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HEALTH & FITNESS

Hemp Oil

The 21st Century Panacea?

Hemp oil and CBD products are becoming enormously popular—but what are the health benefits and how do you choose a product?

WHAT’S WHAT?

Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications—Indica and Sativa. Hemp is a member of the 88 DEAR DOCTOR WITH DR CHRIS STEELE

89, 91 CS41 Hemp oil.indd 88

Cannabis Sativa family, while marijuana can be considered a member of either the Indica or Sativa families. Cannabis contains a variety of different compounds called cannabinoids, the most common of which are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Marijuana is abundant in THC, with concentrations between 15 percent and 40 percent, while hemp contains a very low concentration of THC (0.3 percent or less). Recent changes in the law in the UK have legalised the strictly controlled use of THC in restricted medical circumstances such as treatment of some rare forms of epilepsy, but otherwise THC is still a banned substance in the UK.

FAMILIES

Hemp and marijuana share certain familial similarities, but they also have crucial differences. Hemp is primarily used for industrial purposes, such as production of paper, clothing, building materials, biofuel, food products, oils and more. With the fast-growing popularity of CBD across the globe, hemp is also used to produce a wide variety of THC-free CBD products. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is essentially a concentrated solvent extract made from

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H

emp oil and CBD products are incredibly in vogue—it’s as if they are the panacea for all the ailments of the 21st century. But there are so many products on the market and such a range of claims for their benefits that it can be hard to establish the real advantages and select a suitable product. There’s a good deal of myth and misunderstanding surrounding hemp and CBD products, so first, a little demystification: what are the differences between hemp, cannabis, marijuana and CBD products?

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Dear Doctor with Dr Chris Steele: Summer 2019  

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