Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: Differences, Benefits and More

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil Benefits and More

Hemp oil? CBD oil? Hemp plants? CBD products? Hemp products? It’s all very confusing! But it doesn’t have to be. Here, we’ll chat a little more about hemp oil, CBD oil and how they’re different. We’re also going to explore the benefits of both these oils (and their derivatives), as well as what you can expect when adding them to your routine. So, if you’ve ever wanted to know more about hemp or CBD or are just looking for a bit of clarity on the topic, read on.

It All Comes from Hemp Plants

Both hemp oil and CBD oil start as a part of the hemp plant. Hemp is a low-THC variety of the Cannabis sativa plant that contains high amounts of CBD. These plants can reach up to 15 feet tall and have a green color with a few different variations. Their distinctive leaves set them apart from other plants and have become an icon in pop culture. They are a fast-growing plant and a good rotation crop for farmers.

Some of the first recorded uses of hemp date way back to 8000 BCE in ancient Taiwan, where netting, fishing boats, clothing, shoes, ropes and sails were made from the fibers. The history of medicinal uses can be traced back to about 2900 BCE and Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi for its apparent healing properties.

The first recorded uses of hemp in Europe came from the Greeks in 800 BCE, who found it a valuable source of nutrition. By 400 BC, they used it for different purposes, from sails and clothing to paper and rope. In 77 AD, Pliny the Elder wrote about its many uses, including burning it as incense and how ship ropes were often made from hemp fibers. 

Hemp has spread across the world because it seems every part of the plant is helpful in one way or another; its seeds, roots, leaves and stems all had their own purposes for making our lives easier.

farmer planting hemp

In more recent times, hemp transitioned from a cash crop into a notorious plant in the early days of American history. Believe it or not, before cotton took hold as the number one cash crop, hemp was dominant and used for making all sorts of materials. It would be used to make everything from lamp oil to paper, rope and clothing.

But, as time went on, cotton became king, and the extensive uses of hemp dwindled as its production slowly declined. Growing hemp became illegal in the U.S. in 1937 when the Marijuana Tax Act made it so challenging to grow hemp that no one could do it. Industrial hemp production continued to be heavily regulated across the country until the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from its controlled substances list, effectively legalizing it.

Now, hemp is enjoying a resurgence, and we’re all the better for it! Less control and fewer regulations mean that hemp farmers are free to grow their crops without fear of being harassed, fined or shut down. It’s about time that its uses are recognized, and the many advantages it provides us with are brought back into our lives.

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Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: What’s the Difference?

When you hear about hemp oil and CBD oil, there’s a good chance it was from one of two sources — someone trying to sell you something or an article talking about the potential benefits of these products. One reason for this is that companies are free to label any product with hemp oil as “hemp oil.” Unfortunately, this means that many companies are labeling CBD oils, extracts and tinctures with the term.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil

The problem with this is that there’s a massive difference between these two products — both in terms of what they are and their effects on the body. Hemp seed oil is derived from the crushed seeds of the hemp plant. On the other hand, CBD oil is derived from the isolated hemp extract called cannabidiol (CBD). 

So, How Is CBD Oil Made?

We’ve mentioned that hemp seed oil is made from crushed seeds. (And we’ll probably repeat it because we’re really trying to establish that it’s a different thing here!) But what about CBD oil? Since we’re constantly referring to it as an extract, naturally we have to pull it from somewhere! 

The best way to do this is by using CO2 extraction. This process forces carbon dioxide through the plant material at high pressures and low temperatures, which helps separate the cannabinoids contained within. As a result, you get pure and potent CBD. 

Another way to extract CBD from hemp plants is with the use of solvents. Although this is a less sophisticated method, it is still considered safe. In addition, it has been approved for human consumption in the USA and used in various forms for centuries. Thus, it hearkens back to the original tinctures and extracts made from plants and herbs in times long ago.

lab technician reviews paperwork

These processes we just described help produce different kinds of CBD extracts:

  • Isolate: Pure CBD with nothing else.
  • Full spectrum CBD: CBD plus other cannabinoids and terpenes, including THC.
  • Broad spectrum CBD: The same as full spectrum, but THC-free.

It’s a much more involved and time-consuming process than hemp seed oil, but the end result is totally worth it!

Hemp Oil: What’s with That Name?

As you’re probably starting to realize, and we alluded to before, the term “hemp oil” has become somewhat confusing. This is mainly because various companies have used it in different ways. However, the true meaning of hemp oil implies that it is a cold-pressed seed oil. But what other ways has it been used?

As we mentioned, some companies use the term “hemp oil” when they actually mean “CBD oil.” But anyone familiar with CBD oil knows that our favorite cannabinoid is not derived from the plant’s seeds! In fact, the whole process of creating CBD oil is entirely different, as we just outlined. Why have companies done this? This has helped them avoid being harassed by government bodies for producing CBD products and because some just didn’t know better. The industry is young, and labels and terms are still being worked out. 

Unfortunately, some companies try to take advantage of the popularity of CBD and market hemp seed oil in a dishonest manner. By calling it “hemp oil” and talking about various benefits, they try to convince consumers that their product will impart the same benefits that CBD oil will. This simply isn’t true and, unfortunately, such companies exist. 

To avoid any confusion, it’s best to be sure if a company means “hemp seed oil” so you can be sure what everyone is talking about!

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Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD Oil: What Are They Used For?

Both hemp seed oil and CBD oil have fantastic benefits. They make great additions to your routine, but for very different reasons. Let’s explore those now!

Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is cold-pressed from hemp seeds and contains no additives, preservatives or solvents. It’s rich in essential fatty acids (EFA) like omega-3, oleic acid and linoleic acid, which are all very healthy for us. 

hemp seed oil benefits

Our bodies can use these EFAs for various purposes, including helping with flaky skin, moisturizing dry hair and scaling nails, and even improving joint health. One of the most common uses of hemp seed oil is as a moisturizer, especially after shaving, and you’ll often find it as an ingredient in men’s grooming products. 

Hemp seed oil also contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has benefits that range from fighting psoriasis to alleviating premenstrual syndrome and hot flashes. Studies have also shown that GLA balances out skin tone and reduces the appearance of stretch marks.

In addition to hemp seed oil, you can also buy hemp seeds before they’re made into oil. They may be referred to, in some cases, as hemp hearts as well. They have a high concentration of proteins and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc, all very important for your health. They also contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from free radicals. 

For your reference, and this is important, hemp seed oil is not meant to be used as a cooking oil because it does not retain its nutritional value when heated. However, you can use it topically or ingest it as a supplement, in dressings and as a topping for various dishes. 

Benefits of CBD Oil

As we’ve casually mentioned, CBD is a cannabinoid. If you’re not familiar with cannabinoids, you definitely need to be! They’re the chemical compounds that are responsible for most of the benefits that hemp has to offer. They’re also unique because they can interact with something called the endocannabinoid system, which is naturally found in all humans and many animals as well. This system plays a significant role in many bodily processes, including:

  • Pain and inflammation
  • Mood and memory 
  • Appetite, digestion, metabolism

CBD is one of over a hundred known cannabinoids but is also among the most plentiful and widely available. That’s a good thing! Why? Allow us to explain.

cbd oil benefits

Taking CBD oil is also a good choice for people who are new to the world of natural remedies. It doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, so it won’t get you high. Some studies have even shown that CBD may counteract the psychoactivity of THC. It’s also low in side effects and has been used for centuries to help with various ailments, which is another reason it’s becoming so popular. What’s old is new again.

CBD oil won’t get you high because the CBD molecule doesn’t closely resemble that of THC. Indeed, there’s also a tiny amount of THC in many CBD oils, but legally that will be no more than 0.3%. So you must find a product that can provide the right concentration for your needs if this is something you’re concerned about. If not, don’t worry. The minimal amount isn’t enough to produce a high.

According to Gallup, CBD has been taken by 14% of the American population to help with conditions such as inflammation, lingering pain, anxiety, mood and more. With so many possible things it could help, CBD oil is growing in popularity for all kinds of people. 

For example, some athletes use it to reduce the pain and inflammation from grueling workouts. The best way to use CBD to help with these issues is to rub it on the affected area using a topical CBD product. This allows the CBD to get to work at the point of contact for quick relief. 

Many athletes and workout enthusiasts also like to take CBD gummies because chewing a gummy delivers a short burst of CBD into the system without using a dropper or another delivery method. This makes it an ideal choice for people who have kids and pets because there’s no chance of spilling anything on them!

CBD may also help improve sleep quality, which is another reason why it’s excellent for athletes or folks looking to get fit. Lack of sleep has been linked to impaired ability to build and retain muscle mass, so getting better sleep can lead to faster recovery times and more gains. 

But CBD isn’t just a supplement for athletes and folks who enjoy working out. It can be beneficial for everyone, from seniors to young professionals. The truth is, many of us suffer from the same issues, and we simply don’t have to.

multiple forms of hemp

Common Ways to Add Hemp Seed Oil and CBD Oil to Your Routine

If you’ve come this far and are excited about adding these two different oils to your life but feeling a bit intimidated, don’t be. It’s straightforward and not hard at all.

The most common ways to incorporate hemp seed oil into your daily life are:

  • Topically, especially infused in a cream or salve for skin issues
  • Ingested as a supplement in capsule form
  • Mixed with dressings and sauces on salads and pasta dishes

CBD products are widely available, as well, and you’ll be able to add them in the following ways: 

  • As a CBD tincture
  • CBD gummies that are infused with CBD oil
  • CBD topical creams that will soothe aching joints and muscles

Final Thoughts

When it comes to hemp seed oil and CBD oil, it isn’t about which one you should get. It’s more about how much of each. And our answer to that is enough to last you until you can get your next batch! That’s because both of these fantastic oils provide different yet amazing benefits to the body.


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