Since both are essentially wellness ingredients, you won’t exactly be harmed if you accidentally purchase or use one instead of the other; however, if you’re trying to reap the maximum benefits of CBD oil, hemp seed oil won’t deliver. which is a problem considering that these oils don’t come cheap. “Unfortunately, we see a number of brands cynically cashing in on the popularity and cannabis trend and even making false claims that their products contain CBD when they contain none,” says Capobianco. “Some brands are calling hemp seed oil cannabis sativa oil, which is deceiving.”
These days, the green-washing on CBD products can be hard to navigate, and the vocab one needs to navigate the CBD-lined shelves is extensive to say the least. Brands want to get in on the much-praised benefits, after all—but the issue here is that the terms being marketed under the “cannabis” umbrella aren’t all the same thing.
CBD is a term signifying a component of the cannabis plant that comes with the much-talked about anti-inflammatory benefits, and you’re seeing it on everything from skin-care products to high-vibe tinctures. It’s extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the cannabis plant. “Cannabidiol—known as CBD—is one of over a hundred active compounds or cannabinoids found exclusively in the cannabis plant,” says Cindy Capobianco, co-founder of Lord Jones. “CBD acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which reduces pain and inflammation. It’s been used for centuries to successfully provide pain relief to muscle aches, arthritis, joint pain, neuropathic conditions, headaches, and to aid skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, even sunburn, and bug bites when used topically.” Phew. When ingested, Capobianco notes that the anti-inflammatory powers remain, and it “provides relief from anxiety and promotes a calm sense of well-being,” she says.
Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is relative to many other carrier oils—along the lines of sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil—in that it’s a cold-pressed extract from seeds. “Hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, is perfectly good seed oil that’s high in antioxidants, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, but contains no CBD,” explains Capobianco. “Hemp seed or cannabis sativa seed oil has been available in health food stores for decades and abundantly present in smoothies and skin care.”
So this means it has absolutely no cannabinoids in it—not CBD, THC, or CBN, says Lewis. “It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” she says. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin—it has a comedogenic rating of zero.” It shows up on the product label as hemp seed oil, cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, virgin hemp oil, and hemp oil.
Sure, they both come from the same plant, but they’re significantly different beyond that: “The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” says Lewis. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”
Truth be told, oftentimes, you’ll see the cannabis plant touted on a label, but the specific ingredient being used isn’t so crystal clear. And there are any number of ingredients that can come from the cannabis or hemp plants from hemp oil to CBD oil to cannabis sativa seed oil, each of which have their own unique benefits, despite often being used interchangeably. To clear up the confusion, I sought out advice from the pros.
If you want the added natural benefits of hemp seed oil, but with a less natural taste, Green Roads is the brand to go for. Its products are formulated by a licensed pharmacist and come with a few flavor options: natural, apple kiwi, and mint breeze. This CBD oil formula is a bit thicker than other oils on the market, and it’s also available in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum options for anyone who wants a THC-free CBD oil.
Plant People’s Drops+ Mind + Body CBD tincture is unique because it uses both MCT coconut oil and hempseed oil. The product is USDA organic, vegan, and third-party lab tested for quality. It’s designed to support a healthy response to stress and inflammation thanks to its full-spectrum formula of cannabinoids and natural compounds. The standard strength contains 21 milligrams of CBD per serving.
Best for Anxiety: Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body
In recent years, CBD oil has become an increasingly popular natural remedy. Its proponents vouch for its abilities to alleviate a wide range of symptoms, and people can't seem to get enough of this non-intoxicating cannabis extract.
As CBD has grown in interest, there has been renewed interest in hemp oil as well. In fact, there are some common questions about CBD oil vs. hemp oil because both products are extracted from the hemp plant, yet have very different effects on the body.
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.