Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil : What They Are and Why It Matters

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil : What They Are and Why It Matters

Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming more mainstream, and as research and CBD-based products become more available, the easier it’ll be for people to obtain them. And as more people get involved with or develop an interest in CBD, the easier it is for facts to become distorted and for misconceptions to occur.

One of the most common misunderstandings is hemp oil vs CBD oil and whether they’re the same thing.

There’s much confusion about the connection between hemp oil and CBD oil because the terms are often used interchangeably on several products. In many cases, hemp oil is rightfully used to refer to CBD oil.

But hemp oil is also frequently used to refer to hemp seed oil. And hemp seed oil is an entirely different product from CBD oil. While both come from Cannabis sativa plants and have beneficial effects, they are created differently and have different uses.

By gaining a deeper understanding of the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, you can be assured that you’re choosing the better product for you and your needs.

Seeds sit in a wooden bowl next to a wooden scoop of hemp seeds near a jar of hemp oil

What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil is a natural supplement that contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, B vitamins and vitamin D, and other nutritional antioxidants. Although its efficacy isn’t entirely clear, hemp seed oil is usually eaten to maintain cardiovascular health.

Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that hemp seed oil is useful for improving total cholesterol levels, high and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides. Other uses of hemp seed oil include constipation relief, better skin, improved gastrointestinal health, and a stronger immune system.

Because hemp seed oil serves as a great source of nutrients, it’s typically added to other edible products like cookies, yogurts, loaves of bread, and snack bars. Consuming hemp seed oil is proven to be safe. There have been some consumer reports of digestive issues from using hemp seed oil, but it’s not a common effect.

A hand holds up a hemp leaf against a bright sun shining over a hemp field

How Is Hemp Seed Oil Made?

Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of hemp plants. Manufacturers typically make hemp seed oil by cold-pressing Cannabis sativa seeds and refining the oil extraction. The process usually includes cleaning the seeds before pressing them to oil.

Because it’s made from seeds, hemp seed oil doesn’t have a cannabinoid profile. It contains no terpenes nor cannabinoids – more importantly, no traces of THC at all and zero CBD. Hemp seed oil is useful mainly as a dietary supplement or as a food oil.

Compared to other food-based oils, hemp seed oil contains high levels of polyunsaturated fat and small amounts of saturated fat. However, there are other ways to use hemp seed oil than just cooking with it.

An attractive dark haired woman in a polka dot shirt scratches her arm

What Are the Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil?

Other than the nutritional values mentioned earlier, hemp seed oil also offers a few more different uses – mainly in skincare and PMS relief.

Research says hemp seed oil can help people with eczema; the study found that it may improve symptoms of the condition, including itching and dryness. According to the study, this response occurs from the effects of hemp seed oil’s omega-6 and 3’s fatty acid.

Cannabis sativa is a natural source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which scientists have found can reduce inflammation that occurs with menopause. And studies suggest that hemp seed oil can help alleviate PMS symptoms by lowering the prolactin hormone.

While CBD also has beneficial uses, it works entirely differently with the body compared to hemp seed oil, and it’s made from another extraction method. But what is CBD, and how does it compare to hemp seed oil?

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid naturally occurring in Cannabis sativa; it’s an organic chemical that comprises about 40 percent of industrial hemp. It has no intoxicating properties, so it cannot induce any “high” or euphoria.

CBD works by stimulating the endocannabinoid system – a biological structure common in all vertebrates. This system helps maintain homeostasis, the human body’s natural balance of physical and chemical systems when responding to various physiological conditions.

A white pad with immune system written on it sits beneath a stethoscope

Within the endocannabinoid system, CBD molecules attach to CB2 cannabinoid receptors that are connected to the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS includes various organs and systems, such as the immune system, muscles, skin, and limbs.

CBD is typically the active ingredient in CBD oil. Still, depending on which CBD oil you’re using – either broad spectrum, full spectrum, or CBD isolate – it may contain other cannabinoids that work synergistically with CBD, boosting its effectiveness.

A slim metal scoop picks up a droplet of thick cbd oil

How Is CBD Oil Made?

CBD oil makers extract CBD from the leaves, stems, flowers, and stalks of matured hemp plants – not the seeds. And there are several extraction methods used for pulling CBD from hemp material, including solvents, carbon dioxide, dry ice, and olive oil.

Once the CBD is pulled, manufacturers have to infuse the isolates into a carrier oil, so it’s safe for human use. And most reputable makers of CBD oil use MCT oil as a carrier because of its benefits compared to other edible oils.

The quality of CBD oil is often influenced by how the CBD is extracted from the hemp material. And because CBD is harvested from the whole hemp plant, the extraction typically contains terpenes, cannabinoids, and other essential oils that, together, generate the entourage effect.

What Is The Entourage Effect?

The entourage effect means that cannabis compounds, including CBD and other cannabinoids, have a greater impact when working together than individually.

The terpenoids assist the cannabinoids with their peak effects, and other cannabinoids like cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) help boost the effects of CBD.

With the entourage effect, the CBD formula in hemp-based oils works better as a whole than each ingredient would alone. And you can only gain benefits from the entourage effect from broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD oils – not from hemp seed oil.

An attractive woman in a purple shirt stands meditatively with her eyes closed

What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?

We mentioned earlier that CBD stimulates the CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system to help sustain homeostasis. CBD offers various effects depending on how people use it.

For instance, consumer reports and studies imply CBD is useful for stress. In fact, CBD for stress is the number one reason most people begin using it. And researchers have explored CBD’s potential to lower stress responses by affecting the blood vessels and blood pressure.

Another reason for the rising interest in CBD oil and its benefits is how it affects sleep. But if you’re questioning, “does CBD make you tired?” it isn’t the CBD by itself that causes sleepiness.

CBD sleep aids typically combine CBD with a natural sleep hormone called melatonin – along with a blend of other sleep-inducing ingredients. Individually, CBD helps create a sense of calm and relaxation without making you feel groggy. It’s the melatonin and other elements that allow you to drift asleep naturally.

Similar to hemp seed oil, CBD oil can also be a useful topical but for a different reason. While hemp oil from crushed cannabis seeds helps maintain unclogged pores and relieve dryness and itch, CBD oil works with CB2 receptors located in the skin to help alleviate minor discomfort and aches.

Although topical CBD has a different purpose than hemp seed oil, there is favorable research exploring CBD as a skincare option. And more beauty products such as face creams and moisturizing lotions containing CBD are starting to emerge.

Is Hemp Oil the Same as CBD Oil?

The straightforward answer is no. It doesn’t matter how many brands are intentionally or mistakenly mixing up the terms “CBD oil” and “hemp oil” to sell cannabis-infused products; these two substances are not identical.

But then why would sellers market the terms as the same?

The main reason would be that CBD oil and hemp seed oil come from the same cannabis family, and for some manufacturers and users, that’s all they care to know. And without a decent grasp of the differences between the two, products are often labeled the same.

Another reason is that companies know how much more money consumers are willing to pay for CBD oil. Because of its sophisticated extraction process, CBD costs much more to extract than hemp seed oil.

It isn’t too hard for a company to spend less to extract hemp seed oil, put it in a product, and brand it so that consumers believe they’re buying a CBD-infused item when there’s no CBD in it at all.

Conversely, some brands may market their CBD products as hemp oil to circumvent federal regulations. Many of these rules sharply limit how companies can advertise CBD oil.

The best way to determine what you’re buying is to check the ingredients list. CBD oils typically list their main ingredient as cannabidiol, broad spectrum hemp, full spectrum hemp, or hemp extracts. And hemp seed oil usually says it contains Cannabis sativa seed oil.

What Is the Difference In Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil?

Although both come from Cannabis sativa plants, we’ve covered many differences between the two:

Hemp Oil (Hemp Seed Oil) CBD Oil
Low cannabinoid profile Uses carrier oil
Offers mostly nutritional benefits Generates the entourage effect
Extracted from crushed hemp seeds Extracted from whole cannabis plant
Used mainly for cooking and skincare Contains cannabinoids and terpenes
An abundance of fatty acids and protein Works with the endocannabinoid system
Offers several benefits (sleep, stress, discomfort, etc.)

And they also have their similarities: they’re non-intoxicating, can be used topically or internally, offer wholesome benefits, and are oils.

Learn More About CBD at cbdMD

Have you had any experience with hemp seed oil? What are some of your key uses for either CBD oil or hemp seed oil? Have you been confused into buying one thinking it was the other? Share your responses in our comment section or on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.


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