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hemp vs cbd oil

7 Key Differences Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil

Dave Kriegel

  1. Chemical makeup
  2. Production methods
  3. CBD content
  4. Monetary value
  5. Where it’s purchased
  6. Uses and purposes
  7. Different labeling (should be)

With the CBD craze in full swing, there is still a lot of confusion going around. So what exactly is CBD oil, and is it the same thing as “hemp oil“? No, they are actually completely different things. One of them is used primarily in cooking and the manufacturing of beauty products, whereas the other is an oral tincture that is said to provide its own range of benefits. Both are made from hemp, so it is sometimes hard to figure out which one is which.

Unfortunately, just because a product has a hemp leaf on it or is marketed as hemp oil, that doesn’t necessarily make it a CBD product. There are products out there “infused with hemp oil”, but how much CBD is in it? Keep reading to find out.

Chemical makeup

The quickest way to tell the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil is by looking at the labels and ingredients. They both come from hemp, which is a specific type of cannabis plant that’s rich in cannabidiol and extremely low in THC. (Usually around 0.3%)

“Hemp oil” is more accurately known as hemp seed oil. As the name suggests, it’s extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil has been commonly used for cooking and as an ingredient in various beauty products for many years. Some popular brands, like Nutiva for example, market their product as “hemp oil”. But when you look at the ingredients, it says “raw, organic unrefined hemp seed oil”.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is derived from hemp, or any cannabidiol-rich cannabis strain. It’s made using the entirety of the hemp plant, not just the seeds. The active ingredient will likely be listed as a “whole plant extract”, most commonly CBD isolate or distillate. CBD oil tinctures usually contain some type of carrier oil, like MCT oil or olive oil for example. Other common labels associated with CBD oil are full spectrum, broad spectrum, PCR, or phytocannabinoid-rich.

CBD oil is a term that is sometimes inaccurately associated with CBD vapes. These products are similar to CBD oil tinctures in that they contain hemp-based extracts, but they are specifically formulated for vaping. CBD vapes typically contain the same ingredients used in e-liquid like vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol and flavorings. Instead of nicotine, they generally contain either CBD isolate, a water-soluble form of CBD, or distillate—a highly refined cannabis extract that is generally infused with a wider range of additional naturally-occurring phytocannabinoids and terpenes.

Production methods

The method of production is another major difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is generally produced through cold-press extraction using hemp seeds. CBD oil is produced using the entire hemp plant and more high-tech extraction techniques. The most commonly used methods for CBD oil extraction are supercritical fluid extraction (also known as CO2 extraction), or the more traditional solvent-based extraction. Hemp oil tends to be green and dark, while CBD oil is usually more of a light golden to dark brown color.

  • Hemp seed oil: Made using cold press extraction using hemp seeds. Typically has a dark to clear light green color and a nutty flavor.
  • CBD oil: Made using CO2 or solvent-based extraction using whole hemp plants. Typically has a clear to dark gold color and has either a neutral or earthy plant flavor.

CBD content

This is a very important one. Products that contain CBD usually have a label displaying the amount of milligrams of CBD per unit or per serving. Hemp is naturally rich in CBD so, since CBD oil is produced using the whole plant, it naturally contains very high levels of CBD. It may also contain other naturally occurring organic compounds, known as phytocannabinoids and terpenes. The more premium CBD oil brands also publish third party test results with a detailed breakdown of its cannabinoid and terpene profile, along with various other metrics for quality.

The bad news is that hemp seed oil is actually a very poor source of CBD! If a product doesn’t have a label listing the amount of CBD in milligrams, chances are it’s not even a valid CBD product. Interestingly enough, hemp seed oil can actually still contain trace amounts of THC, but not anywhere near the amount it would take for you to get high or fail a drug test.

hemp oil vs cbd oil infographic

Monetary value

CBD oil is a lot more expensive to produce than hemp seed oil. For that reason alone, it is going to cost you more. If a product claims to be made with premium CBD oil, it’s probably not going to be cheap. And if it is, you might want to double check it for legitimacy.

Unfortunately there may be some products made with hemp seed oil that are marketed as hemp-based products. Technically, they still are, even if they don’t contain CBD. Just because a product has a hemp leaf on the package or logo, doesn’t necessarily mean it is a CBD product. Although price can sometimes be a decent indication, never judge a book by its cover.

Where it’s purchased

Both hemp seed oil and CBD oil can be found at your local pharmacy, grocery store, and health food stores. However, most of the time you will find that they are generally sold in different locations. The more reputable CBD oil brands can be purchased online directly from their website. A lot of pharmacies, and even corner stores these days, have started carrying some of the more legitimate CBD oil brands. A few years ago, this was not the case.

Hemp seed oil can always be found at your local grocery store, beauty store and online shops like Amazon. They are sometimes marketed as hemp oil, but the ingredients will have to list “hemp seed oil”. If you’re looking to take CBD oil for medicinal purposes, hemp seed oil will not provide those same benefits—although it does happen to be a very good source of protein and essential fatty acids (omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9).

Uses and purposes

Since hemp oil and CBD oil are not the same thing, their applications differ greatly. Hemp seed oil is generally found in beauty products for hair and skincare, or used for cooking and salads. CBD oil, on the other hand, usually refers to an oral tincture containing CBD, which is taken sublingually by putting drops under the tongue. CBD oil is also the main component in many CBD-rich products like edibles, topicals and other products infused with cannabidiol.

For the record, when people say they’re “vaping CBD oil”, they are (or should be) vaping e-juice containing some type of CBD concentrate or extract. Most of the time it’s going to be made from CBD isolate, a highly concentrated crystalized form of CBD that happens to be water soluble. Other vapes may contain either some form of CBD distillate, shatter or concentrate. CBD oil tinctures, on the other hand, use an oil-based carrier, which makes them unsuitable for vaping.

Different labeling (should be)

In order to fully understand the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, we must also understand what they have in common. Both hemp seed oil and CBD oil are products derived from hemp. Both of them might even have a hemp leaf on the packaging. They can both be organic, kosher, non-GMO, vegan, etc. Sometimes you can even find them at the same location. But be careful, do your research and always read labels. It’s too easy to mix the two up, and it’s unfortunate that some businesses have resorted to misrepresenting their products in an attempt to increase profits.

To sum it all up, hemp oil, or better known as hemp seed oil, is not the same thing as CBD oil. It comes from the seeds of the hemp plant and does not contain significant levels of CBD!

Hemp oil and CBD oil are two completely different things. This guide aims to explain how to tell the difference between the two and to help you avoid unnecessary confusion.

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.