CBD Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil: What’s The Difference?

Imagine you’ve just experienced the following scenario:

You want to make some delicious Neapolitan-style pizza at home. The recipe says you need white flour as your base ingredient.

So, you go to the store to buy the white flour but the recipe doesn’t say whether you need plain flour, whole-wheat rye flour, all-purpose flour, or type 00 flour — all of which have different gluten concentrations.

But since you’re in a rush, you intuitively pick the whole-wheat rye flour.

Alas, by the time you arrive home, it turns out you’ve just made a huge mistake because this type of flour is the worst for making any kind of pizza — let alone the traditional “Neapoletana.”

The same analogy applies to buying cannabis oil.

Unless you’re able to distinguish between cannabis oil vs CBD hemp oil vs hemp seed oil, you’ll be throwing blind guesses. As a result, you’re very likely to end up with a product that doesn’t suit your needs at all.

In this article, we explain the basic classification of cannabis oils, highlighting key differences between CBD hemp oil and hemp seed oil in particular.

Summary: The Main Differences Between Cannabis Oils

Cannabis oil is an umbrella term to describe different types of products made from the plants that belong to the Cannabis sativa L. family.

Both marijuana CBD oil, CBD hemp oil, and hemp seed oil come from the same parent plant. However, this is where the similarities between these three products end.

Let’s have a look at different types of CBD oil:

1. Marijuana CBD Oil

Marijuana CBD oil is made from the marijuana flowers that have been selectively bred to contain high CBD content and lower THC levels (contrary to marijuana THC oil).

This product is typically used for medical purposes by users looking for the entourage effect in cannabis. Scientists believe that the combination of CBD and THC is key for unlocking the therapeutic potential of the plant.

There are no limits to the amount of THC you can get from marijuana-derived CBD oil — it all depends on the breeder. THC is the primary ingredient responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant.

Because of that, marijuana CBD oil is a controlled substance and you can buy it only in places with a legal marijuana market.

2. CBD Hemp Oil

CBD hemp oil (as the name suggests) is derived from hemp plants, which typically contain below 0.3% THC. There’s no high from using hemp-derived products.

The low THC content also allows hemp manufacturers to market their CBD oil as a health supplement rather than a therapeutic or recreational drug.

This makes CBD hemp oil legal in all 50 states.

Does it mean CBD hemp oil is ineffective? Not at all, it just means the current research is inconclusive and there’s a chance that both products may be better suited for different applications.

3. Hemp Seed Oil

Like CBD hemp oil, hemp seed oil comes from the same plant. But when you dig deeper into the subject, it turns out these two products are actually worlds apart.

The most important difference lies in their CBD content, which is nearly nonexistent in hemp seed oil.

Cannabinoids, terpenes, and all the other active compounds in hemp are contained in the resin of its flowers — not in the seeds.

On the other hand, hemp seed oil comes with a whole array of beneficial nutrients, such as fiber, protein, vitamin E, and omega fatty acids.

CBD Hemp Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

Now that you have a general understanding of the basic categorization of cannabis oils, it’s time to elaborate on the key differences between CBD hemp oil vs hemp seed oil.

Off we go!

1. Cannabis Oil Sources

CBD hemp oil is made from the plant’s flowers, which boast the highest concentrations of cannabinoid-rich resin.

Hemp seed oil uses only hemp seeds — these are void of any cannabinoids but contain many valuable nutrients you can (and even should) incorporate into your daily health regimen.

Once extracted, CBD oil is suspended in a carrier oil, such as MCT oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil. Some manufacturers infuse CBD oil into hemp seed oil so that the user can get the best of both worlds, but technically speaking, this is still CBD hemp oil — not hemp seed oil.

2. Different Extraction Method

CBD hemp oil uses solvent-based extraction methods. The solvent is either high-proof alcohol (for CBD tinctures) or supercritical CO2 (for CBD oil drops). The golden standard for CBD hemp oil is the CO2 extraction, as it ensures your CBD extract is potent and free of any toxic solvents.

Hemp seed oil is obtained in a completely different way, as it calls for cold-pressing the seeds using a mechanical press to separate the oil from the seeds. The process is almost identical to how cold-pressed olive oil is made.

3. Cannabinoid Content & Nutritional Value

Unrefined CBD hemp oil contains high levels of CBD along with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils.

This makes it particularly useful as a health supplement because it supports the function of your endocannabinoid system, a chemical network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate the majority of vital functions in the body and brain.

Hemp seed oil carries ZERO CBD but contains a variety of beneficial nutrients. This product is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 acids, wholesome protein, vitamin E, vitamin B2 and B6, and trace minerals.

4. Comparing the Benefits of Cannabis Oils

CBD hemp oil can enhance the overall well-being of individuals. It helps users maintain the chemical balance (homeostasis) in their bodies through stimulating the endocannabinoid system. This includes improved mood, sharpened focus, relief from stress, and works as a sleep aid.

On the other hand – when looking at hemp seed oil – its benefits are typically seen in the user’s hair and skin, with it typically being used for skin moisturizing and sebum management, as well as strong hair.

5. Comparing the Different Consumption Methods of Cannabis Oils

CBD oil can be consumed in many different formats.

The most popular consumption method is the sublingual use, which calls for placing a few drops of the oil beneath the tongue and waiting for about a minute until it gets absorbed by the mucous gland located there.

Other common consumption methods include softgel capsules, e-liquids, edibles, sprays, and topicals.

As for the hemp seed oil, this product can be mixed into any foods and beverages for increased nutritional value.

Alternatively, you can add it to a topical base of your choice to create a natural treatment for your skin and hair. Topicals using hemp seed oil include shampoos, body lotions, lipsticks, balms, heating rubs, hand creams, etc.

How to Make Sure You Always Buy the Right Cannabis Oil

First things first, pay attention to the terminology.

Look for products with descriptive labels. If you’re looking for CBD hemp oil, always go with a product that has this term written on the label. Steer clear of companies using vague names to describe their extracts, e.g. “cannabis oil” or “hemp oil.”

However, if the product of your choice comes from a trusted brand that receives many stellar reviews from satisfied customers — but it doesn’t clearly specify the source of its oil — make sure to always check the details on the label or at the bottom of the manufacturer’s website.

If it says “high in omega fatty acids and fiber, whole food, gluten-free,” it’s safe to assume you’re reading a description of hemp seed oil, as CBD hemp oil isn’t a food.

On the other hand, descriptions like “500 mg of CBD derived from industrial hemp and highly refined through a clean, supercritical CO2 extraction method,” are good indicators that you’re dealing with CBD hemp oil. Such products also come with supplement facts and directions of use, just as any health supplement on the market.

Summarizing the Difference Between CBD Hemp Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

The goal of this article was to give you the tools for distinguishing between different types of cannabis oils so that you always end up with the right product for your needs. Knowing the source of your CBD oil, the extraction method, its benefits and uses will make it super easy to pick from marijuana CBD oil vs hemp seed oil vs hemp CBD oil.

In order to minimize (or eliminate) the risk of getting ripped off, always buy your CBD oil from a trusted brand that can prove their claims with sheer facts instead of using shallow slogans and trying to shove their products down your throat.

Have you ever bought hemp seed oil instead of CBD hemp oil by mistake?


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Russo, E.B. (2018). The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9, 1969.