Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, & Marijuana – What Is The Difference?

It is only in the last decade that the idea of using CBD oil as a supplement has become a mainstream idea.

hemp oil
Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

While hemp plants have been used throughout history for their health benefits, it has always been considered somewhat of a niche area. Most people had not even heard of CBD before and would not have associated it with hemp plants.

Over the last decade, the stigma surrounding hemp plants has somewhat disappeared in western cultures. People now have a much better understanding of the health benefits that can come from hemp plants.

With this better understanding, people have also become much more aware of the different cannabinoids and compounds within hemp plants. In particular, the cannabinoid CBD, which has attracted a great deal of positive attention.

There are now more people than ever before using CBD supplements on a regular basis, in a very similar way to vitamins and other supplements. Despite this, many people are still confused by what exactly CBD is.

One of the main areas of confusion is between hemp oil, CBD oil, and marijuana. The three different products are often associated with each other, resulting in some of the stigmas that still surround CBD oils.

So, what are the differences between hemp oil, CBD oil, and marijuana, and why is there so much confusion?

Hemp Plants and Marijuana Plants

Part of the confusion surrounding hemp, CBD, and marijuana is in the plants that they are derived from.

Hemp and marijuana plants belong to the same species and are both considered to be cannabis plants. The main difference between the two plants is more of a legal one than a chemical one.

The two plants produce the same compounds and cannabinoids, only in different quantities. In order for a plant to be considered a hemp plant, it cannot contain any more than 0.3% THC. Once a cannabis plant contains more THC than this, it is categorized as marijuana.

THC is just one group of compounds that occurs within cannabis plants. It is mainly associated with the intoxicating effects that people think of when talking about cannabis.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD supplements always contain a substantial amount of cannabidiol. CBD is used over other cannabinoids because is considered the key compound that causes the health benefits associated with cannabis plants.

The range and ratio of cannabinoids within CBD oils and supplements can vary. CBD isolate products, for example, only contain only one cannabinoid: CBD.

Full-spectrum products, however, contain all of the plant’s compounds, including trace amounts of THC. They also contain terpenes – the aromatic compounds which give hemp its distinctive taste and smell – in high amounts. Terpenes are gaining in popularity, and extracted terpene products can be tested on their own to experience their effects. Despite this, CBD is still the cannabinoid that appears in the most significant quantity.

The focus is placed on CBD in the marketing of full-spectrum products for two reasons. Firstly, CBD makes up the most significant proportion of the cannabinoids within the oil. Secondly, people have come to associate the term with the health benefits linked to cannabis plants.

What Is Hemp Oil and How Is It Different from Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp oil is essentially the same as CBD oil. Both types of oil are derived from hemp plants, and both contain the same range of cannabinoids.

The term hemp oil is used as more of a marketing technique than to indicate an actual difference. There is still somewhat of a significant stigma in some countries surrounding the idea of using cannabis plants for health purposes. The same stigma does not exist to the same extent with hemp. Some brands, therefore, choose to use the wording ‘hemp oil’ in their products rather than ‘CBD oil.’

What Is Marijuana Oil?

Marijuana oil is a much less common product, especially within supplements circles. Marijuana is associated with THC and its use as a recreational drug. For this reason, many brands avoid using the word when marketing health products as it can be off-putting.

Another reason why marijuana oil is much harder to find is that it means that the oil contains more than 0.3% THC. In many places around the world, products that contain more than 0.3% THC are not considered dietary supplements and are instead categorized as recreational drugs. The use of THC as an intoxicating compound is not legal in many nations and localities.

Which Products Are Best as a Health Supplement?

All three options – hemp oils, CBD oils, and marijuana oils – all contain cannabinoids that have a positive effect on people’s health. The difference is the ratio of these cannabinoids within the product. There are also many strains to choose from that offer different results. Indica, for example can induce sleepiness while sativa can be more invigorating and energizing.

In general, there are few differences between hemp and CBD oils, and both contain a variety of healthy cannabinoids. Hemp and CBD oils both make an excellent addition as a supplement to a healthy diet plan and offer the same benefits.

Marijuana oils are much harder to find and are less commonly used as supplements. While these oils still contain CBD and other healthy cannabinoids, they also contain a much higher ratio of intoxicating compounds. Marijuana oils are unlikely to be the most effective when used solely as a supplement.

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