Updated: Oct 22
CBD and hemp oil are often referred to as if they're the same, but this is far from the truth. It's true that both CBD and hemp oil come from the same plant and have some of the same characteristics. However, while they do share these similarities, it’s important to understand the differences between hemp and CBD oil as well, so you can choose the most beneficial one that best fits your needs.
Both types of oils offer nutritional benefits, which include providing a good source of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Another commonality between CBD and hemp oil, as previously mentioned, is that both are derived from the cannabis plant, although through very different methods. Here we’ll review some of the differences, similarities, and benefits of both CBD oil and hemp oil.
Where Do Hemp and CBD Oils Come From?
Both hemp oil and CBD oil are derived from the plant species known as cannabis. However, the two oils are derived from different parts of the plant, and the process by which they are extracted is quite different as well.
CBD oil is extracted from various parts of the mature plant, including the stalks and flowers, making CBD a whole plant derived substance containing the full cannabis plant profile. By contrast, hemp oil is obtained solely from the seeds of the plant, so it does not have the full cannabis plant profile.
How CBD Oil is Extracted
CBD oil requires an in-depth extraction process in order to separate the plant from the compounds that make CBD oil so beneficial. There are various extraction methods, but not all methods are equal. For instance, some CBD oil producers use dangerous solvents such as butane or hexane. While both of these diluting agents will achieve CBD oil extraction, both have been identified as neurotoxins. After the extraction process, residue from these neurotoxins often remains, which can compromise the immune system, thus negating the benefits of CBD extract or CBD oil.
However, reputable CBD oil producers generally use one of two methods: carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction or food-grade ethanol extraction.
The CO2 method uses a combination of highly pressurized carbon dioxide and low temperatures in order to preserve the potency and purity of the CBD oil. This extraction process requires specialized equipment and operator skills, which is often reflected in the higher price tag of quality CBD oil.
The second method, known as ethanol extraction, is a popular method for vape pen oils and more. The extraction is accomplished using quality grain alcohol and distillation. While it is slower than the CO2 method, it still yields quality CBD oil and is more cost-effective.
After the extraction process, CBD oil undergoes arduous testing to determine that there are ample levels of essential compounds and to ensure there are no remaining or unwanted plant substances.
How Hemp Oil is Extracted
On the other hand, hemp oil is created from the seeds of the plant and extracted by a cold press process, much in the same way that sunflower seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and jojoba oil are derived. This method preserves the nutrients of the raw hemp seeds. First the seeds are shelled and chilled, and then they are squeezed in a press to extract the hemp oil.
Interestingly, almost fifty-percent of the weight of hemp seeds is made up of oil. This abundance of oil, coupled with the straightforward extraction process, is much more cost-effective. It's also a major reason why hemp oil is so much cheaper than pure CBD oil.
Because of this price difference, it's important to make sure the CBD you're thinking of purchasing isn't in fact hemp oil. If unaware of the difference, it's easy enough to get confused and buy some "hemp extract" or "hemp oil" product with an extremely high dose on the label, believing you got a good deal on CBD.
The Uses of CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil
The two oils share similar attributes, with both being popular choices in alternative wellness. In addition to both oils containing healthy vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, they are also comparable in that they are used topically and internally.
CBD oil is used for its therapeutic properties and its positive impact on one’s overall well-being, while hemp oil is mainly used in food, as well as skin and hair care products. CBD is also commonly vaped as a concentrate or as an oil, and high CBD flower is smoked for its medicinal benefits.
The Benefits of Hemp Oil
Due to the high nutritional value present in hemp oil, it's predominantly used in the kitchen. Considered a safe, healthy alternative to corn oils, it's used in food preparation, much like olive oil. It's also touted as a “superfood,” making both hemp oil and hemp extract popular additives for smoothies, protein bars, and more.
The combination of anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties found in hemp oil are effective in addressing skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Plus, the existing fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, and calcium make hemp oil a popular ingredient in shampoos, lotions, conditioners and dietary supplements.
The Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol, promotes healthy functioning of the body’s internal endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for proper balance mentally, emotionally, and physically.
The therapeutic properties of CBD address chronic issues including epilepsy, depression, pain, and anxiety. Like hemp oil, CBD also contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, healthy fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Because CBD oil works in conjunction with the body’s natural systems, it can help alleviate stress, improve sleep, provide relief from arthritis, joint, and muscle pain, and reduce social and emotional disorders. Further, many individuals have successfully used CBD to reduce or eliminate their use of opioid medications and anti-depressants.
CBD is available in a wide array of forms ranging from topicals and extracts to tinctures and edibles. CBD is non-addictive, non-psychoactive, and has no known dangerous side effects, making it a very practical solution for a variety of ailments.
CBD and hemp oils both support good health, but in diverse ways. They are extracted from the same plant, yet from different parts, and with very distinctive techniques. Overall, hemp oil offers nourishing benefits and CBD oil helps address physical and mental ailments without the use of chemically-laden products.
When purchasing hemp and CBD oils, check the label for ingredients and rely on a reputable source.