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#CBD 101

Back to Basics: What's the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

05/02/2021 12 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal
05/02/2021 12 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal

Are you looking to broaden your CBD knowledge? Then you have definitely come to the right place – you see, people like to learn all they can about a product before they use or consume it, and CBD is no different. Did you know that one of the most searched questions surrounding the topic is 'what is the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil'? Sure, it's no surprise people are searching for the answer to this question in droves; after all, some CBD/ hemp oil marketing can be super confusing – so how on earth are we expected to know? Here at VAAY, we aim to please, hence this article! So, sit back (hey, maybe even make some notes) and learn all about the key differences between hemp oil and CBD oil, as well as the possible benefits of adding both to your life.

What is CBD oil?

Let's first kick things off with some definitions, as they will be vital to getting your head around the topic. So, what's CBD oil? Put simply, it's one of the most famous cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (more specifically cannabis Sativa), and also in the female hemp plant (a strain of cannabis Sativa). As you may already know, there are plenty of other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (CBN, THCA, CBG), but these are far less researched in comparison to CBD or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is because the cannabinoid holds psychotropic properties (the ability to influence your mental state), whereas CBD is a non-psychotropic – meaning it has none. Simple enough! And this is one of the many reasons for its rising popularity, as people love an all-natural product that they can safely add to their lifestyle. But how is CBD oil made? Well, first it needs to be extracted directly from the plant, and then the CBD is diluted with a natural carrier oil for additional potential wellness benefits. There are many possibilities out there, but the most prevalent seem to be coconut oil, avocado oil, and hemp seed oil.

What is hemp oil?

hemp seeds

So, what's hemp oil? Have you ever come across the term cannabis Sativa seed oil? If so, then you already know more than you think! Although they can be derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant, they contain only trace amounts of CBD (and that's if they contain any at all). And, more importantly, they contain no THC whatsoever. This has allowed hemp oil to become a prevalent ingredient in a whole host of products, from vitamins down to shampoo. It's been this way for decades now, so the chances are that you have already made good use of a hemp oil product without even realising it! So, how are the hemp seeds made into an oil? Well, they are cold-pressed and then the oil is ready to be included in a range of products! Much like CBD, hemp oil quickly became a popular ingredient in many products thanks to its natural and potentially beneficial ingredients, as you'll find that hemp oil is full of omega-3's, fatty acids, and antioxidants (there will be more on this later). This is why (like CBD oil) it lends itself to plenty of beauty products, such as balms, creams, moisturisers, and more.

So… what's the difference?

The eagle-eyed among you will have already noticed the main difference, for sure! Drum roll please – it's all about the production and ingredients. Otherwise, you could say they are relatively similar in terms of the possible natural benefits that they can bring to the table (don't worry, we'll get into this later). So, the main difference is that hemp oil contains little to no cannabinoids, whilst CBD does, therefore some of the potential effects between them can differ. However, it's important to note that neither will cause a psychotropic effect, thanks to the low (less than 0.2%) THC content. The differences between the two are simple and easy to remember, and we think it's important that you do, so that you can take control and make informed purchases with confidence.

Full-spectrum hemp vs CBD

So, what's the difference between full-spectrum hemp oil and CBD? Well, this type of hemp oil can be regarded as 'pure', as it includes the naturally occurring compounds and cannabinoids located in the hemp plant. The main one being CBD; therefore, it comes with all of the potential CBD-derived benefits. And, and you likely already know, it needs to contain less than 0.2% THC to be sold legally in the majority of countries. Full-spectrum CBD, too, holds the potential for the entourage effect to take place. 

What is this? The entourage effect simply refers to all of the cannabinoids and compounds working together synergistically to provide more potential wellness benefits, as they help each other to work more effectively. One animal study published in 2003 demonstrated that the entourage effect might be able to reduce symptoms of muscle spasticity and improve the absorption of cannabinoids. There are also two other types of CBD, and they are CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD. CBD isolate is exactly what the label suggests – pure CBD, in the form of powder or crystals. Some CBD newbies prefer it due to the complete absence of even trace amounts of THC. Of course, while you can reap the potential benefits that this type of CBD will bring on its own, you don't get the full possible benefit of the entourage effect. This is why we, here at VAAY, utilise either full-spectrum or broad-spectrum hemp extract for our products. Want an example? Here you go:

The VAAY CBD Mouth Spray

Do you prefer discreet CBD consumption that comes with all of the potential broad-spectrum benefits? Then rejoice, as you have just discovered your ideal product! You see, our CBD Mouth Spray is obtained through a natural and gentle extraction process, using a broad-spectrum hemp extract. This is similar to the full-spectrum method, except you can be sure that the THC lies far below the trace amount of 0.2%. This means that all of the natural elements of the hemp plant are present, including terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. 

Broad-spectrum is some people's favourite type of CBD, as there's a more natural feeling surrounding it, as opposed to the artificial elements used to create CBD isolate. So, what more could you ask for? Well, an all-natural carrier oil, of course! Here at VAAY, we prefer coconut-based MCT oil thanks to the purported wellness benefits it's reputed to contain. Research indicates that it holds antimicrobial properties, thanks to lauric acid making up roughly 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil. 

Interestingly, when your body digests the lauric acid, it creates monolaurin. Both of these substances may help to kill yucky (and harmful) viruses, fungi, and bacteria. It's thought that coconut oil could also potentially impact brain function for people suffering milder forms of Alzheimer's disease. However, much more research into this is needed for definitive results or conclusions to be drawn. 

Finally (although there are a ton of other possible benefits) coconut oil can also act as a protectant for your hair, teeth, skin, and nails. We at VAAY certainly love an all-natural beauty product, how about you? After all, we're all seeking to look and feel our best! Coconut oil may help to nourish and moisturise our skin, as well as help to protect hair from drying out due to strong UV rays. Thanks to our CBD mouth spray, the natural terpenes combined with coconut can help to freshen your breath, as well as combat harmful bacteria that may be residing there. It's a win-win! As we've already said, the spray is discreet and easy to use. Simply spray a pump under your tongue, and you're good to go!

Potential benefits of CBD oil

That's enough about the possible benefits of coconut oil, what about CBD? You don't need to be a scientist to read (and understand) the current research into the compound, and, believe it or not, it's actually pretty interesting! Confession: we would be here all day if we were to address every potential benefit, so let's highlight some of the main areas. 

To date, there's been lots of research into the potential of CBD oil for pain, as some people would like to find a natural way to manage their symptoms of pain. Pain is a universal feeling, and we have all felt it at some point or another! This could be the pain from a headache, a broken bone, period pain, the list will just keep on going! A significant portion of the research has revolved around CBD oil for chronic pain symptoms. This is pain that persists even after you've had treatment or a surgery. One typical example is back pain, as you can't just simply take yourself off to bed and rest in the hopes it will go away. One review published in 2020 took a look at some of the main pre-clinical and clinical findings for the effects of CBD oil on chronic pain. They reported that CBD does appear to hold some possible benefits in the relief of pain symptoms, mainly through the way that it may reduce symptoms of inflammation, as well as helping to improve sleep in some cases. This can allow people to have a better quality of life again. The review concludes that, while CBD presents an opportunity for chronic pain supplementation where current supplements haven't been able to impact the individual, more research and evidence is needed to determine the most effective (and safe) doses for treating pain.

So, what else is CBD good for, we bet you're wondering. Well, it could help to potentially calm and soothe your anxious thoughts, and provide you with a much-needed natural mood effect. The world we live in today is super stressful – there's no getting away from it (sorry). You could find yourself experiencing stress and anxiety over the state of the world, money issues, your work life, illness, family issues – unfortunately, the list is pretty much endless. The good news is that CBD oil has shown potential in both human and animal studies of improving mood and lessening worry. 

One critical study published in 2011 examined the possible effect of CBD oil on a group of people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Before a public speaking test, the group was split in half; one half received a placebo, and the other 600mg of CBD. The results of the study were encouraging, as the investigators said that CBD gave the participants a rapid onset of potential therapeutic benefit. This allowed them to complete their public speaking test with less discomfort and reduced symptoms of anxiety in comparison to the placebo group.

Finally, let's take a look at the studies examining the potential effects of CBD oil on acne. This skin condition is one of the most common skin conditions in the world, and so it's likely that it's something you or a loved one has already had to deal with! Spots can appear on your face, back, and chest, and they can be painful and hot. In other words, no fun at all! 


So, why does it even happen? It all comes down to the hair follicles in your skin becoming blocked and your sebaceous glands producing sebum (oil) to try and stop it from drying out. The problem with this, though, is that they can produce too much oil and block the follicle anyway. Unfortunately, this is where bacteria thrive, and can cause those pesky spots to appear. Some studies indicate that CBD could be a potential supplement for acne, due to the way that it may affect the overproduction of sebum. 

What's more, one study published in 2019 examined the way that CBD may potentially reduce the appearance of skin scars due to conditions like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Although not explicitly tested on acne scars, things look promising. Applying topical CBD may have possibly helped reduce the appearance of people's scars, and researchers concluded it was a safe and potentially effective supplement.

Potential benefits of hemp oil

Now it's time to put hemp oil into the spotlight, and answer the much-searched question "what is hemp oil good for"? Plenty, it would seem, if the preliminary research is to be believed! Similarly to CBD oil, there's far too much research to cover here, so let's take a look at some of its possible key benefits. It's thought to hold potential therapeutic properties, as a study published in 2011 suggests, mainly thanks to its omega-3 content. This is great, as it's a possible natural way to help curb symptoms of inflammation that can exacerbate certain medical conditions. Research also demonstrates that it may hold antibacterial properties, in particular regarding the nasty bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus. A 2017 study demonstrated that hemp oil has the potential to help impact these bacteria. The bacteria itself can cause a range of issues like bone infections, heart issues, pneumonia, and skin infections.

Now it's time to address where hemp oil really shines – your skin! If what research suggests is true, then it's no surprise that it has found its starring role in many skincare products. So, what can it do? Well, it all comes down to the fatty acids omega-3s again, along with the omega-6s! One review published in 2014 found that the potential anti-inflammatory properties of hemp oil could help to supplement the symptoms of lichen planus. This is a skin condition that often causes a range of symptoms. These can include severe itching, bald patches on your scalp, burning in your mouth when you drink and eat, thinning nails with marks on, and sections of red, shiny blotches on the body (in particular on your legs and arms). 

This review also raises the possibility of hemp oil being a factor in helping to create stronger skin; therefore it may have an increased resistance against bacteria and infections. There has also been a great deal of research into the potential of hemp oil for psoriasis. This is a chronic skin condition that may often go through periods of milder symptoms (or none at all) to painful flare-ups. According to the NHS, it can cause patches of your skin to become red and flaky, with a cover of silver scales. These patches of skin can appear anywhere on your body; however, the most common are your scalp, back, knees, and elbows. Sometimes these patches of skin can cause itching and soreness, and have a negative impact on people's everyday lives. One study published in 2015 suggests that fatty acids (especially omega-3) taken in the form of a supplement can help in the treatment of symptoms of psoriasis. However, this also includes the use of oral retinoids and topical vitamin D.

Ways to consume CBD oil

Have you ever found yourself wondering 'how to take CBD oil'? If so, don't worry- you are definitely not alone! We know that there are a whole range of options, and that sometimes making a decision can feel overwhelming. Well, consider us your raft as we guide you gently through the flood of CBD options open to you. The good news is that there's no especially wrong or right way to use CBD, just work out which would work best for you and go from there!

CBD Inhalation

What we really mean by this is vaping CBD oil, and it's one of the quickest ways to reap the potential benefits. You see, if you inhale CBD, it passes through your lungs before spreading to the bloodstream. Some people prefer this method because it enables them to create a moment of potential relaxation for themselves, as well as enjoy some of the yummy flavours out there! Why not try our Mint Diffuser Pen? It's packed full of all-natural CBD, in addition to terpenes that may possibly allow you to experience a well-deserved moment of calm.

Edible CBD

If you enjoy eating (and let's face it, who doesn't?) then adding CBD to your food or drink couldn't be easier! There are tons of ready-made products that are good to go as soon as you've bought them, or if you enjoy cooking, you can whip up some tasty CBD-infused treats yourself. This is especially useful for baking, as popular choices include brownies, cakes, and cookies. Unlike vaping CBD, edible CBD will take longer to feel the potential effects, as it needs to pass through your digestive system first.

Sublingual CBD

If you opt for this CBD option, then you can purchase oils, sprays, and lozenges. You see, sublingual refers to 'under the tongue', and that's exactly what you can do with our CBD Mouth Spray. This allows you to feel the possible effects quickly, as well as being super discreet. It's also really handy for those of you that lead hectic lives, as you don't need to prepare your CBD. Simply purchase, spray, and go!

Topical CBD

Topical CBD refers to applying creams, balms, and moisturisers onto your skin. This type of CBD won't reach your bloodstream as it's absorbed through your skin, and it interacts with the receptors so that we can feel the potential effects. Here at VAAY, we don't solely include CBD in our ingredients, as our formula ensures that all other ingredients have the potential to help to contribute to the health of your skin. Let us introduce you to our CBD Skin & Massage Oil! You can apply this oil twice per day to help promote calm and relaxation. It contains warming ginger essence to potentially help calm stressed and irritated skin. We also included jojoba oil as one of our super oils, as it comes with plenty of possible benefits in its own right. You see, it contains plenty of vitamin E, and therefore it may help to protect your skin against oxidative stress and environmental damage.

What's more, it's hypoallergenic, meaning that it's suitable for all skin types, as well as sensitive skin, as it's highly unlikely that an allergic reaction will occur. Finally, it's also an antibacterial, and this may help to protect the health of your skin. So, what are you waiting for? Add our massage oil to your life today, and allow yourself to experience a moment of tranquillity and peace.

So, there we have it! The differences between hemp and CBD oil, as well as the possible benefits they can bring to your life. We hope that this article has given you the confidence to begin your CBD (or hemp!) journey. 

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