Hemp is a popular wellness supplement these days, but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding it. For instance, people often ask what the difference is between CBD oil and hemp seed oil. Some folks use the terms interchangeably, but are they actually the same thing?
Not at all.
If you’re looking for therapeutic relief in some form or another, you won’t find it with hemp seed oil. It doesn’t have the necessary hemp plant compounds to make that happen.
On the other hand, CBD oil does provide the therapeutic benefits you’re looking for, since it possesses a wide range of cannabinoids and beneficial terpenes.
Hemp-derived CBD products and hemp seed oil are both products of the cannabis hemp plant, but there are some pretty distinct differences in benefits. Let’s take a look!
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Most people are surprised to find out hemp seed oil isn’t capable of any therapeutic effects, especially compared to what you expect from CBD oil.
Hemp seed oil comes from hemp seeds, of course, and it’s most known for its ability to deeply nourish the skin. This is one of the main reasons you’ll see hemp seed oil in various skincare products. It’s non-comedogenic and does have anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically to the skin.
The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seed oil work well for many skin issues, like eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and acne. This is why hemp seed oil is often used in hair and skin formulations.
Since hemp seed oil comes from the part of the cannabis plant that doesn’t have cannabinoid content, it’s simply not capable of producing any therapeutic effects — but CBD oil does.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a type of compound known as a cannabinoid. CBD oil comes from the buds, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant — where cannabinoids and other helpful compounds live and are ultimately extracted and processed into CBD oil for your benefit.
CBD oil is often blended with another fatty oil, like MCT oil, to increase absorption and effectiveness. When added to your wellness regimen, CBD can help you experience a wide range of therapeutic effects (which we’ll discuss below).
There are different types of CBD oil — full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. They have some similarities, but the main difference is the number of extraction processes used to remove trace amounts of THC.
When you take a wellness supplement, you expect that it will provide some benefit. With hemp-derived CBD products, this job is handled by cannabinoids. CBD is one of the cannabinoids that presents the widest range of benefits.
What Do Cannabinoids Do?
Cannabinoids target receptors in your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which help the body to maintain balance, or homeostasis, for a number of crucial functions, including sleep, mood, memory, appetite, stress, immune, pain management, motor control, and more.
The amount of cannabinoids your CBD oil contains depends on the type of product you have — full spectrum products boasting the most cannabinoids, since they contain the “full spectrum” of the plant’s natural composition. Full spectrum CBD is the CBD oil exactly as it is extracted from the hemp plant, containing all of the plant’s cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and even some healthy fatty acids.
Broad spectrum CBD is the same oil, but has been filtered to remove the trace amounts of THC that exist in full spectrum oil. In the process, this removes a few of the other cannabinoid compounds. Still, broad spectrum CBD is a robust and effective oil. Broad spectrum CBD also has the benefit of having all detectable levels of THC removed, so there’s almost no chance you can get a false positive result on a drug test from taking it. CBD isolate is CBD with all other plant materials removed, making it 99% pure CBD.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Use Full Spectrum CBD?
Even though legally grown hemp products are required to have no more than 0.2% THC content in the UK, regulating this number can be tough. This is made more difficult since the legal THC threshold in the US, which provides much of the higher quality CBD for the UK, is less than 0.3%. So, full spectrum CBD oil is likely to contain more THC than is legal in the UK.
For this reason, most CBD that is sold in the UK is either broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. And legal CBD products in the UK that are labelled as “full spectrum” are generally not actual full spectrum CBD at all.
Both full spectrum and broad spectrum formulations can provide therapeutic effects, though full spectrum contains a few more cannabinoids. Today’s broad spectrum CBD oils are formulated to contain more cannabinoids and in higher quantities (such as the bonus CBG in our CBD + CBG Oil Wellness Tincture). So at the end of the day, a good, high-quality broad spectrum CBD oil will do the job just fine.
Shopping for the Best CBD Oil
When you’re shopping for CBD oil online, you want to shop with confidence — knowing you picked the right product for your needs. But how do you avoid fake CBD products? First and foremost, check to see if what you’re purchasing is CBD oil and not hemp seed oil. Some CBD products have hemp in the name (including our own CBD Oil Hemp Tincture). Make sure to check the ingredients to verify that hemp doesn’t mean hemp seed.
Aside from identifying this verbiage, you should always shop for naturally grown CBD products. They generally work better, and they don’t contain any of the harmful residues that result from synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. There are legal issues for CBD brands claiming that their products are organic — even if they are organic. Fortunately, there’s a way to verify the purity of your CBD product. (More on that in a minute.)
Another thing you want to look for is how the CBD in your product was extracted from the hemp plant. Look for brands that use carbon dioxide for CBD oil extraction. It’s more efficient than solvents (which means more CBD for you!) and, more importantly, it doesn’t leave behind chemical residue.
The next thing to look for is a lab report. This report will verify that the cannabinoids you’ve been promised on the label are actually in the product. And it will show whether or not your product contains any of the harmful chemicals we’ve mentioned that result from not farming organically or using proper extraction methods. Reputable CBD vendors provide their customers with lab reports, conducted by impartial third-party labs, to prove the quality and effectiveness of their products.
The Last Word: CBD Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is great for skin care. We even use it in some of our CBD balms — along with healthful CBD, of course. But hemp seed oil isn’t the same as CBD oil. So, if you’re looking for the calming wellness benefits of CBD, make sure to keep this article in mind as you shop. We hope you find the perfect CBD product for your needs!
Ready to shop our huge selection of all-natural CBD products? Click here to check out our broad spectrum tincture oils!