When looking for natural oils for your skin and overall health, two oils that you are likely to come across are CBD oil and hemp oil. Traditionally, these two types of oils come from the hemp plant and that’s why it easy to confuse them. Additionally, with the recent CBD craze, many companies—in a bid to avoid legal problems with FDA—tend to use the term ‘hemp oil’ to market a wide range of CBD products. This even complicates the space even further when it comes to the difference between the two oils.

So, what is the difference between CBD and hemp oil? Let’s find out:


As hinted above, the two oils are derived from the hemp plant, which is a cannabis plant with high amounts of cannabidiol but extremely low levels of THC (around 0.3%). However, the oils are extracted from different parts of the plant. While hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, CBD oil is made using the whole plant—not just the seeds.

In most cases, the active ingredients in hemp oil are listed as ‘hemp oil’ or ‘organic, raw hemp seed oil’. On the other hand, CBD oil’s active ingredients are often listed as ‘whole plan extract’. Most CBD oil tinctures are also laced with carrier oils such as olive oil or MCT. Other common labels that are associated with CBD oil include full and broad-spectrum, phytocannabinoid-rich, or PCR.


The hemp plant is naturally rich in cannabidiol. So, given that CBD oil is produced from the whole plant, it contains high levels of cannabidiol. It might also contain other naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant like terpenes and phytocannabinoids.

On the other hand, hemp oil contains low levels of cannabidiol. In fact, if you come across a hemp oil product that doesn’t specify the amount of contained CBD in milligrams, there are high chances that it contains insignificant amounts of CBD or it simply not a valid CBD product. Additionally, hemp oil may still contain traces of THC, though not to an extent that it would make somebody high.

Methods of Production

Another major difference between CBD and hemp oil is related to the way they are manufactured or produced. Hemp seed oil is produced by cold-pressing the hemp seeds. Since CBD oil is extracted from the whole plant, more sophisticated extraction techniques are often used. Some of the most common methods of CBD oil extraction include the traditional solvent extraction or superficial fluid extraction (which is known in many social circles as CO2 extraction).


Another easy way for differentiating the two oils is to look at their colors. CBD oil, especially those derived from indoor CBD hemp flowers tends to be golden brown while hemp oil has a deep green color.


Because CBD and hemp oils are different, their benefits and application also vary significantly. To begin with, hemp oil is endowed with a lot of nutritional value. It is high in protein, contains vitamin E, and a host of other vital minerals that are beneficial to the body. It also contains essential fatty acids that your body needs to function optimally. Accordingly, hemp oil is commonly used for cooking and as salads. It is also found in a wide range of hair and skincare products.

The main reasons why people consume CBD oil is the beneficial effects of cannabidiols such as pain-relieving, stress and anxiety-relieving, treatment of arthritis, and its potential to fight cancer cells. It is, therefore, the main component in most CBD-rich products like topical, edibles, vapes, and other products that are often infused with cannabidiol.


Both CBD and help oils have a wide range of benefits to our bodies. For instance, they provide vitamins, minerals, and many important macronutrients that help the body to function optimally. However, as highlighted above, the two oils are different in terms of their ingredients, appearance, method of production, and uses. Hopefully, you can now choose what’s good for you depending on your goals and personal preferences. Most importantly, provided that you are going to use CBD oil or hemp oil derived from hemp plant instead of the marijuana variant, you can rest easy that you are using a legal product.