Cannabis’ popularity is skyrocketing, however, calling cannabis simply cannabis is like calling a motorcycle and a bus simply motor-vehicles. You’d probably agree that the experience of riding a motorcycle is nothing like the experience of riding a bus.
Back to our context, you may be familiar with the categorization of cannabis strains to either ‘sativa’ or ‘indica,’ and are aware that these strains affect the body differently. It is widely believed that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from sativa strains provides an uplifting and cerebral high, while THC from indica strains provides a relaxing, full-body high, suited for unwinding at the end of the day and falling asleep.
However, despite those common beliefs, there is no real scientific evidence to support these notions and there are many other factors that cause a specific strain to produce a certain effect.
It’s also important to note that there are many other benefits to cannabis besides THC. Over 100 cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), are derived from both sativa and indica strains. However, CBD derived from hemp, a strain of cannabis sativa, has no psychoactive properties whatsoever.
The Cannabis Sativa Plant
To begin with, cannabis sativa, or Cannabis sativa L., is an annual flowering plant, meaning it has a lifecycle that lasts only one year. It blooms, produces seeds, and dies in one growing season, unlike perennials.
The sativa plant is indigenous to eastern Asia, but, like many other plant species, can be found almost anywhere nowadays due to widespread cultivation.
Cannabis sativa has been around seemingly forever. Hemp, which comes from cannabis sativa, is the strongest fiber in the world. It has been used for many purposes such as industrial fiber, food, medicine and more.
The species was first classified in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus, who is considered the “father” of modern taxonomy, that is, the system of naming organisms.
Sativa simply means “cultivated” in Latin, referring to the cultivated hemp crops in Europe and western Euroasia that were grown for its fiber and seeds.
Characteristics of Cannabis Sativa
In terms of appearance, it’s tall and thin and grows 5 to 18 feet tall or more. It has long, narrow leaves with fewer branches than other cannabis plants. This is unlike indica plants, which look more like thick, short bushes.
Hemp has been cultivated for years for its fibrous properties to make everything from rope for sailers to clothing to alternatives to plastic. This is why it was once illegal NOT to grow hemp!
It is also a great source of CBD, as the hemp plant contains 0.3% or less of THC, making it not psychoactive at all and 100% legal according to the 2018 Farm Bill. Utilizing CBD from hemp allows you to enjoy all the benefits CBD has to offer, without the feeling of being high.
So, What Is Cannabis Sativa Hemp Oil and How is it Produced?
Undoubtedly, the biggest star of the industry is cannabis oil. In the past, most people used to consume THC-containing cannabis oils to get high. However, in recent years, many have discovered the benefits of hemp oil and extract.
To obtain CBD-rich hemp oil and extract, the naturally occurring compounds in the plant that must be extracted. The method of extraction and processing of CBD hemp oil can have a big impact on the contents, quality, and purity of a given product.
The initial step in the extraction process is to create a crude extract. The general idea of hemp extraction is that a solvent is passed through plant material in order to separate out the active compounds in the bulk plant materials.
The resulting cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds like chlorophyll are then collected as oil and further processed before making their way into an end product.
CBD Hemp Oil or Extract in Topical Pain Relievers and Skincare Products
As you can see, the process of retrieving CBD-rich hemp oil or extract from cannabis sativa is quite complex. But within the past few years, people have discovered the benefits of this product in both ingestible and topical forms.
CBD in topical pain relievers and skincare products provides rich, emollient benefits for the skin. It soothes and moisturizes, is an antioxidant, and contains both omega-6 and omega-3.
So next time you hear people talking about cannabis sativa, know that its benefits include more than just THC. The CBD market is booming right now, and we have cannabis sativa to thank for that.