CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil: What’s the Difference?

William Castillo

William Castillo

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As more and more hemp products begin to make their way into the marketplace, the consumer must take the time to understand what they are being offered. The best place to start is to understand what the difference is between hemp oil vs. CBD oil and other variants of cannabis-derived oils.

The Scoop on Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil

Hemp oil is just like any other plant-derived oil, such as olive oil or canola oil. It contains several kinds of healthy omega 3 and 6 fats, but no significant amount of cannabinoids whatsoever.

The term CBD oil is used to describe oils rich in the hemp-derived phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD). CBD oils are usually sublingual solutions in which CBD is infused into an oily base, such as vegetable glycerin, MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), or another similar lipid (oil-based) vehicle.

When comparing hemp oil vs. CBD oil, the primary difference is that while hemp oil is an excellent source of nutrients, hemp oil won’t contain any cannabinoid compounds such as CBD, CBN, or CBG.

So, CBD Hemp Oil and CBD Oil Are Not the Same?

Because “hemp” refers to any cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, most CBD products are derived from hemp for legal purposes. For this reason, many CBD oils are referred to as CBD Hemp Oil, Hemp CBD Oil, or some other derivative. But, calling a CBD product “hemp oil” is technically a misnomer.

Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil

In the cannabis oil vs. hemp oil debate, remember that cannabis oil often contains THC which creates a psychotropic effect. When utilizing hemp oil or CBD oil, you will not be ingesting THC.

What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?

Out of the 80+ cannabinoids found in different varieties of cannabis, none are more important than CBD and THC. THC is the compound within cannabis that causes the infamous marijuana “high.” Marijuana is the slang term for cannabis with active levels of THC.

Considered the primary compounds of cannabis, THC and CBD could be regarded as “siblings” due to their similar genetic makeup but with different “personalities.” Even though they have different properties, genetically, both THC and CBD have the same chemical makeup: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. So how are they different?

The main–and only–difference between these two sibling cannabinoids is how one of their atoms is arranged. That is a microscopic difference which in turn is responsible for making an immense difference.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Even though many people conflate hemp and marijuana, the reality is that they are entirely different. Marijuana and hemp are different varieties of cannabis, each with different properties and uses.

The main difference between hemp and marijuana lies in their concentration of THC and CBD. Marijuana usually contains 3% to 20% THC while hemp usually contains much lower levels of THC and high levels of CBD which negates the psychoactive effect of THC.

Does CBD Oil Have THC?

Technically, pure CBD oil products shouldn’t contain any THC since they are entirely different compounds; however, it all depends on where CBD is sourced and how it manufactured. Typically, CBD is sourced from industrial hemp, but it can also be extracted from marijuana.

Because CBD oil is obtained from hemp, THC levels never surpass 0.3% which is too small an amount to cause any psychoactive effects. Some CBD brands will go the extra mile and remove all THC content from their products. Since CBD oil contains little to no THC, hemp-derived CBD oil is used solely for its therapeutic benefits.

How to Use CBD Oil

CBD oil can be enjoyed orally, sublingually, via vaporization, or even topically. The body readily accepts the CBD compound through all of these methods. The endocannabinoid system utilizes several internal cannabinoids such as AEA and 2-AG. These cannabinoids can be seen as distant relatives of the cannabinoid compounds found in hemp. The endocannabinoid network also has a series of cannabinoid receptors on the cells throughout the body and brain. When ingested, CBD interacts with these receptors, particularly CB1 and CB2 receptors which play a signficant role in regulating nervous and immune system functions.

This network extends to nearly every tissue of the body. Its functions are vast and wildly varied. Every reaction caused by the internal cannabinoids/receptors creates a note in the overall tone of this network. If there is overactivity or under-activity of the cannabinoid receptor sites, it can cause imbalances in the physical or mental arenas.

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