There’s a lot of confusion about hemp oil and CBD and, no, they’re definitely not the same thing. But why is there any confusion at all? Surely it’s pretty obvious which product is which?
The confusion stems from the definition of ‘hemp oil’ which is often used to describe the product extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. This product is CBD-rich and is more commonly known as CBD oil. But, here’s the rub, the term ‘hemp oil’ is also often used interchangeably with hemp seed oil, which contains no CBD at all.
We’re here to set the record straight by answering some of the questions that we get asked most often:
What is hemp seed oil?
Hemp seed oil, like many other carrier oils such as sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil is extracted via cold pressing from hemp seeds. It’s packed full of antioxidants and fatty acids, but contains no CBD (or any other cannabinoids for that matter). You’ll find it at your local health food store and, because it’s considered a superfood, it’s often used in food and drinks (such as smoothies). It’s powerful moisturising and skin softening properties (without clogging pores or contributing to oily skin) means that it’s also a popular skincare ingredient.
Hemp oil benefits include:
- Nutrition, in addition to being an excellent source of protein, hemp seeds are rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- Skin conditions, hemp oil can help with the dryness and itching associated with eczema
- Female health, hemp oil is linked to decreasing menopause-related inflammation and reducing symptoms of PMS.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol oil is derived from the leaves, flowers and stalks of industrial hemp. CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids that are only found in the cannabis plant. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an analgesic to reduce pain and inflammation and, when ingested, promotes a sense of calms and well-being.
CBD oil benefits include:
- Acne, CBD reduces lipid production by sebaceous glands (which leads to acne).
- Pain relief, studies show that CBD can reduce pain, stiffness, muscle spasms and inflammation associated with conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
- Anxiety, in several studies CBD has been effective in reducing symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
- Poor sleep quality, CBD can help you sleep better as it reduces symptoms of insomnia. Additionally, because it helps manage pain and anxiety, you are more likely to have a good night’s rest.
Why is there so much confusion?
As the relative new kid on the block, CBD continues to grow in popularity and many brands are jumping on the bandwagon and are selling cannabis-infused products with confusing terminology (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not).
CBD and hemp seed oil are both derived from the same plant and so its possibly understandable that they’re marketed as the same thing. But it’s much more likely that the reason brands are doing it is because CBD is a lot more expensive than hemp seed oil. For a brand that’s already producing a food or beauty product, it’s easy to add hemp seed oil to the ingredient list, rebrand the product with cannabis leaves on the label, include the word ‘cannabis’ a few times on the product description and many customers will think they’re purchasing a CBD product when, in fact, it contains no CBD at all.
It goes the other way too. Many online advertising platforms, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, and e-retailers such as Amazon don’t allow companies to market CBD products (it’s against their terms of service). CBD brands can get around this by marketing their products as hemp oil which isn’t strictly accurate, and muddies the waters further.
While it’s true that they’re both wellness products and neither are going to be harmful if purchased and consumed accidentally, you’re not going to get the benefits of CBD if you’re consuming hemp seed oil.
How do you check that you’re buying the right one?
In an industry that has little in the way of regulatory oversight, some brands are making the most of the cannabis trend and are making false claims, and are attempting to intentionally deceive potential customers.
To make sure that you don’t fall for misleading marketing, you need to:
- Check the product label, if you’re looking for CBD, the product should clearly refer to CBD on the label, it may also be referred to as cannabidiol, hemp CBD, phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil, full spectrum hemp, hemp oil or PCR hemp extracts. In contrast, hemp seed oil may be sold as cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, hemp oil or virgin hemp oil.
- Buy from a reputable seller, online CBD websites like MountVerdi have built a strong reputation for selling high quality products that are ethically sourced and transparent about the production process from plant to shelf. They’re also available to answer any questions and have a comprehensive education section so you can make a decision with confidence.
CBD products are a premium investment in your health, so it is important to ensure that you’re purchasing the right product.
The cannabinoid CBD is only found in the leaves, flowers and stalk of the hemp plant which is what CBD is made from, while hemp oil (more accurately hemp seed oil) is made from hemp seeds (with little to no CBD content). Both are most commonly derived from industrial hemp and that fact, along with misleading marketing by a number of brands in the hemp space, has led to many consumers thinking that hemp oil and CBD oil are the same thing when, in fact, they are very different.
The distinction is important because if you buy hemp seed oil thinking that it’s CBD, you may not experience the results that you’re looking for and come to the incorrect conclusion that CBD is not a good fit for your symptoms.
The best way to ensure that you don’t get caught overpaying for hemp oil when you were looking for CBD oil is to do your homework before you buy, and to ensure that you always purchase from a reputable CBD seller.
Although a lot of the claims around CBD and sexual health are primarily anecdotal, thousands of CBD users across the globe swear by CBD products to enhance and support their sex life. As always, please speak to your doctor before taking any CBD product if you are currently taking any prescribed medications.