You probably already know that both products come from the cannabis plant, but is hemp oil the same as CBD oil? Some people aren’t very familiar with these products yet, so for them, this terminology can be confusing. If they’re both oil and they both come from hemp, why are they called by different names?
Well, the short answer is that while they share a lot of characteristics, they aren’t the same thing. The answer requires a little more explanation, though. CBD is extracted from hemp oil, which is extracted from the hemp plant. Unlike hemp oil, CBD can be isolated and sold on its own.
Meanwhile, hemp oil is the essential oil of the cannabis plant. In general, you can expect that hemp oil will contain all the various cannabinoids and other plant matter. The more you have of the original plant, the better your supplement will work.
Let’s find an answer to the question, “Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?”
What Are Cannabinoids?
To find our answer, it’s important to understand what CBD oil and hemp oil share in common. For hundreds of years—even thousands—folk medicine has employed hemp oil to help with inflammation, stress, sleep problems, and more. In its virgin state, hemp oil contains many different cannabinoids that, when working together, provide many benefits.
You’ve heard of cannabinoids. THC is the most well-known, as it is the compound in marijuana that is responsible for getting people high. While CBD is not psychoactive like that, it can help to reduce inflammation and anxiety while regulating sleep patterns. There are other cannabinoids as well, such as CBG and CBN, which have regenerating and antibacterial properties.
Any one of these cannabinoids can be isolated from the other cannabinoids and sold in a dry powder form. As a result, there are some CBD oils out there that merely take this isolate, mix it in with other stuff, and resell it as CBD oil. While this will provide you with CBD oil, there are better ways to get it.
Preserving Plant Matter
Like any other living thing, plants have their own unique methods of propagating their DNA and reproducing. In the case of cannabis, it does this by attracting predators that will eat its flowers and excrete the seeds somewhere else, restarting the lifecycle.
But how can a plant attract predators when there are so many tasty flowers to choose from? The plant has to stand out, and it does this with fragrance and sweet flavours. Cannabis achieves this by growing terpenes and flavinols to develop a distinct smell and taste.
However, terpenes do a lot more than just smell nice—they also have therapeutic benefits. Myrcene, a terpene found in hops, can help you fall asleep. Terpinolene, found in cilantro, can reduce the discomfort that can come from digestion.
As each strain of cannabis will contain different terpenes, it’s important that your CBD oil keep as many of them intact as possible. By keeping more of the plant intact, your supplement will work in concert to provide a better overall benefit. Some CBD oils are just isolates, so it’s important to look for the presence of terpenes before buying a product.
How Terpenes Define Hemp Oil
Probably the biggest difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is how many terpenes and cannabinoids remain intact. Because hemp oil is usually less refined than CBD oil, there are more of these other plant characteristics present, and that makes for an effective supplement.
For some, though, this can be a problem. One of those cannabinoids is THC, and while hemp oils may not contain enough of it to get a person high, there may be enough to show up on a drug test. All CBD oils will contain trace amounts of THC, but unlike hemp oils, this won’t be enough to appear in the bloodstream.
Broad spectrum CBD oil provides the best of both worlds. These products contain as many of the other cannabinoids and terpenes as possible while nearly eliminating THC from the batch. It’s a great way to get the best overall benefit for the money.
While CBD oil is more refined than hemp oil, this is a good thing. As a result, there are more formulations that suit a wide variety of lifestyles. For example, there are CBD oil facial serums, muscle creams, and even daily multivitamins.
Is CBD Oil Really Oil?
All plants produce their own essential oils. When the hemp plant undergoes extraction, hemp oil is the resulting product. Because CBD is just one part of the hemp plant, it seems like a misnomer to say that it has its own oil. It doesn’t—it is a formulation from hemp oil. In this way, hemp oil is the same as CBD oil.
Some of the higher quality CBD products are formulated with MCT oil as a way to increase its bioavailability to the user’s body.
Side by side, the easiest difference to spot between hemp oil and CBD oil is its clarity. Hemp oil, being less refined, is usually cloudier and can have some residual plant matter lingering at the bottom of the bottle. CBD oil, on the other hand, is crystal clear (unless you’re buying gummies or some other edible).
The Importance of Quality Products
Anyone who follows the wellness supplement market knows that regulation doesn’t play a huge part there. Scandals arise all the time where a vendor makes outrageous claims about a product’s ability to cure disease. The government just doesn’t regulate these products like they do with controlled substances.
Look on the bright side, though. This makes it a lot easier for new vendors to get their products onto the market without too much trouble or bureaucratic red tape, bringing down costs and improving product quality.
However, this also paves the way for opportunists to sell poor-quality products without much fear of repercussion. In some cases, people aren’t even selling real CBD! If you want to be sure about the quality of your product, there are a few things to know.
First off, only buy organic products. While there may not be much regulation for wellness supplements, there are rules that guide how organic products must be grown. By buying organic, you can be sure your CBD oil won’t contain traces of any synthetic pesticides or fertilisers, as these make for weaker products (and might even cause brain damage). Plus, organic products take more time and attention to grow.
Still, even with an organic label on the bottle, can you really be sure your product will do what it says? The only way to know for sure is to check the product’s lab reports. These are documents that come from a third-party to tell you exactly how much CBD and other cannabinoids are present in the product.
Lab reports also tell you whether or not the product contains harmful residues from synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. They are essential to know what you’re buying.
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