Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: Understanding the Difference and Avoiding Scams
For many unsuspecting consumers the recent rise in popularity in hemp products and CBD has put them in a position where they have been scammed…or at the very least seriously misled…and many of them probably don’t even know it.
One of the things that frustrates people the most when they make the decision to try CBD oil in an attempt to help them deal with pain, anxiety, seizures and other medical conditions is the seemingly endless number of hemp and CBD brands promoting products in every possible corner of the internet. Currently there is a glut of hemp and CBD products with slick packaging and in-your-face marketing that promise to heal everything from dry skin to cancer simply by using oil squeezed from the hemp plant, and many of these companies are hoping you won’t bother reading the label.
Many customers that find themselves on one of the big online shopping websites shopping for CBD oil often end up going down a rabbit hole that looks very enticing but in the end they find themselves paying way too much money for a product that doesn’t contain what they thought it contained. Why is that?
Because most major retail websites like Amazon, eBay and Etsy do not allow the sale of CBD on their platforms
As you can see from the super flashy Amazon listing above, this company is selling a four ounce bottle of orange flavored “Pure Hemp Oil” for over $100. And although the label says it contains 10,000mg of something, nowhere in this listing or on the product label is CBD or cannabidiol mentioned.
The back of the label, where the ingredients are listed, is no better either. According to the label the only ingredients in this bottle are Hemp Oil and Orange Oil. No CBD extract, no isolate, nothing except hemp oil (the oil that is squeezed from hemp seeds) and orange oil for flavoring.
Elsewhere on Amazon you can buy an entire quart jug of hemp seed oil for about $25.
4 ounces of hemp seed oil for $110 or 32 ounces of hemp seed oil for $25. Hmmm, that’s a tough choice.
What is the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil?
Simply put, CBD oil is a carrier oil (usually coconut oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil) that has been infused with CBD extract in order to allow your body to metabolize the CBD when taken orally. The cannabinoids (in this case CBD) attach themselves to the fat molecules in the carrier oil and are then metabolized by your body.
Since hemp oil by itself contains zero CBD, just because the label has the word “hemp” on it doesn’t mean you are getting CBD. Sure, hemp oil itself has some health benefits, like an abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids. But if that’s the only reason for buying an expensive oil like hemp seed oil then one would be better off just taking fish oil capsules or eating wild caught salmon once a week.
What these scam artists are doing is buying hemp seed oil in bulk, pouring it into their bottles, slapping their labels on it and then marking it up by an absurd amount.
Spotting the difference
Telling the difference between scam hemp oil and high quality CBD oil isn’t hard, you just need to look for a couple of things. First take a look at the label. Does the label actually say the product contains CBD? If so how much CBD does it say it contains? Anything under 10mg of CBD per milliliter probably wouldn’t be enough for most people an can usually be be disregarded.
This seems simple but if you are new to CBD you would probably be surprised as to how many vape shops, pharmacies, health food stores and chiropractors are selling products that contain miniscule amounts of CBD.
Next check the lab report, if one is provided.
If the company you are thinking about buying a CBD product from does not provide reports from independent 3rd party labs for their products then you should shop elsewhere.
What you’re looking for in a CBD oil lab report
First you should make sure that the date of the report is recent (within 12 months) and that the sample has been tested by an independent certified laboratory.
Next, look at the description of the sample that was submitted for testing. If the report says the lab tested hemp flower but you are buying CBD oil, that means that you do not have a report for the finished product.
If you have access to the physical bottle and can obtain the batch or lot number, it should match the batch number on the report.
Next you will want to make sure the cannabinoid content matches (or comes close) to what’s on the label. In the example report on the right the submitted sample shows the amount of decarboxylated CBD as 36.78mg/ml. Since this lab report is for a 30ml bottle of Sana Botanicals Restore 1200mg CBD oil, we multiply 36.78mg x 30 and arrive at 1,103mg for the entire bottle, which is an acceptable variance since it is virtually impossible to create two batches of CBD oil that are exactly the same.
One or two more pages should also be included that show the results of tests for yeast, mold, heavy metals and residual solvents. Those pages are omitted in this example but you can view the full lab report under the “Lab Reports” tab on this page.
Don’t forget to check out the reputation of the company that’s selling the CBD oil as well as the producer they bought the oil from if they are a retailer with multiple brands available
Do your homework to make sure you’re not going to get ripped off or get hassled if you need to return a product. Does the company you are doing business with have an actual physical address and phone number posted on their website and on Google? Is there an actual person you can call and speak to if there’s a problem or you have a question?
Taking a few minutes to understand what you are buying and who you are buying it from can not only increase your chances of avoiding a scam, it can also reduce the likelihood of being discouraged from using CBD in the future due to poor results on the first attempt.
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