The rapid growth of CBD products across the last decade — which has outstripped even the most enthusiastic of estimates — has produced in its wake an ongoing debate brought about by little more than age-old market forces at work.
CBD oil and hempseed oil are legally and widely available in several countries worldwide, and consumer confusion between the two has been capitalized upon by a certain segment of the industry looking to improve their profit margins, regardless of product efficacy. This should come as no real surprise to anyone who has studied the figures: market trends predict that this year hemp extracts will produce over 10 billion dollars of revenue — a significant leap when one considers that the hemp market in the USA only broke the one billion dollar mark in 2018.
Hemp, Hemp, Hooray!
The hemp extract market has become the vanguard of one of the most energetic consumer trends in recent history, with a wide-reaching appeal that has rapidly crossed over from its initially anticipated target audience.
While the millennial market drives the bulk of sales for hemp and CBD products, it’s far from the only demographic being successfully targeted. While 40% of adults under 30 have tried CBD products more than once, a recent Gallup survey stated that 14% of Americans either have used or are using CBD oil regularly. Such figures have motivated a historically secretive industry not known for transparency in production methods or business practices.
As a result, it is perhaps only to be expected that many marketers within the hemp extract industry don’t mind if consumers get a bit confused about what they are actually buying and end up with a product that is not all it seems.
The confusion between hemp seed oil and CBD, which sits at the crux of many of the arguments circulating through the industry today, though significant at the moment, may disappear in the coming years. Many have argued that, as more and more people discover CBD and bring its benefits into their everyday lives, the more knowledge they will acquire, effectively rendering the current shady marketing practices obsolete.
This has certainly been the case with the well-publicized differences between THC and CBD — a confusion which, when clarified, certainly prompted much of the interest in CBD products. It will most likely also be the case regarding any confusion between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, too. As third-party lab test results become an increasingly common feature of CBD oil packaging, driven by consumer interest into the quality and potency of their chosen product, the confusion capitalized upon by hemp seed oil brands will likely eventually become negligible.
Identifying the Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil and CBD
CBD is sourced from the cannabis plant and contains the active compounds which provide it with the benefits sought by contemporary wellness consumers. Hemp seed oil, on the other hand, is a cold-pressed oil derived exclusively from the seeds of the hemp plant, and will not feature any active CBD. Indeed, if it does feature any CBD, it will only be in trace quantities, and not nearly enough to be noticed by the consumer.
While this perhaps sounds like a simple distinction to the seasoned CBD enthusiast, for those with little to no experience in the nature of hemp-derived products, there’s plenty of confusion to be had. In fact, statistics show that hempseed oil has enjoyed a similar boost in popularity as CBD, suggesting that the market share similarities between the two has indeed been exploited.
What’s more, the fact that hempseed oil has a longer presence in the market, thanks to its popularity as a health food supplement in certain countries, has given this product a greater degree of familiarity. Combined with the reality that the marketplace is figuratively flooded with CBD and hemp products of all types, from jellies to moisturizers and from muscle rubs to pet food supplements, it’s not surprising that relatively inert hemp seed oils are taken by those believing them to be the same as CBD oil products.
Does Hemp Seed Oil Have Any Health Benefits?
Considering the fact that both hemp seed oil and cannabidiol are produced from the same plant, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that both have their own distinct benefits. In fact, hemp seed oil is also popular with those who actually understand the differences between this product and CBD, and not just with those who accidentally purchase a bottle of hemp oil believing it to contain CBD. This is because hemp seed oil has long been celebrated for an array of health-inducing fatty acids, E vitamins, and potent anti-inflammatories, and has been featured in a number of wellness regimes and diets over the years.
As mentioned, hemp seed oil is processed from cold-pressed hemp seed. CBD comes from fully grown cannabis plants and produced specifically for its well-known health and wellness benefits. While the former should primarily be considered a natural food supplement, the latter fully deserves its reputation as a more profound and potent product.
Confronting Confusion and Identifying CBD
Consumers looking for CBD should take the time to closely examine the labels of products before purchasing. Hemp product businesses are bound by various pieces of legislation to state the verified quantity of CBD in any given product, alongside any information regarding the full-spectrum formulations featured. Those looking to ensure they buy the right CBD product need to be aware that full-spectrum products, which are increasing in popularity, may list phytocannabinoid-rich cannabidoil (broad-spectrum) hemp as the principal ingredient.
Driven by consumer interest in CBD potency and effectiveness, there has been a significant increase in third-party lab testing as a means to differentiate quality products from inferior ones.
Trusted producers looking to ease consumers’ minds use these independent testing laboratories to verify the potency and concentration of a given CBD, as well as check for heavy metals, pesticides, trace solvents, and other pollutants. Given that CBD oil is a key feature of the organic industry, such tests have taken on a newfound significance that has paid dividends for brands seeking to highlight the quality and purity of their product.