It's easy to understand why hemp oil vs. CBD oil is a commonly searched term; because both come from the same plant.
This causes confusion and the two terms end up being used interchangeably. This means that some people end up buying hemp oil when they wanted CBD, and vice versa.
Both hemp oil and CBD oil can be made from the same hemp plant, a strain of Cannabis Sativa, though they are separate types of oil that provide different benefits.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil comes from hemp plants, usually grown for industrial purposes. The seeds and flowers from hemp plants are often used in health foods or body care products.
Fibers and stalks can be used to make clothing, bags, shoes, carpet, canvas, netting, and more. Hemp is also used to make paper products, cardboard, and some biofuels.
Because the hemp plant is used to manufacture many things, hemp oil may also be used as an ingredient in various paints and plastics.
Hemp oil is extracted when seeds are cold-pressed, a process similar to coconut and olive oil production.
Even though hemp plants are in the cannabis family, they contain a low level of cannabinoids.
Two of the most popular cannabinoids are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
THC is the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis. Hemp oil does not contain this, and the majority of CBD oils do not either, and if they do it is at very low, non-effective levels.
CBD is found in CBD oil, not hemp oil. So you will not benefit from the associated health properties of CDD if you purchase hemp oil.
Hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, is perfectly good seed oil that’s high in antioxidants, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, but contains no CBD.
The Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is often used as a vitamin supplement because it contains high levels of vitamin E, B, B1, and B2.
In addition to vitamins, it also contains the fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, potassium, and magnesium. Hemp is also a good source of protein and antioxidants.
Some of the health benefits of hemp oil are related to the fatty acids it contains, which have been linked to helping reduce the signs of aging and improving cardiovascular health (1).
Fatty acids have also been shown to help lower cholesterol.
Other than being taken internally for nutrition, hemp oil is also commonly used as an ingredient in personal care products. Some shampoos, soaps, and lotions may contain hemp oil. It is sometimes used in cosmetics or other beauty products.
As an ingredient in skin care products, hemp oil helps to moisturize and increase elasticity. It can also help keep hair, skin, and nails healthy and strong.
Hemp oil is popular for skin care because it doesn’t clog pores and has a comedogenic rating of zero. This can help with acne when dry skin causes an overproduction of oil as the hemp oil gently moisturizes and hydrates.
Its anti-inflammatory effects are due to the presence of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid, which may help with skin conditions like rashes, psoriasis, and eczema. It can be used within a product such as a moisturizer or used on its own as a simple facial oil (4).
In addition to topical applications, consuming fatty acids like those contained in hemp oil can help treat some skin conditions. Researchers found that consuming hemp oil helped reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis (5).
To ensure you are getting true hemp oil, check the ingredients to see that it lists cannabis sativa seed oil. CBD oil, on the other hand, should be marked as cannabidiol on the bottle.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is an oil which contains the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol).
It is extracted from hemp plants that are grown and cultivated to contain high levels of CBD.
Unlike hemp oil, which is extracted from the seeds, CBD oil utilizes the entire plant, including leaves, flowers, and stalks.
Hemp plants are often used to produce CBD oil, but marijuana plants can also be used to extract and make CBD products.
The cannabis plants which are typically smoked are grown to be high in THC, which results in a euphoric feeling when consumed.
As mentioned previously, the majority of CDB products have zero THC content or a negligible level that will not be felt by the user.
Instead, CBD affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is said to help bring the body into balance.
Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD helps to stimulate your body’s natural cannabinoid production to maintain the efficiency of the receptors and optimal function of the endocannabinoid system.
CBD affects the opioid receptors and has been shown to affect dopamine and serotonin receptors as well. Dopamine helps regulate aspects of cognition and behavior, and serotonin receptors manage behaviors such as anxiety.
For this reason, CBD has been shown as a potential way of treating anxiety disorders, as many people find that it promotes a sense of calm and well-being (6).
CBD also acts as an analgesic to help relieve pain and inflammation. It has been used in patients with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer to treat pain (7).
Like hemp oil, CBD oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which have been used in the treatment of acne. One study found that using CBD oil prevented the sebaceous glands from producing excess sebum (8).
Many people also give CBD oil to help their pets with similar symptoms of anxiety or to help manage pain in old age. Companies targeting the pet market often create tinctures that may be infused with flavors to make the taste more palatable.
For dogs that suffer from seizures, some pet owners may be hesitant to use drugs like phenobarbital because they can damage the liver. CBD is an alternative which has been found to help with seizures and epilepsy (9).
When purchasing a CBD oil product, make sure it is made from cannabidiol-rich hemp and has been third-party tested to ensure quality and safety.
The bottle should also tell you the dosage and quality of CBD contained so you know how much you’ll be taking.
Misleading Marketing of Hemp Oil
One of the reasons people get these two oils confused is because they are often produced from the same hemp plant.
Hemp is also regularly mixed up with marijuana, even though hemp has low levels of THC and would not have the same effect as smoking from a marijuana plant.
Confusion isn't helped by disingenuous marketing tactics.
Hemp oil has been around for a long time, but the explosion in popularity and the legalization of CBD products in recent times has seen many companies marketing hemp oil under the same umbrella.
There are some similarities, because both are anti-inflammatory, but the hemp oil industry has to a large degree ridden on the back of CBD-based research, which has caused confusion for buyers.
There is also a lack of understanding on the part of the consumer regarding the differences between THC and CBD, which hopefully I have cleared up in this post.
Those opposed to CBD products tend to lump them in the same category as marijuana. This gives the impression that CBD products produce similar negative effects to smoking marijuana such as excessive hunger, paranoia or dizziness.
This is not the case, but creates a taboo around hemp oil and CBD products that prevents people properly researching the differences of hemp oil vs. CBD oil.
Hemp oil and CBD oil are extracted from different parts of the hemp plant. Neither contain THC or have any psychoactive effects. Here is a summary of the different benefits we have covered in this article.
- Hemp oil is processed so that it contains little to no CBD and is prized for its nutrient content and as a skin care ingredient.
- If you are looking for a healthier oil to use when cooking, hemp oil is a good choice.
- As a source of fatty acids, hemp oil can be added to supplements or taken in vitamin form to provide key nutrients.
- In addition to cooking, it can be added to smoothies or taken on its own in oil form.
- Hemp oil can be used to moisturize the skin without clogging pores. It may also help with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis.
- CBD oil is primarily used to help with anxiety, depression, insomnia and physical pain.
- CBD comes in either a tincture or chewable gummy, or can be mixed in with a cream or lotion.
- Many people rub it on sore muscles and it is often offered as an add-on to a massage package for extra pain relief.
- Those with chronic illness may ingest CBD to help manage their symptoms.
- For anxiety or excessive worry, CBD oil may help you feel a sense of calm. Some enjoy taking it at the end of a long day to wind down and sleep better.
- CBD oil is not just for humans either. Some pet owners find it helpful to calm anxious dogs and relieve pain.
Overall, both hemp and CBD oil can have positive effects on health and well-being, but are not the same thing.