What’s the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

by Jane Meggitt

Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil? Don’t they come from the same plant? Although some people use the terms interchangeably, there’s actually a considerable difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, and they don’t necessarily come from the same plant. Also, the two oils are best suited to distinct purposes.

Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil

Hemp oil always comes from the hemp plant, and it does not contain any THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. CBD oil can also come from a hemp plant, but it may come from other varieties of Cannabis sativa. Hemp oil derives from Cannabis sativa varieties containing less than 0.3 percent of THC, and the plant‘s seeds are used to make hemp oil. CBD oil comes from the plant’s leaves, flowers and stalks. A trace amount of THC is present in CBD oil; it’s not enough to make the user high but could lead to a positive result if the individual is subject to employer drug-testing. That’s just one reason why reading the label is critical when choosing between CBD and hemp oil.

The Legal Status

Although the number of cannabis legalizations at the state level continues to grow, it is still illegal on the federal level. That also makes a difference when considering hemp oil vs. CBD oil. In states where cannabis is legal, CBD oil is made from the flowers, stalks and leaves of Cannabis sativa. However, in states that haven’t legalized cannabis, CBD oil is made only from hemp plant stalks.

Is CBD Oil the Same as Hemp Oil for Users?

While there is a great deal of crossover between the two products, in many situations one type of oil is preferred over the other. If you want to use an oil primarily for medicinal purposes, CBD oil is your best bet. Keep in mind that while the FDA doesn’t permit CBD oil manufacturers to make medical claims for their product, CBD oil possesses pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties not found in hemp oil. CBD oil can lift mood, quell anxiety and help users get a good night’s sleep. It’s long been used to reduce seizures in those suffering from epilepsy, and may help in cancer treatment. It can even combat acne!

Hemp oil has its own health benefits, but these fall more into the nutritional department than symptom relief. It contains many essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, D and E. It’s also good for applying topically to fight lines and wrinkles and keep skin feeling smooth. You can use CBD oil on your skin, but it doesn’t absorb nearly as well as its hemp oil cousin, and you’ll have to use much more of it. If you like to cook, you’ll love hemp oil in the kitchen. Its nutty, rich flavor makes it an excellent addition to many dishes. Although it is an oil, don’t fry with it–hemp oil smokes at a lower temperature than most other cooking oils.

Read the Label

When purchasing CBD or hemp oil, it’s important to read the label. There are marketers out there who market hemp oil as CBD oil–and the latter is usually more expensive than the former. The label should clearly state whether the product contains hemp or CBD oil. If you aren’t sure, ask questions. For best results, always purchase your CBD or hemp oil products from a trusted source. In addition, look for the concentration level on the label, which should range between 250 and 1,000 mg of CBD per fluid ounce. If it’s important to you, check out THC levels, too.

Jane Meggitt’s work has appeared in dozens of publications, including USA Today, The Alternative Daily, nj.com, The Houston Chronicle and The Nest. She is a graduate of New York University.