CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil: The Differences


By Gracie Evans

Marijuana, sometimes known as hemp or cannabis, is a widely-used illicit psychoactive drug in the USA. Since its widespread use, people are finding specific benefits of this drug. 

As many states push towards the legalization of marijuana, the drive to look out for its benefits increases. Many marijuana doctors have dedicated their time to production and research to examine closely the effects of marijuana. These effects may be intended for its medical, recreational, or cosmetic purposes. Either way, it is no doubt that better regulation of marijuana and its by-products are critical.

Such examples of marijuana’s by-products are the oils extracted from the plant. These oils include hemp oils, CBD oils, and hash oils. All of these oil varieties have different sources, chemical compositions, and intended use. 

Hash oil, for instance, is a very concentrated variety that contains up to 90% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound is what gives marijuana its addictive psychoactive effects. That said, hash oils are mainly useful for its “getting you high” effect. They come off in excessive amounts that even many marijuana doctors would not recommend. 

CBD oils and hash oils, on the other hand, contain lower amounts of THC. Along with other similarities, that makes identifying the distinction between the two a lot more difficult. 

Before we distinguish CBD oils and Hemp oils, it is first necessary to define certain terms to avoid further confusion.

Definition of the Terms

  • Cannabis

Cannabis is the broader term that encompasses all species in the family Cannabaceae. Three famous species of cannabis include: Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Ruderalis

  • Marijuana

Marijuana is a specific variety of Cannabis sativa.  It contains a high amount of THC of around 20%, which, as mentioned, is responsible for its psychoactive effects. Aside from this effect, marijuana is also known for its medical, cosmetic, and recreational uses. Because of its high THC content, it has been regarded as illegal in many parts of the world. Research from marijuana doctors further consolidates the bans and restrictions on marijuana in some states.

  • Hemp 

Hemp is also a variety of Cannabis sativa but contains a much lower concentration of THC. This concentration of THC falls to about 0.3%, sometimes less.  Hemp is widely harvested for industrial uses such as paper, construction materials, and textiles. Because of the low amount of THC, hemp is also cultivated for non-drug use as a health supplement.

  • CBD

CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in all varieties and species of cannabis. It has many medicinal benefits such as anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties without any psychoactive effects.  

  • Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp oil, more appropriately known as hemp seed oil, is a hemp by-product from the plant’s seeds. Because of its low amounts of THC and benefits, hemp seed oil has been available in health food stores for decades. It comes in products such as cooking oil, lotions, skincare, cosmetics, and soaps.

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil

CBD oil is also known as CBD extract, hemp extract, and phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract. The hemp strain of cannabis also contains low levels of THC. Because of this, the CBD oil derived from hemp will not give you the feeling of getting high.  It is potentially useful in managing a variety of health issues including inflammation, anxiety, pain and more. Since it is non-intoxicating and has promising health benefits, CBD oil has become the new natural health trend.

Differences between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil

CBD oil and hemp oils are similar in that they both have low amounts of THC. It can be a cause of confusion between the two. According to marijuana doctors, however, they actually differ in a lot of ways. With all of the definitions out of the way, we can now more clearly differentiate CBD oils and hemp oils. The differences between CBD and hemp oils include the following:

Same Plant, Different Parts

CBD oil and hemp oil both come from a single species of cannabis, Cannabis sativa. Despite this, they get extracted from different parts of the same plant. Hemp oil is derived from the seeds. They are extracted through cold-pressing the seeds, similar to how we source olive oil and coconut oil. CBD oils, on the other hand, are extracted from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the plant.  

Chemical Composition

Aside from the part of the plant from where they are extracted, their difference also lies in their chemical composition. This would then influence the oil’s intended purposes. Hemp oil is derived from the seeds itself, which has low amounts of CBD. CBD, in this case, is responsible for the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Thus, the hemp seed oil is less commonly used as a medical drug. On the other hand, CBD oil, as its name itself suggests, has more substantial amounts of CBD. Thus, CBD oil is a popular recommendation for marijuana doctors. 

Medical and Other Benefits

The cannabidiol in CBD oils, as mentioned above, is used by marijuana doctors. The CBD found in CBD oils is a widely used drug to treat neuropsychiatric conditions. They are often used to treat anxiety, movement disorders, and chronic pain. Aside from these benefits, more and more research is being conducted to explore more benefits of CBD. Despite these benefits, cannabidiol is known to have certain side effects, such as diarrhea, tiredness, and changes in appetite.

Hemp oil, on the other hand, is known for its nutritional and industrial properties. Hemp oil, much like olive or coconut oil, is used in recipes. It is high in Omega-3, Omega-6, and other vitamins and minerals. Hemp oils are also used in industrial and cosmetic aspects, such as in soap and shampoo production, and paint and fuel composition. 

Authors Bio: Gracie Evans is a freelance writer focused on medical marijuana and its health effects. She has been writing in this space after graduating from UNLV School of Medicine. Her main goal is to share her knowledge with people with medical conditions marijuana can help treat.

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