Hemp Oil: A Case of Mistaken Identity


Since last summer, the Hemp Industries Association has been telling vendors to stop labeling CBD extracts made from hemp as “hemp oil.” Why?

Because hemp oil is really hemp seed oil, a food product that contains almost no CBD, the cannabinoid found to have medical benefits. 

True hemp oil is touted by a leading figure of the natural health movement, Dr. Andrew Weil, as a nutritional health supplement.

This kind of confusion is nothing new. For decades, hemp has been mistaken for “marijuana” and has suffered the same undeserved stigma and prohibition—even more so since it contains almost no psychoactive properties to speak of.  Conversely, marijuana is often wrongly referred to as hemp.

While both are cannabis plants, hemp may have more in common with bamboo—which it resembles—than it does with recreational and medicinal cannabis. Among its many differences, the defining one between hemp and marijuana appears to be usage. You can’t get high off of hemp, but it has a thousand and one other uses, including paper, clothing, building materials, food, and body care products.

However, until quite recently, medicine wasn’t one of these uses. Unfortunately, when CBD came onto the scene, new entrepreneurs hoping to make a quick buck turned to hemp as a legal source of CBD.

So why would certain manufacturers and dealers of CBD-infused hemp products mislabel their products “hemp oil”? The HIA alleges that they are “motivated by a desire to take advantage of the legal gray area of CBD under federal law.”

It turns out that hemp is a poor source of CBD and has its hazards, as we reported earlier regarding incidents of contamination. Even the HIA admits that hemp, in general, “is not suitable for producing CBD.”

High quality CBD oil comes from CBD-rich strains of cannabis, not hemp.

Please read “Why Not Hemp Oil, Part 1: How Hemp Is Not Medical Cannabis” to get a full understanding of the differences and “Why Not Hemp Oil, Part 2: the Truth About Hemp and CBD” to learn more about why CBD from hemp is less than ideal.