Difference Between Full And Broad Spectrum Vs Isolate And Hemp Seed Oil

One of the most common questions asked is whether hemp oil and cbd oil are the same thing and what is the difference.  To answer this questions we will take a look at the different components that make up such products.  Also, we will take a look at the different types of products that can be made from hemp.

What Makes Up a Hemp Extract?

Initially harvested raw hemp cannabis bio mass (flower, leaves and stalks), is collected ready for CO2 extraction.

The extraction process typically uses Supercritical CO2 extraction which essentially separates the hemp into all its components: resins, waxes, terpenes, oils, flavonoids, phyto-nutrients, cannabinoids, THC and CBD.

These are put back together to form the extract and by changing variables you can control, to determine what the final extract is made from.

Most Common Carrier Oils Used To Make CBD Oil

Once you have the desired extract, this is then combined with a carrier oil and bottled in the form of CBD oil drops.  The most common carrier oils are:

Hemp Seed Oil – This is rich in Omega 3, 6, 9, vitamins and minerals.

Sunflower Oil – nice taste, rich in vitamin E, low cholesterol, good mix of healthy fats and great for cooking.

MCT Oil – made from medium-chain triglycerides, quick energy source and low flavour profile.

What Are the Different Types of Products You Can Make From Hemp?

Firstly, lets go back to the CO2 extraction process, once we have separated all the components of hemp, you can actually use these separately:

Cannabinoid isolate – using the boiling point of various cannabinoids, a pure isolate such CBD can be extracted.  This is usually sold as dry crystal powder or combined with a carrier oil to make an isolate CBD oil.

Terpenes – these are responsible for the distinctive flavour/smell of hemp cannabis and can also be used separately or combined to create an aroma profile.

Full spectrum hemp oil – this is a hemp oil that has all the cannabinoids present including THC, terpenes and is combined with hemp seed oil.

Broad spectrum hemp oil – this is a hemp oil that has all the cannabinoids present except THC, terpenes and is combined with hemp seed oil.

Cold pressed hemp seed oil - cold press extraction is used on hemp seeds to form hemp seed oil, this does not contain any cannabinoids and is also called hemp oil. 

The UK Novel Food Act Labelling Changes

Often cannabinoid rich products are named after their most prominent cannabinoid, so for example, if majority of the extract is Cannabidiol, then it is labelled as CBD oil.

When the end product, extract and carrier oil is made from just hemp, then this is sometimes also labelled as "hemp oil".  This makes it confusing to the consumer as to whether they are buying hemp seed oil or a hemp oil with cannabinoids.  

New UK regulations due to the Novel Food Act has meant that manufacturers and brands must clearly label their products with the active ingredients to avoid consumer confusion.

Regardless of product naming used, it is always a good idea to check the cannabinoid lab test results to see what you are exactly buying.


Please note that this article was written by a 3rd-party author who is a specialist on the topic of CBD, hemp and cannabis.  Any information or recommendations contained within this article, are independent to the opinion of RUDERALEX CBD and our employees.  We make no claims for any of our products, please read our disclaimer for additional information.