Hemp Seed Oil vs CBD Oil- The Differences You Should To Be Aware Of.

There is so much to know when it comes to the cannabis plant, the medicinal properties we can gain from extracting its essential compounds are tremendous. There is also a lot of confusion about how we categorize the plant, what’s legal and what’s not and which products are right for us. We often hear a lot of terms used interchangeably, and with CBD oil becoming a major addition to our daily health, unfortunately, there is a lot of mislabeling. So are hemp seed oil and CBD oil the same? Let’s get down to the truth and break this down as simply as possible, hemp seed oil vs CBD oil, what are the differences?

Intro To Cannabis

The Cannabis plant is a genus of the Cannabaceae family containing 3 primary species which include; Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. However, because of the stigma that surrounds the plant, the government has categorized into two types, drug types, and non-drug types.

Industrial hemp is categorized as a non-drug type and contains low resin content, mainly cultivated for fiber and seed production. Drug plants often referred to as marijuana has high resin content and are cultivated for the female’s flowers which hold intoxicating and medicinal properties.

The cannabis plant contains about 85 different cannabinoid compounds, these compounds are effective as medicine or a drug because they act upon cannabinoid receptors within our every own endocannabinoid system. A system that is responsible for regulating physiological systems within our body.

The two compounds that we find most effective are the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) compounds. THC is the psychoactive compound, the one that produces the high feeling, while CBD holds no psychoactive qualities, yet both have therapeutic benefits.

Simply put THC gets you high and CBD does not, the current laws state that if a cannabis plant contains more than 0.3% THC by dry weight it is considered a drug plant.

This law is somewhat unfortunate because it limits the plants’ true medicinal properties, often just the THC and CBD compounds are isolated for their medicinal properties, yet studies show that whole plant medicine which encompasses all of the plant’s compounds allows for full medicinal effectiveness often referred to as the entourage effect. However, more and more research is being done as laws around cannabis change and there is hope that some point soon we can use the plant to its full potential.

So Where Is CBD Sourced From?

The CBD compound is present in both drug plants and non-drug plants and remains the same at a molecular level. Though CBD is present in both drug plants and non-drug plants, CBD oil is only federally legal if sourced from hemp plants containing less than 0.3% THC under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.

CBD can be extracted in multiple methods, mainly CO2, Ethanol, and Hydrocarbon extraction methods are used.

There are great sources of legal CBD oil out there. At this point in time, we as the consumer have to do the research about how CBD products are sourced and extracted to ensure the quality of the products we purchase to gain the most therapeutic benefits.

Hemp Seed Oil VS CBD Oil

There is so much confusion, terms, rules, and regulations when it comes to the cannabis plant. We often hear hemp oil, hemp seed oil, hemp extract, and CBD oil used interchangeably. It is a common misconception that hemp seed oil is just a different label for CBD oil to bypass some of the legalities and regulations. So do they all mean the same thing? The answer is NO. Here are some common terms and definitions to be aware of when purchasing products.

  • Hemp Oil/ Hemp Seed Oil– Hemp seed oil or Hemp oil is a great source for Vitamin E, antioxidants, amino acids, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and can help support a healthy diet. Hemp seed oil, however, contains NO CBD, THC or any cannabinoids of any kind, it is simply oil harnessed from hemp seeds.
  • Hemp Extract-  Hemp extract is also a great dietary supplement, and is a great source for minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants. Hemp extract is harnessed from the seeds, stalks, and sometimes even the flowers of hemp plants. Though hemp extract does contain cannabinoids it does not contain the CBD or THC compounds. The cannabinoids from hemp extract do interact with the receptors within the endocannabinoid system and can help regulate these systems in some ways.
  • CBD Oil-  CBD oil is extracted from the resinous trichomes, mainly from the flowers of the cannabis plant, but can also be found on leaves and stalks in small amounts. The CBD molecule is not found in the seeds or roots of the plant. CBD is an anti-inflammatory, is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and Omegas and holds an array of therapeutic benefits.

The CBD Spectrum- Not All CBD Is Created Equal

There is a huge demand for CBD oil, it holds many therapeutic benefits including relief in pain, depression and anxiety, autoimmune diseases, sleep, cancer, and many other issues both mental and physical. Without federal regulations there tends to be a lot of mislabeling and confusion when it comes to purchasing products. The various growing and sourcing methods can alter the plants’ effectiveness immensely. Here are the main terms to be aware of when looking to buy CBD oil.

FULL SPECTRUM- Full spectrum CBD indicates CBD oil that contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, basically using the full plant allows for the closest entourage effectiveness. Full-spectrum CBD oil does contain very low amounts of THC, less than 0.3% so it will not produce a high at regular dosages.

-BROAD SPECTRUM- Broad Spectrum CBD offers everything that Full Spectrum CBD does, with one exception, it contains NO THC. Anyone that’s concerned about drug testing can still gain the therapeutic benefits of CBD taking Broad Spectrum. This is possible by using a special chromatography process that can filter out the THC compound. When purchasing Broad Spectrum CBD it is more beneficial to find products created from Full Spectrum CBD that has filtered out the THC rather than an Isolate with additives.

ISOLATE- Isolate is just that, isolated CBD as a single compound, no other compounds or terpenes. Isolate is usually reduced to white powder and often used as an additive for dietary consumption, most often MCT oil. It should be noted that it takes a much higher and more precise dosage of CBD Isolate to gain similar effects of Full Spectrum/Broad Spectrum CBD oil. Do not be fooled by companies that try and pass off Hemp oil with added CBD isolate as CBD oil, it does not hold the same medicinal properties.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to see the Cannabis plant holds medicinal and therapeutic properties that everyone can benefit from, especially when harnessed as full plant medicine encompassing all of the plant’s compounds and terpenes. It is amazing that each part of the plant can be used in a multitude of ways, from fiber, cooking oil, mind-altering, to medicinal.

With all of the previous taboos, laws, and regulations its created a lot of confusion, misrepresentations and mislabeling of products. Unfortunately, companies are not always transparent, but there are reputable companies out there. It’s important as a consumer to do the research, look for third party testing, examine the terms used, as well as the sourcing and extraction methods. Thank you for reading, please feel free to comment or ask questions.

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Refrences For This Information:

Arnone, Vince. “CBD Extract Guide: Full-Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, & Isolate.” Big Sky Botanicals, 5 Sept. 2019, bigskybotanicals.com/blog/cbd-extract-guide/.

Atakan, Zerrin. “Cannabis, a Complex Plant: Different Compounds and Different Effects on Individuals.” Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, SAGE Publications, Dec. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/.

“Cannabis.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Oct. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis.

“Hemp Vs Marijuana: The Difference Explained.” CBD Origin, 20 May 2019, cbdorigin.com/hemp-vs-marijuana/.

Lee, Martin. “Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil.” Project CBD: Medical Marijuana & Cannabinoid Science, 2019, www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/cannabis-oil-vs-hemp-oil.

Shatzman, Celia. “What’s The Difference Between Hemp Oil, Hemp Extract, CBD, And Marijuana?” What’s Good by V, 17 May 2019, whatsgood.vitaminshoppe.com/hemp-oil-hemp-extract-cbd/.


This website is for informational purposes. The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice.

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