Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: What’s The Difference? What You Need to Know

Many get confused between CBD or Cannabidiol oil and Hemp or hemp seed oils. Its an easy mix up to make, given both the products are sourced from the same plant (cannabis) and look, taste and smell almost the same. But its important to distinguish the two. They’re not interchangeable products and have differing interactions with the body, effects and benefits. 

We’re going to provide you the details on what the differences between CBD oil and Hemp oil are so you can get the best experience and benefits for your well being and health. We’ll also give you a breakdown on what the different CBD and Hemp products are, how to recognise them and tell the difference, as well as what ‘watch outs’ or potential pitfalls there are to look out for.

  • Why are CBD oil and Hemp oil different?
  • What are their distinguishing characteristics and ingredients?
  • What are the health benefits and effects of hemp oil?
  • How do these differ from the effects and health benefits of cbd oil?
  • Are there differences in how you use CBD versus hemp oil?
  • Conclusion and wrap up

Make sure you’re informed – you’re taking a stab in the dark guess on whether you’re buying hempseed oil versus CBD oil if you don’t know what to look for, which means you might end up with something you don’t want or need!

Let’s get started – find out more on these important questions below!

Why are CBD oil and Hemp oil different?

The first thing to understand about both CBD (cannabidiol) and hemp products is they are all sourced from the exact same plant. Both come from a natural plant found around the world known as cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant actually has two variants or subspecies which have different characteristics and properties. 

One of these is marijuana – this is the source of psychoactive ‘weed’ which contains THC (tetrahydracannabidiol). Neither hemp oil nor CBD products are produced from this plant, with neither having any psychoactive or psychotropic effects on the brain’s chemistry (which is good). 

This is great news as it means they’re much safer for anyone who’s had mental illness issues or simply don’t want to get the high associated with marijuana that can be harmful. Hemp’s characteristics are completely distinct. Hemp is used for a huge range of practical uses including for its hyper strong fibres in clothes, building products (it can be mixed with cement to make it fortified), baskets and other hand goods or textiles. The big thing about hemp is that it contains a strong mix of nutrients, vitamins, phytocompounds and fats that mean its actually very healthy when refined for consumption.

Its this healthy profile that form the basis of the plant for both hemp oil and CBD oil that come from the same family of plant – cannabis (with hemp being a subspecies different from marijuana). 

But how exactly are they different? Only one contains CBD or cannabidiol – the compound that is well known and studied for its huge range of healthy physical and mental benefits. The two oils are actually made from separate parts of the hemp plant:

  1. CBD (cannabidiol) Oil ingredients and its benefits

CBD is produced when the stems, buds and leaves of the plant are cultivated, processed and converted via an extraction process into CBD oil. This type of oil as we previously highlighted won’t get you high, contains no THC and is typically high priced due to its beneficial properties. A rich amount of phytocannabinoids, flavonoids, vitamins and other helpful nutrients are also present in this natural product.

Note that there is a huge amount of research already completed on the effects of cbd in both humans and animals, with very promising results in a number of areas such as mental health, anxiety, stress reduction and physical inflammation improvements. Much of this research is preliminary or ongoing however.

What we know is that CBD functions with the endocannabinoid system (present in all mammals naturally), triggering the CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body (from the brain and central nervous system to gut, spleen and other organs).

  1. Hemp Oil’s health effects and ingredients

Conversely hemp oil or hemp seed comes directly from the seeds of the plant, which has a big range of healthy fats and nutrients (without containing CBD). Hemp oil has a great omega 3 profile (like fish and many nuts or seeds), good plant fibre content as well as Vitamins like vitamin E. 

As hemp oil contains no cannabinoids, it won’t interact with your endocannabindoid system and has limited health effects outside of its great nutrition hit. In fact, the omega 6 and omega 3s as well as vitamin B it contains will help support healthy brain function, heart health and immune function in the body – similar to healthy fatty fish like Salmon.

What are the distinguishing characteristics and ingredients of the two oils?

Critically – you should be checking the vial or box nutrition and ingredient information (or lab report if available) for what the product you’re purchasing or using contains. If possible do this before you buy as its easy to mix up the two products and cause poor experience or wasted money. 

When examining the box, the key distinguishing ingredient as we outlined above is CBD or cannabidiol in the product. This should be clearly labelled as ‘CBD’ or ‘cannabidiol’ on the ingredients list (or somewhere on the labelling). Hemp oils contain hemp seed or different hemp extracts which aren’t CBD.

You won’t be able to tell the two apart by smell, taste or appearance – they both have a golden liquid colour and mild, earthy flavour (being very similar products from the same plant) and the same smell so its the ingredients that will show you which is which.

One commonality between the two products is what carrier oil is used to blend with the extract of hemp seed or CBD. A carrier oil is used to ‘suspend’ or transport the hemp seed or CBD (and is blended with it) to control the dosage while providing added benefits – healthy long chain fatty acids, nutrients and natural whole proteins. Typically these are MCT (medium chain triglyceride), olive oil or coconut oil. 

How do the health benefits and nutrient profiles of the two oils compare?

As we mentioned above, the effects of each hemp product significantly differs. We broke down the key benefits of cbd oil in detail but here’s a summary. 

CBD oil can deliver:

  1. Improved mood and anxiety reduction

Research is showing that CBD oil is able to assist or mitigate the symptoms of anxiety and stress. Its efficacy has been shown in a number of studies, including one clinical trial that proved cannabidiol reduced anxiety markers across more than 70 subjects by up to 80%. A similar trial against placebo baseline states proved the reduction in anxiety and stress associated with cbd oil.

  1. Reduced physical inflammation in the body

Both in dogs and humans, the effects of arthritis develop in many people – up to half the population, causing significant inflammation in the joints. Similarly over time our bodies decline in their ability to repair and reduce inflammation. CBD oil has been shown through scientific studies to reduce gut inflammation as well as assist in helping to manage pain within arthritis patients. Both through topical application and oral consumption, its been shown CBD can help to prevent and ongoingly reduce the symptoms of physical inflammation and its associated markers.

  1. Neuroprotection and improved mental state

Probably the most proven health effect of CBD oil is its capacity to reduce the frequency, length and impact of epilepsy in patients. This has been the most studied and clinically shown effect of CBD, amongst both adults in children which is extremely promising and indicates its properties for neuroprotection and ensuring the brain can function correctly along neural pathways. 

Hemp oil can’t make claim to any of these health effects.

It’s primary benefit and usage comes as a health food due to its broad and healthy nutrition improvers.

Hemp oil can provide:

  1. Topical moisturising and nourishing benefits for skin and hair

One of the most breakout products for skin and hair in recent years has been argan oil – derived from the seeds of the argan plant. Like many seeds and nuts, argan has a huge amount of healthy fatty acids and nourishing vitamins and minerals. Hempseed is very similar – it can be applied to the hair, skin and lips to help with dryness, improve moisture delivery and retainment as well as improve the strength of keratin and the skin. 

A number of studies – in addition to anecdotes and testimonies – suggest hemp seed products can assist with extreme dryness associated with skin eczema, can help with sebum and managing cutaneous oil content, in addition to helping with overall skin complexion and health. Its highly likely this is because of its immense fatty acid content and potent healthy fat blend.

  1. Healthy fats, vitamins and minerals like other plant seeds

Similar to grapeseed, coconut oil and other healthy fat oils that contain long and medium chain triglycerides (fatty acids), hemp seed is akin to the seed family of foods in terms of its health profile. Whats important about seeds is that they contain the highest nutrient contents of any part of a plant – that’s because they’re specifically created to feed the young and developing plant into germination.

Hempseed is no different – it has a very rich content of essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6 – great for brain health) as well as vitamins like E and B, in addition to containing the plant fibre and proteins that ensure you get a well rounded, full blend of plant nutrients in every serving of hemp oil. Similarly it contains trace minerals of zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and other key helpful electrolytes your body needs.

Are there differences in how you use CBD versus hemp oil?

The short answer here is – there doesn’t really have to be but you can indeed use them differently (they’re both fundamentally fatty oils which can be added or mixed into a range of different products).

When it comes to hemp seed oil, as any other type of fatty oil like MCT and coconut, you can simply add it into foods and eat it. You might prefer blending it into smoothies, bulletproof coffees or other beverages or even just eat it directly as a healthy supplement.

Hemp oil is able to be used in a variety of topical agents – hair shampoos, moisturising creams, topical ointments, balms and more. It can also be added alongside MCT oil for improved fatty acid profile.

CBD can be used in the exact same way amongst all the above methods. But primarily its taken via a dropper either onto the tongue or sublingually, in addition to being used in gel capsules, edibles or other similar consumed forms. Topical creams are often specialised for the application against inflamed regions, particularly when it comes to joint or arthritis pains.

Conclusion and wrap up on how hemp oil and CBD differ

OK so we’ve covered a range of areas in detail – you’ve learned the key differences across cultivation, extraction and nutrient content of hemp oil and CBD. Both come from the hemp plant (no THC) but hempseed oil contains no CBD. Both have similar healthy nutrients and fatty acids when taken as a whole plant extract (isolates won’t contain these). 

The BIG divergence between the two products is their health effects – with CBD acting on your endocannabinoid system to provide mood and anxiety improvement, inflammation reduction for some symptoms like arthritis and gut inflammation in addition to helpful neuroprotective properties. Hempseed is really only a health food and supplement that works with any diet as an all plant, whole protein and powerful enrichment for your diet.

Our biggest ‘watch out’ is to make sure you read the label and research thoroughly when purchasing – avoid the pitfalls and get the right product for you. As when you ask ‘whats the difference between cbd oil and hemp oil’ it could be a difference of hundreds of dollars per purchase.
Read more and discover the amazing benefits of hemp oils and products.