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What Is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil? - Pt 1 of 2


We love to talk about weed, but as it turns out, the marijuana industry is a lot bigger than it used to be. Not only are there dank dispensaries in every legal state, now there's CBD as well. CBD is the body-high aspect of weed that makes you feel relaxed and chill, without the psychedelic high. CBD is legal in non-green states and it's safe for professionals who can't ever test positive for THC at work.

But there's also been some shady marketing about the difference between CBD Oil (cannabis oil that includes CBD) and hemp seed oil, which is also derived from the cannabis plant but won't get you even a little bit high. Not even body-high. Here's how you can tell the difference between the real deal and a canna-scam:

CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil, What's the Difference?

Finding the right CBD product for you is a pretty challenging task. With hundreds of brands and thousands of products that became available since the recent federal legalization, everyone is responsible for sorting through the options to find what works best for them.

The choices include type of product, like topicals, tinctures, and edibles, along with the concentration of CBD and your incredibly wide choice of additional ingredients. To make matters more confusing, there's also a mix-up between CBD Oil and something totally else called Hemp Oil or Hemp Seed Oil. Chances are, you've run into this problem before.

We know it's important for CBD consumers to know exactly what they're trying even though industry terminology has been pretty unclear. So we're about to sort out this question once and for all.

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CBD Oil and Hemp Oil: Not the Same Thing

The most important point we're going to make with tons of details, later on, is that CBD Oil and Hemp Oil are not the same thing. They do both come from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant, and they do share some positive qualities. But technically, the term "hemp oil" is misleading, and you're about to find out why.

CBD oil is derived from stalks and contains the phytocannabinoid: cannabidiol, which is CBD. It is, technically, a type of oil from hemp plants, but not what products  mean when they say "hemp oil."

Hemp oil is actually short for hemp SEED oil. It is derived from cold-pressing the seeds of the hemp plant and contains only trace amounts of CBD, if any at all. 

The Big Mix-Up

It's easy to see where the mix-up came from. Both CBD oil and hemp seed oil are oils that are derived from plants. Many packaging labels for both types of products contain the words "hemp" and "oil" pretty close to each other. In fact, not all brands know the difference when choosing their marketing wording, and some brands specifically exploit the confusion to get more customers or more money. Here's how that shakes out.

Hemp seed oil has been around as an affordable legal health supplement for decades. It is a byproduct of the textile hemp industry and has many of the more passively positive qualities of the cannabis plant like anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. It's pretty cheap to put into products, and more people are familiar with the term "hemp oil" because it's been around longer.

CBD oil is only recently legal and packs the punch of a high concentration of CBD found in the body of the plant, not the seeds. It's also a lot more expensive and a lot newer to the market.

Products containing hemp seed oil sometimes push the "cannabis" connection to give the impression that they are CBD products. And charge a higher price successfully as a result.

Products containing CBD sometimes use the more familiar and safe-sounding term "hemp oil" (technically accurate sans "seed") to enter health product markets and appeal to customers more easily. On top of this, some CBD brands don't actually realize that using the term "hemp oil" is misleading or referring to another product.

How Does CBD Oil Differ From Hemp Oil?

Of course, if you came to really understand the difference and not just clear up the confusion, we're here to provide that, too! For everyone who's still reading with interest after the TLDR sections, let's dive into the nitty-gritty fun of the real detailed differences between CBD oil and hemp seed oil. As it turns out, both are great products, but only when used on purpose to do what they're best at.

Remember, both come from hemp plants that are grown for textiles, not THC content. Just to be super clear.


CBD Oil Definers

  • How CBD Oil is Derived

    • CBD is defined by extracting the oil out of hemp plant leaves, flowers, and stems. Essentially, the juicy moisture-rich part of the plant that is then shredded into fibers for textiles like rope and hemp canvas. Once the oil is pulled from the stalks, it is refined and tested for purity.
    • Extracted oil from the stalks contains high concentrations of CBD, in amounts of 40% or more. It is then kept as-is for full-spectrum CBD to keep all the good terpenes and minor cannabinoids or pure-extracted to get CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD can contain up to 0.3% THC, while all other variants have had the trace THC components removed.

  • What CBD Oil Does for the Body

    • CBD is a powerful cannabidiol that interacts directly with the CB2 receptors in your endocannabinoid system, which is part of your neurotransmitter system. The endocannabinoid system influences how your body handles inflammation, digestion, mood, pain signals from the nerves, and a variety of other lesser effects.
    • Those lesser effects, like promoted digestion and toxin management, are boosted synergistically by the terpenes and cannabinoids in full-spectrum CBD oil. That, by the way, is known as the entourage effect.
    • CBD does not interact with the CB1 receptors, which create the psychoactive and hunger effects of THC.
    • CBD has also been found to reduce sebum production, reducing the negative effects of oily skin and hair.

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