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CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, commercially producing and cultivating hemp within the United States is legal, as long as there is less than 0.3% THC found in each item sold. This industry is growing at an unprecedented rate; the only downside is that there are no regulations set in place, and the information provided by manufacturers is not always accurate. So, what’s the difference between CBD oil vs hemp oil? It all comes down to extraction, and the part of the plant used; both CBD oil and hemp oil are derived from the same plant – the hemp plant. However, they have very different properties and are often confused for one another.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil can be sourced from marijuana or hemp, both are varieties of the same plant, but they are not viewed the same under the eyes of the law. Marijuana has not yet been deemed federally legal as it surpasses the 0.3% legal limit of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive component. It is for this reason, most CBD in the United States is extracted from industrial hemp.

CBD oil is a cannabinoid-rich extract of the hemp plant, usually extracted with a solvent or with C02. It’s this extract that is known for its healing potential – many studies suggest that CBD can play a pivotal role in remedying a multitude of conditions. Typically, this extract is mixed in with a carrier oil, like MCT oil, but it can also be ingested in its raw state. CBD oil is generally taken sublingually (under the tongue) or added to food or drink, and is non-intoxicating.

What is Hemp Oil (or Hemp Seed Oil)?

Here’s where it gets a little confusing, and where you need to be diligent about reading product labels and doing your research – hemp oil can refer to either CBD oil, or hemp seed oil. If you’re buying a product labeled as hemp oil, make sure to double check whether it’s made from the whole plant, or only from hemp seeds.

Hemp seed oil is sourced from the seeds, where no cannabinoids are found — meaning no terpenes, no active CBD, and no THC. Coming from the same plant, hemp seed oil is often confused with CBD oil. Hemp seed oil can also be used as a health supplement, carrying a number of benefits itself. It’s often found in culinary and beauty products, as it is full of protein, fatty acids, and fiber, and vitamin E – but no CBD.

How are CBD oil and hemp seed oil made?

With so much rising interest in CBD, researchers have examined a number of different methods of extracting it from the hemp plant. Each method has distinct advantages and disadvantages, and C02 extraction is considered to be among the best methods due to its safety, and the purity of the end product.

CBD oil is generally extracted from the plant in one of the following ways:

CO2 Extraction

Widely considered to be the safest and best extraction method, this method is performed by using pressurized C02 to pull the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds from the hemp plant. While not considered a traditional solvent, it acts as one in certain temperature and pressure ranges – this allows for a solvent-style extraction, without the harsh chemicals and derivatives that traditional solvent extractions can contain.

Solvent Extraction

Solvent extraction is the process of extracting CBD by using ethanol, butane, propane, isopropyl, or alcohol. This method is fast and relatively easy to perform, but it can be dangerous working with large quantities of volatile solvents. The hemp is placed into a container, then the solvent is run through the hemp, collecting all the cannabinoids. Then, the solvent is evaporated, leaving only the CBD extract behind.

Hemp seed oil, however, is sourced by cold pressing hemp seeds, by using one of two types of press machines: a traditional screw press or a reducing screw design. Essentially, the seeds are placed into a pressing machine and crushed until the oil extrudes.

The main differences in CBD oil vs hemp oil

It is easy to confuse CBD oil for Hemp oil, since the marketing language of these products is sometimes intentionally obscured – since hemp seed oil is much cheaper to produce, some companies may try to pass it off as the more-expensive CBD oil. A telltale sign is the price of the product – CBD oil is considerably more expensive. Extracting full spectrum CBD out of the whole hemp plant, from flowers to stem, takes the time and precision of a professional.

So, in a nutshell, if you’re wondering the differences between CBD oil vs hemp oil:

  • Hemp oil often refers to hemp seed oil, which contains no cannabinoids
  • If you’re looking to experience the restorative properties of CBD, make sure your product says CBD on it
  • Hemp seed oil is a dietary supplement with its own host of benefits, but is not the same thing as CBD oil
  • Hemp seed oil is made from hemp seeds (go figure), whereas CBD oil is made from the whole plant