Hemp oil or hemp seed oil can sometimes be mistaken for CBD oil, but there are very distinct differences between the two. In this article we clarify the key differences between hemp oil and CBD oil.

What is hemp oil?

Hemp oil is a cold-pressed extract from hemp seeds which contains little to no CBD or other cannabinoids. It is somewhat similar to olive oil and vegetable oils and is a nutritionally dense food which is high in minerals, antioxidants and also contains the optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for humans.

The oil is used in foods like salads, dips or soup but has a low smoking point and is therefore not the best option for high heat cooking. The shelled hemp seeds can also be consumed as a source of plant-based protein.

Hemp oil is also widely used as an addition to cosmetics, balms and skin creams and in its refined form industrial hemp seed oil is used in lubricants, paints, inks, fuel and plastics.

What is CBD oil?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a type of cannabinoid, or more specifically a phytocannabinoid which comes from the Cannabis sativa L. plant.

All types of cannabis plants, from highly potent recreational cannabis to medical cannabis and industrial hemp fall under this one species of Cannabis sativa L. and in general they all produce CBD to some extent. CBD products are most often derived from hemp (low THC cannabis) as the plant contains higher concentrations of CBDA and it is legal to grow in many countries.

Wait, what is CBDA?

CBDA is the acidic precursor of CBD. In the natural cannabis plant phytocannabinoids such as CBD and THC exist in their acidic form (CBDA & THCA). CBDA and other cannabinoids are extracted from the dried flowers and leaves of the hemp plant and after a process of refinement, we are left with a concentrated CBD oil. The concentrated CBD oil is normally diluted in a carrier oil like MCT oil or coconut oil, but some products will use hemp seed oil as the carrier.

CBD products have gained immense popularity across the world in recent years. Over the counter CBD products are primarily used for improved health and wellbeing, better sleep, pain management and as an aid to relaxation and anxiety. Whereas CBD products classed as a medicine, for example Epidyolex, are used to treat medical conditions such as seizures associated with epileptic disorders like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome.

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