CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil: What's the Difference?

CBD vs hemp oil

Everybody and their grandmother is talking about CBD now. That’s a great thing - except for the fact that everyone is talking about it differently. You may have heard someone refer to CBD oil as hemp oil, and then heard someone else say hemp oil is NOT the same as CBD oil and that you shouldn’t buy it.

So, now many are confused about the terminology surrounding hemp, CBD, and whatever you are supposed to buy - is it CBD oil? Hemp oil? Hemp seed oil? Full-spectrum hemp extract? Cannabis oil? Why does one product have so many different names, and do they all mean the same thing?

The answer is no - they do not all mean the same thing. Different terms for hemp can describe completely different products. We’ll help you navigate your buying experience by explaining the common terms used to describe hemp and CBD as well as what you can expect with each possible product.

What is CBD oil?

"CBD oil" is the most common term describing hemp extracts containing cannabidiol (CBD) and other chemical compounds called cannabinoids. CBD and the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present in hemp interact with our endocannabinoid system to help balance the body and mind.

Under federal law, the hemp used to make CBD oil must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight to be legally sold and consumed.

Many people consume CBD as an oil, but you can use it in other ways. CBD isolate comes as a fine, white powder of pure CBD and is devoid of other cannabinoids and terpenes. You can buy CBD topical creams to apply to your skin, or even CBD bath bombs to soak in heavenly hemp bliss. Several companies have created CBD-infused beverages and snacks to make it easy to get your hemp on the go. For those looking for the health benefits of CBD, make sure you check your product’s label and batch tests to know exactly how much you are getting with your product.

What is hemp oil?

The term “hemp oil” is often misused and has thus sparked confusion and dismay among many trying to purchase CBD for the first time."Hemp oil” can be used to describe two completely different types of products with very different properties: full-spectrum hemp extract and hemp seed oil.

Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract

“Full-spectrum hemp extract” is usually synonymous with the term “CBD oil.” With the exception of our CBD Isolate and THC-Free* CBD Oil, all of Bluebird Botanicals’ products contain full-spectrum hemp extract. This means that every bottle of oil packs in all of the hemp plant’s various nutrients, not just CBD.

Many people prefer full-spectrum hemp extracts over isolated CBD. This is because of the way all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together in an “entourage effect.” The “entourage effect” can change how CBD and THC interact the body's system, even when combining only small amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is unfortunately what many people purchase while thinking that they’re buying CBD hemp extract. As the name suggests, hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of hemp. However, only the aerial parts of hemp produce the CBD extract, not the seeds.

Hemp seed oil does not contain a significant amount of cannabinoids, and therefore does not promote the same kinds of benefits as CBD oil. However, what it is lacking in cannabinoids, it makes up for in other healthy nutrients. Hemp seed oil is an excellent source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This makes it an ideal carrier oil for our Hemp Classic, Signature and Companion blends.

What is cannabis oil?

Some describe CBD oil as "cannabis oil," as it is indeed an oil extracted from cannabis. But, "cannabis oil" most frequently means a THC oil that users consume as a recreational intoxicant. You can only purchase this type of psychoactive oil from licensed dispensaries, so the chances of accidentally buying cannabis oil with THC online is extremely small. However, always check your product’s test results to verify the amount of THC before purchasing.

Where to avoid buying CBD from

Despite the 2018 Farm Bill making hemp extracts legal to produce and consume, some still classify CBD as a marijuana product and thus claim that it’s illegal to sell. Because of this gray area, large online retailers like Amazon do not currently sell actual CBD oil or full-spectrum hemp extracts. However, if you search for “CBD oil” on Amazon, you’ll turn up over 1,000 results of “hemp oil” and “hemp extract.” Click on one of those products and read the description. Most products describe the fatty acids in the oil but make no mention of CBD or other cannabinoids. If you’re looking for CBD, steer clear of these products because they’re more likely hemp seed oil than full-spectrum hemp extracts.

Due to the current market, we recommend using extreme scrutiny when purchasing CBD oil from large retailers as well as from advertisements on social media. Chances are the products you buy from there will not contain significant amounts of CBD, and thus will not produce the health effects you are looking for.

We strongly recommend only purchasing CBD oil from verified businesses that share their batch testing for their products. This way, you can guarantee you are getting exactly what you need with every bottle.

Shop CBD Oil!