Another big difference among hemp, marijuana and CBD is how the law treats them.
Hemp, marijuana and CBD are all related, but they differ in significant ways. Here’s what you need to know about their legality, effects and potential health benefits.
However, medical research on marijuana is severely restricted by federal law.
Marijuana, containing both CBD and more THC than hemp, has demonstrated therapeutic benefits for people with epilepsy, nausea, glaucoma and potentially even multiple sclerosis and opioid-dependency disorder.
The defining difference between hemp and marijuana is their psychoactive component: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Hemp has 0.3% or less THC, meaning hemp-derived products don’t contain enough THC to create the “high” traditionally associated with marijuana.
Great Danes and chihuahuas are distant cousins, like marijuana and hemp. Pixy, CC BY
Full spectrum CBD products for sale, including tinctures, topical creams, edible gummies and pet products. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Another option for a CBD and hemp seed oil combo comes from Spruce, which makes its tinctures with a potent full-spectrum hemp extract. The Max Potency tincture is one of the strongest on the market, containing a total of 80 milligrams of CBD per serving—2,400 milligrams in total. Customers also have the freedom to choose either an MCT oil or hemp seed oil base for this particular product, or they can opt for the 750 milligram CBD oil for something a little less potent.
Hemp seed oil is rich in some vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), and as such, it can offer some basic nutritional benefits. Perhaps one of the most common advantages of taking hemp seed oil comes from its omega-3 and omega-6 composition, as it contains the ideal ratio for a healthy diet. These EFAs might also support heart health in a number of ways—for instance, slowing the buildup of plaque in arteries and lowering blood pressure, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, it's important to note that hemp seed oil lacks the therapeutic potential of CBD since most of these "hemp oils" contain no amount of CBD.
One perk of hemp seed oil is that it's completely cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and legal to buy or sell pretty much anywhere. With CBD oil, the laws are a bit trickier and vary from one state to the next. As a rule of thumb, CBD oils are legal if they contain less than 0.3% THC content. THC is the chemical compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects; in other words, it's the part that gets you high, which is why it's limited in all but a handful of states.
There are also some important distinctions in the way CBD oil and hemp seed oil are processed. The latter is usually made through cold-pressing hemp seeds to create a dark, thick oil that is highly concentrated and nutrient-rich. CBD oil, on the other hand, is made from different processes such as ethanol or CO2 extraction, which draw from the whole hemp plant and create a final product that contains more beneficial plant compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is actually most well-known for its many potential health benefits that go well beyond the scope of regular hemp seed oil, as CBD has shown promise for relieving stress, providing a good night's sleep, and alleviating the symptoms of joint pain and arthritis.
There's often confusion surrounding hemp oil and CBD oil, so let's clear one thing up first: Hemp oil is a term used by different people in different ways. Sometimes, it's used as a synonym for CBD oil, but in other cases, it's used to mean hemp seed oil, which is a different product altogether. Here are the three main distinctions between CBD oil and hemp seed oil.
To begin with, be clear about whether you're actually looking for hemp seed oil, or if you want actual CBD. Make sure you thoroughly read product labels to ensure you're getting what you want. In particular, look for references to "CBD," "cannabidiol," or "full-spectrum hemp extract" on the ingredients list; if none are listed, then what you're looking at is probably hemp oil, and you shouldn't expect to receive CBD oil benefits from it. It's advisable to always spend time perusing the ingredient lists, as many hemp seed oils are misleadingly marketed to look like they are CBD products.
So, does that mean that CBD and hemp are the same thing?
The only CBD medication that is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Epidiolex, which the agency approved in 2018 for the treatment of two types of epilepsy. But many people use CBD as a treatment for various ailments — most commonly, pain and anxiety.
So where does CBD come in?
CBD is one of the chemical compounds called ‘cannabinoids’ that are found in the cannabis sativa plant. But CBD, unlike THC, is not psychoactive and therefore does not result in a ‘high.’
These days, hemp is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, clothing, paper, insulation and biofuel. Plus, hemp seeds can be eaten raw or made into a liquid and used for baking or for beverages such as hemp milk. They can also be made into oil for shampoo, soap or body lotion.