The cannabidiol (CBD) phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, with the CBD market currently worth up to £1.6 billion. By 2025, analysts predict its value could skyrocket to around £13 billion. But while the public is certainly embracing CBD, certain aspects of it still cause confusion. One of the most common queries is whether CBD and hemp are the same thing, as these are often discussed in conjunction, and many CBD products are marketed as ‘hemp’ products. Here’s what sets them apart from each other.
Hemp is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant, and contains the psychoactive chemical compound—or cannabinoid— called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of around 80 cannabinoids in the plant. The strain has been grown across the world for thousands of years, and started to be heavily cultivated in the UK during the Elizabethan era. It was soon used for a range of commercial and industrial purposes, from clothing and paper to fuel and construction materials, many of which continue to use hemp to this day.
However, even though both come from the cannabis sativa plant and contain THC, hemp is not to be confused with marijuana. Both strains are genetically distinct, with different compositions and, unlike marijuana, hemp contains low levels of THC (usually around 0.3%), meaning it can’t get you high.
Like marijuana, CBD is a chemical compound found in hemp. However, while CBD is found in all strains of cannabis, CBD products will only ever come from hemp, and never marijuana. Like THC, CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant, but lacks any psychoactive properties, meaning it doesn’t cause the high that THC does.
CBD has become increasingly popular due to its immense healing potential. The cannabinoid attaches to cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system—which is located in our central nervous system, affecting our pain receptors, the immune system, movement, and coordination. As a result, anxiety, insomnia, arthritis, acne, and addiction can all be treated by CBD products. These come in many different forms, from tinctures and creams, to foods like chocolate and even alcohol. Check out our CBD-infused gin or spiced rum to try some CBD spirits for yourself.
Is there a difference between CBD oil hemp oil?
CBD and hemp oils are two different products. Although they both derive from the hemp plant, CBD oil comes from its stalks, stems, and flowers, while hemp oil—also known as hemp seed oil—is made from the plant’s seeds. Unlike other parts of the plant, the seeds don’t contain any cannabinoids or CBD.
While hemp oils contain antioxidants, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, which may provide health benefits, they won’t deliver the distinct effects of CBD oil. Unfortunately, some hemp oil drinks brands claim their products contain CBD in an attempt to deceitfully cash in on the CBD trend, so be sure to read the product labels of any hemp products carefully before purchasing.
By Nick Pullen & Saf Ali