CBD oil and hemp oil are both products made from hemp. That similarity aside, the two are quite different.
CBD oil is made from the flowers and other above-ground parts of the plant, whereas hemp oil is made from the seeds. That’s why hemp oil doesn’t have the cannabinoids found in CBD oil.
To add to the confusion, the term “hemp oil” is sometimes used to refer to CBD oil. However, this is usually done by shady companies trying to mislead customers into thinking their hemp seed oil contains CBD.
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between CBD oil and hemp oil.
Hemp oil comes from the seeds of hemp: the non-intoxicating, legal variety of cannabis. Better known as hemp seed oil, this nutritious oil is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds such as beta-sitosterol.
However, it doesn’t contain any cannabinoids because they’re found in the above-ground parts of the hemp plant.
Hemp seed oil is particularly prized for its ratio (2:1 to 3:1) of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is considered ideal for a healthy diet.
There’s strong research evidence that the high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of Western diets (about 15-17:1) plays a role in the development of many chronic disorders, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
That means adding hemp seed oil to your diet can have a positive effect on your health.
Benefits and Uses
Hemp seed oil is added to foods or used on its own for cooking or as a food supplement. It’s been growing in popularity thanks to the increasing awareness of the health benefits of hemp and cannabis as a whole.
That’s why some people are starting to incorporate hemp seed oil into their diet, supplement, and skincare routines.
How is hemp oil made?
Hemp oil is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds. This oil doesn’t contain CBD or any other cannabinoid.
Having said that, hemp seeds can come in contact with the cannabinoid-rich resin oil since they grow inside the flowers.
If the seeds are not properly cleaned during the manufacturing process, that means hemp oil can sometimes contain trace amounts of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
CBD oil is a cannabinoid-rich extract isolated from the aerial (above-ground) parts of the hemp plant. This usually means hemp flowers, but can also include the stems, leaves, and stalks.
These parts of hemp are covered in tiny hair-like structures called trichomes, which contain the cannabinoids and terpenes — the bioactive, sought-after compounds in cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main cannabinoid in CBD oil, and you will see it listed on the ingredient list as “CBD isolate”, “cannabidiol,” “full-spectrum hemp extract,” or something similar.
However, depending on the manufacturing process, CBD oil can also contain other cannabinoids, including small amounts of THC (<0.2%), terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, minerals, and other plant chemicals.
Last but not least, all CBD oils include what’s known as a carrier oil, which is used to dissolve the CBD and improve its absorption.
The most common CBD carrier oils are coconut-derived MCT oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, vegetable glycerin, and hemp seed oil.
That means CBD oil can sometimes contain hemp seed oil as a carrier, but they’re not the same thing and will be listed as separate ingredients on the label.
Benefits and uses
Research has shown that CBD may have a wide range of potential health benefits. That’s why most people take CBD oil to support their overall wellness and deal with occasional anxiety, stress, pain, inflammation, and other issues.
A CBD-based pharmaceutical drug was also recently approved for the treatment of severe, rare types of childhood epilepsy.
Research into CBD’s effects is ongoing, but it’s clear that this natural compound provides an excellent way to reap the benefits of cannabis while avoiding its intoxicating effects.
How is CBD oil made?
CBD oil is made through a sophisticated extraction process that quite literally pulls the CBD and other beneficial compounds out of the plant material.
Thanks to their safety and efficiency, the two most common methods of CBD oil extraction are CO2 (carbon dioxide) and ethanol.
The resulting extract can then be refined into one of three types of CBD formulations: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate (pure CBD). It’s then dissolved in a carrier oil to create the final product: a CBD oil tincture.
The difference between CBD oil and hemp oil
As we’ve described above, CBD oil is not the same thing as hemp oil. There are two key differences between them:
- Whereas CBD oil is made from the above-ground parts of the plant, hemp oil is made from the seeds.
- CBD oil contains CBD and potentially other cannabinoids, whereas hemp seed oil does not contain any cannabinoids (unless contaminated).
These differences explain why CBD oil and hemp oil are used for different purposes. Whereas hemp oil is mostly seen as a healthy food ingredient, CBD oil is used as a health and wellness supplement.
You should be cautious if you ever see hemp oil being advertised as a way to relieve pain, anxiety, or any medical condition. This is a shady marketing tactic used to make people think that the oil contains CBD but is actually just ordinary cold-pressed hemp seed oil.
This tactic is particularly popular on Amazon, where CBD oil is not allowed to be sold.
The best way to confirm that you’re getting real CBD oil and not just hemp seed oil is to look at third-party lab test documents. Performed by an independent lab, these tests are done to verify that a CBD product contains the correct amounts of CBD and other cannabinoids.