It’s pretty easy for beginners to confuse CBD oil with hemp seed oil. A quick browser search shows us how some blog posts and news articles use the terms interchangeably, while others bring both under the same but bigger umbrella—the hemp oil. To be fair, such assumptions are understandable given that these products are derived from the industrial hemp plant.
Unfortunately, these gray areas have led certain health and wellness companies to market hemp seed oil as a CBD product even though it contains no cannabidiol. While this deceptive practice will not likely cause severe harm to your health, you will pay a premium price for something that probably won’t work as promised.
We should not dismiss hemp seed oil as an inferior product because it is cheaper to produce, though. After all, CBD and hemp seed extracts have their respective advantages, therapeutic benefits, and ideal applications.
So, to clear things up, we will discuss in this article the critical differences between CBD oil and hemp seed oil so that you can better decide whether or not you should pay extra for CBD-infused products. We’re also going to cover what you can expect from each type of natural wellness product and how you can use each to elevate your lifestyle.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD or cannabidiol refers to one of the hundreds of active compounds found in the cannabis plant. Collectively known as cannabinoids, they can be extracted from the aerial plant parts, such as the flowers, leaves, stalks, and stems.
How CBD Oil is Made
The manufacturing process of CBD oil has become more complex as its popularity soared. The extraction options range from economical but inefficient to exact but highly-priced methods. Let’s quickly go over the four main types of CBD extraction process:
Many essential oils are made through this technique. Through the steam, the cannabinoids will separate from the solid parts of the plant in the form of heated vapor. This will then be cooled down and wait until it has condensed into liquid form.
Though steam distillation is easy, cheap, and free from harmful solvents, it requires more hemp to produce the same quantity as the other CBD extraction methods. Moreover, the heat from the steam tends to damage the chemical structure of the cannabinoids, thus leading to inconsistent CBD concentration.
Olive Oil Extraction
People who prefer homemade CBD oil go for this method because it doesn’t involve expensive equipment or harmful solvents. You only have to heat the raw hemp plant until it reaches a specific temperature, add olive oil, and heat again until CBD and other cannabinoids have combined with the oil base.
The final product isn’t concentrated CBD mixed with oil but rather a CBD-infused oil. That means the CBD content is much lower than the other methods, and the freshness won’t last as long as commercially made CBD oils.
Several CBD brands used to employ this approach, but nowadays, they have been phasing this out because of its drawbacks. Even though the method uses food-grade solvents, such as ethanol and butane, any residual solvents will lower the quality of the finished product. The volatile nature of solvents also puts added risks to the manufacturer’s safety.
Process-wise, solvent extraction can be done well without investing in expensive equipment. It’s pretty efficient in obtaining cannabinoids from the hemp plant because the method involves soaking the plant trimmings in the solvent, which can lock onto the plant compounds. Refining or distilling the liquid will remove the solvent until only the CBD concentrate remains.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction
Of the four, this is the newest method that most of the top CBD brands are doing. The raw hemp plant is processed with sophisticated equipment to extract the cannabinoids using gaseous and liquified CO2. It typically involves three phases of varying pressures and temperatures to achieve a highly concentrated CBD extract.
Compared to the previous approaches, CO2 extraction is safer because it doesn’t use flammable solvents. It’s also more economical in terms of the final product yield since you will be getting more CBD oil from lesser raw materials. However, you would have to invest in an expensive machine, and not all brands can afford to do so at the moment.
As you have seen, each method has its advantages and drawbacks. That’s why the quality and price of CBD oil vary, too. Remember to read the fine print before buying any product to be sure that you will be getting your money’s worth in the end.
Common Ways to Use CBD Oil
CBD oil is one of the most flexible cannabidiol products today. You can take it as it is to supplement your diet and feel its therapeutic effects. Those who have the energy and time to cook tend to add a few spoonfuls of CBD oil into their dishes. Beverages, such as coffee, tea, and smoothies, may also be enhanced with a drop or two of CBD oil.
Many CBD brands use concentrated CBD oil to produce other ways to deliver cannabidiol into the system. For example, CBD-infused bath bombs, creams, lip balms, and lotions may contain CBD oil and other skin-nourishing agents. CBD edibles can also be created by adding CBD oil to gummies, chocolate, or cookies.
While some assume that CBD oil can be loaded into a vaping pen, that could be a harmful and wasteful practice because CBD vaping oil has a different formulation from its regular counterpart. Be sure to read the product description well or ask an expert before vaping CBD.
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil
CBD offers the following benefits to its users:
- Legal at the federal level as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)
- Does not cause a “high,” especially if you have opted for CBD isolates
- Can be used to lessen inflammations and reduce pain
- Relaxes the body and mind by lowering our anxiety and stress levels
- Wide range of potential applications
- Comes with third-party lab test results for the customer’s peace of mind
On the other hand, the downsides of using CBD oil include:
- Confusing and rapidly changing state laws on cannabis products
- Poor manufacturing practices may expose you to THC and harmful substances
- More expensive than most hemp seed oil
- Requires pre-measuring the dosage to unlock its health benefits
Top-quality CBD oil can do wondrous things to our day-to-day life. You can enjoy it along with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids and activate the so-called “entourage effect” by getting the full-spectrum variant. However, if you want to avoid THC, CBD oils with either the broad-spectrum or isolate extracts may be the better choice for you.
Regardless of your preference, remember to consult your physician first and read the product descriptions and test results carefully before proceeding with your purchase.
What is Hemp Seed Oil?
As the name implies, this product is derived from the seed extract from the hemp plant. Though rich in essential fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants, hemp seed oil does not have the cannabinoids naturally found in the hemp plant.
How Hemp Seed Oil is Made
To produce this, hemp seeds are cold-pressed to extract the oil. This process involves no added heat, so the end-product retains the source material’s flavor profile, aroma, and nutritional value.
Sediments and other contaminants will be filtered out from the hemp seed oil before then it gets packed in a sealed bottle or formed into capsules or tablets. The finished goods are stored in a cold, dark area to preserve their freshness and potency.
The hemp seed oil appears deep green and has a slightly fluid viscosity if processed well. It gives off an earthy scent but doesn’t taste grassy like CBD oil. Instead, most describe it as nutty, like most seed-extracted oils.
Common Ways to Use Hemp Seed Oil
Many people have used hemp seed oil even before CBD’s immense popularity. Some add it to their dishes as cooking oil or as a salad dressing component. Others prefer having hemp seed oil in their skincare products because it does not clog the pores and may clear skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and inflammations.
Hemp seed oil can be used for industrial applications, too. For example, it’s excellent for sealing wooden surfaces that will have contact with food, like cutting boards, spatula, or utensils. The oil itself is hypoallergenic and does not contain toxins. Its viscosity also allows the oil to seep deeply into the wood.
The Pros and Cons of Hemp seed Oil
To sum things up, the best aspects of using hemp seed oil are as follows:
- An excellent and natural source of essential nutrients for a healthier body and mind
- Can be taken without worrying about getting “stoned”
- Buying or consuming it does not violate any federal or state laws
- Much affordable compared to most CBD products
- May be used in the kitchen as a culinary oil
- Nourishes and heals the skin when applied as a topical product
On the flip side, here are the disadvantages of choosing hemp seed oil:
- Does not produce the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids
- Limited ways to enjoy or apply
- May be marketed with misleading health and wellness claims
Like CBD oils, you must be careful in selecting and purchasing hemp seed oil. Research the brand and product reviews beforehand, and go through the product label to learn more about its origins, nutritional value, and purity.
So, Which is Better: CBD Oil or Hemp Seed Oil?
Now that we have clarified the key differences between CBD oil and hemp seed oil, which should you buy?
There is no one correct answer for everyone. You must consider the following factors to ensure that you will be making the right choice:
Expected Health and Wellness Benefits
CBD has plenty of potential therapeutic effects to enhance your current way of living. However, we can’t guarantee that you will feel its positive impacts because it depends on the dosage, type of CBD product, and how well your body will respond to cannabidiol.
The benefits of hemp seed oil are more straightforward, however. Ingesting it will provide your body with the nutrients it contains, while applying it to your skin may help you deal with some common skin problems. However, it won’t make you feel relaxed or stable, unlike CBD oil could.
As we have explained earlier, the more complicated extraction process of CBD and its numerous benefits allow companies to demand a higher price for these products. Meanwhile, the simpler hemp seed oil can be the more practical option for those who just want to have a healthier oil in their pantry or skincare kit.
Need for Transparency
The leading CBD brands provide all the vital product information and lab test results that customers want to know before buying their product. However, the same standard does not usually apply to hemp seed oil producers because of the fewer health and safety risks associated with this essential oil.
Besides choosing one over the other, you can also enjoy the perks of both CBD oil and hemp seed oil. For instance, we prefer taking a few drops of CBD oil in the morning to feel energized. However, when it comes to salad dressings, we believe hemp seed oil is better because of its taste and consistency.
Some products contain both CBD and hemp seed oil, too. Just remember our shopping and safety tips we shared earlier to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck. If you need further guidance on choosing and buying cannabis-derived products, we recommend going through our previous blog posts.