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Hemp Extract vs CBD: Know the Difference & When To Use Each

Hemp Extract vs CBD: Know the Difference & When To Use Each

If you’re new to the world of CBD wellness, you probably have a lot of questions. Many terms are used interchangeably, even though they technically shouldn’t be. 

Hemp plants can be used to create a wealth of products, and CBD is very versatile. However, not all hemp products contain CBD, and not all CBD products contain hemp. So how can you tell the difference between hemp extract and CBD? 

Here’s how to determine what you’re buying and know when to use which product.

First Things First: What Is Hemp?

Hemp is cannabis. It isn’t a different kind of plant. Hemp is a term used to specify the THC content of a cannabis plant. If the plant contains 0.3% THC or less by its dry weight, it’s considered hemp. But if it contains 0.31% or more THC, it’s considered cannabis. 

This low THC cutoff limit is why hemp is legal on a federal level. It allows industrial hemp farmers to grow hemp, which is one of the world’s most versatile crops. Hemp fiber is used to make things like paper, textiles, rope, food, and wellness products. Hemp extract, hemp oil, and CBD oil are derived from hemp.

What Is Hemp Extract?

Hemp extract is the concentrated liquid contents of the hemp plant. Think of the vanilla extract you use when you’re baking cookies. You only need a tiny drop to add a huge amount of vanilla flavor. Hemp extract works the same way.

Hemp extract is made by placing all the green parts of a hemp plant into a food-grade solvent like ethanol, a kind of alcohol. The ethanol absorbs all of the compounds from inside the plant. It wicks up the cannabinoids like CBD, fatty acids, phytonutrients, and aromatic compounds called terpenes. 

The solvent is then evaporated from the mixture, leaving behind a thick, syrupy essence of the whole hemp plant. This essence is then diluted and mixed with a neutral carrier oil, like hemp seed oil or a coconut oil derivative.

What Is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil is something completely different from hemp extract and CBD oil. Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. The extraction occurs through cold-pressing, which is similar to how olives are cold-pressed to make olive oil. The end result is a fairly healthy oil that’s rich in omega fats. 

Because hemp oil is made from the seed rather than the plant, it doesn’t contain any CBD. This is because the seeds haven’t flowered and don’t contain any cannabinoids at all. In fact, the hemp plant only produces cannabinoids as it grows. 

Hemp seed oil doesn’t provide the benefits of CBD, but it is high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids, which could be good for your health and wellness in other ways. 

You can use hemp oil as a topical moisturizer with the rest of your beauty products, include it in your skincare routine, or even in supplements. You can also use it to make cold foods like salad dressing. However, hemp oil isn’t intended for frying or high heat cooking.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 cannabinoids that naturally occurs within the cannabis Sativa plant. 

There are two key species: hemp and marijuana. Both species have CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). In fact, CBD occurs in microscopic amounts in some foods like broccoli and black pepper. This cannabinoid is a compound that works with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your endocannabinoid receptors are influenced by CBD and encouraged to do a better job at supporting your wellness.

Is Hemp Extract the Same As CBD Oil?

Hemp extract and CBD oil are sometimes the same thing. “CBD oil” is a very broad term used to refer to many liquid products that contain CBD. These products aren’t always hemp extract. If you want more information on the product, you need to read the label. 

What Is the Difference Between Hemp Extract and CBD?

The term “hemp extract” explicitly refers to the whole extract of the hemp plant. The whole extract has absolutely everything the plant contains, including trace amounts of naturally occurring THC. 

Hemp extract is sometimes referred to as full-spectrum CBD oil because it contains the full spectrum of compounds from the hemp plant. The term “CBD oil” can refer to hemp extract, but it can also refer to other forms of CBD. 

This is where things get tricky. The term is more of a generally accepted social term. It doesn’t have an official definition. When companies use the term CBD oil or when people refer to the health benefits of CBD oil, there are several things they might mean.

In some cases, companies may refer to hemp extract as CBD oil. The term “CBD oil” can also mean broad-spectrum CBD, which is a hemp extract that has been processed to remove the naturally occurring THC. It can also mean CBD isolate oil, where the only cannabinoid in the product is CBD. 

The label should clearly state what kind of CBD product is in the packaging. It should also tell you how much CBD is in the bottle. It might not list information about the quantities of other cannabinoids within the product. 

The only way to know exactly what a CBD product contains is to look at the lab report. Reputable CBD companies send each batch of their products to a third-party lab for analysis. The lab posts the results, which show how much of each cannabinoid was detected in the finished product.

When Should You Use Hemp Extract?

Hemp extract is an invaluable wellness tool for people who are comfortable with THC and don’t have to abide by any restrictions. You can regularly use hemp extract if you’re comfortable using products that contain THC. The amount of THC in hemp extract won’t be enough to get you high, but it does introduce THC into your system. 

This can lead to false positives for cannabis use on a drug test. It may also disqualify you from participating in athletic events if you’re involved in a sport that abides by World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines

Some people find that the side effects of hemp extract are different from the effects of CBD isolate. This is because the other cannabinoids may produce effects of their own, changing the entire experience. If you’re new to hemp extract, it’s best to start with a small amount and see how you feel. 

Over time, you’ll develop a sense of how much you need and when you should take it to experience the benefits when you need them. For most people, the effects may become noticeable in less than an hour. 

When Should You Use CBD?

If you’re using CBD isolate, which is CBD with no other cannabinoids like THC, you can also use it regularly. Using CBD daily allows the benefits to manifest fully. The CBD may accumulate in your system, but it won’t affect the outcome of things like drug tests. 

When you drop CBD under your tongue, it can bypass your digestive system. This allows the immediate benefits to appear more noticeable in a brief timeframe. Most people may feel the full soothing effects of CBD within an hour of using it. 

If you’re timing your CBD for its effects, plan to take it about half an hour before starting your activity. If you’re using CBD to help you get some sleep, try using it half an hour before going to bed. If you’re using CBD before a massage, take it right before heading out to your appointment.

Enjoying CBD without the THC

Peels offers CBD products that are completely THC-free. That’s because Peels isn’t made from hemp. We use a proprietary scientific process to convert the aromatic compounds in orange peels into bioidentical CBD. It feels exactly like hemp-derived CBD, but there’s not a drop of THC (or the psychoactive effects that go with it) in sight. 

Ready to meet your main squeeze? Add Peels to your daily wellness ritual


Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill - 07/25/2019 | FDA

The endocannabinoid system: an overview | Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

Marijuana FAQ | US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)