What is the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil?

September 06, 2019

In this vegan-happy world we live in, you can find hemp extracts for just about anything. With the passing of the U.S. Farm Bill in 2018, the number of hemp products coming out is expected to rise throughout the next five years; but there is still a lack of proper information on what CBD is, and how it differs from regular hemp oil.

So what exactly are cannabinoids?

What is the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil

The cannabis plant has a unique classification of compounds known generally as cannabinoids. Among these compounds are CBD and THC, the most commonly known cannabinoids. We should point out that cannabis plants contain more than a hundred different cannabinoids, and each one of them can contribute to creating medicinal value to the body, and here’s why this matters:

  • A 1995 study found that cannabinoids interact with the human Endocannabinoid System to generate all sorts of health benefits to the body.
  • After years of study, researchers finally understood that individual cannabinoids can cause different effects in the body.
  • THC is the only compound that causes a high, but all the cannabinoids have the capacity to generate therapeutic effects.
  • CBD does not cause a high, but delivers a series of effects that promote homeostasis.
  • CBD can in fact be used to counter the effects of THC and other drugs. It can also be used to treat opium and nicotine addiction.
  • Many various effects are triggered by other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN; and these fall under the category of “cannabinoid spectrum effects”.

Related article: What is the Difference Between CBD and CBN?

As you’ve probably figured out already, the type and number of compounds included in the final hemp extract will determine to a large extent the effects (and usability) of the product when treating specific conditions. To create a cannabidiol product, the compound is extracted from the cannabis plant, using methods such as the CO2 extraction. During extraction, compounds like flavonoids and terpenes can also be extracted.  

The strain used in the extraction process will also determine the strength and quality of the cannabidiol content. So for instance, the best source of CBD oil is hemp, which is a strain of cannabis that has been specifically grown to contain as much cannabidiol as possible, while reducing the amount of THC.  

So what is CBD oil?

What is the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil

CBD oil is typically extracted from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plants. The active compound in the oil is cannabidiol, which is lauded for a variety of medicinal benefits such as stress relief and pain management. Remember, depending on the purpose of the end-product, manufacturers typically choose to extract from the strain of cannabis that has a higher concentration of the required cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. There are slight differences with CBD. Here’s a quick description: 

  • CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD which is extracted singularly from hemp, and isolating all the other compounds in the plant.  
  • Full-spectrum CBD extract contains pretty much all the compounds found in cannabis including the flavonoids – and possibly, THC. Since manufactures are selling to different markets, it’s not difficult to find full-spectrum CBD products that contain THC; but wisdom is needed here because some states still ban products containing THC above 0.3%.

Related article: The Best Way to Take CBD Oil: Vaping, Tinctures, Gummies and More

The full-spectrum CBD products are believed to work together to magnify the medicinal value of hemp, and through a process called the entourage effect, it might be possible to experience better relief from common ailments using this type of product.     

  • Broad-spectrum CBD combines some of the compounds present in hemp, and may be described as a mix between CBD isolate and Full Spectrum CBD. What makes this type of product unique is the fact that THC is completely removed during extraction, and the product may then be sold throughout the U.S. without legal ramifications. It’s also a good product for using at work or home; or when you need to keep a sober mind.

What is Hemp seed oil?


Like CBD oil, hemp oil (or hemp seed oil) is also extracted from cannabis sativa, but instead of extracting it from the stalks or flowers, this particular brand of cannabidiol is extracted from the seeds. Both hemp oil and CBD oil have shown promise in treating a variety of conditions and for its nutritional power, which includes healthy fats and vitamins. Here are the main uses for hemp seed oil:

  • Nutrition: Hemp seeds contain a high amount of essential fatty acids like omega 6 and linoleic acid. They are a good source of fiber, protein, and Vitamin E, including a number of minerals such as calcium, sulfur, zinc, potassium, and sodium.
  • Skin care: Hemp seed oil has been used to treat skin conditions such as acne, dryness, itching; and studies show that these effects are generated by the presence of fatty acids and other nutrients.
  • Menopause, PMS: Since hemp seeds contain gamma linoleic acid, hemp oil can be an excellent treatment for inflammation caused by menopause. It also reduces effects of PMS, one of which is a reduction of the hormone prolactin.
  • Commercialization of hemp seed oil. Hundreds of skin care products use hemp seed oil to treat common conditions of the skin, however, hemp oil can also be used in manufacturing.

Related Articles: What Does Full Spectrum CBD Mean? Your Guide to Full Spectrum CBD

CBD oil and hemp seed oil as medicine

Cannabidiol has been studied for its medicinal value, and there are multiple studios showing its use in anxiety, pain relief, and many other conditions. At this point, many of these studies are still ongoing, and so we can’t make any explicit health claims about the compound. Pay attention to product labeling to learn more about what’s inside your CBD product, and educate yourself on cannabis, and its links with human health.

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