Hemp Oil Versus CBD Oil - What Gives?
Are you just starting to research what CBD oil to get and throwing up your hands in confusion?
We get it...we started that way too.
After hours of comparing options, researching, reading NIH studies (and eventually crafting our own brand to fit what we found), we eventually got out of that CBD quicksand.
So many different brands and options.
We need a CBD translator!
You can learn all about the different twists and turns at our What Exactly is CBD article but let's zero in on a question that we get often?
What is the difference between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil?
Maybe more importantly, why does the pricing swing so much (you're not going to like the answer...we didn't).
We'll cover these topics on our way to explaining hemp oil and CBD oil:
- What is CBD
- What is CBD oil
- What is Hemp oil
- Is CBD oil or hemp oil better
- What about CBD or hemp oil and allergies or histamines
- Should CBD or hemp oil cost more?
Off to the races!
What is CBD?
This is one of the first questions a person "runs into" when starting to research what CBD to buy.
You'll see it all over the place at Reddit.
There's a great deal of confusion so let's break it down simply.
First, what is CBD?
CBD is a chemical substance that is extracted from industrial hemp (a legal term of cannabis with less than .03% THC).
By itself, it's odorless, tasteless, and generally comes in a white crystalline substance (like salt or sugar).
It's a very difficult and sophisticated process to extract just CBD from hemp if done RIGHT.
We want CO2 extraction and 3rd party testing that no bad things are there (see How to Pick the Best CBD).
99% of the research at NIH is on CBD by itself...or CBD Isolate as it's called.
The so-called "Full Spectrum" option has very little research and you get a good understanding of this at our CBD Isolate versus Full Spectrum article.
This gets to the heart of the following two questions...what is CBD oil and what is hemp oil.
What is CBD Oil?
There are two types of CBD oil really:
- CBD Isolate
- CBD Full spectrum
CBD Isolate is basically the crystalline CBD above usually added to a base oil:
- Olive oil
- Coconut or MCT oil (MCT is just an extract of simple fats from coconut oil)
- Hemp oil (just to make it more confusing)
The first two are easy to understand.
The hemp oil is basically all or most of the plant materials in the original hemp plant.
- Fatty oils
- Other cannabinoids
- Other plant material
Imagine taking the hemp plant and squeezing out everything but the fiber of the plan.
They then add back a certain level of CBD (if it's a reputable brand).
We'll get to that reputable part next.
The whole point is that we have a specified level of CBD added to some base oil.
If they don't specify the level of CBD right on the bottle, run...don't walk.
What is Hemp oil
There are two ways to look at this.
We'll first assume everyone in the CBD market is a good actor.
In that case, hemp oil is basically what is extracted when we press the hemp plant.
Think of a juicer machine.
You could basically put asparagus in there...press it and get all of the plant material and oil that would come out.
Most of the plant fiber and solid material is left out.
There would be trace amounts of CBD in that product as well.
Not very much but trace amounts.
For this reason, hemp oil will usually give a certain amount of "phytocannabinoids" or mg's of "hemp oil".
Are there health benefits to plain hemp oil?
Sure. There's just not much research to back this up but the constituent parts like CBD have 100's of studies.
There are also health benefits for olive oil, fish oil, etc.
It's just that you're not getting much CBD.
We enquired with one of the largest (if not the largest) brands of hemp oil on how much CBD was in the product.
They responded back that they couldn't specify. Just 80 mgs of phytocannabinoids.
This doesn't help much.
The CBD in that dose might be 8 mgs??
Research is showing that sleep aid is at about 160 mgs and more serious issues were studied at between 300-600 mgs.
Many people "selling" hemp oil and even full-spectrum CBD will speak to the "entourage effect" of having all the plant material.
Read up on what research actually has to say about this at our Is Full Spectrum CBD better than CBD Isolate article.
Enough of the marketing...we want research.
For the record, it's cheaper and less involved to process hemp oil or even full-spectrum CBD.
Not that many of the brands will pass on this savings to the consumer (check out CBD comparison by mg of CBD).
We could easily offer this option but we crafted our CBD based on research and it's not there!
Meanwhile, there's amazing research on How CBD Works by health issue here.
So...which is better?
Is CBD oil or hemp oil better?
We have to go based on research.
If you google "CBD NIH", you'll get 100's of studies.
We've read most of them.
If you google "hemp oil NIH", you'll get a few but the majority on page one are for.... cannabidiol (which is CBD).
Hemp oil has a pretty good ratio of Omega acids but that makes it akin to fish oil.
The research there is on CBD.
You can learn all about how CBD works by medical issues here.
We have seen some very big brands who are basically singing the CBD praises but for hemp oil!
Keep in mind that hemp oil is very cheap and easy to produce.
It's not that different than making canola oil, olive oil, or any other oil derived from organic biomass.
CBD, on the other hand, is much more complicated and costly to produce.
Those big companies are basically riding on CBD's health benefit coat tails and tremendously over-charging for glorified hemp oil.
We've seen costs for hemp oil which are many times more expensive than what legitimate CBD isolate oil costs.
You can check out CBD costs by mg of CBD.
This upsets us.
They're taking advantage of the public's current lack of knowledge on what's really important.
CBD isolate oil is better for you (based on research).
Hemp oil is better for the company's bottom line.
The only argument you can make is that really big companies were afraid of selling CBD oil by itself because of the prior legal status.
That's giving them the benefit of the doubt but it won't last for long as CBD's legal status continues to clarify (see legal status of CBD).
What about CBD or hemp oil and allergies or histamines
This is a big one.
No one's talking about it!
We have received countless reports of people who use CBD isolate after having negative reactions to hemp oil or full-spectrum CBD oil.
Here are the stats.
40-60% of the US population has allergy or histamine issues.
This percentage goes higher (from the low end) for women and as we get older.
Just check out CBD and perimenopause allergies.
What do you think all of that plant material in hemp oil is going to do for this growing percentage of the population?
CBD isolate itself has shown powerful effects to calm the histamine response.
Research was only looking at CBD though?
If you have bad responses to CBD, first see if it's the hemp oil or full-spectrum reaction.
Also, you can get isolate with MCT oil (coconut extract) or olive oil, instead of hemp oil.
The MCT has the least histamine response of the three.
We partially addressed this but the question comes up.
Should CBD or hemp oil cost more?
CBD Isolate is much more difficult to extract and process than just hemp oil.
The fact that big companies are charging more for hemp oil than we do for verified levels of CBD Isolate is ridiculous!
Granted, we're aiming to have some of the lowest cost per mg of CBD on the market but still.
No hemp oil should ever be higher.
That's very suspect in our books.
Also, before we fall for the whole "full-spectrum" and "entourage effect" routine, learn more about that here so you can make an informed decision.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.