Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: Here’s How to Tell the Difference
In recent years, CBD oil has become an increasingly popular natural remedy. Its proponents vouch for its abilities to alleviate a wide range of symptoms, and people can’t seem to get enough of this non-intoxicating cannabis extract.
As CBD has grown in interest, there has been renewed interest in hemp oil as well. In fact, there are some common questions about CBD oil vs. hemp oil because both products are extracted from the hemp plant, yet have very different effects on the body.
Hemp oil vs. CBD oil
There’s often confusion surrounding hemp oil and CBD oil, so let’s clear one thing up first: Hemp oil is a term used by different people in different ways. Sometimes, it’s used as a synonym for CBD oil, but in other cases, it’s used to mean hemp seed oil, which is a different product altogether. Here are the three main distinctions between CBD oil and hemp seed oil.
1. CBD oil has more potential benefits.
Hemp seed oil is rich in some vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), and as such, it can offer some basic nutritional benefits. Perhaps one of the most common advantages of taking hemp seed oil comes from its omega-3 and omega-6 composition, as it contains the ideal ratio for a healthy diet. These EFAs might also support heart health in a number of ways—for instance, slowing the buildup of plaque in arteries and lowering blood pressure, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, it’s important to note that hemp seed oil lacks the therapeutic potential of CBD since most of these “hemp oils” contain no amount of CBD.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is actually most well-known for its many potential health benefits that go well beyond the scope of regular hemp seed oil, as CBD has shown promise for relieving stress, providing a good night’s sleep, and alleviating the symptoms of joint pain and arthritis.
So, long story short: If you’re looking for the most pronounced health benefits, you’re better off purchasing true CBD oil as opposed to hemp (seed) oil, where CBD is minimal or non-existent and therefore cannot offer the same effects.
2. The products are not made in the same way.
There are also some important distinctions in the way CBD oil and hemp seed oil are processed. The latter is usually made through cold-pressing hemp seeds to create a dark, thick oil that is highly concentrated and nutrient-rich. CBD oil, on the other hand, is made from different processes such as ethanol or CO2 extraction, which draw from the whole hemp plant and create a final product that contains more beneficial plant compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes.
3. The FDA views hemp oil and CBD oil differently.
One perk of hemp seed oil is that it’s completely cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and legal to buy or sell pretty much anywhere. With CBD oil, the laws are a bit trickier and vary from one state to the next. As a rule of thumb, CBD oils are legal if they contain less than 0.3% THC content. THC is the chemical compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects; in other words, it’s the part that gets you high, which is why it’s limited in all but a handful of states.
Since the FDA has yet to formally evaluate CBD products, the market is highly unregulated. As such, consumers are advised to do their homework and to be careful when browsing different CBD oil products online.
What to look out for when purchasing CBD oil
To begin with, be clear about whether you’re actually looking for hemp seed oil, or if you want actual CBD. Make sure you thoroughly read product labels to ensure you’re getting what you want. In particular, look for references to “CBD,” “cannabidiol,” or “full-spectrum hemp extract” on the ingredients list; if none are listed, then what you’re looking at is probably hemp oil, and you shouldn’t expect to receive CBD oil benefits from it. It’s advisable to always spend time perusing the ingredient lists, as many hemp seed oils are misleadingly marketed to look like they are CBD products.
If you are searching for CBD products, here are a few things to look for as you shop:
- THC content. Trace amounts of THC are unlikely to get you high or even make you fail a drug test, but remember that for a product to be legal on a federal level, it should contain 0.3% THC or less.
- Lab test results. To ensure that a CBD product has been thoroughly tested for potency, safety, and potential toxins, confirm it’s been tested by a third-party laboratory. Often, you can find individual batch test results on the CBD company’s website. If you cannot find these tests, move on to another brand.
- Additional ingredients. Some CBD oils have a natural, earthy, hemp-like flavor—maybe you like that or maybe you don’t! Other products mask the hemp taste with added flavorings. Also look out for other ingredients that may be added to augment the health benefits, whether that’s melatonin, omega-3 fatty acids, or something else.
- Type of hemp extract. It’s also important to consider whether you’re getting an isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum CBD product. An isolate is the purest version of CBD, meaning it’s THC-free, contains 99% CBD, and features no other cannabinoids or terpenes. Broad-spectrum products include some cannabinoids and additional plant compounds, and may produce the “entourage effect,” but they don’t contain THC. And full-spectrum products are those that offer benefits from a wide array of plant compounds and do contain trace levels of THC, though it still falls below that 0.3% threshold.
Best CBD oils with hemp oil
As you shop around for the best CBD oil, you’ll find some CBD oils that also contain hemp seed oil for added benefits. The editors at Remedy Review, an independent CBD site, pulled together a list of CBD oils that contain hemp oil. These products come from top brands that have undergone an extensive review process that takes into account customer reviews, price, lab testing, hemp source, and more.
NuLeaf Naturals products contain USDA organic certified hemp seed oil, so you still get the added benefit of this nutrient-rich carrier oil in conjunction with CBD. Additionally, these full-spectrum CBD oils are some of the strongest on the market, containing 60 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. There are no additives within these high-quality CBD oils, and all products are thoroughly lab-tested with easily accessible Certificates of Analysis available online.
Another option for a CBD and hemp seed oil combo comes from Spruce, which makes its tinctures with a potent full-spectrum hemp extract. The Max Potency tincture is one of the strongest on the market, containing a total of 80 milligrams of CBD per serving—2,400 milligrams in total. Customers also have the freedom to choose either an MCT oil or hemp seed oil base for this particular product, or they can opt for the 750 milligram CBD oil for something a little less potent.
If you want the added natural benefits of hemp seed oil, but with a less natural taste, Green Roads is the brand to go for. Its products are formulated by a licensed pharmacist and come with a few flavor options: natural, apple kiwi, and mint breeze. This CBD oil formula is a bit thicker than other oils on the market, and it’s also available in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum options for anyone who wants a THC-free CBD oil.
Is CBD oil better than hemp oil?
Ultimately, CBD oil and hemp oil are two distinct options that both have their pros and cons. Hemp oil has its own set of benefits, which may be well suited to soothe dry skin or support heart health over a period of time, but CBD oil offers certain advantages that hemp seed oil can’t match. If you do decide to pursue CBD oil to help treat a medical condition, please consult your physician, especially if you take any prescription medications.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, copywriter, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. As a writer for Remedy Review, an independent CBD review site, Josh covers the relationship between cannabis-based products and the human body.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before consuming or using any of the products mentioned on this site.
Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil? Learn more about the differences between hemp oil vs. CBD oil, and which product is right for you.
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: What’s the Difference?
With surging interest in CBD since the U.S. Farm Bill passed in late 2018, you may be curious about the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. Unheard of only a few years ago, both hemp and CBD oil are proliferating store shelves, but there are significant differences between these two products.
We put together a guide to help you learn about the similarities and differences between the two hemp derivatives, how to figure out what you need, and where to get the right product.
Hemp Oil & CBD Oil Differences:
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil or hempseed oil is what it sounds like: oil that’s been extracted from the seeds of the industrial hemp variety of the cannabis sativa plant. To extract the oil, hemp seeds are pressed and bottled or further processed and refined before bottling. Hemp oil is rich in omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD or cannabidiol oil is derived from the cannabis sativa (hemp) plant. Instead of using the seeds, CBD is extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, and stalks of matured hemp plants. CBD oil can be extracted through several methods, including carbon dioxide, ethanol, and even olive oil. The extraction method can play a part in the quality of CBD oil.
Similarities Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil
- Both are oils.
- Both can come from the cannabis sativa plant.
- Both are non-intoxicating.
- Both can be applied topically or ingested.
Differences Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil
- Each is derived from a different part of the plant.
- Hemp oil can only be derived from the industrial hemp variety of cannabis sativa, CBD oil can be sourced through several different varieties of the cannabis plant.
- Reputable CBD oil will come with a certificate of analysis (COA) that details exactly what’s in the product. Hemp oil will not come with a COA.
- CBD oil can legally contain up to 0.3% THC based on federal law in the U.S. Hemp oil contains no THC. State and local laws may add other regulations to this.
- Some states have laws that apply to the distribution and manufacture of CBD; hemp oil containing no THC has no such restrictions.
- Hemp oil is a nutrient-rich oil; it contains no cannabinoids and does not reap the benefits of the entourage effect.
- Hemp oil can be purchased on Amazon, but CBD cannot.
- Hemp oil has been used in beauty products for several years, but CBD is relatively new to all industries.
- Though they can both be used topically or ingested, you’re more likely to use hemp oil topically and ingest CBD oil.
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil and the Entourage Effect
Hemp oil has many unique benefits but cannot give you the same as CBD oil thanks to the entourage effect. It is manufactured only from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant, while full spectrum CBD oil uses the entire plant from stem to leaf for production.
When you harvest oil from the entire plant, you get every potential beneficial compound the plant has to offer, including not just CBD, but dozens of other cannabinoids and scent compounds called terpenes.
Hemp seed oil doesn’t have the same cannabinoid profile, terpenes, or other beneficial compounds. You’re only getting a fraction of the benefits that you would from CBD oil and not tapping into the entourage effect.
Why does it matter? The entourage effect is the belief that the different compounds of the cannabis plant work better when they’re used together compared to being used individually. The terpenes help the cannabinoids achieve their best effects; the cannabinoids help other cannabinoids – everything works together harmoniously.
With the entourage effect, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You get the benefits of the entourage effect with full spectrum CBD oil but not with hemp seed oil.
Reading Hemp Oil and CBD Oil Labels
CBD oil is currently unregulated. Marketers and manufacturers might use misleading labeling or claim unfound benefits on their products. Always read the ingredients list to be certain what you’re getting and ignore what the label says.
Hemp oil should always use hemp seed oil as the active ingredient, while CBD oil should list cannabidiol, full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, hemp (not hempseed), or phytocannabinoid-rich CBD as its primary ingredient.
The NuLeaf Naturals Difference
Full spectrum CBD oil from NuLeaf Naturals is blended with pure, organic hemp oil, so you’re getting the best of both worlds. NuLeaf Naturals uses a two-part extraction process in creating CBD oil, which ensures the greatest benefit from the harvested plants.
You can take CBD oil topically, or you can ingest it or take it under the tongue. When choosing a CBD oil, do not be swayed to select purely on cost, as this is one industry where you get what you pay for.
Choose CBD oil that is pure, organic, and full spectrum. Be sure to check out the company’s lab-verified test results. You can access NuLeaf Naturals’ most recent test results here.
Ready to see what CBD oil can do for you? Click here to use our interactive map to find a retailer near you, or shop CBD oil or CBD pills direct from NuLeaf Naturals.
What is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil? This blog answers that question. Click here to read on and learn more about hemp oil.