The difference between Hemp Seed Oil vs CBD Oil

When exploring cannabidiol (CBD) and its potential benefits, many consumers often get confused with terminologies. In most cases, the products come in a 1-ounce glass bottle with different kinds of names on the labels. For example, full-spectrum hemp oil, hemp-derived CBD extract, and etc.

While walking around and exploring products, you suddenly land in a product labeled “hemp oil”. After a few steps, you get a different product labeled “hemp seed oil”. You are now left in confusion wondering what the difference might be.

CBD oil is either extracted from two main sources; Marijuana or hemp. In terms of molecules, there is no significant difference between CBD oil from hemp and that from marijuana. However, marijuana and hemp plants vary slightly in chemical composition. That will be discussed later in this article.

Is Hemp Seed Oil and Hemp Oil the Same?

From the word go, there is a difference between the two. Hemp oil which can also be called CBD oil is a CBD-rich extract from the leaves and flowers of a hemp plant. On the other hand, the hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of hemp plants.

CBD oil, whether extracted from marijuana or hemp plants, is consumed in many forms like edibles, topicals. capsules and tinctures for different purposes; medicinal or recreational. For hemp seed oil, it is consumed as a food supplement because of its high nutritional value. Hemp seeds are rich in vitamins, fiber, proteins, a mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other minerals.

There are so many ways to consume hemp seed oil. One of the ways is through smoothies and cereals. It can still be part of any meal; there are no restrictions. In health food stores and shops, you will often find it on shelves next to fish and flaxseed oils.


To maintain nutritional value, hemp seed is extracted through cold pressing of the seeds. But for Hemp oil or CBD oil which is extracted from the leaves and flowers, there are several methods of extraction. CBD concentration is more in the leaves and flowers than other parts of the plant. In the seeds, CBD concentration is very small to the extent that it is considered non-existent. So hemp seed oil may have traces of CBD but very small to have an impact.

Despite hemp seed oil and CBD oil is extracted from the same plant, the two are significantly different. So it is clear that hemp seed oil is not classified as CBD oil but flowers and leaves of a hemp plant are a source of CBD oil.

Marijuana Vs. Hemp Plants

We already know that CBD oil is derived from either marijuana or hemp plants. The two are simply different varieties of cannabis plants. For decades, fiber from hemp plants has been used to make textiles, paper, and building materials. This is why it is sometimes called industrial hemp. The other parts like leaves, flowers, and seeds have been used as food.

In the United States, hemp and Marijuana are defined differently. Industrial hemp is defined as a variety of Cannabis Sativa that has less than 0.3% THC content. On the other hand, marijuana is defined as a variety of Cannabis plants with more than 0.3% THC content.

Other countries define them differently. For example, the European Union THC limit for industrial hemp is 0.2%. Despite many US states decriminalizing the use of marijuana, the Federal Controlled Substance Act lists it as a Schedule I drug. This has stalled most pieces of research on cannabis.

Resin content varies between the two varieties; marijuana has more resin than industrial hemp. This is another significant difference between marijuana and hemp. Because of this difference, marijuana offers more CBD oil than hemp.

What are the Types of CBD Oil?

CBD oil is normally available in three types; CBD isolates, THC-free distillate (broad-spectrum CBD), and full-spectrum CBD (whole plant). It does not matter whether it is extracted from marijuana or hemp, you will find CBD products as either of the three.

CBD extracts are obtained using different methods. Some are solvent-based while others are non-solvent. For solvent-based methods, the main solvents used include butane, hexane, or propane. The single non-solvent method available uses supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2). It happens to be a popular choice among industries. Whichever the method used, if refining is not done, there will definitely be traces of THC

The Farm Bill legalizes industrial hemp and its related products but most states consider even traces of THC to be illegal. This is the primary reason most individuals go for CBD isolates and Broad-spectrum CBD.


To make THC -free distillate, the unrefined extract is distilled in vacuum pressure and extremely high heat to capture CBD. In the process, the rest of the compounds are left behind. For CBD isolates, one more step is required. Pentane is used to crystallize CBD as a single compound which is then filtered and dried. The resulting product is about 99.9% CBD.

What types of CBD oil is Best

Choosing the best types of CBD oil is more dependent on personal preferences. Full-spectrum extracts contain other cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBG, etc, active terpenes which work together to offer an entourage effect.
The “entourage effect” comes as a result of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active compounds in the cannabis plant working together. This is normally taken as a superior effect compared to what isolates offer. The quality of the hemp plant can affect the end product and the best option is to purify it through refining processes. In unfriendly states, stick to CBD isolates or THC-free distillates to avoid legal repercussions.

Contaminants like pesticides and herbicides affect the quality of CBD products. Hemp should be allowed to grow naturally and organically for the sake of consumers’ health. Farmers are growing high-quality and productive strains following the 2018 Farm Bill.

To ensure purity and quality, CBD oil products are tested in accredited third-party labs. Quality products have clear labels showing all the components present. Unfortunately, dosing is not included in the labels because it depends on the consumer. Always remember to check the labels properly for CBD oil and not hemp seed oil. No more confusion.


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