While they both come from the hemp plant, CBD and natural hemp oil contain different compounds for different health benefits
Cannabidiol (CBD) and natural hemp oil are often used interchangeably. They both come from the hemp plant, so it’s understandable why people would assume they are the same thing. Yet, the reality is that they are not. Knowing the differences between the two can help patients decide the best option for them.
Plants vs. seeds
One of the first major differences is where, within the plant, each substance is extracted. CBD products are created using an extract that is taken from the entire hemp plant. It is a cannabinoid found in the plant’s stalk, leaves, and flowers.
Hemp oil is different in that it is made using only the seeds, hence the reason some products are labeled as hemp seed oils. These seeds do not contain any CBD. Thus, natural hemp oil and CBD oil are not the same products.
When purchasing a CBD product, consumers can choose between a full-spectrum CBD, a broad-spectrum CBD, and a CBD isolate. An isolate is the simplest as this refers to a product that contains just one cannabinoid: CBD.
Conversely, full-spectrum CBD products contain a variety of other cannabinoids extracted from the hemp plant. This includes cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and perhaps the most well-known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). To be legal, the CBD’s THC content must typically be below 0.3%, though some state laws do allow higher concentrations. For instance, under Texas’s Compassionate-Use Act, CBD users are allowed THC concentrations up to 0.5% if they are prescribed for medical purposes.
A full-spectrum CBD also contains other substances, namely flavonoids and terpenes. Flavonoids give the cannabidiol its color, much like they do for fruits and vegetables. Terpenes give the CBD its distinct scent. Though this substance isn’t often discussed, like flavonoids, it can also be found in everyday foods. Apples and citrus fruits contain terpenes. There are also terpenes in beer and some spices.
Broad-spectrum CBD products fall somewhere in between. Unlike isolates, they contain more of the compounds found within the hemp plant. But they don’t contain the THC found in full-spectrum CBD. That makes these products good options for people who want as many healthful effects of the hemp plant as possible but without the THC, whether due to its psychoactive properties or if they’re concerned about it potentially showing up on a drug test.
Hemp seeds, on the other hand, supply the body with different compounds. Among them are fatty acids — omega-3s, omega-6 fatty acids, and gamma-linolenic acid — and a variety of nutrients, some of which include vitamin D and some of the B vitamins.
CBD and natural hemp oil benefits
Another difference between CBD and hemp is the way each can potentially help improve health. On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an announcement that it had approved the first-ever CBD-containing product, Epidiolex, for two hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. On July 31, 2020, the FDA expanded the use of Epidiolex for the treatment of tuberous sclerosis complex, a disease that causes non-cancerous tumors to grow on vital organs such as the brain, kidneys, and lungs.
The National Library of Medicine adds that, while many pieces of research are in the early stages, there does seem to be some evidence that CBD may aid in the treatment of schizophrenia. It goes on to say that there have also been positive findings in studies using CBD to help people diagnosed with substance use disorders. Research is continuously being conducted to learn more about CBD’s other potential benefits, some of which involve studying its effects on pain, anxiety, depression, and other medical conditions.
What about natural hemp oil? Research published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety reports that hemp seeds are 25-30% oil, 25-30% protein, 30-40% fiber, and 6-7% moisture. This makeup highlights the seeds’ high nutritional content.
Additionally, the seeds are more than 90% unsaturated fatty acids and contain a “desirable balance” of omega-3s and omega-6s. This makes them good for the heart and for reducing inflammation in the body. The seed’s two main proteins (edestin and albumin) further aid in healthy organ function and metabolism.
Putting it all together
While they both come from the hemp plant, CBD and natural hemp oil contain different compounds, each of which leads to different health benefits. Understanding these differences can help medical professionals better assist their patients when trying to choose the best type of product for them based on their condition and desired results.
For more on CBD and hemp oil products go to chiroeco.com/products/?s=cbd+hemp&post_type=product.