Hemp, marijuana, and cannabis – these are terms that are often used interchangeably in the Philippines. However, did you know that the use and possession of these plants are strictly prohibited by law?
This includes hemp seed oil, which has been gaining popularity in the wellness industry for its numerous health benefits.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the legal status of hemp seed oil in the Philippines and what it means for those who want to use it.
So, if you’re curious about whether or not you can legally use hemp seed oil in the Philippines, keep reading!
Is Hemp Seed Oil Legal In The Philippines?
The short answer is no, hemp seed oil is not legal in the Philippines. The law prohibits all types of the Cannabis Sativa L plant, regardless of the levels of THC. This means that growing industrial hemp or importing hemp products could result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has made it clear that any derivative from cannabis, including hemp seed oil, is illegal in the Philippines. The purchase and use of these products are strictly prohibited, and anyone found importing them into the country could face serious charges.
While there are exceptions to hemp imports for medicinal use and some processed forms, trade is minimal. The regulatory environment is unlikely to change in the next five years or through 2024, according to Post forecasts.
Understanding Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is an oilseed that is derived from the hemp plant. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant using a mechanical extraction process, similar to the process used to make other seed oils like sunflower oil. The seeds are compressed under extreme pressure to express the oil contained in them. The byproduct of this process is hemp seed cake, which can be used as a commercial feed for laying hens.
Hemp seed oil contains essential fatty acids and omega-3s that have important health benefits. It generally contains no more than trace amounts of cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC. Hemp seed oil is considered “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and is used in the manufacture of products like food and feed, botanical supplements, and cosmetic products.
Research has shown that hemp seed oil can contribute to better skin and heart health as well as reduced inflammation. The amino acid arginine present in hempseed oil contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system, while gamma-linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp, acts as an anti-inflammatory.
It’s important to note that hemp seed oil is different from CBD oil, which is sourced from the leaves, stalks, and flowers of both cannabis and hemp plants. Hemp seed oil typically contains no THC or CBD but still possesses a host of health benefits. However, due to the strict regulations on all forms of the Cannabis Sativa L plant in the Philippines, it’s important to note that hemp seed oil is not legal in the country.
The Legal Status Of Hemp And Cannabis In The Philippines
Hemp, marijuana, and cannabis are terms interchangeably used in the Philippines, and all are prohibited drugs. The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 makes the cultivation and use of cannabis illegal in the country, and it is classified as a Schedule I drug under the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Marijuana is the second most used drug in the Philippines, after methamphetamine, and most cultivation in the country is for local consumption.
Similarly, the cultivation of hemp is illegal in the Philippines. Although there is potential for the country to legalize industrial hemp in the future, particularly with the need for CBD oils and other medicinal cannabis treatments, there are currently no distinctions in Filipino law that allow for the cultivation of any type of cannabis plant, irrespective of THC levels. Therefore, growing industrial hemp could result in the same punishments as growing high-THC cannabis.
The Dangerous Drugs Board has indicated its willingness to approve medicines with CBD like Epidiolex for “medical purposes” to treat certain illnesses, as long as they contain no more than 0.1% THC. However, both recreational and medical marijuana remain illegal in the Philippines. While patients can submit a request for a Compassionate Permit to use a controlled substance such as cannabis to treat certain medical conditions under Republic Act 9165, access to cannabis after the permit is granted remains an issue. Cannabis is not legally available in the Philippines, so patients who hold a Compassionate Permit will either have to import it at an exorbitant cost or purchase it illegally from the black market.
The Benefits Of Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is a popular remedy that has been found to have many health benefits. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and is rich in three polyunsaturated fatty acids: linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid. What’s more, the ratio of omega-6 (linoleic acid) to omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) fatty acids in hemp seed oil is 3:1, which experts agree is ideal for human health.
One of the most significant benefits of hemp seed oil is its ability to improve skin health. A dermatology study found that oral consumption of hemp seed oil improves symptoms of atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. Researchers attribute these results to the fatty acids found in hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is also useful in treating other skin conditions, such as cradle cap, psoriasis, and acne. In addition, hemp seed oil strengthens the skin and makes it better able to resist infection.
Hemp seed oil also promotes heart health by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, which helps prevent heart disease. The essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil are required by the body to synthesize endocannabinoids whose function is to strengthen the immune system. That makes it a good idea to regularly take Hemp Seed Oil as an immune-enhancing supplement.
The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seed oil make it a powerful natural pain reliever. When ingested or applied topically, hemp seed oil reduces pain associated with a wide range of injuries, infections, and diseases. It may also be effective for soothing sore muscles and joints.
Hemp seed oil has also been found to improve cognitive functioning by improving memory and preventing age-related brain function decline. Studies also suggest that Hemp Seed Oil can reduce the symptoms of depression and lessen anxiety.
Although specific research on Hemp Seed Oil for digestive health is not yet available, we do know that the omega-3 essential fatty acid found in Hemp Seed Oil are known to reduce any inflammation in the digestive tract and may relieve some digestive tract problems such as inflammatory bowel disorder. In addition, the fatty acids in Hemp Seed Oil promote the good microbes in the gut flora which improves digestion and overall digestive health.
Alternatives To Hemp Seed Oil In The Philippines
Given the legal restrictions on hemp seed oil in the Philippines, it is important to explore alternative options for those seeking similar health benefits. One alternative is coconut oil, which is readily available and widely used in the country. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which have been linked to various health benefits, including improved brain function and weight loss.
Another alternative is flaxseed oil, which is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, it is important to note that flaxseed oil should not be heated, as it can become unstable and lose its nutritional value.
Finally, olive oil is another option for those seeking a healthy oil alternative. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been linked to lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and a reduced risk of heart disease. Additionally, olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect against certain types of cancer.
While these alternatives do not provide the exact same nutritional profile as hemp seed oil, they are still healthy options that can provide similar benefits. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or supplement regimen.
Conclusion: Navigating The Legal Landscape Of Hemp Seed Oil In The Philippines
In conclusion, the legal landscape of hemp seed oil in the Philippines is quite clear – it is illegal to grow, import, purchase or use any derivative from the Cannabis Sativa L plant, including hemp seed oil. The Dangerous Drugs Board has made it clear that anyone found violating this law could face severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.
Therefore, it is important for individuals and businesses to be aware of these regulations and avoid any involvement in the production, sale or use of hemp seed oil in the Philippines. While there may be some exceptions for medicinal use and some processed forms, the regulatory environment is unlikely to change in the near future. It is advisable to stay informed about any updates or changes in the law and to strictly adhere to them to avoid any legal consequences.