While they are similar in some ways, there are important differences between hemp oil and CBD oil.  As a consumer, it’s easy to get confused by phrases such as “cannabis oil” and “marijuana oil,” especially when many companies seem to use these terms interchangeably. Let’s take a closer look at hemp oil and CBD oil to learn how to distinguish the two.

Hemp and marijuana are cousins in the plant world. Hemp oil and CBD oil come from different strains of the Cannabis sativa plant. However, hemp oil contains low levels of CBD – typically less than 25 parts per million – while CBD oil can be up to 15% CBD.

Because the plants are related, some unscrupulous sellers of hemp oil are trying to market it for its medicinal value, which is negligible.

Even though hemp oil and CBD oil come from the same genus and species (Cannabis sativa), hemp oil is derived from a strain that has a very low cannabinoid count. CBD oil, on the other hand, is derived from the strains being used for medical purposes.


Hemp oil is fabricated from the plant called hemp. In other words, it is a hemp extract taken from the seeds of the plant. While this type of oil can be extracted from all plants in the cannabis genus, industrial hemp is the only plant used for hemp oil. One main purpose is a cooking oil.


CBD oil is the short form of the term cannabidiol oil. Cannabidiol is a natural component of industrial cannabis or hemp. CBD oil is cannabis oil that has a significant content of cannabidiol. It is made from the flowers, leaves and stalks of hemp and not from its seeds like hemp oil. CBD oil has become very popular in the medical marijuana industry, because it can be helpful in the treatment of various conditions without the typical intoxicating effects of marijuana use.

“Confusion amongst the public on how exactly hemp oil differs from cannabidiol, or CBD, oil, has prompted the nonprofit Hemp Industries Association to issue a statement explaining the difference between the oils in order to ensure that consumers — specifically, medical marijuana patients — are not misled about the intended uses.
Hemp is often mistaken for its cannabis cousin, marijuana, even though smoking an entire garbage bag of hemp would not produce an altered state of consciousness, as hemp contains low levels of THC. Confusion between hemp oil and marijuana oil has spiked recently, as states have passed medical marijuana laws that allow for the use of strains of marijuana that are low in THC and high in CBD. Consumers often confuse hemp oil with CBD oil because both are low in THC and contain CBD.
“With hemp research and development pilot programs taking off this spring, and the hemp retail market growing at an incredible rate, it’s crucial that consumers and retailers alike understand the difference between hemp oil and CBD extracts,” Eric Steenstra, executive director of Hemp Industries Association, said in a separate statement.

“Our Hemp Industries Association position regarding this distinction calls on makers of CBD products to brand and market their products truthfully and clearly, so as to not further the confusion surrounding CBD products in the marketplace.”

Though hemp oil does contain low levels of CBD, typically less than 25 parts per million (ppm), CBD extracts “are produced either directly from cannabis flowers that are up to 15 percent CBD (150,000 ppm), or indirectly as a co-product of the flowers and leaves that are mixed in with the stalks during hemp stalk processing for fiber.”
Because of this distinction, the association says, “It is important for American farmers and processors of hemp to understand that most CBD in products mislabeled as ‘hemp oil’ is a product of large-scale hemp stalk and fiber processing facilities in Europe where the fiber is the primary material produced at a large scale.
“CBD is not a product or component of hemp seeds, and labeling to that effect is misleading and motivated by the desire to take advantage of the legal gray area of CBD under federal law.”
Although hemp was once the most important cash crop in the United States — more so than corn and wheat combined — hemp was banned and classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. While classification as a Schedule I drug meant hemp could no longer be grown in the U.S., products containing hemp, such as lotions, fabric and food, are legal for purchase in the U.S. and are often found at natural and health food retailers including Whole Foods, Costco and Sprouts grocers.” From minitpressnews.com by Katie Rucke


Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors in your brain. Delta9-Tetrahydrocannbinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the most well-known cannabinoids. Others include:
• Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA)
• Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
• Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
• Cannabichromenate (CBCA)
• Cannabichromene (CBC)
• Cannabigerol (CBG)
• Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
• Cannabinol (CBN)
And this is, by no means, an exhaustive list. As of this writing, there are 113 different cannabinoids that each contribute their own part to the psychoactive and medicinal experience. So why learn about cannabinoids? Because cannabinoid content is a major component of the hemp oil vs. CBD oil debate.

Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: Cannabinoid Content

Marijuana growers typically focus on the two main cannabinoids: THC and CBD. They cross strains to create new versions that increase one cannabinoid while decreasing the other. For example, CBD has been shown to be extremely useful in treating many medical problems. Growers have thus created strains with high CBD and low THC, such as Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, and Sour Tsunami, to increase the medicinal effects without causing the psychoactive high.

Hemp Oil & CBD Oil Are Both Low In THC

Hemp oil and CBD oil are both low in THC when compared to other marijuana products. Most countries require that to be considered hemp, the THC concentration must be 0.3% or lower. There is no way to experience the marijuana high at such a low percentage. CBD oil may have a higher THC count, but the concentration is usually kept low (between 1% and 5%) in order to maximize the medicinal effects of the CBD. It all depends on the strain used to produce the CBD oil.

Hemp Oil Has Low CBD

Hemp oil has a very low CBD count (3.5%). This low concentration makes it all but useless as a medical treatment. Because of the low cannabinoid count (both THC and CBD), the hemp plant—and hemp oil in particular—has vastly different uses when compared to CBD oil. We’ll discuss those in the fourth section.

CBD Oil Has High CBD

CBD oil, on the other hand, has a very high CBD count (20%). This high concentration makes it ideal as a medical treatment for issues such as nausea, seizures, anxiety, depression, and even cancer.

As mentioned above, hemp oil is used for vastly different purposes than CBD oil.

Hemp Oil Is a Foodstuff & Industrial Product

Like olive oil or coconut oil, hemp oil is primarily a foodstuff. It’s high in:
• Polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6).
• Vitamin E
• Potassium
• Magnesium
• Vitamin B1
• Vitamin B2
Hemp oil is also used for various industrial purposes, including the production of shampoo, lotions, soaps, bio-diesel fuel, plastics, and paint. While hemp oil can provide benefits as part of healthy diet, it is nothing when compared to the health benefits of CBD oil.

CBD Oil Is a Medicine

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CBD oil is medicine.  Research has, and is, showing:
• Bone growth
• Cancer cell growth
• Bacteria growth
• Artery blockage
• Psoriasis
• Nervous system degeneration
• High blood sugar
• Insomnia
• Seizures and convulsions
• Muscle spasms
• Anxiety
• Psychoses
• Nausea and vomiting
• Low appetite
• Inflammation
• Chronic pain

Hemp oil does none of that!