Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are distinctly different products that happen to come from the same source. In the current health and wellness landscape it is quite easy to confuse these products due to some of the similarities they share. It is important to understand their differences to be sure you are getting the correct product and avoid getting ripped off in the process.
Why is There So Much Confusion?
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the United States you’ve likely started seeing the green hemp leaf on all kinds of products. From topical lotions and cosmetics to edible products and vaping solutions its popularity is undeniable. CBD from hemp is driving this surge in popularity as its many benefits are becoming more widely known. Unfortunately customers looking to explore the benefits of CBD are often puzzled by the variety of available hemp products and brands. CBD oil and similar options are easily the most unclear.
Tinctures are probably the most popular method of getting your daily CBD at the moment. They are easy to ingest, absorbed by the body quickly, and come in a variety of flavors and potencies. To make a tincture, CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and then added to a carrier oil to make it ingestible. Two popular carrier oils are MCT oil from coconut oil and hemp seed oil. Plain hemp seed oil has actually been sold for quite some time in health food stores, but with the surge in CBD popularity it seems some unscrupulous sellers have seized an opportunity to pass off their lower cost hempseed oil as a CBD product to uninformed consumers. The fact that they are both oils and are often sold in a similar bottle doesn’t help much either. Whether this is always intentional is impossible to know for sure but we can speculate. It does however give a lot of people who might benefit from the positive side effects of CBD a cause to be skeptical. This is especially true if they tried plain hemp seed oil thinking it is CBD and obviously felt no effects.
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil has been popular for quite some time and can be used in a variety of products from lotions to salad dressing. Hempseed oil is made by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant together. The pressure causes the excretion of the oil. Because only the seeds are used in the process, hempseed oil does not contain much or any CBD or other cannabinoids. Despite this, hemp seed oil does have a variety of its own health benefits. It is a great source of protein and contains a variety of amino acids. Hemp oil also has an abundance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids in a ratio that is considered optimal by many nutritionists. These fatty acids can be beneficial in improving heart health. They also make the oil a great moisturizer for skin conditions and is the reason you’ve likely seen it in a variety of beauty care products. Because of these health benefits hemp oil can absolutely be used as a wellness product, however if you are a consumer looking for relief beyond what’s been previously mentioned you are probably looking towards CBD.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the hemp flower and various parts of the hemp plant. This oil is full of cannabinoids which are natural chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 known cannabinoids but the two most popular are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In order for a cannabis plant to be considered hemp (and therefore federally legal) it must contain less than 0.3% THC. CBD interacts with through the body’s Endocannabinoid system. This system is said to promote a state of balance within the body by regulating certain bodily functions such as sleep, mood, pain and immune response. It may also be beneficial as an anti-inflammatory agent and many athletes are using it to promote recovery from it exercise. With the recent legality and popularity of this compound we can expect to see an even wider application as scientists continue to study it.
Unfortunately CBD companies haven’t been the most helpful in eliminating the confusion between these products. CBD products are often marketed by a variety of terms. “Hemp-Derived”, “Hemp Extract Oil”, “Full Spectrum Hemp Oil” or “CBD Isolate” are a few you might have seen. Most companies aren’t being intentionally deceitful. They are simply
looking to stay off the radar of the Federal Drug Administration since marketing these products in this new unregulated landscape can be a risky proposition. The FDA is very strict on what claims can be made with regards to nutritional supplements and companies would prefer to avoid potential conflicts altogether. Unfortunately it is the consumer that has suffered most due to this lack of clarity and uniformity.
Picking the Right Product
So what should you look for when trying to distinguish between these different oils? Because the label might not be much help the first thing to take into consideration will be the price. Hemp seed oil will typically be significantly less expensive than CBD oil. You can buy organic hemp seed oil for as low as $6 online. Where you are buying it from can also be a telling sign. If you are looking on amazon.com just know that their rules do not allow the sale of CBD products at this moment. Sometimes they do sneak by and are listed but if you are truly looking for a quality CBD product it is best to not take that risk and look elsewhere.
The fact is since the CBD market is relatively new and unregulated it can be very difficult to navigate these waters. Counterfeit and poor quality products are everywhere. Fortunately there are also many legitimate companies and brands offering high quality CBD oil from hemp. The most pertinent thing offered by these companies are their third party lab test results. Lab results are a great way to determine the potency of CBD in the product you are considering. They will also protect you against other unwanted ingredients like pesticides, solvents, and other contaminants. You are likely not going to find a hemp seed oil product with lab results. So if you are a potential CBD consumer it is a wise rule to always purchase from companies who offer test results. If the company you are considering is unwilling to supply their lab results then perhaps you should be unwilling to give them your money. This will at the very least provide you with some confidence that you are actually getting CBD in your product as opposed to simply hemp seed oil. You can also better safeguard yourself from consuming low quality or even harmful ingredients. If the company you are considering is unwilling to supply their lab results then perhaps you should be unwilling to give them your money.