As America starts to loosen legislation around all thing’s cannabis related, we are starting to see a dramatic increase in the type and range of products that are made from both the psychoactive substance and the non-psychoactive substance. There is more research being released every week as rules around who can study cannabis, where it can be studied and in what context. Substances are able to be researched that look into medical uses, but we are also starting to see a dramatic increase of marijuana-based products that have uses in the beauty industry.

What is the difference between CBD, Hemp Oil and Marijuana Oil?

Because CBD, Hemp and Marijuana are all products that come from the Cannabis Sativa plant, there is often some confusion as to which is which, what the difference is between the three oil types and concern over failing drug tests. Medical marijuana and medical CBD are often used interchangeably, which is where many people get confused, as they are separate products.

CBD is the standard abbreviation for cannabidiol, also commonly used as medical cannabis. CBD has no psychoactive properties but can be used topically to give relief from a range of medical issues and is also able to be ingested. It is created from the cannabis plant, usually the leaves and flowers.

Hemp Oil contains neither CBD or THC cannabinoids, and like CBD oil is also non-psychoactive (will not get you high). Hemp oil is high in omega oils so often features in health shops as a food additive or supplement, as well as being an increasingly popular ingredient within the beauty industry. One of the most popular uses for Hemp oil is as the primary ingredient found in beard oils. Although hemp oil also comes from Cannabis, it is formed from the seeds rather than the plant itself (see here). It is generally a cold pressed oil with a nutty flavor.

Marijuana Oil is a psychoactive substance formed from the cannabis plant. Generally smoked or ingested as a food additive, it is still illegal in many states throughout America, and at this stage is still illegal under USA Federal law. It is sourced primarily from the flowers of the Cannabis plant, although a lower quality product can also be made from the leaves and/or stems, and it is detectable in a drug test. It is the THC component of marijuana oil the creates the ‘high’ that users experience. It may also be called hash oil, although they do come in different qualities and strengths, the oil is generally a dark green and may vary from a consistency of soft butter through to a hardened resin.

Uses of Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is primarily used for medical reasons; however, it has only been approved in America by the FDA under the brand name Epidolex as an epilepsy treatment to reduce seizures. There is an increasing amount of information available as CBD becomes more popular to treat a range of issues, even if as yet not all purposes have been branded and approved by the FDA. Many other uses can be found by using google or sites like, as positive medical effects are being discovered regularly. Currently, there is much interest in its ability to work as an antipsychotic drug, including aiding in reducing the effects of addiction.  

Cannabidiol can be taken in oil form as drops or included in food, it is also inhaled as a vapor in e-cigarettes, and as a liquid form on prescription.

Because restrictions around the use of CBD are relaxing the product is starting to be included in a variety of foods as well as a range of drinks. As CBD is popular for its reputed medicinal properties (although research is still continuing to verify and validate many of the claims), it has become a go-to ingredient for many marketers selling health food. This has led to the FDA to formally reprimand several companies who have sold products advertising the health benefits of CBD when the products actually contained little or no CBD. While the New York Department of Health is looking to start fining restaurants that advertise using CBD products in their menus.

Side Effects of CBD

Research is still ongoing about the effects and side effects of all aspects of substances formed from the Cannabis plant. However, regarding Epidolex the side effects may include a decreased appetite, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and a feeling of unease or melancholy.

Uses of Hemp Oil

Hemp or hempseed oil is an incredibly versatile product. Although is has a low smoke point so isn’t particularly good for as cooking oil, it is used in salad dressings, and can be used almost anywhere that olive oil would be used. It is high in essential fatty acids, including omega-6 and omega-3, and GLA.

Although it is often used in beauty products it is becoming increasingly popular for industrial uses including paints and plastics, as well as used to create biodiesel.

Side Effects of Hemp Oil

Although there don’t seem to be any serious concerns about side effects from using hemp oil, there is always the possibility that, like with any topical cream, it may cause skin irritation. However, this is more likely to be caused by any added fragrance rather than the hemp oil itself. However, when ingested it may cause stomach cramping or diarrhea. As omega 3 and 6 are polyunsaturated fatty aides there may be a theoretical link to increased bacterial infections, some forms of cancer or heart problems, although no cases have been indicated let alone proven, and this would only be the case if taken in large quantities. Generally, hemp oil is considered to be without side effects.

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