Processing / Manufacturing

What’s the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

Written by Paul James

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and hemp oil are often used interchangeably, whether in conversations or product descriptions. However, these two tinctures are anything but the same and shouldn’t be confused.

To put it simply, CBD oil is an extract developed from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of a hemp plant. These are the only locations of the hemp plant where CBD has matured and is able to be consumed.

On the other hand, hemp oil (sometimes referred to as hemp seed oil) is created through hemp seeds which contain no CBD. Hemp oil is still beneficial as it includes a number of favorable cannabinoids, including CBD’s predecessor, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA).

As you shop for CBD, it’s important to know what you’re buying. Unfortunately, a lot of companies may advertise hemp oil as CBD oil or vice versa. With that said, it’s in your best interest to check the ingredients on the label of the packaging. Any of the following terms may be used when describing hemp oil rather than CBD oil:

  • Hemp oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Cannabis seed oil
  • Cannabis sativa seed oil

If you’re on the lookout for a CBD oil and are trying to avoid hemp oil, keep an eye out for ingredients such as “cannabidiol” or “CBD.”

Since these two types of tinctures are different, they also come with a list of different potential benefits. As you do more research into the topic, you might find that hemp oil is better suited for your ailment in comparison to CBD oil, or vice versa.

To give you an idea of how hemp oil can benefit you, research has found its potential benefits to include:

  • Nutrition – Hemp seeds have a high content of essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) along with other beneficial minerals, such as potassium, sodium, iron, and zinc.
  • Skin Conditions – Due to hemp seed’s omega-6 and omega-3 content, hemp seed oil has been found to help with certain skin symptoms, such as dryness and itchiness. [1]
  • PMS and Menopause – Hemp seeds contain gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) which can be a powerful tool for fighting inflammation. Due to this, hemp oil has been found beneficial for those struggling with menopause and certain symptoms of PMS. [2]

On the other hand, CBD oils potential medical benefits include:

  • Mental Health Conditions – Though most of CBD’s research in terms of mental health is solely self-reports, it seems a lot of people have positive things to say about it. In a research paper of numerous different studies, it was found that CBD had a significant impact on people struggling with conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD).
  • Pain – Due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, it’s shown promise in helping ease symptoms of arthritis and improving mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. [4] [5]
  • Sleep – One study has found that CBD may promote deeper REM sleep. Many have also self-reported that CBD has helped with their insomnia and allowed them to rework their sleep schedule. [6]

As you shop for CBD or hemp oil online, it’s important to consider these differences between the two products. Before you buy, consider why you want a cannabis product and which one has a better chance to benefit you.

Reference Sources

  1. Callaway, J. “Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis.” J Dermatology Treatment. April 16th, 2005.
  2. Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP. “Hemp: A Recipe for Brain Health.” Psychology Today. July 24th, 2007.
  3. Blessing, Esther M. “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.” Neurotherapeutics. September 4th, 2015.
  4. [4] Nagarkatti, Prakash. “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.” Future medicinal chemistry. October 1st, 2009.
  5. [5] Russo, M. “Sativex in the management of multiple sclerosis-related spasticity: role of the corticospinal modulation. Neural plasticity. January 29th, 2015.
  6. [6] Babson, KA. “Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature.” Current psychiatry reports. April 19th, 2017.

About the author


Paul James

1 Comment

  • Thanks for the great article. Can you post the reference or source that shows hemp seed oil contains CBDA (or other cannabinoids)? Would love to learn more about this.

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