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CBD oil and hemp oil – what’s the difference?


Over the past few years, the UK CBD industry has exploded into existence. Almost overnight there have been an influx of CBD companies, and more CBD products than anyone could count. And it seems that with this burgeoning new industry have come more questions than answers. Even a quick Google search for CBD brings up a variety of terms related to CBD – including hemp oil and hemp seed products. But do you know the difference?

What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound naturally found in the leaves, stalks and stems of the hemp plant. With inflammation at the root of almost everything – from chronic pain to ageing – CBD oils and extracts may be able to ease aches, soothe stress and prolong your skin’s health.

Is CBD oil the same as hemp oil?
CBD oil is not the same as hemp oil! In the UK, hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant – which do not naturally contain any CBD. Hemp oil and hemp seed products do contain essential fatty acids, proteins and vitamins, but they are not CBD products and they do not contain any CBD.

Where does cannabis come in?
Both hemp and marijuana are species of the cannabis plant. However, they are very different, and have entirely different properties.

Marijuana contains high levels of THC (the chemical that causes a high – illegal in the UK above 0.2%) and low levels of CBD. Marijuana is often called ‘weed’ and is illegal in the UK due to its psychoactive properties.

Hemp contains CBD and very low levels of THC (which are extracted and removed to comply with UK regulations). Hemp is legal in the UK, as long as all THC is removed.

Hemp seeds can be visualised as a further branch from the hemp plant. As mentioned, they do not contain any CBD, and this is where hemp oil comes from.

What are the benefits of CBD oil?
To learn more about the benefits of CBD oil, it’s important to understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a complex cell-signalling system found naturally within our bodies. Cannabinoids are produced within our body, but they are also contained within the cannabis plant and its species. (CBD is one type of cannabinoid).

Through this process, the ECS plays an important role in the body’s homeostasis, supporting the delicate balance that allows our bodies to function optimally. It also regulates a number of aspects of our health, such as sleep, memory, appetite, fertility and even our immune systems.

CBD is able to have such a widespread range of reported benefits due to its effect on the endocannabinoid system. As CBD is a type of cannabinoid, it essentially acts as a boost to the ECS, locking into our cannabinoid receptors and helping our bodies to function optimally. However, as hemp oil does not contain any cannabinoids, it does not have this benefit.

Full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, CBD isolate
You should also bear in mind that not all CBD is created equally! CBD comes in three main varieties: full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate.

Essentially, CBD is a type of cannabinoid found in hemp. But it is not the only cannabinoid contained in the plant. In fact, within hemp there are over 100 other cannabinoids, as well as other chemical compounds, that have a variety of other benefits – this is called the cannabinoid spectrum.

These cannabinoids are extracted from the hemp plant. And the range of cannabinoids contained within a CBD product determines whether it is full spectrum, broad spectrum or isolate.

CBD isolate contains only pure CBD. Full spectrum CBD products contain CBD, as well as the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and essential oils found within the plant. And broad spectrum sits somewhere in between the two.

And full spectrum CBD comes the most highly recommended due to something called ‘the entourage effect.’ This is the idea that a product is greater than the sum of its parts. Essentially, when you consume full spectrum CBD, you’re not only getting the benefits of the CBD itself, but also all of the other cannabinoids and parts of the hemp plant. And together, all of these chemicals can work to boost your endocannabinoid system, regulate your body’s functions and promote positive health and wellbeing far greater than if you consumed them individually.

How to make sure you’re buying the right product
In summary, it’s important to stay informed when buying any kind of supplement or health product.

  • Consider your reason for buying – is the problem you’re trying to solve more likely to be helped by CBD oil or hemp oil?
  • Read product reviews and testimonials.
  • Read the ingredients carefully – unless a product specifically includes ‘CBD’ on the ingredient list, it does not contain any cannabidiol.
  • Make sure you’re buying from a reputable company – companies who use third-party lab tests to verify contents and purity, and who give their information freely.

ULU produce a wide-range of high-quality CBD products, available at www.ulu.com/product-category/cbd/,  as well as CBD infused skincare and beauty products, available at www.ulu.com/product-category/cbd/cbd-beauty-and-topicals/

To read ULU’s CBD quality guarantee , please visit www.ulu.com/cbd-quality-guarantee/