Hemp seed oil vs CBD hemp oil: What is the difference?
Hemp seed oil vs CBD hemp oil: What is the difference?
There are so many different terms floating around the CBD industry, and amongst the most confusing is the differentiation between hemp seed oil, hemp oil and CBD oil, with many people using them interchangeably, creating more confusion. Let’s look at all three of these products and analyse what they are, and what they most definitely are not.
Firstly, Let’s Discuss What Hemp Actually Is
Hemp is a variety of cannabis that has been bred to have less than 0.3% THC, or less than 0.2% in Europe. Why is this? Well, centuries ago, the cannabis plant was just that, a plant from the Cannabaceae family. As many of you know, it was a plant used by nearly every culture across the planet for a variety of uses such as food, medicine, building material, textiles and more.
The demonisation of cannabis only came about around 100 years ago, turning it from a valuable commodity into a drug that was abhorred by society thanks to an effective smear campaign affectionately referred to as ‘reefer madness’. The words hemp and cannabis were commonly used interchangeably, however after public opinion on the plant changed so dramatically, hemp farmers who were growing their crops for fibre and industrial purposes needed to find a way to retain their livelihoods and their crops in the wake of the new legislation.
It was for this reason that a differentiation between cannabis (marijuana) and hemp came about, with lawmakers requiring a hemp plant to contain less than 0.3% of THC to be defined as a hemp plant, with many countries having a set list of cannabis strains that are certified as hemp.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
hemp seed oil is, simply, the oil extracted from the seeds of a hemp plant. Usually gathered by pressing the hemp seeds, either through a commercial press or a manual seed press. Hemp seed oil is rich in nutrients, and is considered by many a superfood in its own right.
Rich in protein, antioxidants like Vitamin E, amino acids, essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6, and other beneficial nutrients, hemp seed oil showing promise as a health supplement for sufferers of heart disease, imbalanced hormones, inflammation and skin conditions to mention a few, as well as aiding the overall health of everyday people like you and me.
Hemp seed oil can sometimes contain very low traces of other cannabinoids, but not to fear, it definitely will not contain THC. What’s important to note here is that hemp seed oil should not be confused for CBD oil. Yes, it is extremely healthy and beneficial, but do not buy a Hemp seed oil looking for cannabinoids. The levels will be so minuscule (if any) that the positive effects you are hoping to achieve from cannabinoids will not be evident. That being said, consistent use of hemp seed oil is believed to assist in supporting overall health, so by all means don’t think twice about adding it to your routine in the form of smoothies or salad dressings!
Hot tip: The darker your hemp seed oil, the more packed with natural nutrients it will be. If your hemp seed oil is very light and clear, most of the beneficial compounds will have been filtered away.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Now, to the tricky one. Since humans began extracting oil from the hemp plant, the term hemp oil has existed. It is not uncommon, these days, to see a hemp seed oil product labelled as hemp oil, because technically that’s exactly what it is. The grey area begins creeping in when we start discussing CBD oil, and how that changes the idea of what hemp oil might be considered to be.
Many companies label their CBD oil products as hemp oil, why is that? Well, a few reasons, the main one being that it tells the consumer that their product is hemp derived, meaning minuscule levels of THC and, in most places, a legal and accessible product. Secondly, it usually means that their CBD oil product is a whole plant extract. What does this mean? Essentially, it should mean that the product contains the whole array of components usually found in a cannabis extract, so a full terpene profile, flavonoids, trace minor cannabinoids and antioxidants such as Vitamin E, amongst others. This is very important, as many people support the idea that whole plant CBD extracts are more therapeutically powerful than their isolate counterparts.
The main reason the term hemp oil becomes confusing, is that technically, hemp seed oil can also be considered as hemp oil, and are therein labelled as such in some cases. This could be because the company has always labelled their hemp seed oil as a hemp oil, and does not want to change their product just because CBD hemp oil is now on the market, however it could also be due to the company attempting to purposely confuse the consumer into believing their products contain the cannabinoids that make a CBD rich hemp oil so valuable.
How can you tell the difference between a hemp oil that is merely a hemp seed oil, and a CBD hemp oil? Simple, ingredients. Check on the label of the hemp oil you are looking to buy, there should be a variety of terpenes, cannabinoids in varying levels, and flavonoids inside. If your product is void of these kinds of components, or doesn’t have a list of ingredients, best to play it safe and steer clear.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is, to put it very simply, an oil with CBD inside. There are generally speaking, two types of CBD oils.
Whole Plant CBD Oil – A whole plant extract, as discussed before, is an extract that comes from the cannabis or hemp plant in its natural form, with the two most common forms of extraction being alcohol and C02 extraction. This type of CBD oil is also referred to as CBD rich hemp oil, and is usually thick, dark and strong smelling. It can be mixed with a carrier oil such as Hemp Seed Oil to allow for a higher viscosity and easier dosing, but can also be found mixed with other plant oils such as olive oil or coconut oil.
Isolate CBD Oil – This type of oil uses isolated CBD, so CBD in its pure molecule form, diluted into a carrier oil. This oil can be any kind of oil, however is commonly found to be olive, coconut or hemp seed oil. The main difference between this product, and a whole plant extract, is that all the other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant are usually absent, or have added terpenes that may be synthetic. Sometimes, you will find an isolate CBD oil that has added natural terpenes, but at the end of the day, most consumers will tell you that products using whole plant extract feel more potent. The jury is still out on whether or not a whole plant extract is more effective than isolate CBD, but the concept of the entourage effect has a powerful following, with impressive researchers such as Raphael Mechoulam, known as the ‘grandfather’ of cannabis, being firm believers in the concept.
Do Your Research
All in all, the terminology in this industry can be confusing for many, which is why its always so important to do your research on the company you are buying from, and the product you are considering to purchase. There are many good willed companies out there, with the goal of helping people, however there are many individuals that see the economic possibilities in these products and will do whatever it takes to maximise their profits, even if it means confusing consumers with ambiguous terminology to sell more products.