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Hemp Seed Oil Vs. Cbd Oil: Two Totally Different Things—Here’s What to Know

Rachel Lapidos

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These days, the green-washing on CBD products can be hard to navigate, and the vocab one needs to navigate the CBD-lined shelves is extensive to say the least. Brands want to get in on the much-praised benefits, after all—but the issue here is that the terms being marketed under the “cannabis” umbrella aren’t all the same thing.

Truth be told, oftentimes, you’ll see the cannabis plant touted on a label, but the specific ingredient being used isn’t so crystal clear. And there are any number of ingredients that can come from the cannabis or hemp plants from hemp oil to CBD oil to cannabis sativa seed oil, each of which have their own unique benefits, despite often being used interchangeably. To clear up the confusion, I sought out advice from the pros.

CBD oil

CBD is a term signifying a component of the cannabis plant that comes with the much-talked about anti-inflammatory benefits, and you’re seeing it on everything from skin-care products to high-vibe tinctures. It’s extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the cannabis plant. “Cannabidiol—known as CBD—is one of over a hundred active compounds or cannabinoids found exclusively in the cannabis plant,” says Cindy Capobianco, co-founder of Lord Jones. “CBD acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which reduces pain and inflammation. It’s been used for centuries to successfully provide pain relief to muscle aches, arthritis, joint pain, neuropathic conditions, headaches, and to aid skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, even sunburn, and bug bites when used topically.” Phew. When ingested, Capobianco notes that the anti-inflammatory powers remain, and it “provides relief from anxiety and promotes a calm sense of well-being,” she says.

The cannabinoid itself is a potent, highly anti-inflammatory antioxidant. “It’s been shown in multiple studies to reduce lipid product from the sebaceous glands—and the overproduction of this sebum is what leads to acne,” says Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, a new online CBD retail destination. You’ll see it on product labels as the following terms: CBD, hemp CBD, and phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil. Hence the obvious confusion.

Hemp oil

Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is relative to many other carrier oils—along the lines of sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil—in that it’s a cold-pressed extract from seeds. “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,” explains Capobianco. “Hemp seed or cannabis sativa seed oil has been available in health food stores for decades and abundantly present in smoothies and skin care.”

So this means it has absolutely no cannabinoids in it—not CBD, THC, or CBN, says Lewis. “It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” she says. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin—it has a comedogenic rating of zero.” It shows up on the product label as hemp seed oil, cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, virgin hemp oil, and hemp oil.

The problem with the mix-up

Since both are essentially wellness ingredients, you won’t exactly be harmed if you accidentally purchase or use one instead of the other; however, if you’re trying to reap the maximum benefits of CBD oil, hemp seed oil won’t deliver…which is a problem considering that these oils don’t come cheap. “Unfortunately, we see a number of brands cynically cashing in on the popularity and cannabis trend and even making false claims that their products contain CBD when they contain none,” says Capobianco. “Some brands are calling hemp seed oil cannabis sativa oil, which is deceiving.”

Sure, they both come from the same plant, but they’re significantly different beyond that: “The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” says Lewis. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

To make sure you’re not falling into any marketing traps, it’s key to check the product label. “If you’re looking for the unique benefits of CBD, make sure you’re purchasing a product that clearly states it contains it,” says Capobianco. “Read labels, ask questions, and know what you’re buying.” That savviness will help the wellness industry continue to reap—and normalize—the plant’s benefits, which is a win-win for all.

Experts explain CBD vs hemp oil, the different benefits of each, and how to decipher between the two since both are often used interchangeably.

Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: What’s the Difference?

Hemp oil vs. CBD oil

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 vs. full spectrum CBD oil

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.