There is a huge common misconception that hemp oil and CBD oil are one and the same simply because they are derived from plants that are in the same family and those plants share very common features.  

The fact of the matter is, these two oils are extracted from different plants all together with unique purposes.  While there may be some similarities in the sense of minerals and vitamins, these two oils are very distinct and are utilized in varying ways.

Hemp Plant

To get a comprehensive understanding of what each oil can do, you must first have a clearer reference as to the plants they are procured from.  

The hemp plant is lauded for its sturdy fibers, and while it does happen to contain THC, its levels do not rival that of the cannabis plants grown for explicit consumption of marijuana or hashish.  

Products created from the hemp plant are used for both their practical but also nutrient-rich purposes minus the presence of the psychoactive component of THC.  The hemp plant is multifunctional as its fibers can be used for the production of clothing, rope, paper, fuel, home insulation, and much more.  

The seeds of the hemp plant are typically where oil is extracted from and contains trace amounts of CBD but no THC whatsoever.  Used for centuries, hemp oil has been incorporated into beauty products and food products.  The numerous ways in which it can be utilized is the main factor that sets it apart from the cannabis plant intended for use as marijuana or CBD production.  

Cannabis Plant

As mentioned before, the hemp plant and the cannabis plant stem from the same family, cannabis sativa.  While the hemp plant can be utilized in every aspect of its form, the cannabis plant is really only used for its leaves and seeds, the main purpose being of course the production of dried marijuana or to utilize the flowers, leaves, and seeds for CBC and THC oils.  

The amount of CBD and THC which can be extracted from this particular plant is far higher than that of the hemp.  Many CBD oil products used for beauty products and daily use do not contain THC.  But, the cannabis plant is essentially only utilized for the need of its seeds, flowers, and leaves, and not the stem or stalk-like its hemp counterpart. Concentration of THC and other cannabinoids varies depending on growing conditions, plant genetics and processing after harvest.

cannabis plants

Hemp Oil

So now that the differences between the plants have been discussed, let’s move on to the oils themselves.  

It’s no secret that the benefits of hemp oil, also referred to as hemp seed oil, are vast. After all, it’s been used for centuries.  But, because of its connection to other cannabis plant products, it often gets a bad rep and is lumped together with other products which are intended for more recreational use.  

Hemp oil’s numerous benefits run the gamut from muscle and joint pain relief, to acting as a super moisturizer ideal for use in skin care.

extracted juice from cannabis leaves

Soothing properties – Due to hemp’s high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids (yes, the same type found in fish as well as nuts and certain seeds!) it has been found to be a great resource to soothe the body.  Hemp has a rich source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a type of omega-6 fatty acid, which is what differentiates it from any other oil as it contains a 3:1 ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.  

Compared to CBD oil, hemp does not have the same hype surrounding its healing abilities.  What it does have is the ability to support normal absorption when combined with other effective pain relieving ingredients such as Trolamine salicylate, which is in the same drug family as aspirin.  Being a great moisturizer, the added ability to create that protective barrier previously mentioned is ideal for topical pain relief creams as it supports the body’s healing process.  When consumed orally, hemp oil’s concentration of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is an ideal natural source to soothe and calm the body.

Beauty products – Known as an occlusive moisturizer, hemp oil works to lock moisture in while creating a protective barrier at the same time.  When used in conjunction with other active ingredients such as retinol to boost collagen production, vitamin E which neutralizes free radicals and helps with aging, and vitamin C to correct skin tone, what is created is an effective product to combat aging skin issues.  

Paired with hyaluronic acid, the combination provides a supercharged boost of moisture and plumps the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Although hemp oil beauty products have been around for centuries, its use in today’s world is becoming more accepted as knowledge and clarification is slowly gained from consumers.  

Much like any other natural, plant-based ingredient, it has an abundance of minerals and vitamins which are ideal for topical application.  Cold pressing the hemp oil essentially eliminates THC, negating the common misconception that hemp oil has enough THC to create a high.  

This misunderstood oil has so much to offer, especially in the realm of beauty products that is now beginning to come to light as the stigma is slowly broken.  


While hemp oil does not contain any THC and has a more nourishing component to it, CBD oil can contain a trace amount of THC.  It is extracted from the cannabis plant that marijuana is derived from, and can be combined with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil.  On a physical level, CBD oil has a stronger effect on the body in terms of what it can support and its ability to affect your body just as a stand alone product.   

Pain – For thousands of years, marijuana has been used for pain, stemming as far back as 2900 B.C.  Modern medical science has led us to the discovery of what components of the cannabis plant can specifically provide certain benefits.  One of which is CBD.  

CBD oil usage is on the rise from topical ointments and creams, to the use of pure oils as a way to temporarily alleviate everyday aches and pains.  The effects of course are not long standing, but results can be felt fairly rapidly.

Mental Health – Along the same lines of pain relief, CBD has been shown to fair well in supporting mental wellness.  Its ability to calm has been seen to be a very effective method in supporting mental wellness and improving overall mood. 

Skin – CBD’s soothing properties have been shown to help reduce the appearance of acne by reducing sebum production, which is the body’s naturally produced oils that can clog pores in excess.  Though not as widely known or utilized in comparison to its above two benefits, it is a benefit that can be useful when seeking healthy skin!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, the distinction has been made clear about the vast differences between hemp and CBD oils.  Both are great sources of a natural form of nutrients, minerals, and pain alleviating properties.  

The biggest issue in the world of hemp and CBD oil products today are the misconceptions as to what each product has the ability to provide, as well as mislabelling.  Hemp seed oil is much less expensive to produce than its CBD counterpart.  It does not carry the same properties or can do the same to your body as a CBD product can in terms of pain management.  

The use for hemp oil is much more as a supplemental ingredient which provides nutrient dense moisture and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.  CBD oils on the other hand are a more costly product and require more work to extract from the cannabis plant.  It is a more concentrated and potent oil which can contain hemp seed oil in it, but does not require it in order to exert effects, as it works as a stand alone agent.  

To try anything new whether it has been around for centuries or not should be carefully researched and understood, especially when it comes to seemingly controversial products such as hemp and CBD oils.  While products and uses are now more commonly sold, it is still in today’s society, a relatively new realm.  

If you’re still feeling hesitant, you can always consult a doctor prior to starting any new treatments or products which you are unfamiliar with to ensure that you will be making as informative a decision about your health as possible!