CBD or Hemp Oil - What is the difference

  • Author: Iain Highfield
  • GLT CBD tester
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With all the buzz around medical marijuana and the legalization of so-called “recreational” cannabis in some jurisdictions, you could be forgiven for feeling more than a little bewildered by some of the different terminology being bandied around.

And the increasing interest in the health-giving properties of cannabis derivatives such as CBD and hemp oil has only added to the confusion.

So just what are these products, and what do you need to know about them?

The Varieties of Cannabis 

There are several species of the cannabis plant, but the one most commonly referred to is cannabis sativa, which has been cultivated in various forms for many years.

These plants are believed to contain more than a hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids which have a wide variety of effects within the body. Two of the most important of these compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is the psychoactive compound which gives the “high” sought by recreational users, while CBD has been reported as providing a number of different benefits for both mental and physical health, it does not, however, have any psychoactive properties and does not produce a “high”.

Products of the Hemp Plant

The hemp plant is a variety of cannabis sativa which has been grown for many years and is deliberately cultivated to be low in THC. Fiber and seed products of the plant are widely used for industrial and medicinal purposes, as is the extract known as hemp oil.

CBD oil is also derived directly from the hemp plant, and it’s understandable that it is often confused with hemp oil. But the two are different products, with different properties, and it’s important for consumers to understand exactly what they’re buying.

Hemp Oil  

Hemp oil should perhaps be more accurately known as hemp seed oil, and indeed it is sometimes labeled in this way, because it is made by cold-pressing the seeds of the hemp plant.

Since only the seeds are used, hemp oil is generally much lower in CBD than oils extracted from the whole plant, but it nevertheless possesses valuable health benefits.

It contains significant amounts of the health-promoting polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3), which are believed to be valuable for circulatory and brain health, and is to be found in a wide variety of beauty products for skin and hair such as moisturizers, soaps and shampoos.

See Phil Mickelson take CBD oil during the Masters below 

Click here for CBD products like the one Phil Mickelson is taking

CBD Oil 

There are several different methods of extracting CBD from hemp, but the important point is that CBD oil is obtained by treating the whole plant rather than just the seeds.

That said, CBD is commonly sold in combination with one or more “carrier” oils such as coconut, olive or (how did you guess) hemp oil. It’s therefore very important to study product labels very carefully before purchase, to ensure you know just how much pure CBD oil you are getting.

As the name suggests, CBD oil is relatively rich in cannabidiol, though very low in the psychoactive THC, and so offers very different health benefits.

The medical establishment has been typically slow to acknowledge the therapeutic value of CBD, but it is now widely used for the relief of pain and as an anti-inflammatory. There’s also evidence of CBD oil’s effectiveness in treating anxiety and depression and as an aid to improved sleep.

Some advocates further claim that CBD oil benefits the circulatory system and may even help in the treatment of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. It’s generally acknowledged, however, that a great deal more research is required in these areas.

Find Out More

If you’re interested in trying CBD oil, it’s now available in the form of drops, tinctures, capsules, vape oils and even gummies, and you can view a wide range of both CBD and hemp oil products below 

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