Are Hemp and CBD Oil the Same Thing?

Are Hemp and CBD Oil the Same Thing?


The proliferation of the cannabis plant as both a medicine and a health and beauty product has led to plenty of confusion over what consumers are actually buying from retail shelves. Some of this confusion is the direct result of marketers using terms interchangeably, even when the terms do not mean the same thing. Take hemp and CBD oil, which are not the same.

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a CBD product to be marketed as a hemp oil product, and vice-versa. People are easily confused because both products are derived from the same plant. Yet where the oil comes from makes a difference. One type of oil comes from the hemp seed while the other comes from stalks, leaves, and flowers.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Before getting to the hemp and CBD oil question, a distinction must be drawn between hemp and marijuana. Both plants are types of cannabis. This is critically important due to the state legalizing recreational and medical marijuana. In order to avoid the stigma associated with the marijuana term, the industry and its proponents have opted to use cannabis instead.

This is unfortunate because it creates confusion between marijuana and hemp. Marijuana is a cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC by volume. Hemp plants must contain 0.3% THC or less. Both types of plants are still cannabis. In terms of hemp and CBD oil, both come from industrial hemp.

CBD Oil Is from Plant Material

CBD oil, which is all the rage these days as both a medicine and health supplement, comes from hemp plant material. Houston-based CedarStoneIndustry says that processors take plant biomass and put it through a series of extraction processes to produce what is known as CBD crude.

That biomass consists of stalks, leaves, and flowers. CedarStoneIndustry manufactures the equipment processors need to extract CBD from biomass. Processors can utilize distillation, solvent extraction, or CO2 extraction to get valuable CBD crude.

While it is technically possible to extract CBD from marijuana plants, the vast majority of CBD on the market comes from industrial hemp. Marijuana is produced primarily for its THC.

Hemp Oil Is from Seeds

As for hemp oil, it is also a product of the industrial hemp plant. However, it is extracted from hemp seeds rather than plant biomass. The result is a crude oil that contains little or no CBD. The seeds definitely don’t contain THC. So what you have is a hemp oil that is entirely different in its chemical molecular makeup.

Does this mean hemp oil doesn’t offer the same medicinal and health benefits as CBD oil? That is a matter of opinion. We still don’t know a whole lot about the health and medical efficacy of CBD, THC, or any of the other compounds in cannabis plants.

Learning More About Hemp

Research into CBD is finally getting off the ground now that hemp has been legalized. Likewise, research into the medical benefits of THC has begun in earnest. It is not clear how much research is being put into hemp oil.

The one thing we can say for sure is that we are gradually learning more about hemp. Perhaps research will one day reveal how valuable hemp and CBD oil are as medicines. Then again, we may discover that both types of oil have very limited benefits for human health.

In the meantime, you now know that hemp and CBD oil are not the same thing. Unfortunately, marketers still use the terms interchangeably. That means you may not be getting exactly what you are expecting when you purchase one or the other.

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