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Hemp Oil vs CBD oil: the differences


Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: What's the Difference?

With the growing acceptance of cannabis products and states increasingly legalizing marijuana, it's no surprise that CBD oil is becoming more popular. According to a recent Gallup poll,[i] 64 percent of Americans are familiar with CBD or its products, and one-third of American adults have tried it. Less popular than CBD oil but still generating buzz is hemp oil. Hemp oil and CBD oil are both derived from cannabis plants, but what's the difference between them?

Hemp oil Vs. CBD oil

What is CBD oil? This question is more complex to answer than it may seem. CBD oil is extracted from cannabis plants and can be used in various ways, including topically, orally, or even vaped with CBD vape kits. Many people compare CBD oil to hemp oil because they come from the same plant, but there are some key differences.

The main difference[ii] between hemp oil, also referred to as hemp seed oil, and CBD oil is that the former is made from the seeds of the cannabis plant, while CBD oil is made from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the plant. Hemp oil is an excellent source of protein and omega-three fatty acids, while CBD oil contains high cannabidiol (CBD), a compound with therapeutic benefits.

Neither hemp oil nor CBD oil is psychoactive, meaning they contain no or little THC compound that gets users high. Hemp oil is often used as a food additive, and CBD oil is used to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Hemp oil is gaining traction as a treatment for various ailments, including skin disorders and stress. Some studies [iii]have shown that hemp oil may help with Alzheimer's and cardiac health, while CBD oil is being used to treat conditions[iv]like anxiety (more in HERE on topic), chronic pain, and epilepsy.

Another significant difference between the two is their production process.[v] Hemp oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the cannabis plant, while CBD oil is extracted using CO₂ or ethanol. As a result, hemp oil is less concentrated in CBD than CBD oil.

Because it takes more time and money to make CBD oil, generally considered the more beneficial cannabinoid, it's more expensive[vi] than hemp oil. Hemp oil is a great choice for those looking for an affordable, nutrient-rich option, while CBD oil is better for people with specific medical conditions.

What is CBD Oil Good For? 

CBD oil is certainly more popular than hemp oil. What makes more people lean toward CBD oil than hemp oil is the fact that the former contains all the compounds of the cannabis plant, including cannabidiol (CBD), which has been shown to have therapeutic benefits in several studies. Unlike CBD, hemp oil doesn't contain CBD[vii] and is not as beneficial for treating some medical conditions.

Some of the conditions CBD oil is used to treat include anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Preliminary research suggests that CBD oil may help with other diseases such as cardiovascular health and cancer.[viii] A 2017 medical study, [ix]for example, found that a single dose of CBD lowered blood pressure in human volunteers more than those who received a placebo. 

"This data shows that acute administration of CBD reduces resting [blood pressure] BP and the BP increase to stress in humans, associated with increased [heart rate] HR," the study concluded. "These hemodynamic changes should be considered for people taking CBD. Further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders."

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved[x] the first cannabidiol (Epidiolex) drug to treat two forms of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The FDA permitted the medication to be used on people as young as two years old. 

Full spectrum CBD oil is one of the most popular choices[xi] for CBD oil, containing all the compounds of the cannabis plant. This type of CBD oil is thought to be more beneficial than other CBD oil types because it also has other cannabinoids and terpenes, which are believed to work synergistically with CBD to enhance its therapeutic effects.

What is Hemp Oil Good For? 

As mentioned briefly earlier, hemp oil benefits include being a good source[xii] of protein and omega-three fatty acids, making it a good choice for those looking for an alternative to animal-based proteins or supplements. Hemp oil also contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA),[xiii] an Omega-six fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. 

"This can help to calm inflammation and irritation on the skin, including acne and some conditions like psoriasis, while keeping the skin nourished and moisturized," read a medically-reviewed article by Alan Carter on Healthline.

Hemp oil's cholesterol-lowering potential has also been highlighted in a recent WebMD article.[xiv]

"Hemp seed oil is rich in linoleic acid," the article read. "Studies have shown that eating a diet high in linoleic acid significantly reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol levels reduces your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease."

Potential Side Effects of Hemp Oil and CBD Oil 

As with any medication or natural remedy, there are potential side effects associated with hemp oil and CBD oil. Hemp oil's possible side effects[xv] include diarrhea, throat irritation, nausea and vomiting, bradycardia, slow heart, hypertension or high blood pressure. Some people may also experience a rash after using hemp oil.

According to Mayo Clinic, CBD oil's possible side effects[xvi] include dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue, adding that CBD oil can also interact with other medications, including blood thinners.

Neither hemp oil nor CBD oil should be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women without consulting a physician.

How to Choose the Best Quality Hemp Oil or CBD Oil 

You should also know that the FDA doesn't regulate[xvii] CBD or hemp oil, so there is no guarantee of quality or consistency from product to product. When looking for a good quality hemp oil or CBD oil, it's essential to do your research and read reviews.

FDA, however, regulates that no cannabis sativa plants grown in the United States may contain more than 0.03 percent THC. This ensures that hemp oil and CBD oil products sold in the United States are of high quality and do not have psychoactive effects.

Prominent publications such as Forbes and Healthline[xviii] publish their top-rated CBD oil products, which can help you when choosing a quality hemp oil or CBD oil. But, as always, do your research before making a purchase.

Another factor to consider when choosing hemp oil or CBD oil is the form in which you would like to take it. CBD oil can be taken orally, applied topically, or vaped. Hemp oil is most often consumed orally but can also be used as a topical ointment or in cooking.

It all comes down to what you're looking for in hemp oil or CBD oil and what your body is most comfortable with. You might have to try a few different products before you find the perfect one for you.

In brief, both hemp oil and CBD oil can be great options for those looking for alternative medications or other remedies. Hemp oil is a good source of protein and omega-three fatty acids, while CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce cholesterol levels. However, hemp oil and CBD oil can also have side effects, so it's essential to do your research before choosing a product. And remember, the FDA doesn't regulate CBD or hemp oil, so be sure to read reviews before purchasing. Hemp oil and CBD oil come in many forms, so find the one that works best for you! 



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[1] WebMD Editorial Contributors. (2020). Hemp Oil: Is It Good for You? [online] Available at:

[1] Caporuscio, J. (2020). Hemp seed oil vs. CBD oil: Differences, types, uses, effects, and more. [online] Available at:

[1] Kriegel, D. (2021). 7 Key Differences Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil. [online] Available at: 

[1] Good Hemp. (2020). Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: Differences & 2021 Trends. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Jan. 2022].

[1] Kubala, J. (2021). 6 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects). [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Jan. 2022].

[1] Jadoon, K.A., Tan, G.D. and O’Sullivan, S.E. (2017). A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight, 2(12).

[1] WebMD. (n.d.). Health Benefits of CBD. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Jan. 2022].

[1] Cordin, E. (2021). 5 Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil of 2021 - Blog. [online] The Island Now. Available at: [Accessed 30 Jan. 2022].

[1]  WebMD Editorial Contributors (2020). Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil. [online] WebMD. Available at:

[1] Frothingham, S. (2019). Hemp Oil Benefits: For Inflammation, Skin, PMS, and Menopause. [online] Available at:

[1] WebMD Editorial Contributors (2020). Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil. [online] WebMD. Available at:

[1] Christiansen. S (2021) What Is Hemp? [online] Available at:

[1] Mayo Clinic. (2018). CBD: Safe and effective? [online] Available at:

[1] Hall, A. (2021). Best CBD Oil Of 2022. [online] Forbes Health. Available at:

[1] Cronkleton, E. (2019). Choosing a CBD Oil: 10 Favorite Oils to Try. [online] Healthline. Available at:


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