CBD Oil And Hemp Oil
7 min

What Is The Difference Between CBD Oil And Hemp Oil?

7 min
CBDshop Research

CBD and hemp oil both have a special place in a healthy lifestyle, but they have their differences. CBD oil is emerging as a medicine with many applications and a lot of science to back it up. Hemp oil is packed full of nutrients and makes a great food or supplement.

Now that cannabis prohibition seems to be slowly but surely retreating into the past, business in the worldwide weed industry is booming. With exponential growth comes novel innovation. Today, many new products and production methods are appearing in higher frequencies. This is primarily a good thing for consumers and businesses, contributing to more diversity in the marketplace. This allows customers to choose from a wide array of options that suit their lifestyles and specific needs.

Those who are new to purchasing cannabis products may, however be a bit confused or overwhelmed by the multitude of merchandise available. Especially without conducting research beforehand, buying products can become a logistical nightmare. Perhaps one of the main sources of confusion within the cannabis space is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. This disorientation is due in part to unclear terminology used by manufacturers, as well as misguided attempts by marketers.


Because CBD is a primary cannabinoid that has been shown to potentially assist in treating a range of minor to serious medical conditions, it is important that those seeking therapeutic products know the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil to achieve optimal results. Although these two products are technically derived from the same species of plant, their contents are unique to one another.


The main distinction between Hemp and CBD oil is what variety of plant they are derived from and what parts of the plant are used. Hemp oil, commonly referred to as hemp seed oil, is made from pressing cannabis seeds to extract the fatty oil from within. This oil is highly nutritious and has many beneficial applications, yet isn’t particularly medicinal.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is usually sourced from the flowers of cannabis plants through various methods of extraction and has much more of a medicinal effect. With that said, CBD oil can also be extracted from the flowers of industrial hemp as it may contain high percentages of CBD with lower concentrations of THC.



So, what exactly is the difference between hemp and cannabis? This is perhaps where most of the confusion between hemp and CBD oil comes from. To make things clear, hemp and cannabis are technically the same species of plant: Cannabis sativa. Species of cannabis can be bred to retain different levels of cannabinoids, resulting in unique genetics used for diverse purposes. Put side by side, novices may be unable to tell the distinction between a hemp variety versus psychoactive cannabis, but their chemical contents tell a different story.

As most readers are probably aware, cannabis contains the constituent THC. This is the cannabinoid responsible for inducing the psychoactive effects or “high” of cannabis when it is eaten, smoked or vaporised. THC is the basis for cannabis’ tumultuous, prohibitory past, banned by governments internationally until very recently. This stems from historic ignorance, corruption and prejudice and resulted in decades of thriving black market business.


Hemp Legal Status

However, hemp remains legal in many parts of the world and is used in various industries for the production of fibre, paper, food and fuel. What if people start smoking hemp to get high? Unfortunately for the stoner, this isn’t possible, which is largely it is legal. Numerous countries consider cannabis to be “hemp” when it contains less than 0.3% THC. This is a negligible amount that you won’t be able to feel.

Most hemp plants have been bred to sustain even lower concentrations of THC, resulting in crops that are tall and slender: optimised for manufacturing industries.



Cannabis is an umbrella term that covers all subspecies. Varieties differ physically and in terms of effects. When cultivators use the term “cannabis,” this often refers to plants that are cultivated for recreational and medical purposes, maintaining high levels of THC and CBD to boot.

Cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis all exist in this category, along with hybrids. All of these plants have slightly different characteristics. With increasing coverage on the ameliorative effects of CBD, many cannabis strains have recently been optimised to contain significantly higher levels of CBD over THC.

Many CBD oils are sourced from the flowers of cannabis plants. CBD and THC are both secreted in the resinous heads of trichomes and can be harvested to achieve the highest concentration of beneficial ingredients.


How Is CBD Oil Made?

To make CBD oil, one must first start with a high CBD strain. As we discussed earlier, extracts can either be derived from selectively bred cannabis flowers or hemp flowers.

There are various techniques used to extract CBD and other constituents of the cannabis plant. CO2 extraction is perhaps the most expensive method, but it yields great results. CO2 is one of the “cleanest” methods of extraction as it does not use toxic solvents like butane or propane.

Alcohol extraction is another method. High-proof solutions can pull cannabinoids from plant matter, but may harm other valuable molecules in the process. Other techniques, such as oil extraction and ice-water extraction can be used to varying results.


The best quality hemp seed oil is created using a cold press. This technique presses the oil out of the seeds, without heating them past a certain temperature.

Hemp seed oil has a wide array of applications and can be used in cooking, recipes and cosmetic products. Hemp seeds contain incredibly high levels of protein and are often infused into hemp milk as a dairy alternative.


Health Benefits And Uses Of CBD Oil

Now that we have explored the difference between hemp seed and CBD, let us examine the health advantages of each, discovering how they can be used as dietary supplements, or forms of alternative medicine.

CBD is gaining some serious popularity as a medicinal cannabinoid and is seen as more practical than its psychoactive counterpart THC.

With greater research emerging regarding the human endocannabinoid system, CBD may be more important than we previously understood. The endocannabinoid system is composed of receptor sites located on cells all throughout the human body. Cannabinoids, including CBD, bind to those sites and can regulate important physiological processes from memory to pain.


Anxiety And Stress

CBD has been studied in relative depth and appears to emit profound anxiolytic effects. In fact, the cannabinoid is already being considered as an effective replacement for habit-forming pharmaceutical drugs which may relieve anxiety, but come with severe side effects and the risk of overdose-related fatalities.

A scientific review titled “Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug” was conducted with the intention of exploring CBD’s function as an anti anxiety drug and its proposed mechanism of action. The authors identified that anti anxiety effects were noted in both animal and human subjects.

The authors concluded that, “Future clinical trials involving patients with different anxiety disorders are warranted, especially of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorders. The adequate therapeutic window of CBD and the precise mechanisms involved in its anxiolytic [anti anxiety] action remain to be determined.”


Further research has determined a possible use of CBD as an anti anxiety medication concerning generalised social anxiety disorder, a form of anxiety that is augmented by social environments and interactions.

A study published within the journal Neuropsychopharmacology displayed how CBD may help the condition. Researchers gave 600mg of CBD to a group of subjects with generalised anxiety disorder, yet had never received treatment for it in the past. The participants then took part in a public speaking simulation to generate an environment that would most likely exacerbate their condition.

The authors discovered that “Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.”

At this point, it’s hard to deny that CBD poses legitimate potential in mediating anxiety.


Canceris a notorious disease and one of the leading causes of death in Western countries. Triggered by both genetic and environmental factors, cancer spread is often catalysed by DNA damage, uncontrolled cell growth and mutation, which leads to tumour development. Conventional treatments for cancer are extremely harsh on the body, with radiation and chemotherapy being the procedures of choice in many western hospitals.

Cannabis has accrued some serious recognition as a potential cancer treatment with very few side effects. Multiple cannabinoids produced by the plant have displayed antitumour activity, and CBD is one of them.

A study on “Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug” published within the journal British Pharmacological Society discusses the potential role of cannabinoids as a cancer treatment. The authors posit that the endocannabinoid system may have significance here. They conclude that, “Collectively, the non-psychoactive plant-derived cannabinoid CBD exhibits pro-apoptotic and antiproliferative actions in different types of tumours and may also exert anti-migratory, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and perhaps anti-angiogenic properties. On the basis of these results, evidence is emerging to suggest that CBD is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread.”


Additional research has explored the potential of CBD in the treatment of brain tumours, specifically human glioma cells, a cancer that originates in the brain or spine. A paper titled “Anti tumour effects of cannabidiol, a non psychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines” explored these potentialities.

The researchers state, “In conclusion, the non-psychoactive CBD was able to produce a significant anti tumour activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic [acting to halt or inhibit a tumour] agent.”

These represent only a few of the studies discussing CBD’s role in cancer treatment, as THC has long been used to help cancer patients cope with side effects of the disease and its aggressive treatments.


CBD Oil Treatment

Another medical venue where CBD poses extremely promising assets is in treating certain forms of epilepsy. This in particular has accounted for a lot of CBD’s publicity in international media. Furthermore, its effects have inspired updates in legislation. Desperate parents whose kids suffer from a rare form of the disease called Dravet syndrome have shared their success in reducing seizures and other symptoms. Recently, more videos have surfaced on the web showing the incredible potential of CBD in halting and suppressing violent seizures.

Scientists have thoroughly explored this connection, yielding positive results. One such study titled published in the journal Epilepsy and Behaviour consisted of a survey of parents who administered CBD to their child with epilepsy.

The survey consisted of 19 children, 13 of which had Dravet syndrome. The remaining six were diagnosed with other forms, 4 of which had Doose syndrome, one of which had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and one had idiopathic epilepsy. The survey showed that 84 percent of children experienced a reduction in seizure frequency. 11 percent reported complete seizure freedom, 42 percent reported greater than 80 percent reduction in the amount of seizures experienced and 32 percent reported a 25-60 percent seizure reduction. Other beneficial effects that were noted included increased alertness, better mood and improved sleep.


Although hemp seed oil does not parallel the use of CBD oil as a medicine, it does offer a highly nutritious option as an ingredient and dietary supplement. Hemp seeds contain over 30 percent fat and are very rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They also serve as a fantastic source of plant based energy, with protein accounting for 25% of their overall calories.


Some data show that hemp seeds contain 6mg of vitamin E per every 100g of seeds. This makes up a decent portion of the recommended daily intake of 30mg per day. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that helps to balance cholesterol, fight free radicals, contribute to skin health and may even balance hormones.


Hemp seeds contain 1100mg of phosphorus per 100g. This exceeds the recommended daily intake, which is 1000mg per day, making hemp seed a perfect source of the mineral. Phosphorus is associated with bone maintenance, detoxification, increased energy levels, dental health and cognitive function.


Hemp seeds offer 900mg of potassium per 100g, which accounts for an impressive amount of the suggested daily intake of 2000mg. Potassium is an important mineral and may play an important role in anxiety and stress relief, as well as heart and kidney disorders. It serves as the third most common mineral within the human body.

Potassium deficiency symptoms can manifest in anaemia, heart palpitations and headaches. The mineral contributes to bone health, brain function and muscular strength among other benefits.


Hemp seeds contain 450mg of magnesium per every 100g, smashing the recommended daily intake of 400mg per day. Again, this secures hemp seed as a great food for achieving certain dietary and nutritional requirements. Magnesium plays an important role in helping to increase energy, ease anxiety, relieve muscle aches, prevent migraines and encourage heart health.


Hemp seeds contain 1.3mg of vitamin B1 per every 100g, closing in on the recommended daily intakes of 1.5mg each day. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, plays an integral part in the health of the nervous system, hair, skin, eyes, mouth and liver.


Hemp seeds contain 1.2mg of vitamin B2 per 100g. This fulfills a large quantity of the recommended daily intake, which is 1.7mg per day. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, plays a vital role in energy production.


  Luke Sumpter  

Written by: Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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