hemp oil vs extract

Hemp Oil vs. Extract: Understanding the Differences

Regenerative Agriculture


Hemp Plant Basics

Hemp Oil Explained

Hemp Extract Explained

Cannabinoids: CBD vs. THC

Understanding the Entourage Effect

Health and Wellness Applications

Quality and Purity Considerations

Common Misconceptions

Making an Informed Choice

The Power of Hemp

hemp oil vs extract

Are you interested in the differences between hemp oil vs. extract? You’re not alone. Many people are curious about these emerging products.


The popularity of hemp-derived products has skyrocketed as more people seek natural wellness solutions. However, there’s often confusion around the terminology.


In this blog, we demystify the uncertainty about hemp oil and hemp extract. Learn about their compositions, uses, potential benefits, and common misconceptions.


Hemp Plant Basics

The hemp plant is a renewable resource that’s been cultivated for centuries. Originating in Central Asia, it’s scientifically known as Cannabis sativa and part of the Cannabaceae family.


While closely related to the cannabis plant, hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC, making it distinct from its high-inducing cousin. It contains a diverse array of compounds that contribute to its holistic applications.


Two distinct products emerge from this plant: hemp oil and extract. While both offer potential health benefits, their compositions, uses, and effects differ.


The 2018 Farm Bill declassified hemp with <0.3% THC as a controlled substance, legalizing cultivation and commercialization at the federal level. However, certain state laws may impose additional restrictions.


Hemp Oil Explained

Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is a nutrient-dense oil extracted solely from the seeds of the hemp plant.


The extraction process typically involves cold-pressing or expeller-pressing the seeds, preserving the oil’s delicate compounds and nutritional integrity.


The seeds are gently crushed and pressed to release their oil without harsh chemicals or high temperatures that could degrade quality.


Composition of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is packed with various compounds that contribute to its numerous health benefits.


  • Omega fatty acids: These compounds are essential for maintaining cardiovascular health, brain function, and reducing inflammation.


  • Vitamins: Vitamin E acts as a potent antioxidant, while vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immune system support.


  • Minerals: Hemp oil is an excellent source of minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, which play vital roles in various bodily functions.


Common Uses of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is versatile and has a wide range of applications.


  • Culinary uses: With its nutty flavor and high smoke point, hemp oil is a fantastic choice for cooking, baking, and dressing salads.


  • Skincare: Due to its moisturizing properties and high concentration of fatty acids, hemp oil is commonly used in lotions, creams, and soaps.


  • Dietary supplement: Hemp oil can be consumed as a dietary supplement to support overall health and provide essential nutrients.


The potential benefits of hemp oil include improved heart health, better cognitive abilities, relief from skin conditions, and overall nutritional supplementation.


Hemp Extract Explained

Hemp extract, also known as CBD extract or hemp concentrate, is a potent and concentrated form of the beneficial compounds found in the plant. It’s derived from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the plant, where most active compounds are concentrated.


There are several methods used to create hemp extract.


  • Solvent extraction: This technique uses solvents like carbon dioxide, ethanol, or butane to strip the plant material of its desired compounds.


  • Steam distillation: With this method, steam is used to vaporize the compounds, which are then collected and condensed.


  • Cold-press extraction: This gentle technique involves pressing the plant material to extract the oil and compounds without the use of heat or solvents.


Hemp extract shows promise for holistic applications like pain management, anxiety relief, reduced inflammation, and neuroprotection.


Components of Hemp Extract

The primary components of hemp extract are cannabinoids and terpenes. They’re believed to contribute to the potential therapeutic effects of the plant.


  • CBD: The most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid associated with a wide range of potential health benefits.


  • THC: Present in trace amounts in hemp, this psychoactive compound is responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis.


  • Minor cannabinoids: Other compounds, like CBG, CBN, and CBC, contribute to the overall effects.


  • Terpenes: These aromatic compounds provide hemp’s distinctive scent and may also modulate and enhance the effects of cannabinoids through the “entourage effect.” Common terpenes include limonene, myrcene, and pinene.


  • Flavonoids: These plant-based antioxidants may offer anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.


Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate Extracts

Hemp extracts are categorized based on their composition.


  • Full-spectrum extract: This extract contains the complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant, including trace amounts of THC.


  • Broad-spectrum extract: Similar to full-spectrum, but with the THC removed during the extraction process. This extract contains CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes.


  • CBD isolate: A pure, isolated form of CBD, with all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant compounds removed. CBD isolate is typically derived from hemp extract through further refinement processes.


The choice between these extracts often comes down to personal preference and intended use.


Full-spectrum extracts are believed to offer the potential benefits of the “entourage effect.” Broad-spectrum and isolate extracts cater to those who want to avoid trace amounts of THC.


Cannabinoids: CBD vs. THC

THC and CBD are the two most well-known cannabinoids, but they have distinct properties and legal implications.


CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t produce any euphoric effects. It interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates physiological processes like pain perception, mood, and immune response.


CBD is believed to have a wide range of therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and neuroprotective properties.



THC is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the characteristic “high.” It binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, which are part of the ECS. This interaction causes psychoactive effects, including altered perception, euphoria, and impaired cognitive function.


While THC is known for its psychoactive properties, it also exhibits therapeutic benefits, like pain relief, appetite stimulation, and anti-nausea effects.


Legal Implications and Considerations

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation, production, and sale of hemp products, provided they contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis.


This opened the door for CBD products derived from hemp that adhere to the THC limit. However, their legal status varies from state to state, with some regions imposing additional regulations.


Products containing more than 0.3% THC are considered controlled substances and remain illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized them for medical or recreational purposes.


Understanding the Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a term that describes the proposed synergistic relationship between the various compounds in the hemp plant.


This theory suggests the compounds work together in a complementary way, enhancing their individual effects and creating a more profound therapeutic impact.


Full-spectrum hemp extract contains the complete range of compounds in the hemp plant. As such, it’s believed to offer several benefits due to the entourage effect.


  • Enhanced therapeutic potential: The synergistic interaction between the various compounds may amplify individual effects, providing more comprehensive relief for various conditions.


  • Increased bioavailability: Certain compounds may aid in the absorption and utilization of other compounds, maximizing bioavailability and effectiveness.


  • Broader range of effects: Full-spectrum hemp extract may offer a wider array of potential benefits, addressing various aspects of well-being.


  • Reduced side effects: The entourage effect may mitigate potential side effects associated with isolated compounds, as the various components work in harmony.


Health and Wellness Applications

Both hemp oil and extract offer distinct wellness advantages, but their specific applications differ.


Hemp oil is known to promote general health through the following roles:


  • Cardiovascular support through omega fatty acids


  • Skin nourishment and relief from conditions like eczema


  • Brain health and cognitive function


  • Nutritional supplementation


Hemp extract shows therapeutic potential for various conditions:


  • Pain management through analgesic effects


  • Anxiety and stress relief


  • Neuroprotective properties


  • Anti-inflammatory benefits


When choosing between these products, consider intended use, desired compounds, personal preferences, and legal considerations.


Quality and Purity Considerations

The quality and purity of hemp-derived products can vary depending on cultivation practices, extraction methods, and manufacturing processes.


As the hemp industry continues to grow, it’s vital to source hemp products from reputable and trustworthy suppliers.


One of the hallmarks of a reputable hemp supplier is a commitment to third-party testing and quality assurance. Independent, accredited laboratories analyze the products for a range of factors.


  • Cannabinoid and terpene profile: Verifying and identifying accurate levels of the compounds.


  • Contaminant screening: Testing for the presence of harmful contaminants, like heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, and microbiological impurities.


  • Potency and purity: Ensuring the product meets the advertised potency and purity claims.


Reputable brands proudly display these third-party lab test results. They provide easy access to Certificates of Analysis (COAs) for each product batch.


Consumer Tips for Evaluating Product Labels and Certifications

When evaluating hemp-derived products, pay attention to product labels and certifications to ensure informed decision making.


  • Ingredient list: Check the ingredient list for transparency and ensure there are no undisclosed or unwanted additives.


  • CBD and THC content: Look for clear labeling of CBD and THC concentrations, ensuring they align with your preferences and legal requirements.


  • Third-party testing: Reputable brands will prominently display information about third-party testing and provide access to COAs.


  • Certifications: Look for certifications from reputable organizations that indicate the product meets quality and safety standards.


  • Brand reputation: Research the brand’s reputation, read customer reviews, and investigate their manufacturing process and quality control measures.


  • Extraction method: Choose products that use safe and sustainable extraction methods.


Common Misconceptions

As with any emerging industry, there are various misconceptions surrounding hemp oil and extract. Here are some common myths to help you separate fact from fiction.


  1. Myth: Hemp oil and hemp extract are the same thing.

Reality: Hemp oil and hemp extract are distinct products derived from different parts of the plant and contain varying compositions of compounds.


  1. Myth: Hemp products can get you “high” because they come from the cannabis plant.

Reality: Hemp and cannabis are different varieties of the plant. Hemp contains negligible levels of THC and doesn’t produce psychoactive effects.


  1. Myth: Hemp products are illegal.

Reality: Hemp products with less than 0.3% THC are legal at the federal level in the US but may face varying state regulations. Read up on the local regulations in your region to be in the know.


  1. Myth: Hemp products are unsafe.

Reality: Reputable hemp manufacturers adhere to strict quality control measures and provide third-party lab testing results to ensure the safety and purity of products. When sourced from reputable brands, hemp products are considered safe for most people.


  1. Myth: There’s no proof that hemp products work. 

Reality: Research on the potential benefits of hemp is ongoing, but there’s growing evidence supporting its efficacy. It’s important to have realistic expectations and consult with healthcare professionals.


Prioritize accurate information from credible sources like doctors, reputable brands, research institutions, and government agencies. An informed approach empowers consumers and promotes responsible use.


Making an Informed Choice

Choosing between hemp oil and extract depends on several key factors. Look at these questions and decide what your answers are to make an informed choice.


  • Intended use: Are you seeking nutritional support or potential therapeutic effects?


  • Legal considerations: Do you know your local state laws surrounding hemp products?


  • Desired compounds: Are you interested in the potential benefits of cannabinoids or essential fatty acids and vitamins?


  • Personal preferences: What are your preferences on taste, texture, and consumption methods?


  • Quality and transparency: Are you prioritizing products from a reputable brand?


Consult with Healthcare Professionals for Personalized Advice

It’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, particularly if you have specific health concerns or take medication.


A qualified medical practitioner can offer personalized advice and help navigate any potential interactions or contraindications. They can also provide guidance on dosages, consumption methods, and risks or side effects to watch out for.


It’s important to have realistic expectations when using hemp oil or extract.


Individual responses may vary based on unique body chemistry. Hemp products aren’t a cure-all, but they may complement other therapies. The effects tend to be gradual and subtle, requiring patience and consistency.


Research on hemp’s therapeutic potential is still emerging, so stay informed on the latest scientific evidence and adjust expectations accordingly.

power of hemp

The Power of Hemp

The hemp plant offers two distinct products: nutrient-rich hemp oil and cannabinoid-rich hemp extract.


Hemp oil, pressed from seeds, provides essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals for overall wellness. Hemp extract, derived from flowers and leaves, contains compounds like CBD with potential therapeutic benefits for pain, anxiety, and inflammation.


As regulations and research evolve, an informed approach allows consumers to harness the gifts of the hemp plant safely and effectively. Seek reputable brands, understand legal considerations, and consult medical professionals.


Want to learn more about high-quality hemp-derived products? Check out Materia Regenerative and learn about cultivating a sustainable future.

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