Materials & Use

Hemp CBD Oil: 5 Top Facts

Gabi Antunes

Aug 11, 2019

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to hemp CBD oil. New terminology and facts fly around as this buzzword gains more traction, leaving some consumers with more questions than answers. It’s important to get a handle on the essential facts so consumers can better navigate this new and growing world.

Before we dive into this essential hemp CBD oil knowledge, though, it’s important to clearly define what’s being discussed. The terms “hemp oil” and “hemp CBD oil” crop up, sometimes interchangeably, leading to further confusion about what consumers are buying. What’s the difference between these two terms?

What is Hemp Oil?

There is some confusion around the term “hemp oil.” As a straightforward definition, hemp oil is the same as hemp seed oil, which is an omega 3-rich oil used in cooking, baking, and eating. Hemp seed oil does not contain any hemp CBD whatsoever. However, as hemp CBD becomes more popular and more brands enter the market, some hemp CBD brands have co-opted the term, referring to hemp CBD as “hemp oil” or “hemp extract.” This has led to some misunderstanding among new consumers looking for hemp CBD product, but instead purchasing hemp seed oil, or vice-versa.

Why have some brands switched to “hemp oil” if their products contain hemp CBD? First, some brands are responding to potential changes in regulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), especially when it comes to ingested hemp CBD. The change is also partly due to the myriad advertising restrictions placed on hemp CBD brands by digital and traditional outlets, social media, and search engines. Some brands try to skirt around these restrictions by dropping “hemp CBD” from their messaging.

What is CBD Oil?

Hemp CBD oil is a concentrated form of Cannabidiol mixed into a carrier oil. The resulting product is called a tincture and packaged in a dropper bottle for easy measuring. Unlike its arguably more famous cousin Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp CBD does not cause an intoxicating feeling when ingested. Hemp CBD oil should not be confused with cannabis oil, which is concentrate derived from the marijuana plant.

The hemp CBD oil and hemp CBD products market is growing by leaps and bounds, predicted by industry analysts to hit $20 billion by 2024. While hemp CBD oil is one of the most common products available on the market, many other categories are gaining traction every day, including hemp CBD-infused topicals, foods, beverages, and vaping products but only in states that allow these hemp CBD products.

Important Facts About Hemp CBD Oil

  1. There are three types of hemp CBD extract. Hemp CBD extract comes in three types: hemp CBD isolate, broad spectrum hemp CBD, and full spectrum hemp CBD. Hemp CBD isolate is comprised of 99 percent pure hemp CBD in crystalline, powder form. Broad spectrum hemp CBD contains all plant materials except for THC, while full spectrum hemp CBD contains all materials as they are from the industrial hemp plant. All extracts begin as full spectrum hemp CBD, and then is further refined into broad spectrum or isolate.
  2. Two types of hemp CBD extract are THC-free, while one contains trace amounts of THC. Industrial hemp is the plant cannabis sativa, bred to contain 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or less. While this amount of THC is minuscule, its trace amounts still show up in lab reports and other types of tests. Therefore, some consumers look out for products that are completely THC-free. As a 99 percent pure hemp CBD product, hemp CBD isolate does not contain any THC. Broad spectrum hemp CBD retains all the flavonoids, cannabinoids, and terpenes contained in industrial hemp, but removes the THC. Full spectrum hemp CBD preserves all the plant extract material, including THC.
  3. Hemp CBD oil can be blended with many kinds of oil. Common carrier oil choices include medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, olive oil, and hemp seed oil. Some manufacturers use a mix of oils for a milder taste.
  4. Hemp CBD oil can be consumed in various ways depending on state laws. Most frequently, hemp CBD oil is used in the form of a tincture, which comes with a measured dropper.
  5. Industrial hemp — the source of most hemp CBD oil — was descheduled in 2018. Industrial hemp is legally defined as cannabis sativa L. plants bred to contain 0.3 percent or less THC. Hemp CBD extract from these plants was removed from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s list of controlled substances in December 2018.

How to Tell if Your Product is a Hemp CBD Product or a Hemp Oil Product

The simplest way to figure out if your product is a hemp CBD product is to read the label and the ingredients. Anything with the word “seed,” such as “cannabis sativa seed oil,” is an indicator that the product is hemp seed oil for eating and cooking.

  • Look for measurement in milligrams. If the product contains hemp CBD, it should be very clear on the front of the label. The amount of hemp CBD in the entire container should be expressed in milligrams.
  • Read the nutrition facts and ingredients. The nutrition facts should detail how much hemp CBD is contained in a serving size, whether that’s a few drops of hemp CBD oil or one gummy. If the bottle is not an ingestible product, or if the facts aren’t clear, the ingredient list will explicitly state that the product contains hemp CBD.
  • Keep an eye on the size of the product. Hemp CBD oil tinctures are typically sold in 1-ounce sizes, with some brands carrying a 2-ounce size. They’ll also typically have a dropper top for measuring. Hemp seed oil comes in much larger sizes, much closer to a bottle of olive oil than a tiny dropper.
  • If all else fails, visit the brand’s website. Look for official lab results or another statement which clarifies the ingredients inside the product.

The new world of hemp CBD can be an overwhelming one. However, with these definitions and essential hemp CBD oil facts, consumers can dive in with a better understanding of what they’re buying.