Comparing Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil Differences

Ever wonder what the difference is between hemp oil vs CBD oil? The two are often conflated and confused with one another, such as when you search for “CBD oil” on Amazon and find only hemp oil in the search results. But these are completely different products. Yes, they come from the same plant, and they’re often sold side-by-side, but their effects and mechanisms are different.

What Is Hemp Oil?

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds contain no CBD or other cannabinoids, but they’re rich in nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and bioactive compounds.

To clarify the difference between the hemp plant and the cannabis plant, hemp is a cultivar of Cannabis sativa with extremely low THC content. The government definition of industrial hemp is any cannabis plant that contains .3% THC or less.

How to take hemp oil

Hemp oil is most commonly sold in tincture form, so you would place a drop or two under your tongue for absorption into the body. You can also find hemp oil soft gels, gummies, and tablets.

Dosages for hemp oil tend to be much higher than with CBD oil, often above 2,000 mg per serving. Most manufacturers recommend taking one serving, two to three times per day. Always use as directed.

The therapeutic benefits of hemp oil

Much of the benefit comes from the fact that hemp is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Here are just a few of the potential conditions that may be addressed when you take hemp oil:

  • Acne:A study from 2014 concluded that hemp oil may work as an all-natural acne treatment, though the researchers cautioned that clinical trials are still needed.
  • Eczema:A 2005 study observed subjects over 20 weeks and concluded that hemp oil—when used as a dietary supplement—may improve eczema symptoms.
  • Inflammation: Though we don’t have much research into the effects of hemp oil on inflammation specifically, several studies have found that omega-3s can reduce inflammation, a major trigger of cancer and heart disease. Hemp oil is rich in omega-3s.
  • PMS Symptoms: A 2011 study found that hemp oil may contribute to a significant reduction in physical and emotional PMS symptoms. Hemp oil contains gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA), which appears to play a role in the symptom reduction.
  • Bacterial Infections:At least one study has found hemp oil to have strong antibacterial properties; it appears to inhibit the growth of common bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Other Conditions: Hemp oil may also help to promote cardiovascular health and relieve constipation, but more research is needed.

Some hemp oil products claim to address anxiety, stress, and sleep, but there’s little clinical evidence to support such claims. Hemp oil contains no cannabinoids and doesn’t affect the body in the same way as CBD oil.

Side effects of hemp oil

Hemp oil is generally safe and well-tolerated. However, it has been shown to cause minor gastrointestinal issues such as:

  • Soft stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps

These side effects are generally mild and typically occur in people who already have gastrointestinal issues. If you experience any discomfort, consider reducing your dosage or ceasing use.

How hemp oil is made

Hemp seed oil is extracted by pressing hemp seeds. Cold-pressed hemp seeds produce a dark oil that’s generally light green or clear in color. The flavor is typically sweet and nutty, though darker hemp seed oil may have more of a grassy flavor.

Although hemp seeds contain no THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis), it’s possible for some of the surrounding plant matter to get mixed in with the seeds during production. As a result, hemp seed oil may contain just trace amounts of THC, usually less than .1%.

Is hemp oil legal in all 50 states?

The 2018 farm bill legalized industrial hemp for cultivation, manufacture, and sale. Hemp is no longer subject to the federal restrictions and penalties of the Controlled Substances Act.

Most states respect the federal guidelines, but South Dakota expressly prohibits the sale and use of hemp oil. Idaho and Mississippi also have restrictive laws on the books, though the Idaho Senate has approved the creation of a regulated, statewide hemp program.

How much does hemp oil cost?

Hemp oil products are typically much more affordable than CBD products, often ranging between $10 and $50 for a 30mL container. These products are more cost-effective because you can extract far more hemp seed oil than CBD from a Cannabis sativa plant.

Still, you have to be careful when shopping. Some hemp oil retailers are using deceptive marketing to make you think you’re getting CBD oil, and then they jack up the price to account for the perceived value. For example, a hemp oil product package might contain marketing language like “Stress & Anxiety Relief” and “Pain Relief,” two issues commonly associated with CBD oil. Some customers then overpay for the product because they think they’re getting CBD. Don’t be fooled.

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an active compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Whereas hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds, CBD is extracted from the leaves and flowers. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive (i.e. it doesn’t get you high). The active compound is usually contained within a carrier liquid like coconut oil and consumed for various therapeutic purposes.

How to take CBD oil

CBD is commonly available in tincture form. You can also find vape oils, capsules, bath bombs, disposable tablets, and topical solutions like creams and lotions. Some companies are getting really creative with products like CBD cigarettes and concentrates.

Cannabidiol is also being infused into many foods and beverages, though many states still prohibit this. If you explore CBD coupons, you can find a full range of unique cannabidiol products.

The therapeutic benefits of CBD oil

Though research is still in its infancy, CBD has shown promise for a number of common conditions, including:

  • Epilepsy: One study found that CBD was able to reduce seizure activity in epilepsy patients by more than 36%.
  • Muscle Spasms: Cannabidiol is one of the key ingredients in Sativex, an oral spray that has been shown to reduce muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients. One study found that CBD was able to reduce spasticity in 75% of patients.
  • Pain: CBD interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. Studies have shown that these interactions may result in reduced inflammation and the blocking of pain signals to the brain.
  • Anxiety: In a Brazilian control study, 57 men were given either CBD or a placebo before speaking in public. A 300 mg dose of CBD significantly reduced the test subjects’ anxiety while the placebo had no effect. Another study found CBD to be effective for anxiety and insomnia in children with PTSD.
  • High Blood Pressure:A 2017 study examined the resting blood pressure of healthy men treated with 600 mg of CBD vs. placebo. Cannabidiol was found to reduce resting blood pressure and also minimize blood pressure spikes during a stress test.

Preliminary studies have also shown potential benefits for treating cancer symptoms, acne, and diabetes, but more research is needed.

Side effects of CBD oil

Possible side effects of CBD oil are mild and may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Fatigue

If you experience side effects, consider reducing the dosage. As with hemp oil, CBD oil is extremely well-tolerated in most users.

How CBD oil is made

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s a complex process that requires specialized techniques like carbon dioxide extraction.

Some manufacturers extract only the cannabidiol from the plant. The resulting product is known as CBD isolate (all cannabidiol, no other cannabinoids). Some manufacturers will extract all of the compounds from the plant, producing a product known as full-spectrum CBD. When the THC is removed from full-spectrum CBD, it’s known as broad-spectrum CBD.

Is CBD oil legal in all 50 states?

Like hemp oil, CBD oil is federally legal under the 2018 farm bill—so long as it’s derived from hemp. Cannabidiol products are available in most states, but a few states regulate CBD oil more heavily than hemp oil.

In Idaho, for example, cannabidiol products must have 0% THC. This is stricter than the federal law which requires .3% THC or less. Missouri allows only qualifying epilepsy patients to purchase and consume CBD products. South Dakota prohibits all hemp-based derivatives, including CBD oil.

How much does CBD oil cost?

CBD oil is not cheap and it is considerably costlier than hemp oil. Prices often range from $50 to $150 or more for a 30mL container. The higher cost is due to several factors:

  • Most cannabis plants have around 1% cannabidiol. Some high-CBD strains have as much as 4%. In other words, it takes a lot of hemp to extract a small amount of CBD.
  • CBD extraction requires costly equipment. The best CO2 extraction tools cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • CBD extraction is a complex and meticulous process, requiring specialized experts.
  • CBD quality testing is expensive. A full panel of tests can cost over $500 in some cases.

If you want good CBD oil, expect to pay a premium.

Choosing Between CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil

Still trying to choose between CBD oil and hemp oil? Consider the following side-by-side comparison:

Hemp Oil  CBD Oil 
May promote heart health and treat common skin conditions, inflammation, and infections May treat seizures, depression, anxiety, cancer symptoms, and chronic pain
Legal in most states Legal in most states with some restrictions
Extremely affordable (as low as $10 a bottle) More costly ($50 or more per bottle)
Side effects include minor gastrointestinal distress Side effects include diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite

Once you know the benefits you’re striving to achieve, making the decision is easy.

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