Is Hemp Oil CBD Oil? Demystifying the Truth

Is Hemp Oil CBD Oil?

Posted on April 24th, 2021

There has been a lot of public interest in the benefits of hemp oil and CBD oil lately. Something to be expected, really, ever since the passing of the 2018 US Farm Bill and the approval of the first CBD-based drug by the FDA, Epidiolex. The awareness of CBD only seems to become greater with each passing day

However, the cannabis industry as a whole has a lot of confusion surrounding it as well as false information and unclear laws.  The difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is one of the key areas in which many are lost, for example. As far as most people care, hemp oil and CBD oil are essentially one and the same thing. But is this really the truth? Is hemp oil CBD oil?

What is Cannabis?Is Hemp Oil CBD Oil? - a hemp plant up close

The term cannabis refers to a genus of flowering plants that belong to the family Cannabaceae. Three of the most well-known species within this genus include Cannabis sativa L., Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis indica. While cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are terms sometimes used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. Hemp and marijuana are actually different varieties of the species cannabis sativa. They are two different classes of cannabis-based on their THC content, as we’ll get to see below.

What is Hemp?

Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is a term used to refer to varieties of Cannabis sativa L. containing 0.3% or less THC. lest we forget, THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and the reason why marijuana, a THC heavy variety, gets you high, Mankind grew hemp for thousands of years mainly for its fiber and its edible seeds which are highly nutritious. The hemp plant also contains high concentrations of CBD in various parts of the plant, excluding the seeds. CBD or cannabidiol is the second most abundant cannabinoid after THC. CBD has enormous potential as a viable treatment for a wide range of conditions, which explains its increased popularity in the health and wellness industry.

While the hemp plant can also produce THC, it produces such negligible amounts of it that it doesn’t cause any intoxicating effects. This means that hemp-derived CBD is safe to use and has minimal side effects.

What is Marijuana?

Legally, in the US, marijuana refers to varieties of cannabis containing THC concentrations higher than 0.3%. However, some countries, such as the UK, have set a limit at 0.2%. Thus, the definition of hemp and marijuana will vary depending on where you are.

In case you ever wondered, when we talk about medical marijuana, it refers to derivatives of Cannabis sativa L. and indica. These contain three major active compounds: THC, CBD, and CBN, used for treating a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Anxiety.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Epilepsy, among other conditions.

However, keep in mind that any cannabis product containing more than 0.3% THC is illegal on a federal level as well as in some states.

How Is Hemp Different from Marijuana?

While both hemp and marijuana belong to the Cannabis sativa L. species of cannabis, there exist significant differences between them.

First, it is important to note that both hemp and marijuana have similar scents, and for the inexperienced eye, they might look alike.

However, hemp leaves are skinnier than marijuana leaves. The marijuana plants also resemble a short bush; the hemp plant is tall and skinny.

With that said, let’s take a look at the most important key differences between the two:

Composition:  While the legal definition of hemp is cannabis that contains 0.3% or less THC, some hemp plants do contain a bit more. On the other hand, marijuana typically contains 5% or more THC.

Cultivation: Manufacturers typically grow hemp to maximize size and yield. Thus, they grow it outdoors and don’t give it any specialized care. On the other hand, marijuana farmers aim to enhance the plant’s characteristics and ensure that the plants are female. Thus, they want it to produce flowers, which are rich in THC, so they adjust elements such as temperature, light, and humidity.

Usage: Marijuana sees use for recreational purposes in order for it to give out an intoxicating effect. Meanwhile, hemp uses were formerly mainly for industrial purposes, such as making ropes, clothes, and paper, until the advent of CBD.

What Are Hemp Seeds?

Hemp seeds are the small brown edible seeds obtained from the hemp plant. They are interesting from a nutritional perspective due to their high nutritional value. They are rich in:

  • Essential amino acids
  • Proteins
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfur
  • Iron
  • Phosphorous
  • And potassium.

Uses of Hemp Seeds

Besides eating them as edible seeds, they are also a feature in many packaged products, including:

  • Hemp oil
  • Hemp milk
  • Ground hemp flour
  • Hemp ice cream
  • And hemp protein powder.

What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

In order to answer the question, is hemp oil CBD oil? We need to first understand what these two products are individual.

Hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as hemp oil, comes from cold-pressing hemp seeds. It is important to note that hemp seeds do not contain any THC and contain little to no CBD content. Thus, pure hemp seed oil doesn’t contain any CBD.

Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is rich in nutrients, fatty acids, as well a wide range of minerals, all of which have benefits for the body.

Here are some of the key benefits of hemp seed oil:

  • Help treat skin conditions such as eczema thanks to the polyunsaturated fats contained in it. It can also go into treating skin conditions such as cradle cap and acne.
  • Improved cardiovascular health due to the presence of the amino acid arginine.
  • Fastens the healing of minor cuts
  • It can help lower blood pressure, especially useful for people suffering from high blood pressure. According to research, omega-3 fatty acids used together with blood pressure medicine can help reduce blood pressure further.
  • Pain relief thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It can help to minimize hunger and sugar cravings.

How Do They Make Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp oil uses different extraction techniques than CBD oil. Traditionally, hemp oil comes to be through the use of an oilseed press machine. The machine crushes the seeds to release the oil while discarding the pulp.

Nowadays, the use of cold-press oil machines is the favorite method as it helps to carry the chemicals of the seeds into the final product.

What is CBD Oil?

While hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, CBD oil´s source is the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant.

Various methods can extract CBD oil, including traditional solvent-based techniques. The more preferred, however, is the supercritical fluid extraction technique or CO2 extraction.

Benefits of CBD Oil

The benefits of CBD oil are in the early stages of research, but well documented, That is one of the main reasons why it managed to break its way into the mainstream market.

CBD works in the body by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system as well as other receptors to produce various effects. Here are some of the potential benefits health benefits of CBD:

  • Helps to treat pain and inflammation
  • Helps to promote sleep
  • Helps to treat nausea and vomiting
  • Helps to manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • It can help to prevent some cancers
  • Helps to treat allergies and asthma
  • Helps to treat epilepsy and seizures. In fact, Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved CBD-based drug.
  • And the list of benefits continues to grow longer with further research.

Is Hemp Oil CBD Oil? Are They the Same?Is Hemp Oil CBD Oil? - a hemp plant under a magnifying glass

No, but before the term CBD oil, people used to call it hemp oil despite hemp seed oil already existing. While hemp oil has existed for decades already, CBD oil is a relatively new product introduced after the legalization of hemp. In the short span of time since its introduction, CBD could arguably now be bigger than hemp oil ever was.

Given that they both come from the same cannabis sativa L. plant, it is easy for people to get confused. What’s important to note is that hemp seeds do not contain any CBD. This obviously means that oil obtained from hemp seeds won’t have CBD either.

On the other hand, oil obtained from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant will have CBD. So, to be on the safe side, it is always important to check the ingredient list to know exactly what you are buying.

Hemp seed oil will typically appear on the list as cannabis sativa seed oil. Meanwhile, CBD will typically appear as full-spectrum hemp, cannabidiol, or PCR, an acronym for phytocannabinoid-rich.

Which Is Best? Is Hemp Oil CBD Oil’s Better?

The simple answer is no, CBD oil is better. While hemp has its own unique benefits, especially for those with skin conditions, CBD oil has far more health benefits. This is the reason why some brands try to sell hemp seed oil off as CBD oil despite it having no CBD.

CBD gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and it was for this good reason, the product simply provides more benefits than hemp oil.

You need to make sure that you get your CBD oil from reputable suppliers such as to gain the real and maximum benefits of CBD.


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