December 10, 2021

CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil: Which is Better & Why

CBD oil is frequently hemp-derived, so does that mean CBD oil = hemp oil? Nope!

The truth is, these two oils are very different from each other and should not be used interchangeably. But something that’s advertised as hemp oil may really be CBD oil and vice versa. So it’s important to clear up what’s what.

If you're looking for something that offers the claimed benefits of CBD — stress relief, pain management, and more — you gotta know the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil.

We know it can get confusing, but we’ve got your back. We'll talk about both of these products, their major benefits, and how to choose what's best for you!

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the extract of a naturally-occurring cannabinoid, typically derived from the flowers, stems, and leaves of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains over 100 different types of cannabinoids.

THC is the one known to create a "high," but CBD is an incredibly popular cannabinoid that doesn't make you feel high because it has no psychoactive properties.

CBD oil can come in three main varieties:

  • Isolate CBD: The CBD oil contains only cannabidiol (CBD).
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: The CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids it started with, minus THC.
  • Full-spectrum CBD: The CBD oil contains all the original cannabinoids with nothing removed.

CBD oil is often used to help people manage everything from stress and pain to nausea and sleep issues. Broad-spectrum CBD is particularly popular as it offers much of the benefits of the cannabis plant without the unwanted psychoactive effects.

CBD Oil Benefits

Different studies have found some evidence that CBD oil may:

  • Help with chronic pain
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression
  • Promote restful sleep
  • Reduce muscle spasms and seizures

What’s CBD Oil Used In?

One of the most popular uses for CBD oil includes the manufacture of CBD tinctures and water-soluble CBD drops. In these CBD products, the CBD extract is combined with carrier oils and other ingredients to help your body effectively absorb the CBD oil and produce desired results.

CBD oil can also be found inside CBD softgels, and infused into other edible products like CBD gummies. You'll also find topical applications such as CBD creams. There’s truly a wide range of CBD oil products available to meet your preferences and needs.

What Is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil — also often referred to as hemp seed oil — is an oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil is full of the three polyunsaturated fatty acids:(1)

  • Linoleic acid (omega-6)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3)
  • Gamma linolenic acid

It’s also full of antioxidants and vitamins, and — similar to isolate and broad-spectrum CBD — hemp oil has no THC in it. It can’t get you high.

Hemp Oil Benefits

Hemp oil contains no cannabinoids like CBD, so it has very different uses. Here are some of the benefits of hemp seed oil:

  • High in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to reduce high blood pressure(1)
  • Abundant in omega-6s, which are known to reduce total cholesterol and support heart health(1)
  • Moisturizes without clogging pores(2)
  • May reduce eczema symptoms(3)

What’s Hemp Oil Used In?

Like CBD oil, you can find many different types of products that use hemp oil — with a few big differences.

You can definitely find hemp oil as a tincture, similar to CBD tinctures. But unlike CBD oil, you’re more likely to find hemp seed oil sold as a culinary oil. As such, hemp oil is often used in salad dressings or sauces or added to food products like snack bars.

Lastly, hemp oil is a common additive in the beauty and personal care realm. Given its moisturizing qualities, hemp seed oil is a winning ingredient for many self-care products.

CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil: Key Differences

CBD oil can be made from either the hemp or marijuana strains of the cannabis plant. It's frequently extracted from hemp because the 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp federally legal.

So, CBD oil often has hemp oil in the product. But as the name suggests, CBD definitely has the cannabinoid cannabidiol in it. And potentially a whole host of other cannabinoids — if the CBD oil is full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD.

However, hemp oil does not contain any CBD in it. Nor does it ever contain any other cannabinoids.

Additionally, both CBD oil and hemp oil are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. CBD is thought to be a stronger inflammation buster, though.(4)

How To Tell If A Product Is CBD Oil Or Hemp Oil

To make things even more confusing, sometimes retailers will call a product that contains CBD in it “hemp” oil. But you know better now, so be sure to inspect the label to know what you're getting.

CBD products should always come with a certificate of analysis (COA) issued by a third-party lab. The COA will clearly state all the ingredients present in the CBD oil.

Which Is Better: CBD Oil Or Hemp Oil?

The answer is: It depends! There are plenty of benefits to both CBD oil and hemp seed oil, so the answer isn't cut and dry. You'll need to consider your own personal needs before choosing which product will work best for you.

When it comes to CBD oil vs hemp oil, the truth is that they are two very different oils with unique applications and benefits.

Choose CBD oil if you want:

  • Cannabidiol and — if desired — other cannabinoids in your oil
  • The combined benefits of all the cannabis compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids)
  • The potential for reduced stress and anxiety, greater pain relief, or to catch more Zzzz

Opt for hemp oil if you're looking for:

  • Zero cannabinoids
  • A culinary oil with more nutritional benefits
  • A product to support your skincare routine

A Dropperful of Knowledge

Knowing the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil, you can choose the product that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

  • CBD oil is generally made from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the hemp or marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant. It contains cannabinoids, which could offer a range of mental and physical wellness perks.
  • Hemp (seed) oil is made from the seed of the hemp plant. It’s most often used in culinary or nutritional applications or in beauty care.

If you want to use CBD oil for its myriad of benefits, pick a broad-spectrum CBD. This way you can enjoy all the various cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that come with it! Be sure to choose high-quality CBD oil products for the best experience.



  1. Brennan, D. (2020). Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil. WebMD.
  2. Frothingham, S. (2019). What Are the Benefits of Hemp Oil? Healthline.
  3. Callaway, J, et al. (2005). Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. The Journal of dermatological treatment.
  4. Caporuscio, J. (2020). What is the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil? Medical News Today.

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