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When it comes to reducing stress, we’re willing to try just about anything, from acupressure and mindfulness to a little thing called ear seeds. Which is why, when we heard that people were using hemp oil in the quest for a more chill life, we were on board pretty much immediately. Here’s what you need to know.

What is it? Hemp oil is the byproduct of pressing hemp seeds, a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species.

What are its benefits? Proponents say that hemp oil can modulate the body’s response to stress and fear, provide relief from nerve-related discomfort and help maintain balance in the gut. Basically, like adaptogens, hemp oil doesn’t rid your body of stress; it just helps you better deal with it. Studies—like this one from the University of Colorado School of Medicine—have found that, “The cannabinoid profile of industrial hemp or medical marijuana is ideal for people looking for the medical benefits of CBD without the ‘high’ of the THC.”

Is it legal? Unlike CBD, which is in kind of a gray area, hemp oil is completely legal in all 50 states. Although hemp and marijuana are essentially varietals of the same plant—Cannabis sativa L—marijuana has been cultivated to concentrate high levels of THC (as much as 18 percent), whereas hemp, which is primarily grown to make clothing, paper, biofuels and foods, contains less than 0.3 percent THC.

How do you take it? Since it’s totally legal, you can buy it by the bottle on Amazon, and then take it orally or add it into smoothies or salad dressings. We tried hemp oil in the form of Thorne’s Hemp Oil + supplement, which is a gel cap we take once a day.

OK, but does it actually work? In our experience, yes. We can’t speak to all of its purported effects, but after taking it before bed, we did notice that falling asleep was a lot easier than normal. We felt calmer and our mind didn’t race as much as it normally does when our head hits the pillow.

The bottom line is, if you’re looking for a way to relax without, you know, breaking any laws, you might want to give hemp oil a try.

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