Hemp oil vs. hempseed oil vs. CBD oil, oh my! While it’s no secret that both hemp and CBD have made their way into products just about everywhere, many are still confused by their differences. To help clear up the confusion, let’s start by breaking down the cannabis plant.
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: The Differences Explained
If there’s one well-known fact about hemp and CBD oils, it’s that both come from the cannabis plant. Now, when most hear the term “cannabis”, they immediately think about marijuana and it’s well-known intoxicating effect. This is thanks to the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC, which may be why some are weary of its cousin, cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.
Termed “phytocannabinoids” and often simply referred to as “cannabinoids”, both THC and CBD are active compounds found in the cannabis plant, which is further classified into two main types based on the amount of THC they contain. The hemp plant is classified as containing less than 0.3 percent THC and is primarily grown for its fibers and seeds, whereas the marijuana plant is classified as containing more than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive compound and is grown for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
So What is CBD Oil?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is extracted from the stalks, stems and flowers of both types of cannabis plants. Regardless of whether it’s extracted from the hemp or marijuana plant, CBD’s molecular structure remains the same. The difference comes in how it's initially extracted and further processed.
While there are a few different ways to extract and process CBD, one of the oldest methods involves oil infusion. This method, of course, involves heating the plant material to a certain temperature and infusing it into a carrier oil. Known as decarboxylation, the heating process activates the plant’s compounds before adding to the carrier oil with a little bit of water for further heating and absorption. The mixture is then cooled to allow the carrier oil to coagulate and harden, which leaves behind a dense layer of CBD oil right on top.
How is CBD Oil Different From Hemp Oil?
Now, this is where things get tricky. The terms “CBD oil” and “hemp oil” are often used interchangeably. While this isn’t completely wrong, there is a small difference to keep in mind when considering trying CBD.
As noted above, CBD is extracted from the stalks, stems and flowers of both types of cannabis plants. Hempseed oil or simply “hemp oil”, on the other hand, is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. While hemp seeds are believed to offer a variety of benefits, they’re also used as a sneaky way for scammers to sell fake CBD. Since hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plants, it does not contain any actual CBD.
So how do you spot the fakes? Pay close attention to the ingredients listed on the label. If you see an ingredient called “cannabis sativa oil”, what you’re really buying is hempseed oil disguised as CBD oil. Authentic CBD products will list CBD in the ingredients on the label as cannabidiol, phytocannabinoid rich hemp oil or extract or simply CBD oil, and they usually include the type of CBD used (more on that next).
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for an accompanying certificate of analysis (COA), which is a lab report that shows the product has been tested for authenticity and contaminants by third-party labs. For example, all White Cloud Naturals products come with a scannable QR code to view the lab results for each product.
Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate
Now, about those different types of CBD…
Since its initial introduction in 2012, CBD has evolved into three different types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and CBD isolate. Each type delivers the benefits of CBD and are available in several different forms, from ingestible oils and pills to topical creams and salves.
Let’s start with the simplest type of CBD, which also happens to be the most difficult to make. As the name suggests, CBD isolate refers to CBD that has been extracted and completely isolated from all other phytocannabinoids of the cannabis plant and is considered the purest form of CBD.
Full-spectrum, on the other hand, refers to CBD oils and extracts that contain all of the compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant. These include essential oils, cannabidiol (CBD) and other phytocannabinoids (including as trace levels of THC), and terpenes, which are compounds produced by plants to attract pollinators and repel pests and are responsible for the aromas produced by certain plants (think lavender and eucalyptus).
Full-spectrum is also the type of CBD known for creating what’s called “the entourage effect”, which simply refers to the effectiveness of cannabinoids when consumed together. Although some consider full-spectrum to be the best type of CBD, the trace levels can still lead to a false-positive drug test, which is where broad-spectrum CBD comes in.
Similar to full-spectrum, broad-spectrum CBD also contains all of the naturally occurring compounds of the cannabis plant to produce the entourage effect, just without the trace levels of THC. In order to remove all levels of THC, broad-spectrum CBD is made by either adding the other natural compounds of the cannabis plant to CBD isolate, or by further processing full-spectrum CBD to remove all traces of THC. This allows you to explore the potential benefits of cannabis without the THC.
Related: How Does CBD Interact With the Body?
Where to Find the Best CBD Products for Your Needs
It’s no secret that you can find CBD-infused products just about anywhere these days, from the gas station down the street to department stores. The biggest issue with buying CBD products from, well anywhere, is this is still a somewhat unregulated industry. This, of course, means there’s no shortage of both fake and inferior CBD products.
In order to ensure you’re buying the best CBD products for your needs, follow the tips we mentioned above: check the ingredients on the label and look for an accompanying CoA. Or, you can save yourself the trouble and find all of the best CBD products right here at and have them delivered right to your door! So let’s get to shopping and start exploring the world of CBD with White Cloud Naturals!