The hemp plant is an ancient crop and its cultivation has been practiced for thousands of years. The fibrous texture, high protein content, and low maintenance growth of hemp plants ensure that it is likely to continue to be used for many thousands more.
In today’s world, hemp has an extremely wide variety of uses. It is commonly used to make biofuel, in farming as an animal feed, in construction as a material, and of course as a food and medicinal product!
With so many different hemp products being released daily, many people wonder what exactly is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil or hemp seed oil is a vegetable oil that is extracted by processing hemp seeds. It is routinely used on its own to cook with or to drizzle on top of salads but is also used in many lotions, supplements, and other beauty products.
Hemp seed oil is known for its health benefits as it contains high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, gamma-Linolenic acid, and vitamins A, C, and E. It is also rich in antioxidants meaning it can help to protect the body against free radicals.
Experts agree that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the healthy functioning of a whole host of our body’s systems. They can help out with our brain, heart, and immune system health, as well as support the growth of healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Will Hemp Oil Make Me High?
No! The hemp seed oil that is widely available in stores has extremely low levels of the psychoactive compound THC (or none at all), so it is impossible for this kind of hemp oil to get you high.
Hemp oil can be used freely by the young and old alike, as well as on any kind of food without any risk of experiencing psychoactive effects. The kinds of the hemp plant and hemp seeds used to make the oil has such low levels of the psychoactive ingredient that you need not worry at all.
You can treat it just like you would treat any other vegetable oil such as olive oil. Although, perhaps we would recommend not cooking or heating it quite as much as other oils as that could degrade some of those vital nutrients!
There are hemp oils out there that contain high levels of THC and would make you ‘high’, but they are not federally legal, and not widely available. Thankfully, the stuff you can get from a supermarket or health food store is completely different.
Why Is Hemp Considered a Superfood?
Hemp and hemp oils are considered a superfood because they are extremely nutrient-dense and packed full of essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain every one of the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce.
With all these wonderful nutrients crammed inside and the anti-inflammatory properties on top, it is no wonder that you will be able to find a huge variety of different brands of hemp oil at health food stores all around the world.
Health Benefits of Hemp Oil
The well-documented properties of hemp oil mean it has developed a reputation for being able to help those suffering from a wide variety of different medical complaints including:
- Chronic pain
- Poor heart health or circulation problems
Hemp seed oil is also used by many in a prophylactic way in the hopes that it may maintain their cardiovascular health and help to prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as dementia, Alzheimers, and arthritis.
Pros and Cons of Hemp Oil
The pros of hemp seed oil we’ve covered so far are clear – it’s super nutritious, extremely versatile as a vegetable oil, and has a range of reported health benefits as a superfood. It also won’t get you high.
If we consider the cons of hemp oil for a second, they will mostly become clear as we compare the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. First of all, the medical benefits of hemp oil are not as easy to pinpoint as CBD oil because it is not standardized in any way.
This means that most of the research that comes out about the benefits of CBD oil cannot be applied to hemp oil, and you would have trouble dosing hemp oil in a very precise way. In the hemp oil vs CBD oil fight though, there’s a lot to take into consideration, as will be explained.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil?
While hemp oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant, CBD oils are made from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the plant. The high concentration of the therapeutic compound cannabidiol (CBD) in these parts of the plant means CBD oils are more often turned to than hemp oil by those seeking medical benefits.
While CBD oil is, as you would expect, high in CBD, hemp seed oil usually isn’t. This means that CBD oil specifically has an effect on our endocannabinoid system, which is thought to lead to its medicinal effects.
How Do CBD Oil and Hemp Oil Differ?
Hemp seed oil is generally turned to for use in food, cosmetics, and other beauty products. It’s much cheaper than CBD oil and is prized more for its nutritional content and superfood status than as a medicine.
The low CBD content in hemp seeds and hemp oil means that the research that has been carried out on the positive effects of CBD on certain ailments cannot really be applied in the same way to hemp seed oil. Whereas industrial hemp is commonly used to produce hemp oil, CBD oil is generally produced with more mature, specialist strains, and uses the entire hemp plant rather than just the seeds.
CBD oil is a hemp extract, manufactured specifically to maximize the level of the cannabinoid CBD present in the finished product. This is because CBD has been proven over and over again to be helpful to a wide range of people dealing with certain medical complaints.
CBD extract products are therefore usually the go-to when people are seeking pain relief, or help with anxiety, inflammation, or arthritis.
The ‘oil’ part of CBD oil is also not usually hemp oil at all, but another carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil.
How Does CBD Compare to THC?
To start with, THC is psychoactive and CBD is not. In other words, THC will get you ‘high’ and CBD definitely will not.
While both are cannabinoids found in most varieties of the hemp plant, they’re usually not found in high concentrations in the same species of the plant. Different CBD oils will contain different amounts and concentrations of CBD and THC, so make sure you read the product labelling carefully. Hemp seeds usually contain very low levels of both, so hemp seed oil usually won’t contain much of either.
Certain strains of the hemp plant have been selectively bred to maximize their yield of CBD. While both THC and CBD are thought to be effective in treating certain medical problems, CBD is the only one that is widely legally available throughout the world.
Is CBD Legally Available in All 50 States?
It’s a given that hemp seed oil is legally available in all 50 states – you can find it in pretty much every supermarket and health food store across the country. But what about buying CBD oil?
The answer is a little more complicated. For the most part, yes, CBD oil is legal to possess and sell in most states, provided it has been derived from hemp and contains 0.3% THC or less.
As long as these conditions are met, CBD oil, CBD isolate, CBD oil tinctures, and CBD edibles can all be bought and sold freely in most states without a doctor’s recommendation or a special medical card.
There are, however, some notable exceptions – the 2018 Farm Bill ultimately left the legality of hemp and hemp-derived products to individual states. This means that each state’s Controlled Substances Act comes into play and you may not be able to buy CBD oil entirely legally. As a result, in the following states, the legality of the possession of CBD is uncertain:
Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota
Despite these technicalities in the law, CBD products are still widely available in all 50 states. There is just a slightly higher risk that the people involved in buying and selling them may be falling foul of the law. In addition, due to misunderstandings by law enforcement agencies, it is still possible to run into trouble in states where it is legal until the full facts of the matter can be established through investigation. With hemp oil sold for consumption as a food product, there are no legal restrictions anywhere.
What Can CBD Be Used For?
CBD oil is usually consumed by ingesting it, applying it topically, or inhaling it via vaping. Many people report that it is helpful for pain relief in joints or muscles, as well as for treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, Crohn’s disease, insomnia, and other sleep disorders.
Many hemp-derived licensed pharmaceutical products already exist that have been proven to show great promise in stimulating appetite and treating seizures in children with epilepsy.
CBD also continues to be studied for its potential to treat other serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Who Should Not Use Hemp or CBD Oil?
Both hemp oil and CBD oil are extremely well tolerated by most people, with very little risk of any side effects. It has also become increasingly popular to supplement the diet of pets with hemp or CBD oil, to act as nutritional supplements but also to treat conditions like anxiety or arthritis in our furry friends.
Hemp oil vs CBD oil – they’re both very similar when it comes to safety and side effects, whether they are ingested or applied topically. Hemp seed oil can generally be treated like any other commonly sold food product and consumed without any worry for side effects.
CBD oils may require you to be a tiny bit more cautious – some experts advise pregnant and breastfeeding women not to consume CBD extracts, and certainly not to do so without first consulting a medical professional.
Those who already take other medications would also be well-advised to first consult their doctors before taking CBD, as in some cases there could be interactions.
The last thing to bear in mind is that you should not use a CBD product to replace another medication or stop using any of your current medication without first checking it out with your doctor.