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Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?

CBD oil and hemp oil have both become increasingly popular in recent years, and you may have seen them being discussed together in various contexts. As a result of this, you may have some confusion about the differences between the two. In fact, a question on many people’s minds is whether hemp oil is the same as CBD oil.

If you're a newcomer to hemp products, you may want to know: can you substitute one for the other? These are only a few of the many questions novices to hemp supplementation have.

Hemp oil and CBD oil are both derived from the hemp plant. While they share some similarities and are both oils, they are also very different. While hemp oil is excellent for cooking, you have to be more careful when exposing CBD oil to heat – though there are many great recipes for using CBD oil in foods such as butter!

In this post, we will look at the similarities and differences between hemp oil and CBD oil. We will also show you how to spot the difference in case of mislabelling by the manufacturer.

Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?

Hemp is a member of the cannabis family – it's scientific name is Cannabis Sativa. Unlike the related Cannabis Indica plant, hemp contains low levels of the cannabinoid THC. Legal hemp must have 0.2% THC or below. 

Growers are working together with other industry players to ensure the strains they cultivate meet the legal threshold. You must take care when buying to ensure the product you purchase falls within the legal limits. The best way to do this is to buy from reputable suppliers who clearly state the contents of their products. They should also provide third-party lab test results.

CBD oil is made from the leaves, stalk, and flowers of the hemp plant, while hemp oil is an extract from the seeds of the same plant. The chemical composition and manufacturing processes are just some of the things that differentiate the two among others. First, we will check out the differences between the two oils.

Differences between hemp oil and CBD oil


Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. The seeds do not carry CBD (in some instances maybe a trace amount), and therefore hemp oil contains minimal amounts of CBD, if any at all. Through pressing, manufacturers press the seeds to obtain hemp oil, which is light green in colour. Then, it is packaged for the market, sometimes further refining may occur before bottling.

Solvents, oils, or carbon dioxide are some of the methods used in extracting CBD from hemp plant matter. CO2 supercritical is the gold standard, resulting in a high-quality product without traces of solvents, unlike the other two. The resulting distillate may undergo further processing to achieve 99.9% purity. Finally, the extracts are infused with carrier oil to make CBD oil. 

Chemical composition

Depending on the CBD oil, it can contain several compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, and various cannabinoids. We say it depends on the form because if your CBD oil is an isolate, it will only contain the purest form of CBD and no other compounds. Full-spectrum comprises all the compounds found in the hemp plant, including THC but in low amounts. 

Therefore, you need to learn to read the labels right. Because not all CBD oil products should be trusted, especially if they do not show the CBD form.

CBD content

Hemp oil ideally should not contain CBD, but finding trace amounts is not uncommon. You should take care when purchasing to make sure the product meets the legal requirements. Just like with CBD oil, you should only buy hemp oil from trusted brands that are willing to share third-party lab results.

Except for the seeds and roots, the leaves, stalk, and flowers all contain high CBD levels. It, therefore, follows that hemp-derived CBD oil should naturally be rich in CBD with the amount indicated on the label. In addition, the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that are also present should be noted.


Hemp oil can be used as an alternative to other oils for cooking and salad dressing. The oil also finds application in the beauty industry. You will find it in hair and beauty products. 

CBD oil, by contrast, is a supplement that people take in many different forms. These include CBD oil and tinctures taken orally through swallowing or sublingually under the tongue. It also comes as a CBD vape or is added to various foods to make CBD edibles.

Be cautious to ensure you buy the right CBD vapes, as vaping hemp oil or any oil for that matter is not healthy. Ensure the product states it is for vaping.


The process of extracting CBD oil is much more expensive compared to producing hemp oil. Also, the equipment involved is costly, to say the least. As a result, the two products are priced very differently, with CBD on the higher side. Therefore, be wary of products claiming to contain CBD but are priced very low compared to other CBD products. 

While price is a good indicator, it should not be the only one used. If you are not diligent, you may end up with overpriced hemp oil in the name of CBD. 

Similarities between hemp oil and CBD oil

Other than being derived from the hemp plant, not a lot of similarities exist between the two. However, both contain low amounts of THC and are therefore do not have any psychoactive effects. They can also be taken in similar ways, including orally and topically.

How to differentiate between hemp oil and CBD oil

It’s easy to confuse hemp oil and CBD oil. So how do you know if what you are holding is CBD oil? Simple, by understanding the labels of the products. 

Asking the manufacturer for third-party lab results also helps ascertain the contents of the product. From the results, you will know the cannabinoid and terpene profiles and every single chemical compound present. The results should also tell you whether there is heavy metal and pesticide contamination. If contamination is present, check if it is within safe limits.

Reading the labels on CBD products

Hemp seed oil extract is the active ingredient in hemp oil. At the same time, the listed primary ingredient in CBD oil should be cannabidiol. This can come in various forms, including full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, hemp (not hempseed), or phytocannabinoid-rich CBD.

The THC content should be within legal limits for full-spectrum CBD oil. The THC content that is on the bottle should match the one on the third-party test results. 

Be sure to check for other ingredients on the list. For example, some oils may have artificial flavours, and you will find this information on the label. You need to check the other ingredients for allergens and also purity.

A product label should also tell you the quantities in grams of each ingredient, if possible. It is common practice to include the serving size. 

Avoid products with vague ingredients. They probably do not contain what they claim.

Final thoughts

Hemp oil and CBD oil are two different oils that come from the hemp plant. Their chemical composition and CBD content are different, with CBD oil being rich in CBD while hemp oil has zero CBD. You can use hemp oil for cooking, in salads, and for beauty products. Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. 

CBD oil may either be full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or pure isolate. However, the THC content of both oils should legally be 0.2% or below. In addition, CBD oil costs more compared to hemp oil.  And finally, the production process of CBD oil is more complicated in comparison to the one for hemp oil.

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