Not all hemp oils or hemp infused products are created equally! Understanding the differences between products, their intended usages, and the dosages and ingredients is sometimes not as straightforward as it may seem. The hemp space is fraught with deceptive marketing tactics that are ultimately the result of the nuance of the industry and lack of regulatory framework. Many companies have found resolve with cloak-and-dagger descriptions that give consumers little grasp of what they or their pets are ingesting and consuming. Some are infused with hemp extracts and others are simply hemp seed oil. Hemp extracts commonly are referred to as either full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate. Let’s bring a little clarity to the rhetoric so you can get a better understanding of what these terms mean and where the value really lies in a hemp infusion.
Hemp seed oil is exactly that, a medium viscosity green - to pale yellow oil that has been physically extruded from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant and contains no cannabinoids at all. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 & 6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) and is packed with antioxidants. There are no psychoactive compounds (such as ∆9-THC) found in hemp seed oil, so you shouldn’t be concerned when giving this to your pet. The abundance of omega EFAs gives hemp seed oil a propensity to be a powerful cardiovascular supplement, and has been shown to help increase the appetite of elderly pets. Consider hemp seed oil the first in a series of refinements of botanical extracts derived from industrial hemp (c. sativa).
As a hemp extract is further refined beyond a basic extrusion, various solvents are employed to efficiently concentrate the bioactive phytomolecules (cannabinoids & terpenes) from the floral biomass. This is the key difference between hemp seed oil and other forms of hemp extracts. A raw whole plant extract that contains all native phytomolecules in their respective natural ratios is referred to as ‘Full Spectrum’. The marketing trick here is that REAL full spectrum hemp extracts are technically not federally compliant (i.e. illegal), because they violate the 0.3% ∆9-THC Rule. When a company claims a product to be full spectrum they are either selling a non-compliant product or that product is mislabeled with the intention of deceiving the end consumer. Broad spectrum extracts can still fall into the realm of non-compliant products, but generally the amount of ∆9-THC has been remediated or removed to a non-detectable amount. Broad spectrum extracts contain multitudes of minor cannabinoids in addition to CBD in most cases, with respective CBD concentrations ranging from 35-80% CBD. Isolate is the purest form of hemp extract, and is ideally a single molecule of relative purity above 99%. CBD isolate is the most common single molecule extract of industrial hemp. See Table 1.
In the landscape of hemp-derived products, clarity regarding the distinctions between hemp seed oil and CBD oil is paramount. While hemp seed oil boasts nutritional benefits and finds applications in cosmetics and culinary endeavors, CBD oil is celebrated for its potential therapeutic effects. Consumers navigating this diverse market are encouraged to equip themselves with knowledge, read product labels diligently, and make informed choices that align with their wellness goals. The elucidation of these differences serves as a guide to foster a better understanding of the unique properties and applications of hemp seed oil and CBD oil in the realm of holistic well-being.