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CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil: What’s the Difference?

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CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil: What’s the Difference?

For many consumers, cannabis plays a significant role in the treatment of medical conditions and managing general well-being. As a result, certain products have seen a rapid increase in popularity in recent years.

But while awareness of these products is at an all-time high, false or misleading information continues to cause confusion, and creates an unnecessary barrier for consumers who want to experiment with, or try different products.

For example, 69% of cannabidiol (CBD) products are reported to have inaccurate labeling, so it’s no surprise that some consumers are uncertain about the suitability of these products and are hesitant to invest.

Today’s graphic from Elements of Green dives into the differences between popular cannabis products, CBD oil and hemp seed oil—more commonly known as hemp oil— and the common misconceptions that are inhibiting consumers from entering the space en masse.

Same Plant, Difference Characteristics

Typically, both CBD oil and hemp oil originate from the hemp plant, a non-psychoactive cannabis plant. Therefore, it typically does not result in any intoxicating effects. However, many consumers mistakenly believe that CBD or hemp products will get them high, when in fact it is the marijuana plant—hemp’s psychoactive cousin—that can induce mind-altering effects.

Even though both oils are extracted from the same plant, they each have very different characteristics and uses that consumers should be aware of.

CBD Oil

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, and stalks of hemp plants, and contains high levels of the naturally occurring CBD compound. Various CBD oil formats include tinctures, vape oil, and capsules, which are commonly used for their proven therapeutic benefits, such as:

  • Pain management
  • Relaxation
  • Stress relief
  • Treatment of medical conditions such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis
  • Reduction in anxiety
  • Sleep aid

When it comes to product labeling, consumers should be aware that different types of CBD oils exist, depending on the chemical compounds—known as cannabinoids—they contain.

  • CBD Isolate: Pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids such as THC
  • Full-spectrum CBD oil: Contains CBD among other cannabinoids, including THC
  • Broad-spectrum CBD oil: Contains CBD among other cannabinoids, with no THC

These oils are used in a wide variety of consumer products such as beverages, beauty products, and even pet food.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil, on the other hand, is extracted from hemp seeds and contains no cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. It is used more like a traditional cooking oil, but can also be found in topical creams and lotions.

More recently, hemp oil is being hailed for its use in industrial products such as concrete, bio-plastics and fuel. While it has huge potential for use in both consumer and industrial products, its benefits differ slightly to CBD oil:

  • Source of plant-based protein and rich in fatty acids and antioxidants
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces severity of skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis
  • Anti-bacterial properties
  • Could reduce PMS or menopause symptoms

Consumers should ensure that hemp oil is listed as the active ingredient on the product’s packaging, but it may also be listed as cannabis sativa seed oil.

Busting the Myths

While there is strong scientific evidence to support the efficacy of CBD oil and hemp oil, companies need to commit to both appropriate and safe labeling regarding dosage levels and ingredients.

Following that, previously held stigmas and misconceptions should slowly disintegrate as these products become more widely available and consumers increase their knowledge and understanding of their benefits.

Considering that the popularity of cannabis consumer products has only exploded over the last decade, initial confusion surrounding them is to be expected, and the true potential of these products is yet to be realised.

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Cannabis

Mapped: Countries Where Recreational Cannabis is Legal

In total, only nine countries have fully legalized recreational cannabis use.

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This map shows the countries where recreational cannabis use is allowed as of April 2024.

Countries Where Recreational Cannabis is Legal

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

In 2024, Germany became the third European Union country to legalize cannabis for personal use, following Malta and Luxembourg.

Here, we map the countries where recreational cannabis use is allowed as of April 2024, based on data from Wikipedia.

Limited to Few Countries

In total, only nine countries have legalized recreational cannabis use nationwide. However, just a few of them have licensed sales.

CountryEffective dateLicensed sales since
🇺🇾 UruguayDecember 2013July 2017
🇬🇪 Georgia30 July 2018Never authorized
🇿🇦 South Africa18 September 2018Never authorized
🇨🇦 Canada17 October 201817 October 2018
🇲🇽 Mexico28 June 2021Never authorized
🇲🇹 Malta14 December 2021Never authorized
🇹🇭 Thailand9 June 20229 June 2022
🇱🇺 Luxembourg21 July 2023Never authorized
🇩🇪 Germany1 April 2024Never authorized
🇺🇸 U.S.Varies by stateVaries by state
🇦🇺 AustraliaVaries by jurisdictionNever authorized

At the federal level, cannabis is still considered an illegal substance in the United States. That said, individual states do have the right to determine their laws around cannabis sales and usage. Currently, cannabis is allowed in 24 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia.

Interestingly, the oldest legal text concerning cannabis dates back to the 1600s—when the colony of Virginia required every farm to grow and produce hemp.

Since then, cannabis use was fairly widespread until the 1930s when the Marihuana Tax Act was enforced, prohibiting marijuana federally but still technically allowing for medical use.

Today, the U.S. cannabis market is a $30 billion business. By the end of the decade, that number is expected to be anywhere from $58 billion to as much as $72 billion.

Similar to the U.S., Australia does not allow the use at the national level, but cannabis can be used legally in the Australian Capital Territory, which includes the capital Canberra.

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