Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil
June 21, 2019 9:32 PM   Subscribe

What is the difference in active ingredients between a product called CBD oil, (sold at a brick & mortar CBD outlet) and hemp oil, (sold on amazon), apart from the price?

I am using the product for muscle and joint pain. I am in Florida. I have heard people say that labeling on amazon is more vague because of different laws in different states, but this does not seem to account for a two- or three-fold (or more) difference in price.
posted by toodleydoodley to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's complicated! I highly recommend buying from trusted sources, which probably isn't Amazon or a Florida CBD store. Now, brace yourself for too much information, or skip down to the last paragraph where I suggest some trusted sources :)
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CBD is not regulated right now and is in a legal gray zone. Some people who are growing and selling it are idealistic artisans, and other people are selling poisonous junk to cash in.

WHY THE STUFF ON AMAZON TENDS TO BE CHEAP
Amazon doesn't want people to sell CBD on its platform. A lot of people appear to be selling CBD on its platform under the name "hemp oil," but a lot (most?) of them are actually selling what Amazon allows them to -- and that's hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is good for salad dressing, maybe, but won't help you with pain, yet people are putting it in tiny bottles and marking it "good for insomnia" and hoping CBD-seekers will buy it. So that sucks. (I do think that a few companies actually are selling CBD on Amazon though, and know for certain that in one case it's CBD because I actually asked for the lab reports and saw it for myself. Don't tell Amazon!)

HOWEVER, THERE'S ANOTHER REASON TO BE CAUTIOUS WHEN PURCHASING CBD
Not only because you might get bunk medicine, but also because the hemp plant is a "bioremediator," -- meaning that hemp plants suck up heavy metals and other bad things from the soil. That's one of the main reasons to ask for lab tests -- all companies should be testing each crop, not only to see what the cannabinoid levels are, but also to screen for pesticides and heavy metals.

FURTHER, EVEN LEGIT BRANDS ARE ALL DIFFERENT
Different brands of legit CBD will affect people differently. There are two reasons for this:
1) Cannabinoid levels. Some CBD has been chemically isolated, so there isn't anything in the product but CBD. Other CBD is what's called "full-spectrum" and it will contain small amounts of other cannabinoids, and you're going to get different effects depending on what other cannabinoids are present. A lot of people believe that "full-spectrum" gets better results, but that hasn't been proven. (Nothing has really been proven, due to cannabis research being near-impossible for scientists to do, but that's a different Ask.)
2) Terpene levels. Cannabis, along with many other plants like pine, lavender and lemon, contains a lot of aromatic chemicals that also affect mood. (Think of how lavender is reputed to be calming, or lemon invigorating -- those same chemicals are in some CBD, and they will change how it affects people.)

BRICK AND MORTAR STORES CAN BE BUNK ALSO
Finally, the stuff in a Florida brick-and-mortar store could be just as BS as the stuff being sold on Amazon. You'd probably do better to stick to brands that come from "legal" states (Oregon/Colorado etc) where farmers are often producing under state regulation, and to brands where you can see the lab tests. (There are also two subreddits devoted to this and both have lists of trusted brands that have been vetted, I think they are r/cbd and r/cbdinfo.)

BUT HERE IS A LIST OF TRUSTWORTHY BRANDS RIGHT HERE
Siskiyou Sungrown, Entangled Biome, Sunsoil (formerly Green Mountain), Bluebird Botanicals, Lazarus Naturals, and my friend with arthritis swears by Flower Child.
posted by hungrytiger at 2:14 AM on June 22, 2019 [34 favorites]


The CBD market being completely unregulated except in legal states, even the “good brands” can be easily counterfeited, just by refilling bottles. I too would avoid Amazon or any other online source, and all non-specialty retailers, and if at all possible buy lab-assayed product direct from the producer. Otherwise the odds are really good of contaminated product or just salad dressing at $50 an ounce.

I have my reasons for saying so: beware the hype. CBD went from junk weed to expensive “supplement” really fast and there is a ton of placebo effect/BS marketing out there. The science doesn’t begin to support the claims for its asserted medicinal benefits. I’m a lifelong cannabis nerd and CBD-only strains — even smoked — do nothing for me. I know a million people will swear otherwise. My suspicion is a lot of them are enjoying trace levels of THC.
posted by spitbull at 6:51 AM on June 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Thank you both, especially Hungry Tiger, for your thoughtful and detailed responses. You’ve given me the information I need to make much better decisions.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:24 AM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


CBD is not in a gray area in states where it is legal, such as where I live in California, where everything is tested and labeled according to state law. So I would just order from a company in a legal state, since they have to follow laws and stuff. I would imagine the stuff sold outside of states with a regulatory framework is probably total bullshit, especially since CBD seems to have been picked up by every huckster & woo-practitioner recently as a miracle cure.

The delivery service I use here in CA just started a CBD shipping service and looks like they deliver to Florida.

I do think like 90% of CBD is hype, but it certainly does something that's not THC.... so it is real... but all this 'wellness' stuff probably is not. My perspective from a legal state is that it's mostly just an advertising strategy to expand the market for weed to the kind of people who wouldn't be caught dead handling a bong or perusing the concentrate counter at the local dispensary...
posted by bradbane at 2:39 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


I live part time in a legal state and would just note that even though the product is regulated and tested through dispensaries here, you can absolutely buy dubious and likely fake “CBD” products at gas stations and convenience stores.
posted by spitbull at 6:09 PM on June 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


My perspective from a legal state is that it's mostly just an advertising strategy to expand the market for weed to the kind of people who wouldn't be caught dead handling a bong or perusing the concentrate counter at the local dispensary

interesting...CBD as gateway drug for THC?
posted by Morpeth at 10:45 AM on June 23, 2019


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