CBD vs Hemp: Clearing up the confusion

August 27, 2022

CBD and hemp: two terms that get used a lot these days.


And the two words have a lot in common! Both are hot topics within many people’s minds, both refer to awesome things, both promote health, both relate to the same plant.


Because of such similarities, we can’t blame anyone for using these terms interchangeably.


Yet such use isn’t ideal; technically, hemp and CBD aren’t the same things. But since many people have talked about them as if they are, there’s been some confusion! And because we want to provide an unbiased platform from which your understanding of both hemp and CBD can grow, we hope to clear this confusion up.  Healthy doses of both caution and education are needed in order to find the CBD product that’s best for you…


Hemp and CBD are not the same thing

The most important thing to keep in mind is that hemp is an umbrella term. It’s the plant from which all other CBD-related blessings flow. In a sense, hemp is a deep, dimensional term, and CBD is merely one item that can be found within this amazing dimension.


Let’s use a simple analogy to better highlight this concept.


A circle will always be a shape… but any given shape won’t always be a circle. That’s because “shape” is an umbrella term, or better yet, an umbrella concept, which encompasses all sorts of stuff.


In the same way, CBD will always be a hemp product…but not everything labeled hemp will always contain CBD.


This concept is at the heart of why we’re such advocates for clarity and transparency within the CBD marketplace.


Here’s another almost-inane analogy: Just imagine if you, as an unwitting consumer, ordered a pizza of undisclosed shape. You thought it would be circular — and you were right to think so! — but no, it was rectangle-shaped instead. Which meant it might not fit into the fridge. Not good!


While the average pizza-consumer knows enough to specify the pizza-shape of their choice, the fledgling CBD market’s average consumer is decidedly different. Plus there’s a lot more at stake; it’s not about a pizza’s integration into your fridge, but instead about a molecule’s integration into your endocannabinoid system. Order something that’s just labeled “hemp oil”, and you might miss out on CBD and the endocannabinoid boost that comes with it.


In other words, caveat emptor — buyer beware. Your health and your money are at stake! And that makes knowing exactly what you’re getting very, very important.


The difference between hempseed oil and hemp flower oil


Hemp has thousands of uses. Some are industrial, some are nutritional, and still others are therapeutic. Different products are usually derived from different parts of the hemp plant.


As far as nutritive and therapeutic use goes, there are two important types of hemp oil to know about — hemp seed oil, and hemp flower oil. Here’s some more info:


Hempseed oil is derived from the seeds of hemp plants. It’s especially rich in minerals like omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, which makes it a great oil for cooking, making salad dressings, etc. But hempseed oil contains virtually no CBD, so it won’t combat inflammation or melt away pain quite like…


Hemp flower oil typically goes by other terms, but this one’s useful for comparison’s sake. It’s often called hemp extract, CBD oil, or phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil. Unfortunately, that last term is probably the most accurate one. Hemp flower oil is rich in terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids — hundreds if not thousands of phytomolecules in total.


It’s within the realm of hemp flower oil that CBD enters the picture. CBD is the primary cannabinoid within this oil, comprising ~80% or more of the average unfiltered hemp extract.


Quick note: The best CBD oil won’t be just CBD. If true hemp flower oil is 80% CBD, that remaining 20 or so percent should ideally be devoted to other cannabinoids, terpenes, and more. Only when all these molecules are present within a hemp extract can it rightly be called full spectrum; only then can this extract fully engage the entourage effect.


CBD is most likely what you are looking for

When it comes to hemp, it’s good to be specific. You don’t just want hemp — you want CBD!


Looking around online, you can pretty easily find companies advertising hemp oil, that at least appear to be pretending to be CBD to the unwitting consumer (*cough* Amazon *cough*).


CBD and hemp is really an apples to oranges comparison. Or should we say circles-to-shapes? What’s most important is realizing the natural, plant-derived context in which CBD exists. As always, buyer beware.

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