CBD Education

The Difference Between Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Oil


The hemp market has been undergoing a radical change in the last few years. As laws and opinions on cannabis products have changed, hemp products have become more common. Not only that, but the market has diversified, as well. With so many different options to choose from, it can be more than a little confusing. Maybe you’re in the market for some hemp oil, hoping to take advantage of some of the many possible benefits, and you come across hemp seed oil instead. Are they the same thing? What can you expect if you accidentally swap one for the other? Hemp seed oil and hemp oil are actually very different.

Hemp oil

Things can get convoluted right off the bat when discussing hemp oil. Hemp oil is most commonly used for its cannabidiol, or CBD, which leads to the product being called CBD oil. But CBD oil is actually slightly different.

CBD oil is the blanket term for oils containing usable quantities of CBD, and these can come from two different places: hemp or marijuana, both of which are strains of the cannabis plant. CBD marijuana oil is legally controlled and contains noticeable levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. CBD hemp oil has only trace amounts of THC or no THC at all. 

So hemp oil is not only completely legal across all fifty states, but it is also easy to get ahold of. Hemp oil products can be purchased online or in physical stores in a variety of forms. Since the main attraction of hemp oil is the CBD, people have gotten quite creative with consumption methods over the last few years, as well. There are now four different ways to consume CBD: edibles, inhalation, sublingual and topicals.

Uses of hemp oil

People take hemp oil for a wide range of reasons. Officially, the FDA has cleared CBD for use in anti-seizure medications, but there is growing evidence to suggest its effectiveness in treating a myriad of other health problems. Many people take hemp oil to relieve chronic pain or inflammation, as well as insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Research in these areas is ongoing, but many people see hemp oil as a natural way to treat pain and mood problems and are eager to at least give it a try before turning to traditional medication.

Hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil is a completely different animal. Like CBD hemp oil,  hemp seed oil is derived from the hemp plant, but that is about the only similarity. Hemp oil comes from the entire plant (flowers, leaves, stalk, and seeds). Hemp seed oil, as the name implies, comes only from the seed of the hemp plant and is extracted using an entirely different method. The end result is that hemp seed oil doesn’t have any CBD in it. So all those potential medical applications of hemp oil don’t apply to hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is strictly a food product, meant to be added to one’s diet for nutritional purposes.

Uses of hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil contains fatty acids, vitamin E, fiber and protein among other nutrients. It’s easy to add to many food products, including cooking oils and sauces. Hemp seed oil is considered a food rather than a supplement, which means its nutrients are likely more bioavailable than those found in supplement pills.

Are they interchangeable?

Absolutely not. Hemp oil and hemp seed oil have entirely separate purposes. Swapping one for the other does not work. For example, if you are looking for hemp products to help with anxiety, pain or any other medical issue, hemp seed oil will do you no good. And if you’re looking for a way to get your vitamin E, hemp oil probably won’t provide you any meaningful amount.

Nutrition versus supplement

Labeling is a bit of a nightmare in the world of hemp products. Hemp seed oil is often mislabelled as hemp oil. As a result, determining which hemp oils are truly THC-free can also be a tough task. But here are a few tips to help you keep hemp seed oil and hemp oil straight in your head.

First of all, since hemp seed is technically a food, the label should list “nutritional facts.” Conversely, hemp oil should come with “supplement facts,” as it is not a food. Also keep an eye out of mentions of CBD or THC content, which should never show up on hemp seed oil.

If you purchase hemp oil or hemp seed oil from a non-specific website like Amazon, you are much more likely to run into improperly categorized products that only add to the confusion. Dedicated sites make things easier by grouping hemp oil products into the proper supplement category to eliminate product confusion.

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