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One reason why hemp oil and CBD oil are so commonly conflated is that they are both derived from hemp, one of the varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant.
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, which are chemical compounds found in various Cannabis sativa plants, including hemp and marijuana. Hemp oil, on the other hand, is only derived from hemp, not marijuana.
Although hemp oil and CBD oil have a close association with marijuana, so long as they are derived from hemp plants, they will not make users high. That is because hemp contains little to no THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that gives people the feeling of being high. In the U.S., in order for hemp to be legally cultivated, it must contain less than 0.3 percent THC. This amount is not enough to make users feel high.
For several decades, it was illegal to cultivate hemp, and sell or possess hemp-derived products in the U.S. However, in 2018, Congress passed a bill legalizing hemp at the federal level. Although there are some states where hemp and hemp-derived products are still prohibited, both hemp oil and CBD oil are legal at the federal level.
In the broadest terms, hemp oil and CBD oil are both made from hemp, but they are derived from two different parts of the plant.
Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds (which is why it is also known as hemp seed oil), through a process known as cold-pressing, which separates the oils from the rest of the seed’s materials.
Meanwhile, CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant’s leaves, flowers, and stalks, through an extraction process that uses CO2, steam distillation, or other solvents.
There are three types of CBD oil available — full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. Each type of oil contains different levels of other cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and terpenes, with CBD isolate being the purest form of CBD extract available.
Despite their common origins, hemp oil and CBD oil have rather divergent uses. Hemp oil is more of a nutritional supplement, while CBD oil is more commonly used for therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
Hemp oil uses
CBD oil uses
As with any substance that is introduced into the body, both hemp oil and CBD oil come with some possible negative side effects. While the potential for these side effects is low in most cases, anyone considering using CBD oil or hemp oil should be aware of them.
CBD oil and hemp oil can also have negative interactions with certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, so it’s important to consult with your doctor before using products containing either of these substances.
Hemp oil side effects
CBD oil side effects
When it comes to consuming hemp oil and CBD oil, there is some overlap, with some consumption methods being more popular depending on the effects you are seeking.
For individuals who want hemp oil’s nutritional benefits, eating or cooking with hemp oil is the best way to go. Hemp oil can be used as a base for salad dressings, drizzled onto vegetables, grains, or pasta, or blended into hummus and dips. You can also consume hemp oil by itself, as a tincture that is taken sublingually (absorbed into the bloodstream under your tongue).
Hemp oil is not a good substitute for other cooking oils like olive, coconut, or vegetable oil because it has a low smoke point. If hemp oil is heated to over 121 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down, changing the taste, and removing key nutrients.
If you are using hemp oil as a way to care for your skin or treat a skin condition, you can apply it topically, either specifically in oil form, or mixed into lotions, serums, cosmetics, and other products.
CBD oil is very versatile, in terms of consumption methods.
Although CBD oil isn’t generally used in cooking, it can be consumed orally, either by eating CBD-infused edibles; adding it to food and beverages, or as a sublingual tincture.
CBD oil can also be blended into topicals like lotions and creams, many of which are used for targeted pain relief.
Unlike hemp oil, CBD oil can also be ingested through vaping, which is the most fast-acting way of consuming CBD.
|Hemp Oil||CBD Oil|
|Derived from hemp plants||Yes||Yes|
|Derived from marijuana plants||No||Yes|
|Legal at the federal level||Yes||Yes|
|Legal at the state level||Yes (certain states)||Yes (certain states)|
|Beneficial for skin conditions||Yes||No|
|Beneficial for heart health||Yes||No|
|Beneficial for treating insomnia||No||Yes|
|Beneficial for treating anxiety||No||Yes|
|Good for cooking||Yes||No|