijuana cannabis plants.  Hemp-type plants all belong to the C. sativa family, while marijuana type cannabis plants can fall into either the C. indica or C. sativa families.


Genetic research into the genome of these plants has concluded that the hemp-type and marijuana-type of cannabis are very distinct.  Hemp-type cannabis plants are genetically incapable of producing significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol acid, better known as THC. THC is the compound that causes the “high” typically associated with marijuana use. Marijuana-type cannabis plants, on the other hand, have concentrations of THC that can vary from very low (2 – 5%) to quite high (+20%).  Despite the obvious genetic differences, legally, for a plant to be classified as hemp, hemp-type cannabis plants contain less than 0.3% THC.


For hundreds, if not thousands of years, the hemp type cannabis sativa plant has been grown and processed for its use as fiber and food.  Smoking, ingesting, or otherwise using hemp flowers, due to its incredibly low concentration of THC, will not get you high.


What hemp does produce in abundance is cannabidiol, better known as CBD, one of many compounds produced by the cannabis plant.  CBD oils are primarily produced for their medicinal and therapeutic effects. CBD oil pressed from a hemp-type cannabis plant, will not get you high. 


Cooking with hemp – Can hemp seed oil get you high?

Leaving biology, chemistry, and compounds aside for a minute, the hemp plant produces an abundance of hemp seeds.  Much like soy is pressed to make soy oil, or sunflower is pressed to make sunflower oil, hemp seeds are pressed to make hemp seed oil.  Hemp seed oil, a product of the seeds of the hemp plant, will not get you high either.  Hemp seed oil is rich in healthy fatty acids and protein and is generally considered a healthy alternative cooking oil.


The terms ‘hemp oil’ and ‘hemp seed oil’ are used interchangeably.  This is unfortunate because ‘hemp oil’ and ‘CBD oil’ are also used interchangeably.  This can be confusing for a consumer who is just starting to investigate the benefits of hemp products.  As a consumer, you must educate yourself by learning to read labels, and understanding what product you are purchasing.


Hemp Oil from Hemp Plants vs. Hemp Oil from Marijuana Plants

Strictly speaking, ‘hemp oil’ can be extracted from both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant – the term is used interchangeably with CBD oil. Hemp oil pressed from a THC containing marijuana variety should be clearly labeled as containing THC. If you don’t see anything on the label, make sure you ask before you purchase.


Hemp oil derived from the hemp plant contains higher CBD levels and should contain nearly no THC (less than 0.3%).  Hemp oil from the marijuana plant will most likely contain a dose of THC along with the CBD compounds. 


Do you Want to Get High from Hemp Oil?

If you have the option to consume a product with all the medicinal qualities of cannabis that can be found in CBD hemp oil and not get high, why in the world would someone choose to consume a product that can get you high?


So can hemp oil get you high? This is a deeply personal question and each individual consumer must analyze their situation and personal needs to decide what kind of product is best for them.  THC is also recognized to have medicinal qualities and effects that differ dramatically from CBD. Acute pain relief, better sleep, increased appetite, or just plain recreational fun are all legitimate reasons that you might want to try a THC-containing product.


Knowing that you have options to enjoy the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant with or without getting high is an important first step in discovering the curative properties of cannabis products such as hemp oil, hemp seed oil and different CBD containing products.


Shopping for Hemp and CBD Oil

If you are concerned about getting high from consuming hemp oil or CBD oil, the most important thing to consider is which of the cannabis plants your hemp oil is processed from (hemp-type or marijuana type). It is also very important that you read the label of the product you are considering purchasing in order to make the best decision. 


When reading the packaging on a product, be sure to look for the THC and CBD content.  In Canada, as an example, packaging laws require that all products containing THC be clearly marked with a red and white cannabis leaf symbol. If you are outside of Canada, responsible manufacturers of hemp-based products should include this information. 


If you are ok with THC in your hemp oil, be sure to look for the percentages of THC and CBD to know what kind of dose you are getting.  When purchasing oil products, these concentrations represent milligrams per milliliter measure (and may also be reflected in percentages).


All packages should also clearly state whether the product was produced from C. sativa or C. indica plants.  This is especially important if you are purchasing a product with THC content because it will give you an idea of what kind of mind/body effect the THC compounds will have on your body.  Sativa variety products are generally considered to be more “heady” with effects like heightened creativity and focus. They are generally considered to be more energizing. Indica variety products are generally used to relax the body, release tension, reduce pain and create a sense of deep relaxation leading to reduced insomnia and deeper sleep.


Be an Informed Consumer

There are so many different types of hemp-based and THC infused products available on the market, it might seem overwhelming to decide which is the best for you. 


If you are looking for a no frills CBD oil with no THC, try a dropper bottle of hemp oil.  It looks like a tincture bottle and comes with an easy-to-dispense dropper for easy dosing.  Usually, these oils come flavored to mask any unpleasant flavor associated with hemp oil.


Another good option might be CBD oil-infused gummies or other consumables.  ‘Edibles,’ as they are often called, are a popular way to enjoy the benefits of CBD oil by providing you with a pre-portioned dose per serving.  Be sure to read the label carefully because THC infused edibles are also very popular. 


There also exist CBD infused salves, balms and other beauty products.  These are great for topically applying directly to areas of the body that may be inflamed.


And of course, hemp seed oil and hemp seeds for culinary use are widely available at health food stores and specialty shops.


Hemp Oil and Drug Testing

On a final note, you may be wondering if consuming hemp oil and CBD infused products could cause a positive drug test result.  Lots of employers and doctors require screening for a variety of reasons, and for many people, a positive drug test could have damaging consequences.


Generally speaking, pure CBD oil and hemp oil products will not cause a false positive on a drug screening. However, there are caveats.  Remember that hemp has less than 0.3% THC, but even that small amount can add up and accumulate in your system if you are regularly consuming high doses of CBD.  It’s also a good idea to make sure that you choose carefully the CBD product that you will be consuming, looking for one with a reputation for purity and excellence in quality control.


Cannabinol (CBN), another compound found in cannabis, has also been found to potentially cause a false positive on a drug screening.  This compound is a derivative of THC and could potentially be present in your hemp oil product because of the trace amounts of THC found in them. CBN can also be found together with CBD in products that are designed as sleep aids. 


It is also worth noting that studies have been done on hemp seed oil and hemp seeds regarding their THC content.  Because of the variable nature of seeds, higher-than-legal concentrations of THC have shown up in hemp seed oil and other hemp seed products that are commercially available. There are several suspected reasons why this would happen, including contamination in harvesting.  Daily consumption of hemp seed products may increase your risk of having a false positive on a drug screening.


The best course of action if you face an upcoming drug screening is to openly report your usage of CBD oil or hemp oil products, including shampoos and other beauty supplies. 


To Sum it All Up

So, can hemp oil get you high? If you are curious about trying hemp products such as hemp seed oil, hemp oil, and other CBD infused products, but are worried about accidentally getting high or failing a drug test, then you can rest assured and consume confidently.  Hemp seed oil and hemp oil CBD products from hemp-variety cannabis will not get you high. As an informed consumer you have the tools to do your research, know how to read and understand your labels and can consume responsibly. Remember to stick with reputable manufacturers and resellers.  If you have any questions or concerns about a particular product, ask a sales representative or the manufacturer directly to clarify before you make a purchase.

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