If you’re joining the growing community of people who are looking to CBD for health and wellness, you’ll have probably done some reading on what CBD is, its benefits and side effects, and all the CBD products that are available on the market. There is ample information available online to help you understand everything you need to know about CBD, but like any other topic on the internet, some misconceptions are bound to exist. Take CBD oil and hemp oil, for example. We sometimes hear these two terms being used interchangeably, but this has caused a lot of confusion for consumers trying to buy the right product for their specific needs. CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same, and they’re used for different purposes. Understanding the difference between these two separate substances and what each one is used for will help ensure that you purchase the right products for your needs and get the most out of their benefits.


In order to better understand the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, we must first understand where they come from: the cannabis plant. By now, most people are very familiar with some popular traits of cannabis, such as its ability to produce a euphoric high when consumed. However, there are actually different strains of cannabis – each possessing their own distinct properties – and not all of them produce a high. Two of the most well-known strains of the cannabis plant are Cannabis sativa (industrial hemp) and Cannabis indica (marijuana). Industrial hemp naturally contains high levels of CBD (cannabidiol) and low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), whereas marijuana is rich in THC but produce lower levels of CBD. Both hemp oil and CBD oil come from Cannabis sativa, but from different parts of the plant.


When you see products with “hemp oil” on the label, it is most likely oil that has been extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant seeds. Typically, hemp oil (or hempseed oil) undergoes a process called cold-pressing, where the oil is mechanically extracted from hemp seeds at a low temperature. Cold-pressed hemp oil – unlike refined hemp oil – retains its active substances (like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamins) and is highly nourishing. It is considered by many as a superfood and also widely used to improve skin, hair, and overall health. As there are no cannabinoids in the hemp seeds, hemp oil does not contain CBD or THC.


CBD is extracted from the hemp plant’s leaves, stem, and flower (as opposed to the seeds). Cannabidiol can be found in other plants as well, but is produced naturally in abundance in the hemp plant. The most common types of CBD are full-spectrum and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD retains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and amino acids that are found in the plant, while CBD isolate is 99% or more pure cannabidiol (i.e., minus the other cannabinoids and active compounds). It can come in many forms – tinctures, gummies, sprays, ointments, lotions, and so on. If you come across a hemp product that doesn’t have the word “CBD” on the label, look out for its common alternative name: hemp extract. Another giveaway is that CBD products will typically include the CBD concentration (in milligrams) on the front of the label, whereas hemp oil will not.


The answer to this depends on your specific needs. Are you looking for something to help nourish your skin, hair, and overall complexion? Then hemp (or hempseed) oil is your answer. If you want something that helps you manage everyday stress and soreness, or to bring about a general sense of calm, then CBD oil (or hemp extract) is your go-to.