In this plant-obsessed world we find ourselves in, it’s not uncommon to see me heavily applying CBD oil on my muscles to help relieve soreness, applying it on my skin to get rid of inflammation, and putting some in my water to aid in stress relief. However, until recently I didn’t fully understand the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil. I discovered this on my search for the top hemp oils for sale and, believe it or not, they’re pretty different from each other.
These days, the green-washing on CBD products can be hard to navigate, and the vocab one needs to navigate the CBD-lined shelves is extensive to say the least. Brands want to get in on the much-praised benefits, after all—but the issue here is that the terms being marketed under the “cannabis” umbrella aren’t all the same thing.
If we’re being honest, it’s more often than not that you’ll see the cannabis plant being advertised on a label, but the specific ingredients used in the oil aren’t so clear. There are a ton of differing ingredients that can be used originating from cannabis or hemp plants, and each of these have their own unique benefits to take advantage of. However, it’s incorrect when these are used interchangeably.
What is CBD Oil?
The term “CBD” signifies a part of the cannabis plant that gives the much talked about anti-inflammatory benefits and relief. It’s the same thing you’re seeing advertised on everything from skin care products to tinctures. Manufacturers extract it from the leaves, flowers, and stocks of cannabis plants.
“Cannabidiol—known as CBD—is one of over a hundred active compounds or cannabinoids found exclusively in the cannabis plant,” says Cindy Capobianco, co-founder of Lord Jones. “CBD acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which reduces pain and inflammation. It’s been used for centuries to successfully provide pain relief to muscle aches, arthritis, joint pain, neuropathic conditions, headaches, and to aid skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, even sunburn, and bug bites when used topically.”
When it’s ingested, Capobianco says that skin problems, like psoriasis, sunburn, and eczema, can be helped and even cleared up in some cases. She also says that, “…it provides relief from anxiety and promotes a calm sense of well-being.“
CBD itself is actually a potent & highly anti-inflammatory antioxidant. “It’s been shown in multiple studies to reduce lipid product from the sebaceous glands—and the overproduction of this sebum is what leads to acne,” says Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché. You can see it on labels under the following terms: CBD, Hemp CBD, Phytocannabinoid-rich Hemp Oil. This is where some of the confusion lies.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is relative to many other carrier oils—along the lines of sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil—in that it’s a cold-pressed extract from seeds. “Hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, is perfectly good seed oil that’s high in antioxidants, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, but contains no CBD,” explains Capobianco. “Hemp seed or cannabis sativa seed oil has been available in health food stores for decades and abundantly present in smoothies and skin care.”
On the other hand, hemp seed oil is similar to many other carrier oils includes sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil. The similarities come from all three of these oils being cold-pressed extracts from their relative seeds.
“Hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, is perfectly good seed oil that’s high in antioxidants, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, but contains no CBD,” explains Capobianco. “Hemp seed or cannabis sativa seed oil has been available in health food stores for decades and abundantly present in smoothies and skin care.”
This means that, despite what anyone says, hemp seed oil has absolutely no cannabinoids in it. There is no CBD or THC present in the oil.
“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” she says. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin—it has a comedogenic rating of zero.” Product labels can have it listed as: Hemp Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Virgin Hemp Oil, Hemp Oil.
Here’s The Problem With The Confusion
Seeing as how both CBD oil and hemp oil are basically wellness products, you’re not going to do any harm if you purchase one when you meant to get the other by mistake. However, it’s important to remember that in order to get the maximum health benefits from CBD oil, you can’t use hemp oil. This can be a problem for some, however, because these oils don’t come cheap.
“Unfortunately, we see a number of brands cynically cashing in on the popularity and cannabis trend and even making false claims that their products contain CBD when they contain none,” says Capobianco. “Some brands are calling hemp seed oil cannabis sativa oil, which is deceiving.”
Now yes, both of these oils technically come from the same plant. But they’re extremely different other than that. “The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” says Lewis. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”
In order to ensure that you’re not falling into any sort of marketing trap or scheme, it’s very important to check the product label of any oils you purchase. “If you’re looking for the unique benefits of CBD, make sure you’re purchasing a product that clearly states it contains it,” says Capobianco. “Read labels, ask questions, and know what you’re buying.” Being a savvy buyer like that will be beneficial to the entire industry by helping it to continue to reap & normalize cannabis’ benefits. It’s a win-win for everyone.