With the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the hemp industry has seen explosive growth. As part of this growth, consumers have flocked to stores and websites looking for the most effective cannabis-related products that best suit their needs. However, one area that still provides some confusion for customers is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil.
There is a clear distinction between the two, so let’s take a look at how they differ.
The hemp plant is one strain of cannabis sativa, but it contains very little to no THC or CBD. Hemp is a fast-growing plant and has been used for thousands of years in the production of paper, cloth and rope. More recently, hemp is used for applications such as plastics, alternative fuels and even feed for livestock.
Hemp oil is made by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. Similar to how other seed oils (e.g. sunflower, sesame or flax) are processed, hemp oil can be either unrefined (cold-pressed or raw) or refined (heat treated or bleached to remove flavor). Typically, unrefined oils tend to be darker in color and have a distinct smell and flavor, while refined oils are lighter in color and have no smell or flavor.
Hemp oil is rich in essentially fatty acids, which makes it a great ingredient in products like shampoos and detergents. However, when it comes to any medicinal qualities, hemp oil has virtually none.
CBD oil also comes from the cannabis sativa plant, but it is a different strain that has very little THC, usually less that 10 parts per million. Whereas hemp oil is made from hemp seeds, CBD oil is extracted from the flowers and other non-seed parts of the cannabis plant.
Unlike seed oils that are pressed, CBD oil is typically processed using a combination of carbon dioxide, high pressure and low temperatures. This process extracts the oil without over refinement, allowing for the entire spectrum of CBD to be safely utilized.
CBD oil has many therapeutic benefits, as it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors that are found in our bodies. Most notably, CBD oil is the active ingredient in the drug Epidiolex, which was approved by the FDA in 2018 to treat specific forms of epilepsy. Additionally, early research into CBD oil has shown promise in the treatment of pain, inflammation, anxiety and sleep disorders.
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