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Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: Understanding the Differences

Dr. Saira Zulfiqar, PharmD

Written by: Dr. Saira Zulfiqar, PharmD

Updated on November 27, 2023


The range of natural wellness products is increasing with everyday passing, especially the ones featuring hemp oil and CBD oil. These two terms are often mentioned interchangeably. However, they have distinct characteristics and have very different purposes. This brief explores the world of hemp oil and CBD oil, evaluate how they are obtained, their chemical composition, which are the characteristic applications and lastly, what are the differences that set these two types of oils apart.

What is Hemp Oil?

Source And Extraction Method of Hemp Seed Oil

You might come across hemp oil labeled as hemp seed oil as well. Don’t buy hemp cbd oil that is something else! Now as for hemp oil, this is the type of oil derived from the hemp plant’s seeds. Popularly, the hemp plant is known as cannabis sativa. The extraction process for hemp seed oil is quite complicated. But in principle, it uses a cold pressing method. This method preserves the exactness of the nutritional value of the hemp seed oil. Furthermore, it minimizes any risks of contamination that come with the method. Compared to CBD oil, which is extracted from the different parts of the hemp plant, the hemp seed oil extraction focuses on the seeds, guaranteeing an enriched product.

Primary Chemical Components and Characteristics

The overall profile of hemp oil is quite rich in essential nutrients. The most prominent nutrients to look for are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The importance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids cannot be denied today, and modern-day researchers have established their importance quite conclusively. Common sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids include fish oil and certain seafood products. The health benefits of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids make quite a long list. These benefits include:

  • Better heart functioning
  • Improved brain processing
  • Added vitality for the skin

Here, it is pertinent to mention that hemp seed oil’s light consistency and moisturizing properties made it a perfect candidate for skin care products. And lastly, because hemp seed oil has a very earthy, nutty flavor, it is considered a perfect choice for certain culinary creations. So, it is no surprise that the physical and chemical components and the overall characteristics of hemp seed oil make it a prized possession in the cannabis world.

Common Uses and Potential Benefits

Now, let us look at some of the common users and potential benefits associated with hemp seed oil. The versatility of hempseed oil shines through its various applications. We wouldn’t go into the details of the culinary applications where hemp seed oil finds a perfect use in salads, smoothies and different dishes. Rather, we would focus on the potential health benefits of hemp seed oil for human health!

  1. Skin Nourishment: Moisturizing and emollient properties of hemp seed oil make it a perfect addition to skin care products; the idea here is to maintain skin hydration and the suppleness of the human skin.
  2. Skin Diseases: The hemp seed oil can improve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, a condition that is also known as eczema. Other skin conditions hemp seed oil has proven helpful in treating include cradle cap, psoriasis and acne.
  3. Hypertension: Hemp oils’ nutritional composition can contribute to overall wellness so it is beginning to find more and more users in the treatment and management of certain disorders of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative nature. For example, the Omega-3 fatty acids found in hemp oil can help with hypertension.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut oil. Cannabidiol is one of the most important cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and ranks close to THC, the main psychoactive element found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years, courtesy of the many potential health benefits that it has to offer.

Source and Extraction Method of CBD Oil

First, let us have a look CBD oil’s different sources and extraction methods. CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is obtained from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the cannabis plant. Compared to the hemp oil that utilizes the seeds of the cannabis plant exclusively, the CBD oil extraction method involves various parts of the plant. Many extraction methods can be employed to extract CBD oil. The most popular of these methods is the CO2 extraction method; the main benefit of this extraction method is that it preserves the cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant perfectly.

Primary Chemical Components and Characteristics

CBD oil is not just about CBD. It contains other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids too. The most notable feature of CBD oil is that it offers many health benefits without the characteristic high associated with the cannabis plant. This high is courtesy of another compound called THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. Hence, CBD is automatically a perfect option for those who want to benefit from the cannabis plant without getting the familiar high.

There are three main types of CBD, these include full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Hence, when you are purchasing a CBD oil, it is best to read the label and see which type of CBD is featured in the product that you are purchasing.

Common Uses and Potential Benefits

1. Pain Relief

Perhaps, the most well-known application of CBD oil is its potential to alleviate pain. The CBD can interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system in the human body and influences pain perception and inflammation. Many have turned to CBD oil to seek relief from chronic pain and conditions such as arthritis and migraines. Furthermore, CBD oil has also shown promise in reducing anxiety and stress levels. Over brain has certain receptors that are associated with mood regulation. CBD can also interact with these receptors, reducing social anxiety, generalized anxiety and certain anxiety disorders.

2. Help with Sleep Disorders

Individuals who suffer from insomnia and sleep disorders also benefit a lot from CBD oil. CBD oil can promote better sleep by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxing feelings. CBD also offers certain neuroprotective properties, which makes it a potential candidate for managing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The FDA is already approving a CBD-based medication for treating epilepsy called Epidiolex. Other potential health benefits of CBD oil include addiction management, cardiovascular and anti-oxidant properties.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: Key Differences

Is CBD oil the same as hemp oil? What are the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil? To answer all of these questions, now, let us have a hemp oil vs CBD oil match up.

Comparison of Sources and Extraction Methods

Adding more to this cbd vs hemp oil debate, a major difference between the hemp and CBD oil lies in the extraction method and sourcing.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is exclusively derived from the hemp plant seeds; the extraction method used for this purpose is the cold-press method. The key benefit of this method is that it retains the oil’s nutritional integrity and prevents the oil from being exposed to high temperatures, which can compromise the hemp oil’s natural composition. Essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals are preserved courtesy of this method.


The CBD oil can be derived from various plant parts, including flowers, leaves and stalks. The carbon dioxide-assisted extraction method we mentioned earlier ensures that the cannabinoids, terpenes and other valuable compounds from the plant material are well and truly preserved. As a result of this process, a concentrated CBD hemp oil is produced that is enriched with a diverse array of compounds found in the cannabis plant.

Comparison of Chemical Components

Next up in this cbd oil vs hemp oil is the chemical composition comparison.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil contains trace amounts of cannabinoids and is primarily enriched with essential fatty acids. In the CBD vs. hemp oil, hemp oil certainly has more Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.


CBD oil contains a significant amount of CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, which include terpenes, flavonoids and certain other cannabinoids that contribute massively to the potential therapeutic benefits associated with CBD oil. So, is hemp oil the same as CBD oil stands answered here.

Comparison of their Uses and Potential Benefits

Usage and potential benefits are also a major difference between hemp oil and CBD oil.

Hemp Oil

Briefly speaking, the hemp oil finds plenty of uses in culinary applications and skincare routines thanks to its nutritional properties and the moisturizing features.


CBD oil, on the other hand, has found more therapeutic applications, addressing various health concerns. These applications range from chronic pain management to relief from anxiety disorders.

Comparison Table Between Both

So, what is the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil? Let us try to present the findings in a hemp vs cbd oil table! This table best answers the question as to what’s the difference between hemp oil and cbd oil.

Aspect Hemp Oil CBD Oil
Source Hemp seeds Flowers, leaves, stalks of hemp plant
Extraction Method Cold-press CO2 extraction and other advanced methods
Chemical Composition Omega-3, Omega-6 fatty acids CBD, cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids
Common Uses Culinary, skincare Pain relief, anxiety reduction, wellness support
Potential Benefits Skin health, heart health, inflammation reduction Pain management, anxiety relief, potential epilepsy treatment

Frequent Ask Questions

Dr. Saira Zulfiqar, PharmD
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