Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: Understanding the differences

Image showing differences between Hemp oil and CBD oil

After the legalization of hemp in the US, the wellness industry has witnessed a surge in the demand for hemp oil and CBD oil.

These two products are derived from the hemp plants and are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion among consumers. While many people are mistakenly buying hemp seed oil, thinking it offers the same benefit as CBD oil, it doesn’t.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of hemp oil and CBD oil, shedding light on their unique properties, differences, benefits, uses, and more.

What is hemp oil?

Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plants. Unlike CBD oil, which is mostly extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, hemp oil is derived solely from the seeds.

A bottle of hemp oil also contains no CBD, no THC, and no other plant cannabinoids. Rather, it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Its nutritional profile makes it a popular choice in the culinary world, where it is often used in salad dressings, smoothies, and as a cooking oil.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil, short for cannabidiol oil, is extracted from the aerial parts of the hemp plant. Unlike hemp oil, CBD oil is specifically crafted to harness the therapeutic benefits of a wide range of plant cannabinoids, including CBD.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound known for its potential to interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body, which plays a crucial role in maintaining balance and homeostasis. 

CBD oil also offers many therapeutic and wellness benefits, including pain relief, anxiety reduction, sleep promotion, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Differences between hemp oil and CBD oil:

1. Composition:

Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plants. It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

However, it is important to note that hemp oil contains little to no cannabinoids, including THC. Its composition primarily focuses on providing essential nutrients rather than interacting with the endocannabinoid system.

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant and it is crafted with a specific emphasis on cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD).

Unlike hemp oil, CBD oil is designed to harness the potential therapeutic benefits associated with cannabinoids. The presence of a wide range of cannabinoids, including CBD, allows for its interaction with the endocannabinoid system in your body, influencing various physiological processes to maintain balance and homeostasis in the body.

2. Therapeutic benefits:

The primary benefits of hemp oil lie in its nutritional content. It is a source of essential fatty acids, which support heart health, and is rich in vitamins and minerals, contributing to overall well-being.

However, hemp oil lacks the targeted therapeutic effects associated with cannabinoids, making it more suitable as a dietary supplement than a solution for specific wellness concerns.

On the other hand, CBD oil is known for its potential therapeutic and wellness benefits. Cannabidiol, the key cannabinoid in CBD oil, has been studied for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anxiolytic properties.

Additionally, many people turn to CBD oil for its potential to provide relief from issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, and inflammation.

3. Legal considerations:

Hemp-derived products, including hemp oil, are generally widely accepted and legal in the US. 

Similarly, hemp-derived CBD oil is also federally legal in the US. While most states in the US have embraced CBD for its potential health benefits, there are a few states that impose restrictions on full-spectrum CBD oil, due to its THC content.

4. Flavor and aroma:

Hemp oil has a mild, nutty, hempy flavor that complements a variety of dishes. Its versatility in the kitchen makes it a popular choice for salad dressings, smoothies, and even drizzling overcooked foods. The aroma is typically subtle, enhancing rather than overpowering the overall culinary experience.

On the other hand, the flavor of CBD oil can vary depending on the extraction method and whether additional flavorings are added.

Some users find the natural taste of CBD oil to be earthy or grassy which is not to everyone’s liking. So to enhance palatability, many CBD oils on the market come in flavored varieties such as mint or citrus, providing options for those sensitive to the characteristic taste of hemp.

5. Availability and varieties:

Hemp oil is widely available and can be found in grocery stores, health food stores, and online retailers, like Amazon. It comes in various forms, including refined and unrefined options. 

On the other hand, hemp-derived CBD oil is also readily available, though its distribution may be subject to more stringent regulations. It comes in different concentrations, allowing users to choose a potency that aligns with their needs.

Additionally, the market offers various types of CBD oil products, including tinctures, capsules, edibles, and topicals, providing diverse options for consumption.

6. Side effects:

Hemp oil is generally well-tolerated, with few reported side effects. However, in some cases, individuals may experience mild digestive issues. 

While CBD oil is also considered safe for most users, some individuals may experience side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, or changes in appetite. However, they rarely occur when you use a decent quality CBD oil in appropriate dosages.

7. Different types:

There is only one type of hemp oil available in the market, but its strength can vary from 500 mg to 1,000,000 mg.

On the contrary, CBD oil comes in 3 types, full-spectrum CBD which contains a wide range of cannabinoids including CBD and THC (less than 0.3%), broad-spectrum CBD which contains a wide range of cannabinoids except for THC, and CBD isolate which contains pure CBD only.

All types of CBD oil also come in a wide range of strengths ranging from 100 mg to 10,000 mg per bottle.

Which one is better: hemp oil or CBD oil?

Hemp oil is prized for its nutritional content, rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent addition to a balanced diet. With a mild and nutty flavor, hemp oil is versatile in the kitchen and is suitable for use in various culinary applications.

On the other hand, CBD oil is popular for its potential therapeutic effects, as it can interact with the endocannabinoid system to address specific wellness concerns such as pain, anxiety, sleep, and inflammation. It comes in various forms, offering flexibility in consumption methods.

When deciding which is better for you amongst these two, consider your objectives. If you’re looking for general nutritional support, hemp oil may be the preferred option. If you’re interested in potential therapeutic benefits associated with cannabinoids, CBD oil could be more suitable for you.

Final thoughts

There are a lot of differences between hemp oil and CBD oil. Hemp oil is a nutritional supplement that is a lot cheaper, and completely legal in every form.

While CBD oil costs more, and there is certain restriction over full-spectrum CBD oils in some places, however, it is far superior to hemp oil in terms of therapeutic benefits.

Hemp oil is mostly safe for purchase, but the same can’t be said about CBD oil. Because CBD is not regulated by the FDA, there are various companies selling sub-par CBD oils in the market which may not be as good.

So try to purchase CBD oil only from reputable CBD brands and make sure to check the COA (certificate of analysis), and customer reviews before shopping.