By Erin Lukas
Updated: Apr 09, 2019 @ 10:22 am
JESSE MORROW/Stocksy

CBD is the hottest three letters in beauty and wellness right now. As a beauty editor, I get a handful of emails every day about CBD-infused moisturizers, serums, lotions, supplements, and tinctures. On top of all of the new CBD-oil focused brands that have popped up in the last year, both indie and prestige beauty brands have come out with these products, too — or so you think. 

If CBD's anti-inflammatory and calming benefits have piqued your interest, navigating what's the best lotion to use on your sore muscles or what gummies will mellow out your nerves before an important meeting isn't exactly easy because there's now so many options out there. Some will have CBD in their actual names, while others say cannabis sativa seed oil. 

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So, what's the difference between CBD oil and cannabis sativa seed oil, and does it really matter? It does, a lot.

CBD oil or cannabidiol is a compound that's pulled from the stalk of the cannabis plant, whereas cannabis sativa seed oil comes from the seed of the plant, and is essentially just plain old hemp oil. While marijuana and hemp are both cannabis sativa plants, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD oil derived from hemp plants is what's legal across all states. 

While both oils can come from the same plant, you won't get the same anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing benefits from cannabis sativa seed oil.  

"Cannabis sativa seed oil is another name for hemp oil. Hemp oil has good things in it like Omega-3, Omega-6, and it’s very moisturizing, but it doesn’t have CBD," says Dr. Jeanette Jacknin, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in topical cannabinoids in skincare. "You might get a little anti-inflammatory relief, but nothing like using actual CBD oil." 

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When it comes down to it, brands are trying to cash into the trend by marketing their products with cannabis sativa seed oil in them in a way that makes them seem like there's actual CBD in them. This includes packaging these products in green bottles, or using words or phrases associated with marijuana culture in their names and campaigns. 

So, how do you know if a product has actual CBD oil in it? It'll straight up say it. "If a product has CBD oil in it, it will say it on the label and include the amount it contains, like 100MG for example, says Dr. Jacknin. "If these things aren’t indicated on the label, then it's probably just a marketing ploy and there's just hemp oil in the product. 

Dr. Richard Firshein, founder of Firshein Center for Integrative Medicine and leading expert in integrative and precision-based medicine agrees, adds that it's important to make sure you're purchasing CBD products that have been tested for purity and list the level of CBD on the label. 

If that lotion you rubbed all over your sore back did nothing, take another look at its label and you just might get the reason why.