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Cannabis Essential Oil (Hemp Essential Oil)

Cannabis Essential Oil is also known as Hemp Essential Oil.

This profile page pertains specifically to Cannabis Essential Oil, steam distilled from the leaves and flowering tops of Cannabis sativa. Hemp Seed Oil is a carrier oil (vegetable oil) that is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of Cannabis sativa. The steam distilled essential oil profiled on this page is not the same oil as the cold pressed seed oil. See AromaWeb’s Hemp Seed Oil carrier oil profile for more information. CBD Oil is produced using CO2 extraction techniques and is also not the same thing as the essential oil profiled here.

My understanding is that Cannabis Essential Oil does not contain the CBD or THC cannabinoids present in the plant. While technically the essential oil may contain extremely small quantities of THC or CBD, the trace amounts possibly present in the steam distilled oil are negligible and offer no perceivable therapeutic benefit.

“The THC component is non-volatile, therefore does not come over in the distillation process into the essential oil.” [V. Mediaville and J. Steinemann, Essential oil of Cannabis sativa L. Strains. (Journal of the International Hemp Association 4,2), 80-82. Source cited in Jennifer Peace Rhind, Essential Oils: A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice (London and Philadelphia: Singing Dragon, 2012, 155.]

Cannabis Essential Oil primarily consists of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.

The 10-20% range of Beta-Caryophyllene present within the oil is gaining a lot of interest. Beta-Caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene. Beta-Caryophyllene can apparently interact with cannabinoid receptors, and therefore is classified as a cannabinoids according to 38 research papers that Robert Tisserand has reviewed on PubMed. Sources: [Robert Tisserand, Robert Tisserand Essential Training Facebook Post September 19, 2016. ] [ Dr. Robert Pappas, Essential Oil University Facebook Post September 18, 2017.] [Robert Tisserand Comment Within the Facebook Group Essential Oil Consumer Reports, September 25, 2017.]

Beta-Caryophyllene is also anti-inflammatory. As such, the use of Beta-Caryophyllene shows a lot of promise. It is also present in Copaiba Balsam, Black Pepper, Melissa (Lemon Balm), Catnip, Cananga, Ylang Ylang and several other essential oils. Refer to page 520-521 of Essential Oil Safety for a comprehensive list of the essential oils that contain B-Caryophyllene and their typical percentages.

Because I don’t mind the aroma of Cannabis Essential Oil, I am glad to be able to highlight a differing opinion: Elizabeth Ashley finds the aroma vile, and doesn’t see it serving as a single note in a blend. I do agree with her remarks that it is versatile and blends well with many other essential oils. This is certainly an essential oil that aromatically, some will love and some will loathe. I’m finding that it adds depth and character to blends and is beautifully complementing essential oils in all the aromatic oil families including citrus, wood, connifer, spice, floral and mint families.

Elizabeth Ashley also mentions that it’s considered a middle note but that it can behave like a top note if not blended with oils that are base notes, and I notice the same occurrence. It’s no big surprise, however, as Cannabis Oil is typically comprised primarily of monoterpenes which are lightweight and are more fleeting. [Elizabeth Ashley, Cannabis: CBD Rich Hemp Oil, Hemp Essential Oil and Hemp Seed Oil (CreateSpace, 2017.]

Explore the uses for Cannabis (Hemp) Essential Oil. Discover its benefits, safety info, botanical name, aromatic description, what to watch out for and more.