CBD Oil Vs Hemp Oil – The Ultimate Guide

7th October 2019

Hemp Oil and CBD Oil are different substances with completely different properties. In this article we will explain the differences between the two, including health benefits and safety profiles.

The medical benefits of cannabis have been apparent to civilisations throughout history when people consumed the whole plant as a food and as a medicine. In modern society, after a long hiatus, the benefits that cannabis offers are beginning to make it back into the mainstream. But with a modern twist.

As technology has advanced, we have been able to break down what each specific component of cannabis does, which is why we now know that CBD has particular medical properties. As such, the cannabis plant can be used in different ways to produce different products. The hemp plant is only a certain strain of the Cannabis sativa plant which can confuse some people. Two products that on the surface appear similar, but are in fact very different are Hemp oil and CBD oil.

We will compare and contrast the differences of both to give you a deeper understanding of what hemp oil and CBD oil are.

Hemp Oil & CBD Oil – What Are The Differences

At first glance, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between hemp oil and CBD oil. The bottles can be quite similar, usually containing something cannabis-related on the label, but it isn’t 100% clear what ingredients are in the bottle.

CBD Oil – What Is It?

CBD oil is an oil that contains the compound cannabidiol in it. Cannabidiol is commonly abbreviated to CBD and CBD is a cannabinoid found exclusively in the cannabis plant. It’s used for its medicinal benefits, such as an anti-inflammatory. CBD can be extracted from that plant in its pure, isolated form (CBD isolate) or along with other cannabinoids (full-spectrum CBD) and placed into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, to make it easy to consume.

What is CBD?

Hemp Oil – What Is It?

Hemp oil is closer to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, than it is to CBD oil. It can be used for cooking or as a nutritional supplement, but it contains no cannabinoids in it and therefore no CBD. Hemp oil is generally viewed as a superfood but is not considered to have any medicinal benefits. Hemp oil is also commonly called hemp-seed oil or virgin hemp oil.

Difference In Ingredients

Both hemp oil and CBD come from the cannabis plant, but their similarities end there. The processes used to extract each explains the differences in ingredients. Hemp oil is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds and stems of the hemp plant, which contain no cannabinoids. CBD can be extracted via a variety of methods but always involving the buds or flowers from cannabis and generally using equipment much more expensive than the cold-press from hemp oil.

Hemp Oil and CBD Oil – How Are They Used

With Hemp Oil & CBD Oil being completely different substances, they are used for completely different things. CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant while hemp oil can only be extracted from the hemp plant. Both are non-intoxicating and are considered completely safe for human consumption with no recreational uses. You can find both of them in most health and wellness stores.

CBD Oil Tincture

Use of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is mainly used as a food or skincare product. It is highly nutritious and considered a superfood because it contains omega-3, omega-6, protein, and vitamin E. As well as being a good addition to smoothies, hemp oil is also used for baking. Hemp oil is a major player in the cosmetic industry, being used in soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.

Use of CBD Oil

CBD oil is commonly used as a health and wellness supplement. The active ingredient, CBD, is known to help with an array of conditions that make it suited for everyday use by sufferers of anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.

CBD is also a medicine that can be prescribed and is known to reduce seizures in patients with epilepsy and help prevent the secondary symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Why Is There So Much Confusion?

The confusion has arisen due to deceiving marketing tactics by companies who wish to sell hemp oil for an over-inflated price by making it look like CBD oil. Ultimately, they are cashing in on CBD oils’ rise in popularity and high price.

Hemp oil has been available in the UK for decades and is available for a fraction of the price of CBD oil. On the other hand, CBD has only recently become available in the UK and because of the high manufacturing costs of extracting it, is quite expensive.

Marketing hemp oil as having the same medicinal benefits as CBD oil does a disservice to consumers who expect to receive these benefits but don’t because they have been duped into purchasing hemp oil for an outrageous price. Also, some confusion may arise from the fact that hemp oil can be used as a carrier oil for CBD. So, if you add CBD to it, it can become CBD oil. But, without CBD added, it is just hemp oil.

In order to not fall into these marketing traps, ensure that the product you are purchasing specifically states it has CBD in it. Take time to read the label and ask questions about what you are buying.

Benefits Of Hemp Oil Vs CBD Oil

Both CBD and Hemp oil are amazing substances with a different array of benefits, but because they contain completely different ingredients; the benefits also are completely different.

Benefits of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil can be consumed as a food or applied to the skin, and its benefits include: –

  • Moisturising Skin – Hemp oil can be used to soften the skin to create a more supple complexion. Providing deep hydration for dry skin, hemp oil moisturizes without clogging pores.
  • Boosts Hair Growth – Ingredients in hemp oil penetrate deep into the hair follicles and boost hair growth and reduce hair loss.
  • Strengthens Nails & Hair – Being high in Omega-3 and Omega-6, known to boost the production of keratin which results in stronger nails and hair.
  • Good For Overall Health – Hemp oil is considered a superfood; containing an array of essential vitamins and minerals as well as being high in protein.

Health Benefits of CBD


CBD oil can also be consumed orally and applied to the skin, but is more commonly placed under the tongue or vaporize for maximum effect. The benefits of CBD oil include: –

  • Pain-relieving – CBD is known for it pain-relieving qualities. It relieves muscle aches and joint pains, soothes headaches and migraines and can be applied topically to the skin for post-exercise recovery.
  • Anxiety reducing – The most common reason people self-medicate with CBD in the UK is for reduction of stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Anti-inflammatory – The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD explain why it is good at reducing the symptoms of an array of autoimmune disorders, meaning it can be used for diabetes, Crohn's disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many more.
  • Anti-seizure – CBD is prescribed in the UK as an anti-seizure medication for epilepsy and for MS.Both certainly have their benefits, but they are extremely different. So it’s important to be able to spot the differences between the two.

Which Is Better For Pain?

Even though hemp oil is packed with nutritional content, it is well renowned for its pain-relieving qualities.

It is the active ingredient, CBD, that has been shown to be one of the best natural pain-killers. So good in fact that it is becoming commonplace to see CBD products being used in contact sports such as MMA, boxing, rugby and in the NFL.

Which Is Better For Anxiety?

Hemp oil is an antioxidant, but you wouldn’t take it to relieve the symptoms of a mental health condition.

Conversely, CBD interacts with the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain and is commonly used to help with the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. It is also used to help treat addiction and is becoming a go-to treatment for sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Which Is Better For Insomnia?

Having a healthy, well-balanced diet helps you to sleep better, so hemp oil may work to that effect. CBD is known to assist sleep and this has been confirmed by multiple studies.

In one study, it was shown that CBD in moderate to high doses can be used to increase the total percentage of sleep each night as well as being used to suppress sleep disorders such as insomnia and REM behaviour disorder.

Which Is Better As A Vitamin Supplement?

CBD oil goes through lots of processing to extract the CBD from the flowers/buds. Because of this lots of the nutritional content is stripped away.

However, hemp oil is cold-pressed in the same way olive oil is and this keeps all of the nutritional content intact. So hemp oil is better used as a vitamin supplement.

Key Takeaways

Hemp oil and CBD oil are both wonderful substances in their own right, but they are completely different. Hemp oil is for food and cosmetics and CBD oil is for health and medicine. It is important for consumers to understand the difference so that they don’t purchase one product thinking it is going to do what the other does and wasting money in the process.

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