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Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil – What you need to know

The cannabidiol industry has witnessed an explosion from left right and center. It is being discussed in mainstream media and people have become more open to the idea of cannabidiol. However, this explosion has come with a myriad of challenges because the cannabis industry and cannabis products remain unregulated in most countries.

The talk on everyone’s tongue is the penetration of Hemp oil and CBD oil in the cannabis industry. Hemp oil and CBD oil are similar in some ways, but have some significant differences as well. Let us begin with the definitions.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is oil obtained from the hemp plant. The seeds of the hemp plant are harvested and used to extract hemp oil. Hemp oil can be extracted from any plant of the cannabis genus but industrial hemp is the only hemp used for hemp oil. The hemp seeds contain 50% of oil in their weight. Moreover, they are preferred for their nutritional value rather than as a medicine. Hemp oil from industrial hemp is specifically produced which means that it contains a minimal amount of psychoactive substances.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil


The uses of hemp oil

  • Hemp oil is great for cooking because it contains a lot of nutrients. It gives food a crispy and nutty taste.
  • As a great natural moisturizer, hemp oil can be used after a shower
  • Hemp oil offers another base for plastics besides petroleum
  • It is used in the production of eco-friendly paints
  • Hemp oil can be used as a bio-diesel fuel
  • It is used in making soaps and lotions because it has remedial properties for hair and skin
  • It is used as a varnish for wood


CBD is the short form for cannabidiol thus CBD oil is also cannabidiol oil. Industrial cannabis and hemp contain cannabidiol as a natural component. The specificity of CBD oil is that it is a cannabis oil that contains a significant amount of cannabidiol content. CBD oil is made from the flowers, leaves and stalks of hemp. This is unlike hemp oil which is made from the seeds of the hemp plant. The stalks, flowers and leaves are chosen from strains of hemp plants that are known to have higher cannabidiol levels. The intention is to maximize the potency of the end product.

CBD oil is popular in the medical marijuana industry. It has the capabilities of treating various conditions without the typical intoxicating effects of marijuana use. This is because CBD inhibits the uptake of THC. This reduces the negative qualities of marijuana, but still produces a calming effect.

Uses of CBD oil

  • CBD oil can be used in the treatment of cancer
  • It can be used in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, anxiety, depression, seizures and neurodegenerative disorders
  • It can be used in the treatment of epilepsy

The Differences between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil

Knowing the differences between hemp oil and CBD is vitally important because their different uses are attributed to these differences. CBD oil and hemp oil are often confused because they both come from the same plant. Furthermore, they contain components that are widely sought after for their healthful properties and both hemp oil and CBD oil have established themselves as useful products. The knowledge of these differences is especially important for consumers who think that both oils provide the same things. This is a completely false premise.


The differences between hemp oil and CBD oil can be categorized into five specific variations:

  • Species of origin
  • Parts used to produce the oil
  • Cannabinoid content
  • Uses
  • Production method


Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil


1.) Difference based on species of origin

Hemp and marijuana are related plant species. The cannabis plant belongs to the genus cannabis which has three species: indica, sativa and ruderalis. According to research, both hemp oil and CBD oil come from the Cannabis sativa. However, each one comes from a different strain of that species.

However, marijuana has higher THC content than hemp. The level of THC content has been used as the baseline to determine the cultivation of hemp. For instance, US law only allows for the legal cultivation of hemp if it contains less than 0.3% THC.

2.) Difference based on parts used

Hemp oil is obtained from the seeds of the hemp plant while CBD is obtained from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the same plant.

3.) Difference based on cannabinoid content

In broad terms, the cannabis plant is full of cannabinoids and terpenes which have many medical benefits. Hemp oil contains low levels of CBD, less than 25 parts per million. On the other hand CBD oil contains up to 15% cannabidiol. Since cannabidiol is the component that gives marijuana its medicinal properties, the quantity levels of cannabidiols in hemp oil or CBD oil give them a medicinal characteristic. However, hemp oil contains low quantities of cannabidiols thus it has hardly any medicinal properties. CBD oil, on the other hand, has high content of cannabidiols which makes it more useful in treating medical conditions.

4.) Differences based on the production method

Just like the common pressing process used in the extraction of other oils, hemp oil is also produced by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. On the other hand, CBD is extracted through a solvent extraction process which involves forcing a solvent like alcohol through the Cannabis sativa plant where it separates the cannabinoids, terpenes and trichomes.

5.) Difference based on different uses

The seeds used for hemp oil extraction contain trace amounts of THC which makes them useless for anyone trying to get high.

Hemp oil and CBD oil differ from their nutritional properties as well. Hemp oil has a strong nutritional value, unlike CBD. It is also high in polyunsaturated fats like Omega-6, fatty acids and vitamins. For this reason, hemp oil has found a spot in many kitchens for cooking and also for salad dressing. Consequently, it is impractical to use CBD oil for cooking purposes.

Clearly, the underlying differences in hemp oil and CBD oil is that the former is used as an ingredient for cooking, manufacturing and as a dietary supplement while the latter is used for medicinal products.

The relativity between these plants has led unscrupulous sellers to try and market hemp oil for its medicinal value. However, the medicinal value of hemp oil is negligible.

Producers of CBD oil use hemp oil as the carrier oil for their CBD products. Fortunately, the differences of hemp oil products and CBD oil products are quite different. Hemp oil is found next to healthy cooking oils in a grocery store while CBD oil products can be found through a dispensary or online stores.

Moreover, hemp oil products come in standard cooking oil format or supplement. They have little to no variation. CBD oil products come in a range of sizes and preparations such as balms, salves, tinctures etc.

It is possible to be misled into buying the wrong hemp oil or CBD oil products because of lack of knowledge. The good news is that with the information given above, you are able to make the right product choices and distinguish hemp oil from CBD oil. Simply put, hemp oil is for nutritional purposes while CBD oil is for medicinal purposes. Be careful and read the label.

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Tim McComsey

Tim McComsey is the founding owner of TRYM Fitness: Dallas’s Premier Personal Training and Nutrition Company, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Registered Dietitian. He started TRYM Fitness in 2011 and has been growing successfully ever since! This is his 15th year in the fitness industry and his scope of work has broadened from being ambassador to Sunwarrior, a partner to Vitamin World, and a sponsored athlete to 361usa shoes and apparel. He also contributes to Men’s Fitness Magazine and Human Fit Project with video and content production. Through his years in the industry, he has placed 1st in several fitness competitions including the 2013 Dallas Europa Men’s Physique. His passion is to empower both men and women to be the healthiest and most fit they can be using various platforms.

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