Cannabis and hemp oil are concentrated products that can help you find inner peace and relieve minor aches and pains. However, it’s important to make a distinction between the cannabis and hemp plant.
Although technically the same Cannabis sativa plant, cannabis and hemp have different chemical compositions, producing different effects, and are enforced differently under the law.
If you want to get the most out of your cannabis and hemp oil, our guide can clear up the confusion and help you find the best cannabis product for you.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp-derived oil is usually a non-intoxicating extract made from the hemp plant. Hemp is a legal variety of cannabis defined as a plant with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. What does this mean? Most lab-tested hemp oil won’t get you high or make you fail a drug test.
Hemp oil contains trace amounts of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that produces intoxication and euphoria. This oil also has a higher concentration of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound that has mentally and physically relaxing effects without the high.
Hemp oil is also commonly associated with hemp seed oil, a different version of hemp oil made using the plant’s seed, but we’ll get into this type of oil later. For now, hemp oil will refer to CBD oils made using hemp.
Hemp compounds may also be chemically converted to minor cannabinoids like CBN, delta-8 THC, and delta-10 THC, which may have mildly intoxicating effects. Many states have banned hemp-derived intoxicants.
Who Is Hemp Oil Suitable For?
If you’re looking for all the health benefits of cannabis without the buzz, hemp oil products may be for you. Although scientific research on cannabis is in its early stages, CBD seems to share many of the same therapeutic benefits as THC.
Cannabis research also suggests that using all of the plant’s compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) together may produce a better effect than taking one compound (THC, CBD, CBN, etc.) alone. This is known as the “entourage effect.”
What Is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil is a potent extract made from cannabis plants, which contain THC levels ranging from 50-90%, a considerable increase compared to hemp plants. Certain cannabis plants may be bred to have a more balanced CBD-to-THC ratio, producing fewer of THC’s side effects.
Cannabis oil contains THC levels ranging from 50-90%, sometimes with very little CBD.
Under federal law, cannabis is illegal, but hemp isn’t. For this reason, cannabis oil products can only be purchased from states that have legalized medicinal or recreational cannabis. It is illegal to transport cannabis above 0.3% THC across state lines.
Cannabis (and hemp) oil can produce a wide range of end products, including extracts, edibles, capsules, tinctures, and topicals. Each product offers a different way to enjoy the health benefits of the cannabis plant.
Who Is Cannabis Oil Suitable For?
Cannabis oil contains the plant’s full spectrum of compounds, including THC, CBD, and minor cannabinoids and terpenes. Each component is thought to play a part in the plant’s medicinal effects, providing greater relief than when using a single compound.
Cannabis oil may be a good option for those seeking the euphoric buzz of THC or the elevated therapeutic power of all of the plant’s compounds. However, cannabis oil is not as accessible as hemp oil.
Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil Comparison Chart
Here, we provide an easy-to-read chart covering hemp and cannabis oil differences and similarities.
Cannabis is a federally Schedule I substance; it is legal for medicinal and recreational use in many states and countries
Legal as long as the product contains less than 0.3% THC; THC limits vary by country
Less than 0.3%
Intoxication, reduces anxiety in low doses and increases anxiety in high doses, fatigue, reduces pain, treats epilepsy, reduces inflammation, increases appetite, reduces nausea, increases heart rate
Non-intoxicating, reduces anxiety, relieves pain, anti-epileptic, suppresses appetite, reduces nausea, anti-inflammatory, relieves GI disorders, lowers blood sugar, improves circulation
Extracts, edibles, capsules, tinctures, vape cartridges, topicals
Extracts, edibles, capsules, tinctures, vape cartridges, topicals
State regulations require analytical testing for purity and potency
Is not regulated by the FDA; does not require third-party lab testing
Cannabis Oil and Hemp Oil Similarities
Cannabis and hemp oil produce distinct effects but also have many things in common.
Here are the main similarities between cannabis and hemp oil.
Technically, cannabis and hemp oil come from the same plant: Cannabis sativa. However, each type of cannabis plant variety is bred to have a specific THC and CBD concentration. Hemp strains are bred to have high-CBD and low-THC levels.
Cannabis and hemp oil products can come in various forms. For example, cannabis and hemp extracts can be hard, crumbly, saucy, and other consistencies. Concentrate-derived edibles can be savory and sweet. Cannabis oil can be used to produce soft gels, topicals, vape cartridges, and more.
Hemp and cannabis oil can be consumed in various ways. They can be dabbed, smoked, eaten, or applied under the tongue or topically. Each consumption method has a different onset and duration of effects.
THC and CBD oil products are often used for similar health benefits, including reducing nausea, pain, anxiety, and inflammation.
Cannabis Oil and Hemp Oil Differences
When paired side by side, cannabis and hemp oil may look the same on the outside, but their content and how they are regulated are different.
Here are the main differences between cannabis and hemp oil.
Cannabis and hemp oil contain different levels of THC and CBD. Hemp oil must legally contain less than 0.3% THC and is typically rich in CBD. Cannabis oil can contain high levels of THC and usually has low levels of CBD.
Cannabis is a federally illegal substance that cannot be sold across state lines. Hemp is legally allowed as long as THC levels remain below 0.3%. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production. Cannabis oil is only legal in states with medicinal or recreational cannabis laws.
Cannabis oil’s effects from THC can be euphoric and intoxicating. Some cannabis oil products may have a balanced blend of CBD and THC, formulated to provide a relaxing experience without fewer or no side effects of THC. Hemp oil’s effects are non-intoxicating and can be stress-relieving and physically relaxing.
Hemp-derived CBD oil products are generally safe but can have mild side effects, including diarrhea, appetite and weight changes, and fatigue.
THC and CBD from either the hemp or cannabis plant may also cause medication interactions. Cannabis oil side effects include dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, dizziness, coordination issues, delayed reaction times, anxiety, and memory loss.
Consult with your doctor before taking any CBD or THC products.
Cannabis oil can be extracted using butane, carbon dioxide, or ethanol solvents, depending on the desired end product. Rosin pressing is a popular solventless extraction method for cannabis and hemp that does not use solvents. It involves applying pressure to the plant material to squeeze out its resin.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil is not the same as hemp oil, which is usually made with hemp flower, leaves, and stems. Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is derived from hemp seed, which does not have CBD or THC but does have essential fatty acids.
You may see cannabis leaves on the packaging of hemp seed oil, but it doesn’t have any cannabinoids. Since it does not have any cannabinoids, it is non-psychoactive, so you won’t experience a buzz or the health benefits of THC or CBD.
How Much Hemp Seed Oil Should You Take a Day?
Health experts recommend 3 tablespoons of hemp seed oil per day to get the 3:1 fatty acid ratio necessary for a complete and balanced diet.
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Hemp seeds (3 tablespoons), in their natural form, have the following nutritional content:
- Calories: 170
- Protein: 10 grams
- Fat: 12 grams
- Carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Sugar: 1 grams
In addition, hemp seeds are known to have vitamin C, iron, calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, arginine, gamma-linolenic acid, and Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you’ll be taking hemp seed oil topically, apply a small amount on your skin to test for irritation.
Hemp seed oil is made via cold-pressing, a mechanical extraction process that is also used to make olive oil. First, seeds are threshed and winnowed to clean the seed before extraction.
FAQs About Cannabis and Hemp Oil
Is CBD Oil Made From Cannabis or Hemp?
Cannabidiol can be extracted from cannabis and hemp. Hemp oil and CBD oil are both terms used to refer to CBD-rich extracts and tinctures.
Cannabis-derived CBD oil is only available in states that have legalized medicinal or recreational cannabis. Hemp-derived CBD oil is federally legal and can be purchased in-store or online.
Which Is Better: Hemp or Cannabis Oil?
It depends on your desired effects. Hemp oil is non-intoxicating and can produce mellow effects, while cannabis oil is intoxicating and can provide blissful and energizing effects.
What Is the Difference Between Broad-Spectrum and Full-Spectrum Oil?
Hemp-derived extracts can come in broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or even isolated forms. Broad-spectrum products contain all of the plant’s compounds except for THC. Full-spectrum extracts contain all of the hemp plant’s compounds, thought to produce an “entourage effect.”
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