So, long story short: If you're looking for the most pronounced health benefits, you're better off purchasing true CBD oil as opposed to hemp (seed) oil, where CBD is minimal or non-existent and therefore cannot offer the same effects.
There's often confusion surrounding hemp oil and CBD oil, so let's clear one thing up first: Hemp oil is a term used by different people in different ways. Sometimes, it's used as a synonym for CBD oil, but in other cases, it's used to mean hemp seed oil, which is a different product altogether. Here are the three main distinctions between CBD oil and hemp seed oil.
There are also some important distinctions in the way CBD oil and hemp seed oil are processed. The latter is usually made through cold-pressing hemp seeds to create a dark, thick oil that is highly concentrated and nutrient-rich. CBD oil, on the other hand, is made from different processes such as ethanol or CO2 extraction, which draw from the whole hemp plant and create a final product that contains more beneficial plant compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes.
Hemp oil vs. CBD oil
Ultimately, CBD oil and hemp oil are two distinct options that both have their pros and cons. Hemp oil has its own set of benefits, which may be well suited to soothe dry skin or support heart health over a period of time, but CBD oil offers certain advantages that hemp seed oil can't match. If you do decide to pursue CBD oil to help treat a medical condition, please consult your physician, especially if you take any prescription medications.
To begin with, be clear about whether you're actually looking for hemp seed oil, or if you want actual CBD. Make sure you thoroughly read product labels to ensure you're getting what you want. In particular, look for references to "CBD," "cannabidiol," or "full-spectrum hemp extract" on the ingredients list; if none are listed, then what you're looking at is probably hemp oil, and you shouldn't expect to receive CBD oil benefits from it. It's advisable to always spend time perusing the ingredient lists, as many hemp seed oils are misleadingly marketed to look like they are CBD products.
Since the FDA has yet to formally evaluate CBD products, the market is highly unregulated. As such, consumers are advised to do their homework and to be careful when browsing different CBD oil products online.
Another option for a CBD and hemp seed oil combo comes from Spruce, which makes its tinctures with a potent full-spectrum hemp extract. The Lab Grade CBD tincture is one of the strongest on the market, containing a total of 25 milligrams of CBD per serving—750 milligrams in total. Customers also have the freedom to choose either an MCT oil or hemp seed oil base for this particular product, or they can opt for the 2,500 milligram Max Potency CBD oil for something even more potent.
The only CBD medication that is currently FDA-approved is Epidiolex, which the agency approved last year for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy. But many people swear CBD has helped with a slew of other health conditions, including back pain, osteoarthritis, even cancer.
You can find CBD products in shopping malls, convenience stores, even coffee shops in many states right now. But when in doubt, natural grocers are a safe brick-and-mortar place to buy CBD, Beatty says. "Typically they have a vetting process that does some of the legwork for you."
Still, is CBD worth trying for pain management?
CBD might be worth trying to manage symptoms of anxiety. "[CBD] tells your body to calm down and reminds you that you're safe," Dr. Chin says. "It mellows out the nervous system so you're not in a heightened 'fight or flight' response," she says, so people with anxiety may find it helps them feel more relaxed.
The biggest differences between tinctures, edibles, and vape pens are speed of delivery and how long the effects last. Vape relief is faster but wears off faster too—usually in about two hours, says Dr. Chin. "Say you wake up in the morning and pulled your back out, you might want to take CBD through a vape pen, which delivers in 10 minutes."
We don't mean the color or millennial font. If it's a dietary supplement, it should have a back panel with an FDA disclaimer and warning section, according to Beatty. "Ideally, it would be preferable to have access to their third-party lab testing results too."