When it comes to hemp oil and CBD oil it’s nutrition vs. helping various conditions
Since both hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) come from the cannabis plant, the two terms are often used interchangeably. Yet, they aren’t the same. One is more nutrition-based while the other may offer more benefits in condition management. When looking at hemp oil and CBD oil, understanding when each one might be best requires first recognizing how they differ.
Differences between hemp oil and CBD oil
Perhaps the most notable difference is that hemp and CBD come from different species of the Cannabis sativa plant. Additionally, each type of product is created by using different parts of their respective plant. Namely, hemp oil comes from the plant’s seeds while CBD oil is derived from the stalk, flowers, and leaves.
The reason this is important is that each part provides different nutrients and compounds. The seeds, for instance, are high in fatty acids. A 2015 study in Food Chemistry looked at one type of oil made from hemp seeds and found that it contained both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, at roughly a 3:1 ratio. This hemp seed oil was also a good source of other polyunsaturated fatty acids, with γ-linolenic and stearidonic acid topping the list.
The compounds contained within a CBD product differ based on whether it is an isolate or a full or broad-spectrum CBD. A CBD isolate contains only one cannabis plant compound, which is CBD. Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils contain other compounds as well, such as other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
A full-spectrum CBD contains one additional compound: tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the cannabis plant compound that is known for providing a psychoactive response. While hemp products can contain THC, the levels are very low. Conversely, over-the-counter CBD products can legally contain as much as 0.3% THC according to federal regulations.
Hemp oil benefits
Based on their makeup, hemp oil products are generally more nutritional. Research published in the journal Nutrients in June 2020 explains that hemp seeds are:
- 25- 35% fat, of which 90% is unsaturated, with 70-80% of these fatty acids being polyunsaturated fatty acids
- 20-25% protein, more so in the seed’s inner layers versus existing in the hull
- 20-30% carbs, with dietary fiber providing a majority of the carbohydrates, primarily insoluble fiber
The research’s authors go on to say that these seeds also contain a variety of antioxidants, carotenoids, tocopherols, and other healthful ingredients. The combination of the macronutrients and all of the additional compounds make hemp oil products more beneficial for nutritional purposes.
That’s not to say that the taking of hemp oil cannot help with certain medical conditions. Many animal-based studies have found that hemp can provide relief from pain, for instance. A 2021 study adds that hemp peptides may also offer anti-cancer properties, specifically, with regard to cancer in the liver.
As research continues, we will learn more about the extent of the benefits offered by hemp oil products. In the interim, much of their value appears to come from the nutrition they provide.
CBD oil benefits
The compounds in CBD oil products are less about nutrition and more about the benefits they might offer to mental and physical health conditions. Instead of being rich in fat, protein, and carbs, these products appear to offer patients benefits associated with the various cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes they contain.
A 2019 review shares that phytocannabinoids offer neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory benefits. Several studies have also credited CBD with containing anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. Among the conditions that CBD oil might potentially help manage or treat include neurogenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety, cancer, and epilepsy.
Many also use CBD oil in an effort to relieve pain. Some studies indicate that pain relief appears to be more promising in CBD products that also contain THC. For example, a 2014 study involved 303 patients with peripheral neuropathic pain. When compared to a placebo group, subjects receiving a THC/CBD oromucosal spray had improved levels of pain. They had improved sleep quality as well.
Guiding patients on hemp and CBD product use
Educating patients about the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil enables them to better decide which one to take based on their desired goals and health benefits. If their intent is more nutritional, hemp oil is likely the product they want. Conversely, if they’re more interested in managing or treating a health condition, a CBD product might be more appropriate.