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CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil: Understanding the Important Differences

Hemp Plant and Oil

As cannabis grows into the mainstream, wider public understanding of industry-specific terms is lagging behind. It may come as a surprise, but there are still many people who don't understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. Today I'd like to shed light on a more nuanced, common misunderstanding around the term 'hemp oil': the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil.

The term "hemp oil" is widely used across the industry, yet the general nature of the term has led to both innocent misuses and outright customer manipulation. Many would-be CBD users have ended up with products containing no CBD all thanks to this term.

In this article, we define hemp oil, discuss the important differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, and cover specifically how and where the term is abused. The goal here is to empower you, the consumer, to clearly understand these terms. This will ensure that you purchase the products you're looking for and see the results you're expecting.

What is Hemp Oil & What Does This General Term Mean?

Hemp oil is a broadly used term that describes any oil that is sourced from any part of the hemp plant, regardless of the contents of that oil. The term is a generic parent term to two primary sub-types of oils that can be extracted from hemp: hemp seed oil and CBD oil. These two oils are very different in their creation and makeup.

Unfortunately, when the term is used without further explanation of what is in the product, it hurts consumers. Most commonly, products are generically named as 'hemp oil' to get around the prohibition of selling CBD on major marketplaces like Amazon, Groupon, and eBay.

The most common result is that a would-be CBD buyer ends up with a product containing no CBD at all.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a phytocannabinoid and terpene-rich oil that is extracted from the flowering tops of the hemp plant most often using either ethanol or CO2 extraction methods. The flowering tops of the plant are used as they contain the highest concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes. The seeds and stems of the plant don't contain any significant level of these compounds.

After extraction, this oil will contain a whole plant chemical profile. This amber-colored oil is best described as full-spectrum because it contains a full cannabinoid and terpene profile that mirrors the hemp plant source. These extracts may be further processed to create broad-spectrum extracts or isolated CBD crystals.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil is a nutritious oil that is extracted from hemp seeds. The oil is created using a cold expeller-pressed method. This is the same method you'll see being used to make other food-grade oils like olive oil.

The resulting hemp seed oil is a highly nutritious food source packed with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, amino acids, fiber, and more. This edible oil is a fantastic super-food with a wide variety of uses. Hemp seed oil does not contain the cannabinoids (like CBD) or terpenes that CBD oil does.

Hemp Oil Comparison Info-graphic

When You See Hemp Oil, Shop Carefully

What this means is that whenever you see a product generically labeled using the term hemp oil, you must exercise caution. This broad term should always be accompanied by a clear definition of what is in the product: either hemp seed oil or CBD oil. If this is not clearly explained by the seller, avoid the product!

If you're looking for CBD oil, you should find "CBD" clearly printed on the label and the actual CBD content of the product should be easily confirmed. This is done by verifying the cannabinoid potency on the lab reports for that specific product. Without this confirmation, do not buy this product and move on!

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our complete guide to shopping for CBD oil and leave any questions or comments below. Also, be sure to share this important article with your friends and family to ensure they are properly educated on this important topic.

One comment on “CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil: Understanding the Important Differences

  • John and Linda Balser says:

    Thanks for the clarification report on the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. While i did know the difference, my wife did not and was very informed when she read the article. Thanks again for keeping on top of things like this so that your customers know exactly what they are getting.

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