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The Science of Skincare /

Hemp Seed and CBD Oil

by Jack Moseley

In commercial products, the terms hemp oil and cbd oil are sometimes used interchangeably. While both are awesome skincare ingredients they have some key differences.

Hemp Seed Oil

Pressed from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa (hemp) plant, hemp oil contains no psychoactive substances. The process of grinding and cold pressing hemp seed is similar to how olive and coconut oil are processed. Hemp seed oil is rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals, and is commonly used in lotions, moisturizers, and creams due to its ability to keep the skin hydrated. Hemp seed oil can also be used as a substitute for your standard cooking oil, and adds a rich nutty flavor.


CBD oil (cannabidiol) is one of dozens of non-psychoactive compounds found in the hemp plant. These naturally occurring compounds known as cannabinoids, offer significant medical and therapeutic benefits without the “high” associated with the use of cannabis. Raw CBD oil-a thick viscous substance- is often amber to gold in color with a strong earthy aroma. This form of cbd will contain dozens of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids associated with a full spectrum extract. When CBD is isolated to pharmaceutical purities (99% pure), it holds a crystalline structure, white appearance and no odor.

For commercial use, CBD extracted from hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, and is often isolated to its crystalline form to contain zero THC. Currently, the 0.3% THC threshold is how the federal government differentiates between a cannabis product, and a hemp product. This federal requirement means knowing the source of your CBD oil, and that it has been tested for safety and purity by a verified third party laboratory is of utmost importance.

Plenty of products tout they are infused with hemp yet contain no CBD or active cannabinoids. Without discounting the value hemp oil can add to a skincare, supplements, or a dietary routine, it is important to note hemp is a standard ingredient while CBD fetches a premium price. Companies will often play on consumer naivety and market hemp oil in their products because CBD oil has so quickly jumped into the mainstream. As a consumer, make sure CBD (cannabidiol) and the relevant dose is clearly listed, or laboratory results are provided to substantiate the safety, purity, and potency of the product.