Cannabinoid Oil vs. Hemp Oil: Differences and Similarities You Need to Know

WRITTEN by Hinterland co.

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CBD oil and hemp oil might both be amazing, but do you know what makes them different? A surprising number of people don’t. We’ll admit that things can quickly get confusing, given that both CBD oil and hemp oil come from hemp and all.

But fear not. We’ll be taking a look at the most important differences — and similarities — between cannabinoid oil and hemp oil here!

  • Hemp oil vs CBD
  • Hemp oil vs CBD oil
  • Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?
  • Does hemp oil contain CBD?
  • CBD oil vs hemp oil: closing thoughts


Hemp oil vs CBD

What’s the difference between hemp oil and CBD? First things first: hemp oil is a final product/supplement, while CBD is just the name of a natural compound. [1]

Beyond the obvious stuff, hemp oil and CBD oil do have a lot in common. Both of them come from hemp, both of them are healthy, and both of them are super popular right now!

But you should also know that most hemp oil does not actually contain CBD. Hemp oil that does contain CBD, meanwhile, typically goes by names like “full-spectrum hemp oil” or “phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil.”

More on this important distinction next.

cbd oil bottle with cbd oil drop

Hemp oil vs CBD oil

Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between hemp oil and CBD oil, beginning with the major similarity between them.

Hemp oil vs CBD oil similarities

So, what’s the major similarity between hemp oil and CBD oil? It’s simple: both of them come from the hemp plant! Both of them are also extracted from parts of hemp that are especially rich in healthy nutrients and compounds.

Hemp oil vs CBD oil differences

They just come from different parts of it. Hemp oil is typically made from the pressed seeds of fertilised hemp plants. These seeds are rich in amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, major antioxidants, and a whole lot more — but they contain virtually no CBD. [2]

CBD oil, on the other hand, is typically extracted from the flowering buds of unfertilised (seedless) hemp plants. It’s rich in CBD, other cannabinoids, and an incredible number of terpenes — but contains virtually no major vitamins or minerals.

Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?

Not usually. Technically both types of oil we’ve mentioned above can be classified as hemp oil, as both of them come from hemp!

But it’s far more common for the term “hemp oil” to refer to hemp seed oil and “CBD oil” to refer to CBD-rich oil. If you see a hemp oil product for sale on Amazon or other sites, it’s safe to assume this product contains no CBD.

And that’s totally alright. Why? Because hemp oil and CBD oil are used for different things! Here’s how that works.

Hemp oil’s most common uses

Hemp oil is typically used to nourish one’s physical and mental health. It’s thought to be great for hair, skin, and nails, too.

You can thank its perfect ratio of healthy fatty acids and its impressive amino acid content for that. Some people even report less joint discomfort after consistent hemp oil use.

Hemp oil benefits list

  • Improved nutrient status
  • Improved protein uptake
  • Improved omega 3:6 ratio
  • Improved antioxidant status
  • Healthier skin, hair, and nails

CBD oil’s most common uses

CBD oil is usually used for more specific purposes. Many people use it to sleep better or recover faster from hard workouts. CBD oil is thought to activate your body’s endocannabinoid system, promoting some much-needed inner balance in the process.

Research shows the cannabinoids and terpenes in full spectrum CBD oil can bind to your body’s type-2 endocannabinoid receptors, in turn providing all sorts of downstream health benefits. [3]

CBD oil benefits list

  • Enhanced mental clarity
  • Reduced joint aches/pains
  • Improved inner-body balance
  • Improved fat-burning metabolism
  • Improved internal antioxidant status
  • Normalised circadian rhythm (sleep cycles)

CBD oil vs. hemp oil: miscellaneous differences

Here are a few more random differences between CBD oil and hemp oil:

  • CBD oil is usually more expensive
  • Hemp oil is usually easier to find
  • CBD oil is more closely regulated
  • Hemp oil can be certified organic
  • CBD oil contains aromatic terpenes
  • Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids
  • CBD oil contains a non-hemp carrier oil
  • Hemp oil doesn’t need any carrier oils
  • CBD oil often contains trace amounts of THC
  • Hemp oil shouldn’t contain any amount of THC
  • Hemp oil may be colourless and flavourless
  • CBD oil may have an earthy colour and flavour

Does hemp oil contain CBD?

Most commercially available hemp oils contain very little or no CBD. Unless the product in question is “full-spectrum” hemp oil, you can bet it contains no CBD or other cannabinoids.

Opt for a certified-organic hemp oil if you want to get your hands on an oil that’s free from impurities or residual toxins. This type of hemp oil is tested more extensively than most other hemp oils.

If CBD oil is what you seek, on the other hand, be sure to buy from a trusted brand that’s transparent with its customers. CBD oil can’t yet be certified organic, which makes it especially important to only buy from the best.

CBD oil vs hemp oil: closing thoughts

While CBD oil and hemp oil are quite different, both of them have a rightful place in any good health/wellness routine.

Feel free to use hemp oil for a general nutritional boost…then use CBD oil to activate your body’s inner balance and feel like yourself again. Both CBD oil and hemp oil achieve things that the other product can’t.

If we had to go with just one, we’d probably choose the CBD oil — thankfully, though, one doesn’t have to make those types of choices!

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1. Harrison J VanDolah , Brent A Bauer , Karen F Mauck, "Clinicians' Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils".
NIH:National Library of Medicine.,adverse%20effects%20of%20medical%20marijuana.
2. , "Hemp Seeds: Are They Good for You?".
3. R G Pertwee, "The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and delta9-tetrahydrocannabivarin".


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Disclaimer. While we strive to relay the most factual education available, this shouldn’t replace official medical or legal consultation and recommendation. This is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Happy days.

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