The other day I was out for lunch with friends and for the whole of twenty minutes our topic of discussion was about CBD, hemp and the confusion that lies underneath it all. One of the ladies present swore by CBD oil for her recurring migraines which opened up a discussion of whether she ingests it, rubs it on her temples or how exactly is it supposed to help. Hemp oil and CBD are popping up everywhere because of their immune support and stress management benefits, and they clearly show no signs of abating just yet. But if you’ve not yet jumped on that bandwagon, there’s time to learn all about them and the difference between the two. Below is a simplified analysis to help you find out the main difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, and which one to choose?
Back To Basics
Yes hemp and marijuana come from the same family of Cannabis, yet they are different plants each containing different compounds called cannabinoids; and among the most popular cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Simply put, THC can get you high whereas CBD can help you manage stress and WILL NOT GET YOU HIGH. In addition to the cannabinoids, the hemp plant contains other organic compounds called terpenes which give the plant its smell and taste. The cannabinoids and the terpenes combined are associated with a variety of health benefits such as supporting immune function, sleep, and digestion. This impressive effect actually has a name “the entourage effect”.
Hemp oil extract – which is NOT hemp seed oil – is an oil that is extracted from the seeds, stalks, and flowers of the hemp plant. Hemp oil extract is rich in cannabinoid compounds whereas hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 rich culinary oils that do NOT contain cannabinoids. CBD oil, on the other hand, is extracted from one specific cannabinoid which is called cannabidiol.
Hemp oil is legal in the States as long as it contains a percentage of less than 0.3 THC, and it’s very safe and beneficial with its high levels of CBD; the beneficial cannabinoid.
What About CBD Oil?
As mentioned above CBD oil comes from a specific cannabinoid called cannabidiol, and it’s usually an isolated extract meaning that it has been filtered out of most cannabinoids and terpenes. What’s interesting to note is that CBD oil that comes from the marijuana plant “cannabis oil” CAN obviously get you high due to its high percentage of THC, and it’s probably not always legal save in some medical cases. Due to its legality issues, it is safe to assume that most if not all CBD oils found online come from hemp and not marijuana. CBD oil is touted for its benefits in addressing anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, seizures, and arthritis.
And The Difference Is…..
CBD oil has some great health benefits as mentioned above, but in order for you to gain the “entourage effect” mentioned above it is recommended that you get yourself a whole-plant extract rather than ‘isolated’ CBD products. Hemp oil extract includes over 140 beneficial cannabinoids whereas CBD oil extract includes an extract from ONE cannabinoid.
Read The Labels!
You should be able to distinguish between ‘full-spectrum’, ‘broad-spectrum’ and ‘isolate’ when it comes to both hemp oil and CBD oil. Full-spectrum, is perhaps self explanatory, it means that the product contains all cannabinoids including CBD. You should note that sometimes marijuana-based CBD oils can also be termed full-spectrum and this can get you high, so pay proper attention to the labels.
Broad-spectrum on the other hand means that the product contains all cannabinoids and terpenes except THC. Don’t be fooled by these “THC-free” products as a little THC is required to give you all the health benefits of the plant, especially the ones targeting stress management.
CBD ‘isolate’ is pure CBD and everything else has been filtered out. And this brings us down to the actual difference between CBD and hemp oil. IF you’ve followed through with our analysis you will be able to deduce that the main difference lies in the cannabinoid content. For best benefits and results aim to use a full-spectrum hemp oil; however if the availability of THC is an issue for you you can go to broad-spectrum, but if you’re hoping to target a specific problem you can probably just benefit from CBD oil. At the end you should remember three things; read the labels thoroughly, research possible side effects, and most importantly consult with a physician.