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Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD Oil: What’s the difference?

Many people are confused by the difference between CBD and Hemp Seed oil. This confusion is compounded by the fact that CBD and hemp oil are sometimes used interchangeably in marketing campaigns.

Whilst both oils are extracted from the same hemp plant and are part of the cannabis family, they are made differently and have very different uses. Let’s take a closer look at their properties.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil, also referred to as ‘hemp oil’, is obtained by cold-pressing hemp seeds, which come from Cannabis SativaIn its unrefined state, cold-pressed hemp oil is dark to clear light green in colour.

Hemp seed oil is rich in unsaturated fats such as omega-3 and omega-6, which means it has basic nutritional benefits. According to the National Library of Medicine, these fatty acids contribute towards heart health. The oil is rich in linoleic acid which has been shown to help reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), or ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Hemp seed oil can also be applied topically and has some great benefits. It is non-comedogenic, which means that it will not clog the pores whilst simultaneously helping to reduce acne. Hemp is recognised for its anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an excellent skin moisturiser.

Hemp seed oil clearly has numerous health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced healthy diet and when used topically.

How is Hemp Seed Oil and CBD Oil Made?

Whilst hemp seeds are cold-pressed to create a thick oil, CBD is derived via ethanol or CO2 extraction from the whole hemp plant.

This means that CBD oil contains additional compounds like cannabinoids – substances that naturally occur in the cannabis plant and terpenes – aromatic compounds that are found in a number of plants. Hemp seed oil is cannabinoid-free.

Is CBD oil better than hemp seed oil?

This question does not have a simple answer, because the two compounds have very different properties, benefits and uses.

Hemp oil tends to offer more in the way of nutritional benefits, while CBD oil has been scientifically proven to help support the mind and the body. In a recent Dragonfly CBD poll of over 1000 consumers, almost two thirds of people said that they had heard of CBD and when asked about what they thought about it responded:

  • Almost half (45%) believe it can help with anxiety
  • 44% say it can help with stress
    • 35% believe it eases depression
  • 34% think it helps sleep problems 27% that it helps pain.

Taking CBD is the number one choice for stress for 23% of respondents, and the second choice for 16%. It’s also the number one choice for 26% of respondents for sleep and second choice for 22%. But two thirds to three quarters (depending on indication or use) of people haven’t yet tried it.

Similar findings to those in the Dragonfly CBD® survey emerged from a 2021 online survey published in the Journal of Cannabis Research6. This looked at almost 400 current or past users of CBD, 61% of whom were women and were mostly UK based and aged between 25 and 54 years. The top four reasons for using CBD were:

  1. self-perceived anxiety (43%)
  2. sleep problems (42%)
  3. stress (37%)
  4. general health and wellbeing (37%).

Fifty-four per cent reported using less than 50 mg CBD daily, and 73% used CBD sublingually. Women were less likely than men to use CBD for general health and wellbeing and post-workout muscle- soreness (46%) but were far more likely to use CBD for anxiety or sleep problems. Older individuals were more likely to use CBD for pain.

These research polls broadly match the scientific research on CBD which shows promise in a number of areas ranging from inflammation and immune function to anxiety, mood disorders and other mental health issues.8,9,10

So whilst hemp oil can offer effective pain relief, CBD oil is the clear winner.

In Summary

The key thing to remember here is that, whilst Hemp seed and CBD oil may sound similar, they have very different properties and uses owing to the differences in their manufacture – hemp seed oil derives from the small seeds of the cannabis plant, whereas CBD oil is extracted from the stalks, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant.

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