Due to the cannabis legalization movement and the resulting increase in the popularity of hemp products, there can often be some confusion regarding the differences between hemp oil and other hemp derived products, such as CBD oil.
Many consumers aren’t aware that while hemp oil and CBD oil are similar, in that they both come from hemp, there are important distinctions between the two that should be recognized in order for consumers to make an educated decision when it comes to selecting the right hemp-based product for them.
What is Hemp Oil
While hemp oil does refer to oil that comes from the cannabis sativa plant, it can come in multiple forms. It’s important for consumers to understand the difference between a full-spectrum hemp oil, and hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil comes specifically from the seeds of hemp plants and is obtained by cold pressing them.
Raw hemp oil is generally dark in color, but can take on a light greenish hue in some cases. It has a nutty flavor, and generally the darker the color of the oil, the more intense the flavor will be. It does not contain high levels of CBD or THC and has no psychoactive effects.
This is an important distinction to recognize because hemp seed oil is often deceptively marketed in order to make consumers believe that they are getting a full spectrum hemp product, (Like CBD Oil) for a seemingly lower price.
Because hemp seed oil does not contain high levels of CBD or THC, it is cheaper to produce. Hemp seed oil should not be confused with hash oil, or CBD oil, as these come from whole plant extract, not just from the seeds of cannabis. As a result, full spectrum hemp oil, hash oil, and CBD oil are more expensive to produce.
A full-spectrum ‘hemp oil’ is one that utilizes the whole plant including the stalks, leaves and flowers of the plant, which contain high levels of cannabinoids like CBD. This is where the confusion between ‘hemp oil and CBD oil’ often lies, because in this case the difference is only semantic.
In order to avoid confusion in this article, we will henceforth refer to hemp seed oil as hemp oil, and full-spectrum oil as CBD oil. The main thing to remember when shopping for hemp derived products as a consumer, is that full-spectrum products are derived from the whole plant extract (which contains high levels of cannabinoids), and ‘hemp oil’ is only from hemp seed extract.
While hemp seeds do contain some beneficial compounds, it’s important to note that there are not significant levels of cannabinoids like THC or CBD in hemp seeds. So, if you are seeking relief with CBD or even a THC product, don’t be fooled into buying hemp seed extract marketed to look like a full-spectrum product.
That’s why it’s important to check labels, read the fine print, and even view verified third party lab test results from any company that is marketing a hemp based product.
Hemp seed oil is believed to have some benefits, however, especially when applied topically. Although these benefits don’t really compare to the benefits of cannabinoids (from full spectrum extracts) which interact directly with a person’s endocannabinoid system inside the body.
1] Hemp (Hempseed) Oil Benefits List
Below are some benefits of hemp seed oil.
- Anti-inflammatory & anti-aging effects.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6.
- Antioxidants & minerals to boost immunity.
- Improved skin elasticity
- Deep moisturization & hydration of dry skin
- Does not clog pores
- Increased hair growth & reduced hair loss
- Stronger nails
2] CBD Oil Benefits
Unlike regular hemp oil, CBD oil helps activate dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters to promote a sense of well-being in the brain and throughout the body.
Resulting studies have shown that endocannabinoids may play a role in regulating a number of different functions of the body. Including, but not limited to: sleep, memory, mood, appetite and energy production.
Though scientific research on CBD is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may also play a role in improving symptoms from depression, anxiety, acne, chronic pain, epilepsy, muscle spasms & even some neurodegenerative diseases.
CBD oil is known to help reduce inflammation, improve heart health, support weight loss, and protect against some forms of cancer, in addition to fighting everyday stress. While more scientific studies are needed to confirm CBD’s benefits, specifically human trials, the results so far have been extremely promising.
In addition to inflammation, CBD oil is also being looked at for its potential to reduce muscle spasms and other involuntary movements such as seizures. In fact, one CBD based drug has already been approved by the FDA in order to treat some forms of epilepsy.
Seizures and muscle spasms are also one of the most common symptoms for multiple sclerosis patients. Sadly, pain associated with spasms from this condition is severe. So far, the results for CBD for MS are modest, but many people have reported a reduction in symptoms after its use.
Other independent studies have also come to support these findings as well. Researchers noted that cannabinoids could potentially be used in new treatments for people with chronic pain.
Another interesting note is that researchers discovered subjects were not likely to develop a tolerance to the effects of CBD, and there was no need to increase their dose continually.
Below are some benefits of CBD oil.
- Pain relief including from muscle aches.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits for joint discomfort.
- Relief from headaches including migraine.
- Auto-immune support.
- Recovery after strenuous activity or exertion.
- Pain relief (muscle aches, headaches).
- Skin health – acne, dry skin and other skin problems.
Which is Better Hemp Oil or CBD Oil?
The answer to this question really boils down to the reason you are using a hemp product. If you are only using a hemp oil product as a soothing balm, or a topical, then something with hemp seed extract or hemp oil could be fine for your purposes, since chances are it is likely mixed with other pain relief ointment ingredients.
CBD oil, on the other hand, is generally used as a holistic or alternative wellness supplement. It is thought to be of a higher quality, and offer more benefit for specific symptoms, especially those that may be internal or related to the endocannabinoid system inside the body.
Whole-plant hemp oil, also known as full-spectrum hemp oil, or CBD oil, is high in cannabidiol and is meant to help balance the body’s internal systems. Regular ‘hemp oil’ that is considered hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is mainly used in food and skincare products.
It’s important to note that hemp strains do have THC in them. The federally legal allowed limit of THC in a CBD oil product is below 0.3%.
Other cannabis products may contain higher amounts of THC, but are generally only available in areas where marijuana is legal for recreational use. If you would like to learn more about CBD oil please check out the Cannabidiol Life blog.
You may also like: How to Overcome Anxiety With Cannabis.