Is There a Difference Between CBD and Hemp?

Difference CBD & Hemp

November 09, 2020

With so much information circulating about cannabis and all of the various compounds, it’s easy to get them confused. This is especially the case when you’re looking at CBD products that have all kinds of confusing ingredients listed.

Some products say that they include hemp oil, while others say they have CBD. Are they the same thing?

Because some companies and people use the terms ‘hemp oil’ and ‘CBD oil’ interchangeably, it’s especially difficult to understand what the differences are. Although they may seem like the same thing, the two are actually quite different and have very different properties and benefits.

It’s important to understand the differences between CBD oil and hemp oil so that you don’t end up purchasing a product that doesn’t provide the benefits you want. To learn more about how CBD and hemp are different, keep reading!



What Is CBD Oil?

CBD or cannabidiol oil is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. In most cases, it is extracted from the leaves, flowers, stalks, and stems of industrial hemp plants.

When it comes to products that provide benefits from cannabinoids, CBD is what you want. This is because CBD oil contains high amounts of cannabidiol. CBD is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Over the years, studies have been looking into potential health benefits of CBD. A few of the areas being investigated are:

  •       Inflammation reduction
  •       Pain reduction
  •       Anti-nausea
  •       Improved sleep
  •       Anti-anxiety
  •       Improved skin health

Research has even been done on CBD and epilepsy patients, and scientists have seen that CBD may help to reduce the severity of and the number of seizures patients experience. In fact, cannabidiol is the main active ingredient in an FDA-approved medication for seizures called Epidiolex.

Early research is also being conducted on CBD’s effect on a variety of different diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and more. Although much more research needs to be done before we can state anything conclusively, what scientists have been finding is very promising.

Essentially, CBD is a natural cannabinoid that works with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to elicit certain responses. Your ECS is responsible for managing mood, appetite, sleep, pain response, and many other functions. CBD works by interacting with the receptors in that system to help your body to naturally improve each of those functions. 

What Is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil refers to an oil that is derived from industrial hemp plants.

Like CBD, you cannot get high from hemp oil as it must come from cultivars containing less than 0.3 percent THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana. Because only trace amounts of THC are found in most forms of hemp oil, you don’t have to worry about any psychoactive effects.

Regarding benefits, hemp oil is best-known for being rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are important to a healthy diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids provide many benefits to your heart. They aid in managing and preventing heart disease, and they may also help to lower blood pressure.

The benefits of omega-3’s include:

  •       Improving heart health
  •       Improving mental health
  •       Weight management
  •       Supporting infant brain development
  •       Reduce inflammation
  •       Improving brain health
  •       Reducing asthma symptoms

While omega-6 fatty acids are not as popular as omega-3’s, they are still essential for the human body. The primary role of these fats is to provide energy in your body, and they are also known to have some benefit in treating symptoms or certain chronic diseases.

However, omega-6 fatty acids have also been shown to increase inflammation and inflammatory disease in the body, so they should be used in moderation.



Wait! Is Hempseed Oil the Same as Hemp Oil?

Although hemp oil and hempseed oil are also often used interchangeably, they are slightly different. Hempseed oil is typically made by the process of pressing hemp seeds until oil is excreted, while hemp oil is usually derived from the hemp biomass.

Hempseed oil also contains essential fatty acids and many vitamins. These are particularly helpful in improving the health of your skin. Most hempseed products are marketed as skincare products, soothing a variety of different skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and more.


Are CBD and Hemp Oil the Same?

No, CBD and hemp oil are not the same.

Lots of products on the market simply include hemp oil or hempseed oil, so it’s important to note that those are not the same as CBD oil and do not have the same effects. Similar to CBD, hemp oil is derived from hemp, but it only contains trace amounts of cannabidiol. CBD oil, on the other hand, has a very high concentration of cannabidiol.

Cannabidiol is typically what you want when you’re looking at purchasing a hemp product. While hemp oil and hempseed oil have benefits of its own, they’re not the same benefits that you expect.

For example, hempseed oil has some great benefits for your skin, but don’t let the confusing marketing lead you into purchasing a product that you don’t want.

If you want a product that may help you to feel more relaxed, get better sleep, and potentially relieve anxiety, you need to find a product that contains CBD. 


Similarities and Differences Between CBD and Hemp Oil

Although they have some similarities, they are both different compounds and therefore provide different benefits. A few of the similarities of hemp oil and CBD oil include:

  •       Both are derived from the Cannabis sativa plant.
  •       Both are oils.
  •       Both are non-psychoactive.
  •       Both have beneficial properties.
  •       Both can be taken topically or orally.

A few of the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil include:

  •       Hemp oil doesn’t contain cannabinoids, while CBD is rich in cannabinoids.
  •       Hemp oil has been used in skincare products for years, while CBD products are newer.
  •       Each oil is derived from different parts of the cannabis plant.
  •       Hemp oil only comes from industrial hemp, CBD oil can come from a few different varieties of cannabis plants.
  •       Hemp oil contains no THC, CBD can legally contain up to 0.3% THC.
  •       Although both can be taken orally or topically, CBD is usually taken orally while hemp oil is usually taken topically.


How Some Companies Take Advantage of the Confusion

Because the CBD industry is not heavily regulated, some companies market their products inaccurately in order to entice you to purchase them.

Many companies simply put a picture of a cannabis leaf on the bottle of their product in order to promote sales. Although it may look like you’re buying a product that has CBD oil, in reality, the actual ingredients used in the product are unclear. You may be getting a product that has some hemp oil, but not a significant amount of CBD.

Keep in mind that if you purchase a hemp oil product, you’re not getting all of the benefits that you’d expect from a product with CBD. So, it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.





How to Be Sure You’re Getting the Right Product

Products that actually contain CBD must have “cannabidiol” listed on the ingredient label. If the product says something like “CBD-enriched hemp seed oil” it may or may not contain the cannabidiol that you want. Products that just list “hemp seed oil” or “hemp oil” likely only have trace amounts of CBD.

It’s also a good idea to do some research on the company selling the products before you make a purchase. Only purchase CBD products from reputable companies that include detailed third-party testing information for each of their products. This way you can be certain of the ingredients found in the product, and the the oil's quality.









Jessica has been a freelance writer for four years, with a passion for science and health-related topics. She is also a lover of doing research and genuinely enjoys reading clinical studies, especially if it has anything to do with the emerging research on the health benefits of CBD. Jessica has a degree in behavioral science. She is a travel addict and an avid League of Legends player. She is also a proud dog mom to a Husky and an Australian Shepherd, so she’s frequently covered in dog fur and utterly exhausted from their constant shenanigans.

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