A Flower By Any Other Name: Cannabis Plant Varieties and Why We Use Hemp

Reading time – 16 minutes

Would you like to learn more about the variety of cannabis plants? What about the benefits of using hemp oil? If so, then you’re in the right place! Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, has been around for thousands of years as a medicinal product. In fact, you can actually trace its use back 5,000 years! Hemp oil comes with so many possible benefits, backed up by a multitude of scientific research and studies.

With the potential to help when it comes to a range of physical and mental health conditions, CBD could undoubtedly become a viable part of your everyday wellness routine. It’s a hectic world we live in nowadays, and it’s more important than ever that we take time out of our day to care for ourselves. Keep reading to discover the benefits of hemp oil, and how to fit it into your daily wellness routine. 

Cannabis Plant Varieties

Often, people assume that there are only two main varieties of the cannabis plant, as these tend to get all the attention due to their high THC content (THC is the compound in cannabis responsible for the ‘high’ effect of ingesting the plant). However, there is actually a third! They are easy to distinguish between, thanks to their different qualities and appearances. Hemp and CBD products can be derived from different varieties of the cannabis plant, so it’s important not to confuse them. Keep reading as we will go into more detail about the differences later.

Cannabis Sativa

First up, there’s the Cannabis Sativa plant. This is the most universally recognisable plant, particularly when it comes to the benefits CBD is most known for. One of the main attractions of CBD is that consuming it in its various forms will not result in a ‘high.’ This is due to the fact that CBD is not an intoxicating substance, unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC. CBD oil is made through direct extraction from the cannabis plant, and then diluting it through a carrier oil, such as hemp seed. In terms of the look of the plant, it tends to have longer, thinner leaves than Ruderalis and Indica plants. You can now grow hemp in the majority of climates; however, it originated in East Asia. Keep reading, as we will cover the numerous benefits of hemp seed oil later in the article. 

Cannabis Indica

The Cannabis Indica plant has many uses similar to the Cannabis Sativa plant. In terms of looks, it’s on the smaller side. Its benefits can also pertain to the industrial, as well as health-supplementary. This means that it can aid in the manufacture of clothes, paper and other useful everyday items. In terms of its origins, it was first catalogued by French Naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1785. Similar to the Sativa plant, Indica can now grow in many countries and climates. However, it was first cultivated in India - hence its name!

Cannabis Ruderalis

This cannabis plant is a highly debated topic amongst experts, and it remains one of the least researched varieties. Some scientists believe that it is derived from the Indica plant, as it is capable of growing in harsh climates. Ruderalis is the smallest of the cannabis plant varieties, as its height does not typically surpass 1.5 metres. It can possess both health-restorative and industrial uses when combined with Sativa and Indica plants.  

What is the difference between hemp-derived CBD oil and hemp seed oil?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by consumers, and it’s vital to understand the difference to get the most out of your experience. Hemp seed oil is often conflated with CBD oil; however, they are different products, and it is important not to confuse them. Hemp seed oil can be derived from the seeds of the cannabis Sativa plant, however these seeds contain no CBD. Instead, they come with many health benefits; much like hemp-derived CBD oil (hemp oil), however hemp oil also contains cannabinoids and can therefore reflect their added potential benefits. This is not to say hemp seed oil cannot be useful; in terms of ingredients, hemp seed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid, both vitamin D and B, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other nutrient-rich ingredients. One of the primary reasons for its popularity is that there is no ‘high’ involved when it comes to consuming hemp seed oil, and the same can be said for CBD.

The main difference between the two lies in their production and ingredients. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant, and it utilizes the leaves, flowers and stalks of the plant. This results in it consisting of higher strength THC (still extremely low), but like hemp seed oil, hemp-derived CBD oil will also not produce a high. This is typically found in full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains many original compounds from the plant such as THC and terpenes; however, CBD oil can also be made using only CBD, known as CBD isolate. There is also a CBD oil known as broad-spectrum, which is made up of many compounds but contains no THC.

Gaining an understanding of the differences between CBD oil and hemp oil is essential, as it allows you to better select products for your specific needs.

Hemp oil: the research

There are numerous studies out there into the benefits of hemp oil, and things look promising. Research has ranged from animal experiments to human studies. The evidence suggests that hemp oil may reduce inflammation, promote heart health, provide relief for skin conditions such as acne, and much more. Let’s take a closer look at a few critical studies on the matter, as well as compare some key hemp seed oil research.

A study published in 2013  found that hemp seed oil can possess anti-inflammatory effects. This could potentially help people suffering from a range of illnesses, injuries, and allergies (including cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune disease). Participating in this study were a group of people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). They were given hemp seed and primrose oil in the evenings. The study found that their symptoms significantly improved. Similarly, CBD oil (such as that derived from hemp) can also have a positive anti-inflammatory  effect on the body. This could help in treating a range of conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, in addition to MS. Furthermore, it could also aid in treating sore muscles as result of exercise, thereby promoting recovery.

Hemp-derived CBD oil is a popular natural pain reliever, especially for people suffering from pain due to inflammation. There are a variety of treatments out there to help control inflammation, but they can cause a range of side effects for the patient. This is where hemp oil might be able to save the day! A 2018 review  states that CBD, one the key compounds found in full-spectrum hemp oil, shows great potential in the treatment of pain. It also supports the use of hemp-derived CBD oil as a treatment for chronic pain in adults. Furthermore, an animal study published in 2020 supports this. Researchers studied the pain responses of mice and found that full-spectrum hemp oil significantly improved pain levels. There has also been research into the benefits of using hemp seed oil to relieve pain. However, the combination of the natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects of hemp oil make it hard to beat, even by hemp seed oil.

In addition to the above wellness benefits, there is also a growing body of research into the benefits of hemp oil for hair growth. For people wanting to grow their hair in a healthy way, without the interference of harsh chemicals or hair extensions, hemp oil can be a great option. Hair growth can be a source of stress for many people, often due to low self-worth and self-esteem. Studies  demonstrate that hemp oil could stimulate hair growth due to the way it increases cerebral blood flow. This can increase flood flow to the scalp and encourage hair growth by delivering nutrients to the follicles of your hair. Hemp oil alone won’t help your hair grow, but combining this with other factors, such as a healthy balanced diet, can contribute to growth. A lack of protein is a common cause of slow hair growth, as hair is made up of 90% keratin. There are also studies into how hemp seed oil can promote hair growth as it can act as a protective barrier for your hair, due to the fatty acids, proteins, and GLA. However, the many other balancing benefits of hemp oil can also contribute to hair growth. Such as better sleep, reduced stress levels, pain reduction and so much more, making it a viable treatment option.

One 2018 review  investigated the benefits of both hemp oil and CBD on brain function. It found that hemp oil can work as a type of protective barrier for the nervous system and brain. In terms of mental health, many studies have demonstrated the possible positive effects of hemp oil for those living with anxiety and depression. The ingredients found in hemp oil are already widely being studied for their perceived helpful properties when it comes to preventing age-related decline in older adults. Studies have certainly made correlations between hemp oil’s ingredients and possible memory improvement.

Hemp oil has also proved beneficial for a range of skin conditions. Thanks to its moisturising qualities, it is compatible with a variety of skin types, and it can hydrate and moisturise the skin without clogging pores, which could have otherwise led to acne. Help oil may also aid in the reduction of acne, as one 2014 studyhas demonstrated. It concluded that further research must be conducted into the best process of reaping the benefits of hemp treatment, but it may be a viable anti-acne treatment.

Another study conducted in 2019 concluded that hemp oil worked as a treatment for the skin condition lichen planus, which causes skin inflammation. Hemp oil has also demonstrated its usefulness in the possible treatment of eczema, though this is a use shared with hemp seed oil and is not unique to hemp oil itself. This is evident from a 20-week study that took place back in 2005. This blind study concludes that  “Dietary hemp-seed oil caused significant changes in plasma fatty acid profiles and improved clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis. It is suggested that these improvements resulted from the balanced and abundant supply of PUFAs in this hemp-seed oil.”

Overall, both hemp seed oil and hemp oil come with many potential benefits. However, we recommend using hemp oil for its complete cannabinoid-infused wellness benefits.

Breaking down the key hemp oil benefits

So, let’s break things down into the key benefits of hemp oil. After all, studies can be kind of complicated, right? What’s more, this way, it will be easier to refer back to this article for possible solutions to any health issues. If issues are severe or persistent, you may need further health treatment and tests for your condition. If you are taking hemp oil for its general benefits and wellbeing qualities, then there’s no need, and you can begin consuming it right away.    

  • Calming effects: if you suffer from symptoms of anxiety, hemp-based CBD oil may be of help to you. Anxiety UK  defines anxiety as: “something that can persist whether or not the cause is clear to the sufferer. Anxiety can make a person imagine that things in their life are worse than they really are, and prevent them from confronting their fears. Often they will think they are going mad, or that some psychological imbalance is at the heart of their woes.” Not nice, right? Well, thanks to the potentially calming effects that hemp oil provides, people suffering from both the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety and stress can enjoy some peace instead.
  • Your skin: suffer from acne? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that roughly 95% of people between the ages of eleven and thirty are affected to varying degrees by it. One of hemp oil’s possible key benefits is in the treatment of acne, and this can also improve your mental health and wellbeing.
  • Anti-inflammation: We don’t want to repeat what we’ve already said in the study above; you know the evidence and the potential hemp oil has to offer when it comes to anti-inflammation. This could be just the time to try out the benefits of hemp oil for yourself, and discover if they can relieve your symptoms.
  • Pain relief: hemp oil can provide a natural pain relief for numerous illnesses and diseases, so if you find yourself suffering, consider reaching for hemp oil, as it is a viable option for you. It can be used in conjunction with numerous other medicines, or on its own as a health supplement; depending on your individual needs.

How to take hemp oil

So, how do you take hemp oil? There is a world of possibilities out there, and it’s useful to break them down. There’s no right or best way to take hemp oil; it’s all about your own personal preference. You should also consider bioavailability, as this basically refers to how quickly it’s absorbed into your bloodstream (allowing it to take effect quicker). In terms of dosage, it’s essential to get this right. However, this isn’t clear cut, so we would recommend doing your own research on the matter. This can also be achieved through trial and error. After all, everyone is different and therefore has different needs, so one dose may be optimal for one person and completely off for another! It is often best to start out with a small amount and then work your way up to more potent doses.

Hemp oil tincture

There are many different hemp oil tinctures out there for you to choose from. You can find them online or purchase them from health shops, and they are a popular method of consuming hemp oil. Tinctures are often also available made from hemp-seed oil, however hemp seed oil will not contain cannabinoids like hemp oil does, and instead will solely contain nutrients. This makes it easy to get your hands on! All you need to do is let one or a couple of drops land under your tongue and then swallow it. Some will recommend that you hold it in your mouth for a minute before doing so to reap the benefits fully. The best thing to do after this is to use your tongue to collect any oil that remains. If you’ve bought an oil without a lid that allows you to squeeze out drops, you can rub the tincture onto your finger and manually put it under your tongue. You can buy hemp-seed oil in a range of yummy flavours, and this makes taking it even more pleasurable!

Vape hemp oil

This is another convenient way to work taking hemp oil into your wellness routine. It’s an ideal form of hemp oil for those of you that already vape, as you will be able to incorporate it into your daily routine easily. That being said, it’s such a simple process that we would encourage anyone to try this method! Vaping hemp oil does not mean that you are consuming nicotine or anything like it. Take Infused Amphora’s CBD vape oil, for example. It doesn’t contain any additives like VG, PG, MCT oil, or Vitamin E Acetate. It’s purely made from organic CBD distillate, as well as all-natural flavourings for a pleasurable and beneficial experience. But back to vaping hemp oil! It’s a fast-acting way of taking hemp oil, as the compounds are able to reach your lungs within minutes of consumption. This makes it one of the quickest steps to wellbeing, so consider vaping your hemp-based CBD oil next time!

Edible hemp oil

You can also reap the benefits of hemp oil through food and drinks. This can be in the form of gummies, protein powder on top of yoghurt or in your morning smoothie, etc. The options are endless! A good idea is to do some research for what would work best for your wellness routine. For example, if you have lots of time on your hands and enjoy cooking, you could look into hemp oil recipes. There are plenty of yummy-looking ones out there. This also keeps taking hemp oil fun, rather than monotonous and routine. Are you more pushed for time? Then you could opt for the gummy option, as it’s a quick and convenient method of consuming hemp oil.

Topical hemp oil cream

Applying hemp oil cream directly onto your skin is popular with eczema or acne sufferers, as it has been anecdotally known to relieve the symptoms of both conditions. This is such a simple method, as all you need to do is gently rub the hemp oil into the problem areas of the skin. The hemp oil cream may come with dosage instructions that you can follow, which can help establish what works best for you. Ultimately, we would advise you to start off slowly, to stay in control of your wellness routine. What’s more, most creams have a lovely scent to them. So you can stay smelling fresh too! 

When to take hemp oil

Again, there’s no best time of day to consume hemp oil. Incorporating taking hemp oil into your daily routine is so easy; it’s such a convenient product to use, and you can use it on-the-go or in the comfort of your own home. That being said, it’s still useful to share some tips with you! Taking hemp oil in the morning is a popular time of day for some, for several reasons. This could be because it’s how people remember to take it, or they feel as if it’s a positive way to kick-start their day. Others prefer to take their hemp oil in the evening to reap the benefits of the calming effects before they fall asleep. This can promote your sleep wellbeing, which is vital for your mental health and cognitive function. It’s a good idea to set the alarm on your phone or write a note to yourself to remind you to take your hemp oil. Our lives are only becoming more hectic nowadays, and if you’re experiencing feelings of anxiety or stress, then you can become forgetful! This can create a vicious cycle, because if you’re too stressed to take your hemp oil, you won’t reap its stress-defying benefits. There’s no right or wrong time to take hemp oil, just take it when it fits best into your daily routine.

Final thoughts on hemp oil’s benefits

Love the idea of hemp-based CBD oil and what it can do for your health and wellness? Then you’re not alone! We hope that this article has given you the confidence that you need to get out there and try hemp oil! It’s so easy to fit into your wellness and self-care routine that you will wonder why you didn’t try it out before. Overall, there’s no best time to consume hemp oil, just do what works best for you, as you’ll enjoy the hemp oil benefits no matter what time you take it. Remember, you are in control of our own health, and only you can take those first vital steps to improve your wellbeing.




Written by  |  Infused Amphora Team 

The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil. 

Contributor  | Angus Taylor CEO




Infused Amphora“Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.