Cannabis has become all the rage recently. Some are even using the term “green rush“ to describe the burgeoning industry of marijuana, hemp oil and CBD products. This, of course, is a wordplay on the “gold rush” which described the new gold discoveries of the 19th century.
Many consumers are curious about this miracle plant that is slowly losing its stigma, but there is a special enthusiasm for hemp and CBD, which is growing every day due to new studies and resources touting the various health benefits.
Unfortunately, there is also much confusion about CBD due to the disjointed terminology used to describe the varying components, as well as the sources they are derived from.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil
Most strikingly, the different terms to describe hemp, CBD and the various hemp-derived products is especially confusing. Many of the words are used interchangeably, but can mean very different things.
Is it hemp oil? CBD oil? Hemp seed oil? What About Hemp CBD extract? Then there’s cannabis oil, marijuana extract… the list goes on and on.
Many large consumer brands are also jumping onto the CBD bandwagon from CVS to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to Coca Cola. While these are certainly exciting times for the industry, it’s important to understand the terminology and really know what you’re purchasing.
The term “hemp oil” may refer to either hemp seed oil or CBD oil, but CBD oil should never be used to describe hemp seed oil… I know, confusing!
While both hemp seed oil and CBD oil share certain characteristics, and both have their benefits, there are some very important differences. In this article, we will focus on the differences between hemp seed oil and CBD Oil.
So first, let’s define some terms:
Cannabis is a plant in the family Cannabaceae, originating from Central Asia. There are three main species of cannabis:
- Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis Sativa
- Cannabis Ruderalis
Marijuana is a variety of cannabis sativa that contains a high amount of THC, which is the chemical (cannabinoid) responsible for its intoxicating effects. Marijuana is used for both medical and/or recreational purposes. Because of marijuana’s high THC content and psychoactive properties, it has been deemed illegal in many parts of the world, including the US. Even though more and more states are legalizing recreational marijuana in recent years, it remains classified as a Schedule 1 drug on a federal level.
Similar to marijuana, hemp is another variety of cannabis sativa, but has a much lower concentration of THC (0.3% or less). Hemp is widely harvested for industrial uses such as paper, construction materials and textiles. Because of the low amount of THC, hemp has also been cultivated for non-drug use as a health supplement.
CBD is present in all cannabis strains, including both marijuana and hemp varieties.
Note: CBD derived from marijuana is still illegal in the US due to the high THC content in marijauana. Hemp-derived CBD is federally legal in the US under the 2018 Farm Bill since hemp contains less than 0.3% THC. Thus, the legality of CBD lies in the key phrase “derived from hemp”.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil, which is sometimes referred to as hemp oil, is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. This is similar to how olive oil or coconut oil is sourced.
Hemp seed oil has been available in health food stores for decades. It can be found in products such as cooking oil, lotions, skin care, cosmetics and soaps.
What are the Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil has been called a superfood as it contains high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Hemp seeds contain significant amounts of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which can help diminish the signs of aging, improve cardiovascular health and contribute to lower cholesterol level.
Hemp seeds are a great plant based source of protein, which makes hemp seed oil an optimal source of complete protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Hemp seed oil is also a great moisturizer, and can be used to help hydrate your hair, nails and skin without clogging your pores
Because of hemp seed’s many health and nutritional benefits, everyone could use a little more hemp seed oil in their lives.
The only drawback of hemp seed oil is that it does not contain any cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc), terpenes or other medicinal compounds found in the stalks, leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. This means that it does not provide any of the benefits associated with whole plant hemp extracts.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is derived from the stalks, leaves and flowers (“aerial parts”) of the cannabis plant. Because the hemp strain of cannabis contains low levels of THC, CBD derived from hemp will not make you “high”.
The ratio of high CBD to low THC makes hemp plants ideal to make CBD oil (and legal!).
CBD oil is extracted from hemp using either ethanol or CO2 extraction process… more on that later.
There are different types of CBD oil extracted from hemp including full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate. For a detailed explanation about the pros and cons of each, read our previous post here.
CBD oil can sometimes be referred to as CBD extract, hemp extract or phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp extract.
What are the Benefits of CBD oil?
CBD oil derived from hemp works with the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is responsible for promoting homeostasis, which is the body’s ability to maintain balance and function properly. The ECS is implicated is regulating many of our body’s functions such as sleep, mood, pain, appetite, hormone, and immune response.
Taking CBD oil can help with a variety of health related issues such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- Pain relief
- Sleep conditions
- Neurological disorders
- Substance abuse
- Cognitive functions
- …and more
Importance of Knowing the Difference
Run a search for CBD oil on Amazon and and you’ll find a plethora of “Hemp Oil” products, but what does that actually mean? Hint: it’s probably not what you think.
If you unknowingly purchase hemp seed oil thinking you’ll reap the benefits of CBD, you will be greatly disappointed.
Also, extracting CBD oil is a much more complicated process than cold pressing hemp seeds, therefore CBD oil products are much more expensive compared to hemp seed oil. Some marketers are trying to jump on the CBD bandwagon and promoting hemp seed oil in the same manner as CBD, tricking consumers into paying a premium for run of the mill hemp seed oil. If you fall prey to this tactic, your wallet will also be greatly disappointed.
It’s also important to understand what to look for when buying CBD products. Unfortunately, many brands are falsely claiming that their product provides CBD, when in fact, it contains none.
What To Look For When Buying CBD Oil
Hemp seed oil is usually pretty straight forward in terms of labeling. For CBD products, it’s a different story…
Using your new knowledge of the terminology above will greatly help you decipher what to look for when evaluating CBD oil products. If you’re interested in trying CBD for the first time, start with reading our Beginner’s Guide to CBD.
Here are some additional tips:
1. Make sure you read the labels to ensure that CBD, Cannabidiol or “Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp” is listed as an ingredient as well as the amount listed, typically in milligrams.
2. Make sure you know if the product contains any THC. Some people may not be able to ingest THC due to legal purposes, passing a drug test, or any other personal reasons.
3. Ask what extraction method is used to extract CBD from hemp. Hint: CO2 extraction is free of harmful solvents and uses a gentle, low temperature, alcohol free process that yields the purest form of CBD Oil.
4. Check COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) and lab test results to make sure they can back up their claims.
5. Learn about the company, its reputation and their return policy. Make sure they can answer any questions or concerns you have about their products.
6. Read online reviews for the products you’re contemplating to see if others have experienced positive results.
All Tessera Naturals products use a whole plant hemp extract. As the name indicates, we extract oil from the aerial parts of the whole plant, not the seeds.
We use a solvent free CO2 extraction process. After extraction, our hemp oil goes through one additional process called chromatographic purification, which selectively removes any trace amounts of THC from our hemp oil. This leads to what is referred to as “Broad Spectrum” hemp oil and contains CBD as well as other minor cannabinoids, terpenes and natural compounds found in hemp. (Except THC)
Feel free to get in touch with us if you have additional questions!
- Marijuana and hemp are two different strains of the cannabis plant.
- Hemp seed oil comes from hemp, while CBD oil can be derived from either marijuana or hemp.
- Hemp seed oil and CBD oil both have their benefits, but there are important differences between them.
- Hemp seed oil is extracted by cold pressing hemp seeds, while CBD oil is extracted from the stalks, leaves and flowers of the plant.
- “Hemp oil” may refer to either hemp seed oil or CBD oil.