Are you looking for the short answer?
That’s an easy one….
No. They are absolutely not the same thing.
Their manufacturing processes are completely different, their chemical composition are different, and they don’t offer the same health benefits.
At this point, you might be shaking your head. After all, they both come from hemp, don’t they?
And they’re both used in a wide range of products from oils to foods to skincare.
So, what’s the difference?
The answer to this question is a bit longer, but knowing the difference is vital if you want to enjoy the health benefits of either.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into hemp oil and CBD oil, explain the differences (there are quite a few!) and shed some light onto why there’s so much confusion between the two.
What is hemp oil?
Hemp seed oil is similar to other carrier oils (like sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil) and is extracted via hemp seed cold pressing. Keep in mind that hemp oil (more accurately called hemp seed oil), contains only hemp seed, no other parts of the plant are used.
The oil is full of health-giving compounds including antioxidants and fatty acids but contains no cannabinoids at all. It’s considered to be a superfood and a health supplement, so it’s often used in healthy meal preparation, and it’s well-researched moisturising and skin softening-properties make it a popular beauty and skincare ingredient.
The benefits of hemp seed oil include its nutritional properties: it’s an excellent source of protein as well as other compounds such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants. It’s commonly used to help treat dry skin conditions such as eczema and may reduce symptoms of inflammation associated with menopause and PMS in women.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers, stalks and leaves of industrial hemp and from there it is added to a carrier oil and can be made into a variety of different products from tinctures and edibles to beauty products and more.
CBD contains cannabidiol along with over 100 other cannabinoids that are found exclusively in the cannabis plant, as well as a host of flavonoids, terpenes and other health-promoting compounds that work together in synergy (called the ‘entourage effect’).
CBD offers many health benefits that are currently the subject of ongoing scientific studies. The cannabinoid has been shown to reduce lipid production by sebaceous glands and may, therefore be effective in treating acne. It can help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. CBD has also been used effectively to reduce symptoms associated with stress, anxiety and depression, including insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Why is there confusion?
Well, for starters, both hemp seed oil and CBD come from the hemp plant. True they come from different parts of the plant, but if you see a cannabis leaf on a hemp oil bottle when you’re browsing at your local health store, it won’t come as a big surprise that many people mistake one for the other.
There are also brands that intentionally take advantage of this overlap. Hemp seed oil is a much more affordable product, so many brands have chosen to add hemp seed oil to an existing food supplement or beauty product to take advantage of the current CBD trend.
Additionally, because CBD is still a banned substance on many online retail and advertising platforms (such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Amazon), brands may choose to advertise their products as hemp oil when, in fact, it’s actually CBD oil.
Both products offer essential health and wellness-supporting benefits, but if you’ve bought hemp seed oil thinking that it’s CBD, you’re not going to get the benefits, and you might conclude that that CBD isn’t effective.
I want to buy CBD, what should I look for?
Unfortunately, with so much misinformation on the web, and unscrupulous companies looking to make a quick profit, it can be tricky to make an informed decision. The CBD industry has little in the way of regulatory oversight which leaves CBD newbies open to making poor choices.
Here are two checks you can do:
There are definitely companies selling hemp oil but labelling it in such a way as to confuse the end consumer. Some make patently false claims, while others use vague wording to mislead the customer.
To avoid falling into these traps, you need to check the product label carefully. If you are looking to purchase CBD oil, the label should clearly reflect the concentration of CBD. It may be referred to as cannabidiol, hemp CBD, phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil or PCR hemp extract.
If the label refers to Cannabis Sativa (hemp) seed oil, hemp oil or virgin hemp oil, then you are most likely looking at a hemp seed oil product.
A Reputable Brand
There are thousands of CBD products on the market, and a quick trip to your local health store will give you more options than you could ever need. So, how do you choose? The best place to start is with a reputable brand that has a strong track record and an unwavering commitment to quality.
At Purity Hemp Co, for example, we have built our company on the pillars of trust, transparency, integrity and confidence and these pillars inform everything that we do. We take the trust that our clients place in us seriously and are committed to ensuring that every product contains the highest quality ingredients and offer full transparency from seed to shelf.
The benefits of using a product from a reputable brand are countless. It means that you don’t have to do as much homework, you can ask for information and get advice you can trust. You have access to the data you need from where the hemp is sourced through to how the products are tested in third-party labs.
CBD and hemp oil are entirely different, and if you mistakenly purchase hemp oil thinking that it is CBD, you won’t get the results you’re looking for, and it may lead you to conclude that CBD doesn’t work for you. The cannabinoid CBD is found in the stalk, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant and is extracted to make CBD oil, while hemp oil is a cold-pressed oil made from hemp seeds.
Then, even if you do purchase CBD, there is a good chance that the labelling may be misleading or even false, and the CBD oil itself might not be good quality or sufficiently concentrated enough to give you the results you’re looking for.
To ensure that you get the right oil, and are able to experience the full effects, it’s vital that you do your homework and find a reputable brand, then make sure you read the label and check the third-party lab reports before you buy.