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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.

Hemp-derived CBD vs. marijuana-derived CBD: what’s the difference?

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Contents

  1. Resin
  2. Contamination
  3. Isolate vs. full-spectrum CBD
  4. The entourage effect
  5. Which to choose? Experts weigh in

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become an increasingly common fixture in medicine cabinets and on the shelves of local convenience stores and major drugstores. There is growing awareness that not all CBD products are made the same, nor are they even necessarily derived from the same kind of cannabis.

There are two classifications for the cannabis plant that produces CBD: hemp and marijuana.

Hemp-derived CBD is sourced from industrial hemp plants, which are grown primarily for their fiber and seeds. Hemp plants tend to differ from marijuana plants in appearance; they are often skinny and scarce in foliage. Hemp is also differentiated from marijuana by its levels of THC, the cannabinoid that possesses intoxicating properties. Under U.S. law a hemp plant must contain no more than 0.3% THC.

Marijuana-derived CBD is extracted from marijuana plants that have thick, lush foliage and flowers that are generally grown and consumed for their intoxicating properties. The U.S. government defines marijuana plants as those which contain more than 0.3% THC. While most marijuana plants contain THC as the predominant cannabinoid, there are several strains of marijuana that are rich in CBD.

That being said, whether CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana, it remains identical on a molecular level.

One critical point of difference between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD is the resin content of each plant. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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“The CBD molecule and its associated pharmacology are the same, whether it was extracted from hemp or from marijuana. CBD is CBD, regardless of where it was originally derived from,” explained Jeremy Riggle, Ph.D, chief scientist at Mary’s Medicinals, a medical cannabis company known for its Transdermal Cannabis Patch.

Despite the identical molecular constitution of hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD, there are certain factors that differentiate CBD products sourced from the two plants.

Resin

One critical point of difference between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD is the resin content of each plant. Cannabis resin is found within the trichomes of buds and, to a lesser extent, on the leaves.

Marijuana plants usually contain copious amounts of resin, while industrial hemp plants contain significantly less. Following that logic, marijuana offers a more abundant source of CBD than hemp. In order to extract CBD oil from hemp plants, a much larger quantity is needed.

There is an exception to this rule. Some emerging craft hemp varieties possess unusually high concentrations of CBD, such as Cherry Charlotte, Cobbler, and Berry Blossom. These cultivars contain between 12% and 20% CBD content with 0.3% THC or less.

Contamination

Where and how the CBD is sourced has a major effect on contamination levels. A lack of stringent local regulations surrounding the production and refinement of hemp could lead to highly contaminated CBD products.

For instance, in China there are few regulations enforced on the agricultural industry, leading to the production of hemp-derived CBD products that tend to contain high levels of contaminants. Studies show that, due to the country’s mining activities, some regions in China have water and soil that are contaminated with heavy metals.

These contaminants manifest as toxicants within the hemp that can potentially taint CBD oil sourced from these plants. In order to remove the risk of ingesting contaminated CBD, it is safer to consume hemp-derived CBD products that are grown without chemical pesticides and tested by a third party.

Isolate vs. full-spectrum CBD

CBD isolate products are those which contain only the CBD molecule, with no accompanying terpenes, THC, or other cannabinoids. For patients with certain medical conditions, or those wishing to avoid THC, CBD isolates made from hemp may be preferred. The alternative to CBD isolates would be whole-plant or full-spectrum CBD products.

CBD isolate products are those which contain only the CBD molecule, with no accompanying terpenes, THC, or other cannabinoids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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“Full-spectrum hemp is the extraction of all of the components — cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc. — of the hemp plant including low levels of THC,” explained Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of Women Grow, an organization connecting female professionals in the cannabis industry; and CEO of National Holistic, a healing center based in Washington, D.C.

Marijuana plants, on the other hand, tend to contain a more diverse terpene profile than hemp. CBD products derived from marijuana plants also tend to contain THC levels higher than 0.3%.

“When you extract from marijuana, you get the added benefit of added terpene profiles that you can customize. Terpenes have an important therapeutic value,” said Dr. Herve Damas, a physician specializing in CBD treatment for professional athletes and director of Grassroots Herbals, a producer of CBD products.

The entourage effect

Research indicates that full-spectrum CBD products, whether extracted from hemp or marijuana plants, may offer enhanced therapeutic benefits.

“The entourage effect is essentially the synergy, in terms of outcome, that has been observed when cannabinoids are combined with other minor cannabinoids and terpenes,” Riggle said. “The combined effect is more pronounced in combination than in isolation, helping to prolong or enhance the overall effects.”

Various studies have shown that the entourage effect could help increase the clinical efficacy of CBD. One meta-analysis paper, published in September 2018, demonstrated that epileptic patients responded better to CBD-rich cannabis extracts that were complemented with other cannabinoids and phytonutrients.

indoor cannabis cultivation warehouse

Knowing where and how your CBD is sourced will provide major insight into potential contamination levels. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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indoor cannabis cultivation warehouse

One of the study’s authors, Fabricio Pamplona, Ph.D, observed, “It’s not necessarily always present in every clinical indication, but we observed that the patients reported lower doses with full-spectrum CBD than with pure/isolated CBD.”

Patients taking CBD-rich cannabis extracts also experienced fewer side effects. “It’s a complicated system that is not yet entirely understood, but the current evidence suggests there is definitely an entourage effect when cannabinoids are combined either with other cannabinoids or with terpenes,” Riggle added.

Which to choose? Experts weigh in

One significant consideration which influences consumer choice between hemp or marijuana-based CBD products is the law. Following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was removed from the government’s list of controlled substances. As a result hemp-derived CBD became legal in all fifty states.

In contrast, marijuana-derived CBD products can only be purchased in states where medical or adult-use cannabis has been legalized.

For those who have the freedom to choose the plant source of their CBD, the experts tend to highlight the benefits of choosing whole-plant products when possible.

“I treat patients with both hemp and marijuana CBD products and I couldn’t say one is more effective than the other. I can concur that most of my patients find that having THC, even the 0.3% found in hemp-derived CBD products, more effective than products with 0% THC,” Damas said.

Macias pointed out that there are medical conditions that respond only to CBD with varying levels of THC, while other conditions do not require the use of THC to achieve medicinal effects.

“Full-spectrum hemp can provide an entourage effect. The medicinal benefits of a hemp-derived entourage effect will depend on the medical condition, stage of the condition, patient physiology, and the dose response,” she explained. “I do believe, however, that CBD-rich marijuana extracts offer greater therapeutic value than full-spectrum hemp CBD, as it pertains to specific medical conditions.”

For those who have the freedom to choose the plant source of their CBD, the experts tended to highlight the benefits of choosing whole-plant products when possible. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Experimenting with both hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD with varying levels of THC and CBD may be the key to finding the right product for your needs. Ideally, choose an organic product of a low concentration, and incrementally increase your intake or product concentration until you find a level that works for you.

“At this point, what we know about cannabinoid therapy is that it is highly individualistic and depends to a significant extent on the symptoms being treated,” Riggle said. “The clinical data is not there yet to provide a one-size-fits-all answer to this question.”

Hemp-derived CBD vs. marijuana-derived CBD: what’s the difference? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Resin Contamination Isolate vs.