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In this day and age, with medical and recreational cannabis becoming more accepted and accessible every day, there is a deluge of information coming in along with it. We are discovering more and more about everyone’s favourite psychoactive, five-fingered leaf. As a result, it can be tough to keep track of all the different terms coming out and the minute differences between products. Even more confusing is that a lot of these terms are very similar. And especially for those who are new to cannabis, it can be a lot to take in.

I want to cover the differences between CBD oil and hemp seed oil. Where it gets weird is that CBD oil is often referred to as hemp oil, so with that in mind, I will be referring exclusively to CBD oil and hemp seed oil. It is worth mentioning that neither of these products causes psychoactive effects. They do not make you high. But they both have calming properties and can be used to help with both mental and physical health.

Let’s begin with CBD oil. CBD, or cannabidiol, is found in cannabis and hemp. The majority of people will be most familiar with CBD and THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the main ingredient in the recreational recipe of traditional cannabis which produces a high for the user, while CBD will produce many of the relaxing and soothing effects. It is often found in cannabis at a much lower concentration. Using CBD oil allows the user to benefit from all of the effects CBD provides while staying sober and aware. This makes it much more practical for prolonged or daily use. It is made by extracting CBD directly from the hemp or cannabis plant, where it is found within nearly every part of the plant, excluding the seeds. Once extracted, the CBD is diluted in oil, like coconut oil or, more commonly, hemp seed oil. The oil mixture can then be ingested or applied to your skin if you are trying to use it for its pain-killing properties. CBD can also be used to help treat depression and anxiety. Of course, it’s no cure, and should not be treated as such. CBD oil can also help reduce stress and recharge your human batteries after a draining day at work.

You naturally produce cannabinoids in your body, and they actually work together with external cannabinoids to help keep your body functioning normally, through something called the endocannabinoid system. This is why CBD oil can help manage your stress and have a positive impact on your mood and physical body. It can take a little trial and error to find a dosage that works for you, but luckily with no psychoactive effects, you’re in no danger of a “green-out” if you take a little too much. Higher levels of CBD within oils do mean a higher price tag though, and they can shoot up pretty quickly. In my experience, a higher dosage is worth investing in because effects can sometimes be too subtle otherwise.

For something like pain management, you’ll want a higher potency. Low dosage options for those on a budget work really well for something like anxiety, where you will only want to take a little bit every day. There are helpful charts you can find on google for how much you should be looking at taking, but everyone is different so these just guide numbers in the end. Play around to find what’s right for you! Here’s a good one from thehempoilbenefits.com.

Now, the hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant and actually offers little to no CBD content, which means it will not be interacting with your endocannabinoid system. It can act as an anti-ageing catalyst for your skin and still has an effect on your brain, providing important fatty acids that promote healthy brain function. The acids found in hemp oil (linoleic and oleic acid) can’t be produced by the body like cannabinoids but play an important role in the health of your skin, so I recommend trying it. If you’re looking into buying CBD oil, or even producing it yourself, then it’s worth considering some CBD oils that have been diluted with used hemp seed oil. The hemp seed oil also contains plenty of vitamins, providing even more incentive for taking it every day with breakfast! Like fish oil, it contains alpha-linolenic acids which can help prevent cardiovascular disease.

But that’s not all. Arguably the best thing about hemp seed oil is that it is more widely available than CBD oils. It is a natural remedy you can begin using today, whereas the availability of CBD will be vastly different depending on where you are in the world. Many countries have yet to let go of the stigma surrounding cannabis and embrace these fantastic products and all the benefits they can provide. However, the hemp seed oil is much more prolific because it doesn’t need to find its way around any laws regarding the prohibition of products containing any amount of CBD. You can find it anywhere!

Remember, a lot of the information surrounding cannabis is dated and comes from a time when bias and stigma ran rampant. Keep an eye on new and upcoming studies to see how our understanding of cannabis and cannabis-related products are changing. We will likely see even more benefits from CBD and hemp oils in the near future, with many studies beginning to show CBD benefitting cancer patients, skin health for people who struggle with acne, and our hearts! As countries and states begin the process of decriminalization and legalization of cannabis, the science will improve and the products will be more available to the people who need them. In the meantime, mix and match with your oils and see what works for you. You will only be able to find which of the myriad health benefits is right for you with practice and experience!