Hemp oil and CBD oil are two of the most popular health products available right now. With more states beginning to legalize cannabis, it is no surprise that enormous numbers of consumers are beginning to use hemp and CBD for their many health benefits.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil
As popularity has risen, so has the spread of confusing and conflicting information. There are many different types of products that come from hemp and cannabis. Some are legal at the state level, some at the federal, and all have different health benefits.
Below we break down these two substances to find out where they’re legal, what makes them unique, and how you can benefit from taking them.
Legal Status of CBD Hemp Oil and CBD Oil
You may be concerned that hemp or CBD is illegal where you live. The 2014 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of hemp products in the United States. It defined hemp as any plant of the cannabis species that contained less than .3% THC.1
THC is the psychoactive component responsible for giving users a high. Any species of cannabis that has greater than .3% THC is considered by the federal government to be marijuana. While marijuana is not a scientific term, the government uses it as a means of classifying cannabis that contains higher amounts of THC.
Understanding the Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, And Cannabis Oil
Hemp oil, CBD oil, hemp seed oil, and cannabis oil are different substances that come from different parts of the hemp plant. While many CBD oils come from hemp, it is possible to produce CBD oil from any type of cannabis plant. While hemp oil, CBD oil, and cannabis oil all come from the cannabis plant, they are made up of different primary nutrients and produce different effects in the body.
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant and is also referred to as hemp seed oil. Many people confuse hemp oil with CBD oil and assume that they are the same thing. The seeds of the hemp plant only contain a minuscule amount of CBD. If CBD is what you’re looking for, avoid purchasing hemp oil. While hemp oil may not be rich in CBD, it does still have a significant number of health benefits.
CBD oil is made from the whole plant and flowers of the hemp plant or any type of cannabis plant. As a result, it has high concentrations of CBD. Despite being the same compound from the same plant, commercially sold CBD oils can vary greatly. It may be that they contain different concentrations of CBD as well as varying amounts of other cannabinoids and terpenes present in the hemp plant. Also, CBD oil has a different nutritional profile than hemp oil and produces different effects when it is consumed. Unlike hemp or cannabis oil, CBD oil comes in different strengths.
Cannabis oil comes from the cannabis plant. It can contain high concentrations of THC or CBD. Because of the high concentration of THC, it is not available in states that have not legalized cannabis. The THC present in cannabis oil can create psychoactive effects that may be undesirable if you’re looking for a health boost. Cannabis oil typically comes from what the government considers to be “marijuana.” So, unless your state has legalized cannabis that contains THC, you will not be able to legally purchase cannabis oil.
Hemp Oil Benefits and Uses: What Does Hemp Oil Do?
Promotes Healthy Skin
The start of hemp oil benefits comes with the skin. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment examined the ways in which hemp oil that had been ingested orally could benefit the skin.2 The authors of the study discovered that patients that took hemp oil experienced reductions in skin dryness and itchiness.
Good Source of Essential Nutrients
Hemp oil contains high amounts of protein, magnesium, Vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.3 Magnesium is involved in over 300 different enzymatic reactions that take place within the body. Magnesium deficiency corresponds with many different diseases including insulin resistance, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Consistently taking hemp oil can help you get the amount of magnesium you need.
Many people do not consume enough omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a sufficient amount of omega-3s has been linked to increases in lifespan, reductions in the risk of getting heart disease, and improved mood.4 If you do not consume fish or eggs, hemp oil may be one of the best ways to incorporate more omega-3s into your diet.
Can Be Added To Other Foods
Many people use hemp oil as an addition to dressings or as a way to add fat to a meal. While hemp can be used as a cooking oil, it has a low flash point, meaning that it will start to smoke at lower temperatures than other cooking oils. For this reason, it is recommended to refrain from using hemp oil as a cooking oil. Please note, it is best to take hemp oil raw or mixed in with other foods.
Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil
Balances the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is one of the most important systems in the body for building and maintaining optimal health. It exists within and interacts with all of the body’s eleven physiological systems. It is responsible for creating balance, or homeostasis, in each of these systems. Every system of the body needs to be in a state of homeostasis for you to experience optimal health.
CBD does not act as the fuel for the body’s endocannabinoid system, but rather works like motor oil, ensuring that the endocannabinoid system functions smoothly. By ensuring that your endocannabinoid system is functioning properly, you’ll experience a state of balanced well-being.
Supports a Healthy Gut
The endocannabinoid system also interacts with the body’s microbiome. CBD oil increases the number of the body’s own endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids play a major role in regulating the gut bacteria present in the microbiome.
Boosting the ECS enables it to function better as well as improve the functions of the microbiome. CBD oil also shows promise in creating a healthy gut-barrier function.5 Gut-barrier function plays an important role in sustaining a healthy metabolism, promoting mental health, and supporting digestion.
Promotes a Positive Mental State
CBD oil promotes healthy and optimistic mental state through the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system and 5-HT1A receptors. CBD acts as a 5-HT1A agonist. An agonist is a substance that initiates a response when it binds to a receptor.6 5-HT1A receptors modulate mood, social behavior, appetite, memory, and sexual desire.
Everyone goes through stages where they may not feel their best. It is possible for levels of serotonin to get out of balance resulting in changes in mood.7 By stimulating these receptors and the endocannabinoid system, CBD holds promise in improving the occasional mood and supporting a positive state of mental health.
Encourages A Healthy Amount of Sleep
CBD oil is known for its ability to improve and increase sleep. Taking CBD for a good night's sleep is a common use. One study compared the sleep of people who had taken CBD to those who had taken a control. As a result, the study discovered that those who had taken CBD slept longer throughout the night.8
Is Hemp Oil as Good as CBD Oil?
Before you try to figure out if hemp oil or CBD oil is better, ask yourself, "What am I hoping to achieve by using it?" If you are looking to increase Omga-3 fatty acids or for an alternative to other cooking oils, hemp oil is the right choice. However, if you are looking for a product to support your ECS, then you need CBD oil. Though the two come from the same plant, their uses are very different, yet both are important!
Key Takeaways: Hemp Oil Uses and Benefits
CBD oil and hemp oil are two different substances that come from the hemp plant. Remember, hemp oil comes from the seeds of hemp. Further, it contains high amounts of omega-3s, magnesium, Vitamin E, and protein. It also shows potential to improve the look and feel of skin. Despite the benefits, hemp oil does not contain significant amounts of CBD.
- H.R. 2642, Agricultural Act of 2014. https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2642
- James Callaway, Ursula Schwab, Ilkka Harvima, Pirjo Halonen, Otto Mykkanen, Pekka Hyvonen, Tomi Jarvinen. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis, Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 2005, http://www.davoil.ro/documente/efficacy-of-dietary-hempseed-oil-in-patients-with-atopic-dermatitis.pdf
- Megan Ware. What are the health benefits of hemp?, Medical News Today, May 17 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308044.php
- Danielle Swanson, Robert Block, Shaker A. Mousa. Omega-3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA: Health Benefits Throughout Life, Advances In Nutrtion, Jan 5 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262608/
- Patrice D. Cani, Hubert Plovier, Matthias Van Hul, Lucie Geurts, Nathalie M. Delzenne, Celine Druart. Amandine Everard, Endocannabinoids -- at the crossroads between the gut microbiota and host metabolism, Dec 18 2015, https://www.nature.com/articles/nrendo.2015.211
- Ethan B. Russo, Andrea Burnett, Brian Hall, Keith K. Parker. Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1A Receptors, Neurochemical Research, Aug 2005, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11064-005-6978-1
- Trisha A. Jenkins, Jason C. D. Nguyen, Kate E. Polgaze, Paul P. Bertrand. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis, Nutrients, Jan 8 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/
- Carlini EA, Cunha JM. Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol, Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Aug 1981, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7028792?dopt=Abstract