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CBD vs Hemp Oil: Do You Really Know The Difference?

Jul 15, 2017 • 2:13 PM EDT
CBD Oil.png
5 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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Derek Thomas – Analyst

The explosive growth of natural remedies for health and cooking combined with the skyrocketing cannabis industry has caused the CBD and Hemp oil industries to become staple products in many Americans lives. Like many emerging industries, there is some confusion about these products. And like many emerging industries, there are some snake oil salesman purposefully praying on the confusion and lack of regulation.

What are the differences between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil can be derived from the seeds of any type of cannabis plant, whether its marijuana or industrial hemp. The seeds are pressed similar to flax or sesame oil. The THC and CBD count of hemp oil are very low. This is because the varieties of cannabis used to grow for seed oil do not naturally have high amounts of THC and because seeds themselves have a much lower amount of THC and CBD.

Despite the low THC and CBD count, hemp oil is very useful in the home and has many health benefits. Hemp oil is commonly used as a cooking oil and can be refined for high heat cooking. It has a crispy and nutty taste that is also commonly used on salad dressings as a replacement to olive oil. It is a nutrient dense oil that contains a great balance of 3-6-9 omega fatty acids and a lower cholesterol count. In the bathroom and bedroom, hemp oil makes an incredible moisturizer and lotion. It also is commonly used as an ingredient in shampoo and soap (think Doctor Bronners).

The industrial applications of hemp seed oil are pretty impressive too. The oil recently is being used to replace the petroleum used in plastic, making a renewable and biodegradable natural plastic. Similarly, it is used in the production of paints to have a more ecofriendly paint than traditionally petroleum based paints. Hemp bio-fuel has been around for over a century, and recently a former Dell executive named Bruce Dietzin made a hemp car who’s from is made of hemp and runs on hemp oil!

Despite the lack of highly sought-after CBD and THC, hemp oil clearly deserves a place in the American consumers mind and shelf. Its wide-reaching consumer and commercial applications combined with its eco-friendly nature make it as versatile as oil but without the disastrous environmental implications.


CBD Oil is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol Oil. Before we dive into the details of CBD, its important to know that there are hundreds of types of CBD compounds found in cannabis, with new ones being discovered rapidly. We’ve only begun to understand their various functions and benefits to the human body, so for brevity’s sack, we’re going to lump all of them into ‘CBD’s’ in this article.

Cannabidiol is a natural compound that is found both in industrial hemp and marijuana. There is a lot of debate as to which is better, which will be discussed further in coming article. What cannot be argued is that both forms of cannabis are capable of producing high quality CBD oil.

Unlike Hemp Oil, which is pressed out of seeds, CBD Oil is extracted in many different ways – often resembling the same methods of THC extraction. These include butane, C02, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) which is a form of pressing involving the whole plant, and pressure or heat vaporizing known as Rosin. Depending on the desired use of the end CBD product, these methods all have their benefits and drawbacks. It is worth mentioning that there is a school of thought that CBD oil is better absorbed and used by the body when it contains at least a small amount of THC. That may not be possible to discern completely until there is much more scientific research completed.

Regardless of the where and how it is extracted, CBD’s benefits cannot be discredited. Its anti-seizure and anti-epilepsy properties help alleviate the symptoms multiple neurological disorders and neurodegenerative disorders in children and adults – often where traditional pharmaceuticals have little to no effect on the same conditions. Research and testimonials indicate CBD treatments to be effective in fighting cancer. CBD Oil is an effective anti-inflammatory. It has also been used, with great success, to treat anxiety and OCD disorders.

Topically, it is a strong form of treatment for different skin afflictions including psoriasis and dermatitis. It can relieve many chronic forms of pain as both an ingestible and topical.

As if these benefits weren’t enough, new medical uses for CBD Oil are constantly being discovered!

Buyer Beware

Unfortunately, unscrupulous or deceitful companies are taking advantage of the lack of consumer knowledge. The problem is really three-fold:

  1. Consumers are not yet educated about the real differences between CBD and Hemp oils
  2. A lack of government regulation specifically for CBD and Hemp oil testing and labeling standards leave the quality our products solely in the hands of the companies manufacturing them.
  3. Because federal law prohibits CBD Oil and domestic hemp oil is hard to find because its parent plant is illegal, most companies find themselves under funded, making research and quality control harder to ensure.

Potential containments mirror those found in marijuana and include pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, heavy metals, molds, and fungi. Not to mention, CBD counts or extraction methods may not always be uniform in a product, and may often times be greatly exaggerated.

Technology, the double-edged sword that it is, provides many traps to bad products AND many tools to help you find quality CBD and Hemp Oils. First, always use your judgement when shopping around. Brands that claim to cure all ailments or have ridiculous amounts of CBD percentage and terpenes may not be trustworthy. Secondly, look for reviews of the products and the company. Thirdly, look for independent lab testing. This may lead you into a higher price point item, but it is well worth your health and safety. Further that step by doing a little due diligence into the lab itself. If you follow these three steps, you should be pretty safe.

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.


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