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CBD from hemp versus CBD from cannabis

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  • Medical Cannabis Extracts by Tilray
  • Using Extracts: A Brief Overview
  • Tilray Capsules
  • Tilray Drops
  • Tilray Extracts vs Homemade
  • CBD from hemp versus CBD from cannabis

CBD from hemp versus CBD from cannabis: Is there a difference?

A question we are starting to receive from medical cannabis patients is whether CBD derived from cannabis is more beneficial than CBD derived from hemp.

Simply looking at its pure form, CBD is CBD. Or as Tilray’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Joshua Eades, would explain, “A compound is a compound.”

The two most common forms of extracted CBD are full-spectrum, which is a whole-plant extract, and CBD isolate. Differences in full-spectrum extracts are a result of the extraction process, the parts of the plant used, and the percentage of cannabinoids found in the final product.

Tilray’s CBD oil process uses a precise, state-of-the-art cold extraction method that maximizes the extraction of cannabinoids, while leaving behind undesirable compounds such as chlorophyll, pigments, tannins, waxes, and other compounds that can affect taste, smell, and consistency. This results in a clean, consistent product.

While full spectrum CBD oils can include other cannabinoids and terpenes, CBD isolate – also known as crystallization – is the same whether derived from hemp or cannabis.

CBD isolate is often used in clinical trials to help show that results are directly tied to CBD, rather than other compounds that might be in a full-spectrum extract. For example, CBD isolate was used in the formulation of a study drug for a clinical trial which evaluated the efficacy of high doses of CBD on children with drug-resistant epilepsy.

From this trial, Tilray created 2:100 CBD oil, which uses CBD isolate to boost the CBD content of a full-spectrum extract.

CBD derived from hemp is isolated from the flower of the plant. It’s possible to make a full-spectrum oil from hemp that contains natural terpenes, or essential oils, unique to that plant, but much of the terpene content of full-spectrum oil is lost in the extraction process, which makes the cannabinoid content of THC and CBD much more important.

Patients might also see hemp seed oil products in the health-food store, but these products are cannabinoid-free, meaning they are created from hemp seeds – not the plant itself – and contain little to no traces of CBD or THC.

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CBD Oil vs. Hempseed Oil: How to Know What You’re Paying For

In 2018, a farm bill passed that made the production of industrial hemp legal in the United States. This has opened doors for the legalization of the cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) — although you still need to check your local laws for legality in your area.

There’s been a “green rush” of cannabis-inspired products flooding the market, including beauty products. While CBD is a new ingredient to many consumers, hempseed oil has around for decades. It’s sold at health food stores and is used in both cooking and skincare.

When CBD oil and hempseed oil are put side by side, a lot of misleading labeling happens.

To filter out the CBD marketing, here’s a cannabis breakdown: Cannabis (often referred to as marijuana) and hemp are two varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa.

Since they share the same species name, they’re often lumped into one big family, and there seems to be a lot of confusion around their differences.

Averaged about 17% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that makes a person feel “high,” in 2017

Has to contain less than 0.3% THC to be sold legally

Averaged less than 0.15% CBD in 2014

Cannabis has medicinal and therapeutic uses for chronic pain, mental health, and illnesses

CBD oil and hempseed oil are both trendy ingredients used in topical skincare products.

Hempseed oil, in particular, is known for not clogging pores, having anti-inflammatory properties, and providing superior moisturization to keep the skin looking and feeling supple. It can be added to a product or just used on its own as a face oil.

New research is coming out all the time about the skin-related benefits of CBD. What we know so far is it’s been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, like its cousin hempseed oil. It reportedly helps in healing:

  • acne
  • sensitive skin
  • rashes
  • eczema
  • psoriasis

CBD also has a ton of antioxidants. But are CBD beauty products actually more effective or worth paying more for?

It’s still too early to tell, and results can vary depending on the person. If there’s a beauty brand making major claims, you may want to do extra consumer research. Brands aren’t obligated to tell you how much CBD is in a product.

With the “green rush,” some brands are jumping on the chance to sell their cannabis-infused beauty products but mixing the terms CBD and hemp seed up — intentionally or not.

Since CBD and hempseed oil are in the same cannabis family, they’re often incorrectly marketed as the same thing. Why would a brand do this?

One reason is that consumers are willing to pay more for CBD oil, which is a pretty expensive ingredient compared to hempseed oil.

It’s easy for a brand to add hempseed oil to a product, adorn it with marijuana leaves, and highlight the word cannabis to make consumers think they’re purchasing a CBD product when it contains no actual CBD at all. And paying a premium!

Some brands may also market their products as hempseed-based to avoid Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on cannabis- or marijuana-derived products.

So how can you tell what you’re purchasing? It’s pretty simple, actually. Check the ingredient list…

Hempseed oil will be listed as cannabis sativa seed oil. CBD will usually be listed as cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich) or PCR hemp extracts.

While companies aren’t required to list the milligrams of CBD or hemp on the bottle, it’s become a common practice to do so. If they’re not listed, you should wonder what’s in that bottle you’re paying for.

The FDA has sent warning letters to some companies for illegally selling CBD products and falsely advertising them as safe or as effective medical treatments. That’s another reason why doing your own consumer research is vital.

It’s so important to be an educated, savvy consumer. Don’t fall into the trap of weedwashing (hemp-based product hype)!

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.

Dana Murray is a licensed aesthetician from Southern California with a passion for skin care science. She’s worked in skin education, from helping others with their skin to developing products for beauty brands. Her experience extends over 15 years and an estimated 10,000 facials. She’s been using her knowledge to blog about skin and bust skin myths on her Instagram since 2016.

Last medically reviewed on December 23, 2019

While CBD is a new ingredient to many consumers, hempseed oil has been around for decades. Put side by side in the beauty space, it’s easy to be misled. Here’s how to shop smarter.