Hemp oil vs. CBD oil vs. Hemp extract: What is the difference?

Hemp oil vs. CBD oil vs. Hemp extract: What is the difference?

You’ve heard the hype, you know someone taking advantage of the benefits, what are you waiting for? CBD is all around us. It has inserted itself into modern society the same way e-scooters and food delivery services have become part of everyday life. Taking the plunge from CBD curious to full on everyday user shouldn’t be intimidating, but unfortunately the online marketplace can be quite overwhelming. Especially for a first-time buyer. The first step is to know the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, they may sound the same but there is a major difference between the two terms.

CBD still hasn’t emerged from the shadows of cannabis prohibition. Sure, the  Farm Bill legalized CBD by separating hemp from marijuana, but the way CBD is marketed, classified, and its suggested use has yet to be fully freed or understood. This has given fringe retailers the opportunity to prey on new, uneducated buyers. The best way to not fall prey to misinformation is to educate yourself.

CBD definition

CBD is one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. There are over 100 of these magical cannabis chemical compounds that we know of. Raw hemp is sourced, hopefully from an organic farm in the USA (ours is) and CBD is extracted or separated from the original plant. There are different methods for extraction, they all do one thing, decarboxylation.

This may seem like a complex term, but it just means activation by heat. Raw hemp has CBDA, decarboxylation converts CBDA to CBD. Hemp is an amazing plant with many uses and benefits, however, if you are looking for the benefits from CBD, you have to activate it first. If you eat raw hemp flower you won’t be consuming any CBD. But if were to smoke it, AKA light it on fire and decarboxylate the CBDA, you would be inhaling CBD.

What is CBD oil?

Once the CBD has been separated from the hemp plant, most likely using CO 2, you are left with a concentrate. Pure CBD isolate is a powder, full spectrum and broad spectrum hemp extracts with naturally occurring CBD both come in a distillate or oil form.

CBD oil companies take the concentrated CBD and add it to a carrier oil. Some use hemp seed oil, others use MCT. These are the two main types of carrier oils used in the CBD industry today. Now the product is ready for market.

Extracted CBD + a carrier oil = CBD oil!

Hemp oil isn’t CBD oil?

CBD comes from hemp; it sounds like hemp oil should contain CBD, but it doesn’t. Hemp oil is really hemp seed oil. Because hemp is such a versatile plant, there are thousands of uses. Many people take hemp seed oil for the benefits. It’s packed with omega-3,6, and 9 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Hemp seeds are an amazing superfood, but they don’t contain CBD. In fact, they don’t have any cannabinoids.

This is where it gets a bit confusing….some companies use hemp seed oil as their carrier. So really their product is CBD oil in hemp oil. This is a fine way to take CBD, but we prefer MCT oil because of higher absorption and less confusion for our customers. 

What about hemp extract?

There are also companies (like us) that call their products hemp extracts. But be mindful of the difference here - hemp extract is from the full plant and thus contains CBD and other active ingredients and terpenes. Hemp oil is derived from hemp seeds. This is a key distinction and one of the reasons many people get fooled in to thinking hemp oil is in fact CBD oil. 

Hemp extract is almost synonymous with CBD oil, with one exception - CBD isolate. An isolate product that is only CBD wouldn't contain all of the other amazing active ingredients and terpenes found within the hemp plant and shouldn't be called hemp extract. That is why we refer to our "CBD Oil" as Hemp extract containing naturally occurring CBD. It's from the full plant and we don't want it to be confused with an isolate product. However, we do understand this only makes things more complicated when it comes to Hemp extract vs. hemp oil so let us break it down for you:

Hemp extract = full plant CBD (broad spectrum or full-spectrum)
Hemp oil = hemp seed oil (contains no CBD)
CBD oil = a broad term that could be either a full-plant CBD or CBD isolate

Don’t be fooled

Some questionable online retailers try to pass off hemp oil as  CBD oil to uneducated newbies. There’s no shame in being new to the world of CBD, we are still in the beginning stages of the industry. If you are taking CBD for the first time today, you will still be considered an early adopter.

The number one place online to be tricked into buying hemp oil is Amazon. They do NOT allow CBD products to be sold on their platform in any way, shape, or form.

These less then ethically sound companies use confusing terminology to get people to think their product contains CBD. You will find tinctures with the label saying something like ‘3000mg hemp extract’ and priced at 50% to 60% below typical CBD pricing. People who have been searching online and surprised by the high price of CBD will think they found a great deal, but do not be fooled. They are selling hemp seed oil. It is actually super cheap to make, you can buy gallons of the stuff for a nominal amount.

We wish the CBD industry wasn’t filled with bad players trying to prey on uneducated buyers but that’s where things currently stand. With a little bit of research, you will be able to point them out. The best way to find a reputable company is by looking at the lab tests. All legit CBD companies get their products  tested at a 3rd party lab to ensure their potency claims hold water. Reviews are another great way to separate the real from the fake.

With the knowledge obtained in this article you will not fall for these less than honest retail practices. Just remember to do a little homework on the product, the company, and most important stay away from Amazon!!! At least for your CBD needs, we still use it for almost everything else.

TL;DR: Yes, hemp oil and CBD oil are different. Hemp oil actually is hemp seed oil, which has tons of benefits, but does not contain CBD. CBD oil, on the other hand, does contain CBD, extracted from the hemp plant. We call our products hemp extract with naturally occurring CBD, because they are from the full plant. Hemp extract or CBD oil is paired with a carrier oil–sometimes said carrier is hemp seed oil, sometimes it isn't. We advise you to exercise caution when buying CBD products: make sure they actually contain CBD (hint: if you're buying them on Amazon, they don't)!

Yesterday offers a full-line of hemp derived CBD oil, containing broad-spectrum hemp extract and zero THC. Feel free to check out our full selection of oils and softgels to help bring a sense of calm to your daily life. To learn more about the CBD basics, we recommend reading more from our CBD 101 articles, available here.