Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil – Which to Use?

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hemp oil vs cbd oil

The Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil

Knowing the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is vitally important because their use varies drastically.

With names seemingly used interchangeably, it can be hard to distinguish the true difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. However, the fact is, while they both are derived from the same plant, the two oils differ greatly in composition and use.

Knowing the key differences between the two oils will help you, as a consumer, to be better educated about your purchases and to find the product that truly will meet your needs.

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Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of two main cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, which means there are no psychological effects and no “high”.

Depending on the product, the CBD is extracted from either hemp or cannabis plants. Cannabis-derived CBD typically also contains THC as well, which can affect its legal status. On the other hand, hemp-derived CBD contains very little THC and is legal when harvested from industrial hemp, grown overseas.

CBD products come in many forms, including tinctures, oils, gummies, softgels and balms.

Extraction Methods for CBD Oil

Several extraction methods are used for harvesting CBD. The best method is extraction by carbon dioxide (CO2). This method does not use heat, which allows the integrity of the product to remain intact.

Lower-quality CBD oils may be extracted using a solvent. This can be very dangerous, as the solvent may end up in the final product. In addition, high levels of heat destroy many of the nutrients and medicinal properties found in CBD.

Medicinal Benefits of CBD

CBD works with a major regulatory system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It primarily affects two receptors: CB1 and CB2.

By working within the body to stimulate the body’s naturally-occurring cannabinoids, CBD shows promising evidence as an effective treatment for a multitude of health conditions, such as cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and more. In addition, CBD is often used to combat the negative effects of THC for those who desire the benefits of both cannabinoids with little to no side effects.

Initial studies have shown that CBD oil may have numerous health and medicinal properties, including:

  • Antiemetic (reduces nausea and vomiting)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antipsychotic
  • Anticonvulsant (suppresses seizure activity)
  • Anti-tumoral/anti-cancer
  • Antidepressant
  • Anxiolytic (combats anxiety)
  • Analgesic (relieves pain)

Gym-goers and athletes would be pleased to hear that CBD can also be used to increase workout longevity and performance.

Hemp Oil (Hemp Seed Oil)

Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is derived by pressing hemp seeds. Typically, the oil is extracted using a cold-press method. This helps keep the majority of the nutrients intact. When left unrefined, the oil is green and has a nutty taste. Because hemp oil is derived from the seeds of hemp plants, rather than the stalks and leaves, it contains only trace amounts of CBD.

Health Benefits of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil, while not truly ‘medicinal’, still offers many health benefits to consumers. Because it is so nutritious, it is a popular cooking oil. Hemp oil is a healthier alternative to other (unhealthy) oils, such as vegetable, palm, and canola. In addition, hemp oil is much lower in saturated fatty acids than other oils.

Hemp oil contains roughly 80 percent essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, stearidonic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and gamma-linolenic acid. In fact, up to 50 percent of the weight of hemp seeds is oil. Just one tablespoon of hemp oil is enough to provide most healthy adults with an entire day’s serving of essential fatty acids.

In addition, unrefined hemp seed oil contains a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. This ratio typically is thought to be the best for the human body. Hemp oil also contains a large amount of vitamin E, among other nutrients.

Due to these components, hemp oil may have the following health benefits:

  • Balancing hormones
  • Increasing immunity
  • Reversing aging
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Fighting skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema
  • Neutralizing free radicals
  • Repairing and rejuvenating cell health

Alternative Uses of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil commonly is used in a variety of household and cosmetic products. Many companies incorporate hempseed oil’s moisturizing properties into products such as shampoos, facial cleansers, and soaps. In addition, hemp oil can be used to make plastics and fuel and act as a base for non-petroleum paint products.


While both hemp oil and CBD oil are derived from the same plants, their composition and use vary greatly. CBD oil is primarily used in a medicinal sense, while hemp seed oil is used for cooking and other household applications. Each provides numerous health benefits.

Now that you are more familiar with the differences between CBD and hemp oil, you will be able to make an informed decision on which products will best suit your needs.

Taken from a PDF by Larry and Oksana Ostrovsky: “The Truth About CBD”. You can download the full PDF here.