The Difference Between Hemp and CBD
People talk a lot about the benefits and uses of hemp and CBD, but what is the difference between the two, and does it matter?
The hemp plant
First of all, hemp is not marijuana. It’s a different plant altogether. Hemp and marijuana are, however, part of the same plant species and genus known as Cannabis Sativa, commonly called cannabis. Cannabis plants contain a number of different compounds known as cannabinoids. The two most popular cannabinoids in terms of medicinal therapeutic effects are CBD and THC. Aside from a few physical differences, hemp and marijuana differ by the amount of THC found in the plant. That is, a cannabis plant that has a THC level greater than 0.3% is a marijuana plant, and a cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC is a hemp plant, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa L.
It is the cannabinoid THC that produces psychoactivity, i.e., it gets you high. CBD, on the other hand, will not get you high. But that doesn’t mean it’s without benefits! It has some pretty great uses that you can read about here.
Hemp seed oil/hemp oil
Hemp is legally defined as a cannabis plant that contains the cannabinoid CBD but less than 0.3% of the cannabinoid THC. Different parts of the hemp plant have different uses. You’ll hear the terms hemp seed oil and hemp oil thrown around a lot, and it’s important to understand that these two terms are interchangeable. Hemp seed oil and hemp oil are really two terms for the same thing. Hemp seed oil is produced from the plant’s seeds, which do not contain CBD or THC. Thus the oil does not contain any anti-inflammatory/pain-relieving or psychoactive effects. Know that when you buy something labeled hemp seed oil, hemp oil, or derived from the seeds of the hemp plant that it does not contain the medicinal benefits of CBD. Hemp seed oil, however, does contain omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other nutrients found in hemp seeds and is used as a cooking oil. Hemp seeds do have dietary benefits.
CBD oil/hemp oil extract
Not to be confused with hemp oil/hemp seed oil, CBD oil is also referred to as hemp oil extract, or sometimes just hemp oil. Confusing, right? We think so, too, but we didn’t make the rules. But we do explain the ambiguity later in this article.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the flowers, stems, and stalks of either the hemp or marijuana plant, but it is not made from the seeds. (FYI: ALL G extracts its CBD from hemp plants.) The CBD oil is then included in a variety of products that will provide users with CBD’s many benefits, like pain and stress relief.
CBD oil/hemp oil extract contain terpenes, phytonutrients, all 10 essential amino acids, and over 113 different types of cannabinoids, including CBD. For full- and broad-spectrum products, these independent parts also interact to create what is known as an entourage effect, or “synergistic effect,” that offers a more substantial effect than any of the single compounds do alone. And because CBD oil/hemp oil extract includes CBD, it provides all the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits included in all CBD products.
Why all the ambiguity?
All these crossover terms derive from cannabis’s long stint as an illegal plant. Because nothing could legally be made from the cannabis plant back in the day, all hemp oil, hemp seed oil, hemp oil extract, and hemp extract was, by definition, made from hemp seeds. Despite products now legally being made from the plant’s stalks, stems, and flowers, the previous names have resurfaced and begun being used interchangeably between products made from hemp seeds and those made from the stalks, stems, and flowers. If the product contains the cannabinoid cannabidiol, then the letters CBD are added for clarification, but other times, the inclusion of CBD is assumed and the letters are left off. Hence, the terminology has gotten very confusing.
Both hemp oil and CBD oil are beneficial in their own right as sleep aids and in reducing and relieving stress, pain, and anxiety. While the interchangeable terms for these oils can make things downright frustrating, hemp seed oil and CBD oil have important differences in composition and uses. Read our blogs for more valuable information on the history of cannabis and hemp, the complete guide to CBD, and everything you need to know about CBD and THC.