Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil- Is There a Difference?

CBD Hemp Seed Oil

Yes, there is. End of the article.

No!! I’m just kidding 🙂

It isn’t the end but the very beginning of an attempt to explain to you what the contrast Hemp oil vs CBD oil actually means.

Some time ago, Theresa, a friend of mine and frequent reader of my blog, sent me a message:

Maybe you can write a future post explaining the difference between Hemp oil and CBD oil. I noticed that you have articles about hemp for skin but I think some people are taking it orally instead of CBD oil and receiving the same benefits. A search for CBD oil on Amazon leads to hemp oil products and some of the people are pointing out that Hemp oil contains no CBD while others love the benefits. I’m sure I’m not the only one confused.

Her message reminded me that not all people are aware of the differences between the various oils the market offers.

It seems that there’s great confusion regarding the various names of cannabis deriving products and the differences between them

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: Uses and Benefits

Knowledge is power.

It is extremely important that you know what to buy and what you buy.

First of all, the properties and health benefits of each product are different. Frustration and disappointment are inevitable when you try to treat health issues and symptoms with the wrong product.

Money is another crucial factor. One should pay for what he buys. So, if you need CBD oil you should buy CBD oil and pay for CBD oil. You shouldn’t count on the vendor’s honesty and sincerity; he wants to sell and he could mislead you to earn your money. You should count on your knowledge to avoid any scams.

Be informed to protect yourselves and help others do the same.

The “cannabis market” is a mess. Some hemp oils are inaccurately marketed as CBD oil and vice versa to compete in an emerging and unregulated market. A lot of skin care products are falsely advertised as containing CBD oil to meet the consumers’ needs and increasing demands.

So follow me on this journey. When you finish reading this article you will have all the information and knowledge you need to never get fooled.

Meet the Cannabis family and its members

The “cannabis products confusion” can be attributed to the uncertainty regarding the cannabis plants and their differences.

Even though cannabis, marijuana, and hemp belong to the Cannabaceae family, they are different in terms of use, components, properties, and benefits.

Unfortunately, these terms are often interchangeable and the result of this is a huge confusion.

The term Cannabis refers to the plants of the Cannabaceae family which are:

Cannabis Leaf Hemp
  • Cannabis Sativa
  • Cannabis Indica
  • Cannabis Ruderalis

Cannabis plants contain both THC and CBD and the amounts of the two cannabinoids in a plant depend on the cultivated strain, the location of cultivation and the reason why it is cultivated.

I know this brief introduction to the plants isn’t enough. You still feel confused? Don’t worry! You will find all the information you need about the plants in an article explaining the differences between the hemp and marijuana plants.

Now, let’s get to the point and meet the two subjects of our discussion: Hemp Oil and CBD Oil

What is Hemp oil?

The term Hemp oil is actually short for the exact and more descriptive term: Hemp Seed Oil.

The Hemp Industries Association explain that:

“Hemp oil is the common term for hemp seed oil, obtained by pressing hemp seeds that contain low levels of CBD, typically less than 25 parts per million (ppm).”

You understand that the term Hemp Oil should be used to describe the oil extracted by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant.

I didn’t say “is used” but “should be used” simply because there are a lot of manufacturers or vendors out there that do not brand, label and market their products truthfully and clearly.

What is CBD oil?

According to the  Hemp Industries Association :

“In contrast [to Hemp Oil], CBD extracts are produced either directly from cannabis flowers that are up to 15% CBD (150,000 ppm), or indirectly as a co-product of the flowers and leaves that are mixed in with the stalks during hemp stalk processing for fiber.”

Not very clarifying?

Ok. I’ll make it clearer.

CBD is the short term for CannaBiDiol, a phytocannabinoid found in and extracted from the cannabis plants and more specifically from the whole plant and the flowers.

CBD oil is a product that contains a specific amount of Cannabidiol, terpenes and other substances.

In other words, it is a solution that contains the cannabinoid. CBD is not an oil. As soon as it gets extracted, it is mixed with a carrier oil. This is done so it can be absorbed more efficiently by your system.

Producers use various carrier oils. Here are some examples from the brands I, personally, trust:

Endoca uses hemp seed oil as a carrier oil and so does VerifiedCBD. Elixinol’s suspension choice is coconut oil while Avid Hemp uses MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride oil) extracted from coconut oil. Joy Organics prefers a combination of grape seed oil and hemp seed oil. In Nganic, they use hemp seed oil for their non-flavored products and a combination of grape seed oil with hemp seed oil for the flavored ones.

So, why do I see products labeled CBD Hemp Oil? Why, the heck, do they use the word Hemp with CBD products? (Yeah, I know, I have bionic ears! They help me hear your thoughts :-))

The answer is simple:  For legality reasons.

There is Hemp and Marijuana CBD. By labeling it as CBD Hemp Oil, producers denote that the cannabinoid contained in the product is extracted from industrial hemp which is legal in all 50 US states and most countries.

No, I won’t tell you what the difference between Hemp and Marijuana CBD is, now. Be patient and stay tuned.

Hemp Seed Oil:  Properties, Benefits, Quality and Usage

Hemp oil is considered one-of-a-kind among oils deriving from seeds because of the essential fatty acids (EFA) combination it contains, including two of the most important for skin health,

  • omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid [ALA]) and
  • omega 6 (linoleic acid [LA] and gamma-linolenic acid [GLA])

It also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid, stearidonic acid, antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients.

It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. As far as skin care is concerned, hemp seed oil isn’t pore-clogging. It cleanses, nourishes and soothes your skin improving its elasticity. It is considered to slow the aging process by fighting free radicals.

Skin health issues, such as Atopic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Eczema can be treated with products containing hemp seed oil. Furthermore, it seems that it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to the alpha-linolenic acid it contains.

The list of precious ingredients, hemp seed oil is packed with, is impressive. You study find detailed information on all the extraordinary substances it contains, its properties and its benefits to your health and beauty, here.

How can you be sure that the oil you buy actually contains all this magnificent stuff?

There is something missing from the HIA’s definition of Hemp oil. Something that, IMHO, ensures the consumer that the oil he buys is of excellent quality.

The method of extraction is decisive to the quality of the oil.

High-Quality hempseed oil is unrefined and cold pressed. This means it is obtained by pressing the seeds of hemp at temperatures not higher than 40°C/104°F. No chemicals or bleaches are used.

Be careful! There are refined and unrefined hemp seed oils in the market.

The unrefined oil has a green color with a nutty flavor. Above all, it contains the active substances that exist in the seeds of the plant. It has a shorter shelf life and is more expensive.

The refined oil is clear with little or no flavor, it lasts longer and is significantly cheaper than unrefined oil. It is obtained by a treatment with chemicals and high temperatures (270°C/ 518°F) This process stips the oil of most of its vitamins, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and other health beneficial substances.

How can you introduce hemp seed oil in your everyday routine?

Fist of all by getting rid of all the “mainstream”, full of harmful ingredients and ridiculously expensive cosmetics and replacing them with hemp oil-based cosmetics.

A really amazing cosmetics line, I swear by and strongly recommend, is the SATIVA™ Hemp Skincare by Elixinol. Not pricy, but packed with precious ingredients, these skin and hair care products will simply amaze you.

You can also incorporate hemp oil, hemp seeds or hemp protein powder in your diet. You can find more information on hemp seed oil here and here.

CBD Oil: Properties, Benefits, Quality and Usage

I’m sure that most of you are aware of how important and helpful CBD oil can be to your health and wellness.

In previous articles of mine, I  introduced you to your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the way CBD is related to it.

The ECS is responsible for the regulation and the proper function of a lot of body processes.A deficiency of the endocannabinoid system can lead to several health issues

From treating various forms of addiction to chronic pain and arthritis, neuropathic ailments and psychological disorders, CBD can help you find relief from pain, help you fight stress and anxiety, improve your sleep quality. You can even administrate it to your cat or dog!

The list of CBD’s properties and benefits is long. I will not repeat the things you already know. If you are a new reader, I invite you to take a look at previous articles of mine to get detailed information about this wonderful product.

I want to remind you, though, that the maximum of the results is brought by quality product.

Factors that determine the quality of a CBD product are :

  • The source of the raw material. The Hemp plant is a hyperaccumulator. This means that it absorbs anything found in the ground it is cultivated in. If the plant contains pesticides, bacteria, heavy metals or fungus then the product will contain them.Suggestion: Verify that the product you buy is extracted from organic hemp.
CBD Hemp Oil
  • Production Method. Cheap methods produce low quality and consequently cheap oil. Suggestion: Buy CBD processed either through ethanol or CO2 supercritical extraction. They are the best extraction methods.
  • Amount of THC present in the CBD oil. Verify that the amount of THC contained in the product isn’t higher than 0.3%.  Suggestion: check the labels or ask the manufacturer.
  • Full Spectrum = Whole Plant. Check the label on the product or ask for a lab report to see if the product was manufactured by the whole plant. Some call it Full Spectrum CBD oil others Full Plant Cbd oil. Don’t be confused, it’s the same thing and certainly the best thing. Suggestion: if the label doesn’t help you, seek information on the company’s website.
  • Accredited Laboratories Results. A high-quality and reputable brand always provides recent third-party lab results to their consumers. Suggestion: Seek them on the website of the company. If you don’t find them ask the provider. If he doesn’t provide you with the certificates, RUN!!!
  • Good Customer Service. A trustworthy company offers excellent customer service, is ready to respond to questions and is characterized by transparency and straight answers Suggestion: Trust brands with an active chat on their site.

There are a lot of ways to consume CBD. Tinctures, Capsules, Edibles, Vaping products, Gums even beer containing CBD. It’s up to you and your lifestyle or preferences to choose which way suits you better.

What’s the take-home?

Lots of producers intentionally mislead the consumers trying to capitalize on the current boom in CBD and hemp products.  Frequently their products do not contain these ingredients and consequently don’t offer their benefits.

The only way to avoid being scammed is to be a careful customer.

So, if you are looking for CBD oil, be certain that the product you are about to buy is a full-spectrum hemp extract which contains the precious cannabinoid. On the other hand If you want to purchase hemp seed oil or skin care products that contain it,  make sure that this is what you pay for.

There is another easier solution: Trust the brands I trust  🙂

I have already told you which they are. I trust them because they fulfill my requisitions regarding quality and transparency.   All of them ship internationally except for Joy Organics (at least for now). Elixinol’s Sativa Hemp Skincare, for the time being, can’t be found on the European website of the company so use Elixinol’s US website.  If you are interested in organic unrefined hemp seed oil to add in your diet, Nutiva Hemp Seed oil is an excellent choice.

If you have any questions or you want to share your personal experience, leave a comment below.

If you want to know if I have published a new article, or get information about CBD news, product releases or promotions, don’t hesitate to sign up for my email list!

DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.


  1. It’s a great news that CBD is really effective in these diseases. I’ve read some articles about victim’s experience on CBD. Literally, CBD has treated their diseases. Some of the people are happy for their pets because some companies sell CBD products for pets too. It’s worth than spending hundreds of dollars on medicines and clinic fees.

    1. Anecdotal evidence is huge. Users share their stories and the benefits of using CBD on their health issues. I can confirm it using my personal experience and story. I wouldn’t recommend avoiding doctors; on the contrary, doctors should be informed of its power and stop being narrowminded and brainwashed against it just because it’s a cannabis product. Thank you for your comment

  2. I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well.
    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    1. Welcome to my website. I am glad you decided to leave a comment. Your opinion is valuable because it makes me improve my website and myself as a blogger! I started blogging aiming to help people get informed about CBD oil and hemp products. As you can read in my affiliate disclosure, every time a reader of mine makes a purchase using the affiliate links I include in my articles, I get a small commission by the brands I recommend. This doesn’t mean the price they pay for the product is higher, no! This commission helps me maintain my website and cover its expenses.

  3. Thanks for clearing up the confusion Effie! Anytime I bring up CBD oil with someone they always ask about hemp oil and I wasn’t really sure how to answer it until now. Now I won’t look so silly next time. I think the confusion is the similar looking leaf they put on all their products. Everyone assumes that it’s the same plant!

    1. Well, it is the same plant. The difference is the diverse parts of the plant used to get the two products. I’m sure you can answer the questions from now on !

  4. Maybe I’m naive but I have never thought that hemp and marijuana were different. I really like the way you use the term, so we understand that the marketers use the term wrong only to sell more. I will suggest a member of my family to use hemp oil. She’s very stressed right now and has eczema. So if I understand well, you can use it every day, right?

    1. Yes, Jo. You can use it every day in salads, in cooking. You can also consume hemp seeds to use hemp-based skin care products to treat skin issues like eczema. Attention, though. You shouldn’t use hemp oil for frying: high temperatures destroy all the nutrients it contains.

  5. This so clears it up for me! I still have one major question though. I have to take a prescription for my ears….its a love hate relationship LOL. They work but the side affects are awful. One being that I have super thin skin on my arms. I can barely, and I mean barely scratch my arm and end up with a huge long blood streak that pools up right under the skin and looks horrible. Are there any products that can help get my skin thicker or make it more healthy? I would pay whatever for it. I constantly have blood under the skin on my arms….I can get it just from making my bed. It is very frustrating. I have found that vitamin e helps it heal faster, but it is a constant battle 🙁

    1. Leahrae the reasons for thin skin are various: age, UV exposure (I know you love the sun, do you protect your skin?). medications, an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, alcohol), a poor diet (low in fresh fruits and vegetables, high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. I remember you are a carbs lover). What can you do? Apart from in-office treatments that an expert would suggest, you can include vitamin C, both oral and topical
      gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp oil includes all this stuff. The combination of consuming it orally and using a hemp seed oil skin care product may help.

  6. Thanks to your elaborate post, I can now tell the difference between Hemp oil and CBD oil.
    Much as they are both from the Hemp plant, they are different substances that I both liked because of their uses. I liked hemp oil for its ability to improve the feel and look of my skin. I also liked CBD oil for its ability to promote optimal health. They offer tremedous benefits that make them a must have. 

    1. Ahimbe, I’m glad I helped you learn the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. Knowledge is power, isn’t it? Thank you for stopping by and contributing to the discussion. Have a great day!

  7. Fascinating stuff, really cleared up what CBD oil was and how it related to hemp oil. I definitely need to check out the SATIVA skin care line, my skin can get really dry, particularly this time of year.

    And I can personally vouch for Nutiva hemp oil. Really glad to see you approve as I’ve been using it for years! You have to refrigerate it after you open it, which tells me it’s the real deal.


    1. Jon, you definitely need to check out the Sativa line. It’s an amazing skincare line, absolutely free of all harmful ingredients we find in mainstream cosmetics. And you know something? Instead of water, it contains aloe vera!! I swear by it and I strongly recommend it to both sexes! As far as Nutiva hemp oil is concerned I can only say WOW. You know what I mean 🙂

  8. What an informative, concise and easy-to-understand blog. Thank you for that.
    I was aware of the ECS, but really did not understand the difference between the different kinds of CBD oils and how they are manufactured. Very interested in the CBD beauty products.

    1. Thank you for your visit, Suzanne. I am really glad you find my blog easy-to-understand (above all) All the scientific research, the ECS and the way cannabinoids interact with it are a bit complicated and I do my best to simplify things without changing their meaning. I want my readers to “acquire knowledge” not to learn anything by heart. I won’t give them any test- ok if I do it will be simple 🙂 As far as skin care products are concerned I’m a “green” freak and I always study the ingredients before I recommend anything. That’s why I recommend the Sativa line.

  9. Hi Effie
    Thanks for the informative article. I do have 1 question: My dad works for the Police in Australia and is subject to drug and alcohol testing. If he uses Hep or CBD oil will it cause him to test positive to marijuana if he is tested?

    1. Hi Jesse and welcome to my blog! He shouldn’t worry; he won’t test positive to marijuana if he consumes CBD oil extracted from industrial Hemp. I advise you to read an article of mine regarding the difference between the two plants. You can find it here

  10. I have been wondering about this for a while, so thank you for the clarification! I think I am also going to add hemp oil to my skin regimen, because I have been looking for the best anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant natural oil that doesn’t clog pores for my skin condition (hidradenitis suppurativa).
    Thanks again!

    1. Alexis, hemp seed oil is simply miraculous for the skin. You can get more information about it here and here. CBD oil has been found to have the potential to treat a variety of skin conditions, including hidradenitis suppurativa but the majority of the data are still pre-clinical. We need randomized and controlled trials to be able to evaluate its effect on the skin. Until then, why don’t you try to adopt hemp oil cosmetics? Hemp has potent anti-inflammatory properties and your ailment is considered a systemic inflammatory disease.

  11. Something I’ve learned in every category is to always go with brand names that are trustworthy. Usually, I’d go with those who stand the test of time but CBD is relatively new to the mainstream, so companies are just now getting their brands known and recognized.

    I’ve always felt the best regulators in any industry are the people, themselves, but to be such regulators, we must be equipped with knowledge of product so we can spot a company’s integrity.

    Articles like this are great for those interested in CBD because they’ll help us spot such dishonesty which can occur in this market, especially since it’s still new, as I mentioned earlier and therefore, dishonesty runs rampant from such companies.

    But, there are definitely honest companies out there and once we gain such knowledge on what to look for, we can most definitely spot those that are honest with their consumers and they’ll be the emerging victors in this market.

    1. This is the reason why I wrote this article, Todd. To provide my readers with the knowledge they need to spot the trustworthy brands and to choose the right product for their needs. And for another reason:-) A reader of mine asked me to write it. How could I say no? I’m here to help and educate 🙂 Thank you for your contribution to the discussion Todd!

  12. Thank you! I’m so glad I didn’t make that purchase last week; I would have gotten the wrong thing for sure! No wonder I was confused! Wow. Thanks so much for clarifying all the facts (and fables) about CBD and Hemp oil. 🙂

  13. Thanks for the info, really clear and concise page with relevant info. It’s really helpful to have the products you have recommended as you seem to know your stuff. Well done.

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