Hemp Oil and CBD Oil: What are the Differences?

Written by Review Weed Cannabis & Health Enthusiast
Published: 2023-12-21
Major differences between hemp oil and CBD oil.

Table of Contents

As interest in natural medicinal remedies continues to grow, hemp oil and CBD oil have gained significant attention for their therapeutic properties. Both products are from the cannabis plant, but they have separate purposes and different health advantages.

In this article, we will look at the differences between hemp and CBD oil. We will examine the key indicators that make the two products unique – exploring health benefits, extraction methods, and ingredient breakdown.

How are hemp oil and CBD oil different?

Hemp oil (hemp seed oil) is extracted from the hemp plant‘s seeds. Hemp seed oil is known for its nutritional value and potential health benefits.

It contains many nutrients, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein. Due to its nutty flavour and nutrient profile, it is often used as a dietary supplement and an ingredient in food products.

CBD oil, short for cannabidiol oil, is extracted from the CBD-rich flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant. Cannabidiol is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp and marijuana.

Hemp oil and CBD oil may both come from the cannabis plant, but their extraction methods, nutritional content, and usage set them apart.

Hemp OilCBD Oil
Source Extracted from hemp seedsExtracted from various parts of the hemp plant (flowers, leaves, and stems)
Extraction methodCold-pressed from hemp seedsExtracted using various methods, including CO2 extraction
Nutritional contentRich in omega fatty acids, vitamins, and proteinContains primarily cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids & terpenes
Cannabinoid contentExtremely low or negligible levels of cannabinoidsHigh levels of CBD
Medical benefitsSupports heart, skin, brain and immune healthPotentially helps with pain, anxiety, sleep, and other conditions
UsagePrimarily used as a cooking oil or in skincarePrimarily for wellness and therapeutic purposes
Legal StatusWidely available and legal in most placesLegal in many places, but regulations vary

Extraction methods

Hemp seed oil is extracted using a simple cold-pressing method – much like olive oil. This unique way of getting the oil helps to keep all the good things inside it, like vitamins and other natural compounds.

CBD oil can be extracted from the plant in many ways. You can do it at home using a carrier oil like coconut oil. Big companies and brands use commercial methods like ethanol or supercritical CO2 extraction.

Depending on the extraction method, you will get different CBD spectrums, each with its own benefits.

Top difference

The main difference is that hemp oil is extracted using the same simple cold-press process, meaning the final product is consistent. Since CBD oil has different extraction methods, the purity and quality of it can be affected.

Nutritional content

Hemp seed oil is rich in beneficial nutrients for the human body. It is an excellent source of essential fatty acids like omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. It also contains calcium, sulphur, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants like vitamin E, and iron.

Hemp seeds are rich in protein, containing all 20 known amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that our bodies can’t produce independently.

In comparison, CBD oil is not sought for its nutritional profile but for its cannabinoid content.

Derived from the whole hemp plant, this oil contains a variety of phytocannabinoids such as CBD, CBC, CBG, and, in some cases, THC. It also boasts terpenes like limonene, pinene, and linalool. Each of these compounds has health properties, contributing to the entourage effect.

Top difference

Hemp oil primarily focuses on nourishing with essential fatty acids and vitamins.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is valued for its broader range of compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes.

Medicinal usage

Hemp seed oil has a range of nutrients that can provide some health advantages. Some of its notable medical benefits include:

  • Heart health: The balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp oil may reduce the risk of heart disease and support cardiovascular health.
  • Skin health: Hemp oil is often used in skincare products due to its moisturizing and nourishing properties. It may help soothe dry and irritated skin and promote a healthy complexion.
  • Brain function: The omega-3 fatty acids in hemp oil are crucial for brain development and function, potentially aiding cognitive performance and supporting brain health.
  • Immune support: The antioxidants in hemp oil can help protect the body’s cells from oxidative stress and support the immune system.

Research suggests that CBD may offer relief for a variety of health problems. Here are some of the medicinal benefits that are contributing to the increasing popularity of CBD:

  • Pain relief: CBD is believed to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which can result in reduced inflammation and pain.
  • Epilepsy treatment: Cannabidiol has shown great promise in easing epilepsy symptoms.
  • Anxiety and depression management: Some studies suggest that CBD may have antidepressant-like effects, making it a potential option for treating anxiety and depression.
  • Sleep disorders: CBD can also be used to regulate sleep patterns, potentially offering relief for insomnia and other sleep disorders.
  • Neuroprotective properties: Researchers believe CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system can benefit neurological disorders.

Top difference

While the two oils do different things, you can use them in your health routine. Hemp seed oil is good for your skin, hair, and heart, while CBD oil is linked with easing seizures, pain, inflammation, and stress.

It is best to talk to your doctor before using both products to ensure they don’t cause any side effects or interact with your medications.

Versatile applications

Hemp seed oil is used in a variety of ways. You can mix it into your favourite foods or drinks, apply it on your skin as a moisturiser, or even use it in your hair to promote growth and shine.

CBD oil can be used in many ways as well. You can place a few drops under your tongue for quick absorption or add it to your daily meals and beverages like you can with hemp oil. For a more direct approach, you can apply it to your skin to target specific areas for relief or add it to a soothing massage oil.

Top difference

In summary, hemp seed oil is mainly used in food, skin, and hair care. In contrast, CBD oil is primarily employed for potential health benefits through ingestion, topical application, and targeted relief.

Legal status

In Thailand, CBD oil is legally permissible under certain conditions. As of 2021, it can be purchased and used without prescription as long as the THC content is less than 0.2%.

Hemp seed oil, unlike CBD oil, is completely legal in Thailand with no such restrictions.

The same trend also holds good for the rest of the world. In many countries, hemp seed oil is sold readily, while CBD oil may be subjected to certain legal restrictions.

What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant but differ significantly in their chemical composition and uses.

Hemp contains 0.3% or less THC (the psychoactive compound that produces a high) and is grown for industrial and commercial purposes like fibre, food, and oil.

Note that hemp does not get you high or produce any intoxicating effects like marijuana.

An infographic showing major differences between hemp oil and cannabidiol oil.
Key differences between hemp and CBD oils.

Marijuana, on the other hand, contains higher levels of THC and is primarily used for medicinal or recreational purposes due to its psychoactive effects. The two also differ in appearance, cultivation methods, and legal status in many regions.


While hemp oil and CBD oil both come from the cannabis plant, they differ significantly in their extraction methods and uses.

Hemp oil, obtained through cold pressing hemp seeds, is a nutrient-rich oil often used in foods and skincare.

In contrast, CBD oil is extracted from various parts of the hemp plant, like flowers, leaves, and stalks, using methods like CO2 extraction. It is known for its benefits related to easing stress and pain.

When choosing between the two, be clear about your needs. Hemp seed oil is recommended as a daily supplement that gives you nutrients and minerals. CBD oil is well-suited when you need relief from pain, stress, or insomnia.