When some hear the word hemp, the immediate connection is to marijuana or any other type of cannabis-based product.  It is a huge misconception, stemming from the fact that hemp is true of the same plant family as marijuana, but a different type altogether.  

Hemp itself is a multipurpose plant, from the leaves, flowers, stems, and everything in between.  The extract of this very versatile plant is used in today’s world in everything from beauty, wellness, pet, and pain care. Let’s explore what hemp has to offer!

The Hemp Plant

Hemp extract is taken from the hemp plant, also known as industrial hemp, which is indeed a cannabis plant.  Where the disconnect lies in the fact that the hemp plant, while in the same family as cannabis, is a different type, which is not grown or intended for the purpose of marijuana consumption.  

It is specifically cultivated for the purpose of manufacturing goods and for the extraction of its oil.  It does not contain the psychoactive THC that its counterpart the marijuana plant does, therefore is not considered illegal to use for public consumption on the whole. In the United States, marijuana is defined as any Cannabis sativa plant that has greater than 0.3 percent THC.  

As the popularity for both hemp and cannabis products increase, so has the sophistication of breeding these plants to optimize their usage upon extraction, more so for the CBD and THC based products than the pure hemp ones.  

Hemp plants compared to its marijuana plant sister is grown outdoors where it can reach up to 15 feet in height, which is why it is less expensive of oil to extract–there is simply more of it to take.  Whereas, the marijuana plant is typically grown indoors (although outdoor growing can be done) and usually reaches approximately 2 feet in height on the average.  The difference in pricing between the two not only has to do with volume but also how much can be produced as a result of their vastly different sizes.         

Breaking Down the Stereotypes

Now that light has been shed on the different types of cannabis sativa plants to define hemp extract oil from CBD oil, there is still much to dispel about hemp compared to its cousin.  First and foremost, hemp extract always has less than 0.3 percent of THC.  THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis

Hemp seed extract is taken from the industrial hemp plant and is not intended for use as a psychoactive ingredient.  Much of this lumped together stigma of hemp seed oil and all cannabis-related products stems from a smear campaign from the 1930s which set taxes and legal restrictions for the use of cannabis and any related products derived from it.  

In the 1970s, all cannabis plants and products became illegal.  Prior to these injunctions from the past century, cannabinoid products had been in existence and in use for thousands of years in beauty, skin, and healthcare.  

The key takeaway is that hemp products and oils are different from and will not provide the same effect as a CBD oil, and therefore should not be considered one and the same.

Hemp Oil Extract Differences

The oil extracted from the stalk of the hemp plant is referred to as hemp oil.  Hemp seed oil is of course expelled from the seeds of the plant.  Both come from the same plant.  Hemp seed oil contains little-to-no CBD and is instead extracted for its healthy fatty acid profile, whereas hemp oil can contain CBD.  

To be legally sold in all 50 U.S. states, the level of THC in any hemp oil must be below the 0.3 percent threshold.  Most hemp oil that is used in the mainstream beauty and skincare products are produced from hemp seed and do not (and physically cannot) exceed the THC threshold standard set by the government.  Both hemp seed and hemp oil can contain CBD, which is non-psychoactive, whereas THC is the psychoactive component considered to be a marijuana product.  

Hemp Extract Benefits

As mentioned previously, there are many day to day uses for hemp seed extract, and depending on your needs, can easily be purchased at your convenience.  For non-THC hemp seed oil products, the usage is abundant for a variety of needs.  


  • Beauty ProductsHemp seed oil beauty products exist because of hemp oil’s highly effective moisturizing abilities.  Known as an occlusive moisturizer, it both locks in needed hydration but also forms a barrier to protect the skin.  When combined with other highly effective ingredients such as retinol for combating wrinkles and fine lines by introducing collagen to the skin, hemp seed extract adds the much needed absorbing component in addition to hydration.  Utilized with any skincare product, hemp seed oil makes an ideal partnership with so many beneficial ingredients to bring out the best in your skin.     
  • Pet Care – Another unique feature that hemp seed extract provides is a strong source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.  These polyunsaturated fats are primarily used for energy, however, can do wonders for pets suffering everyday joint pain and aches.  Just like products used topically for adults, hemp salves used for pets can also be enhanced with hemp seed oil to boost the moisturizing effects.  It’s perfect for use on non-fur covered areas such as the nose and paws, which can be exposed to the elements, causing dryness.  Not everything that is used for humans is ideal for pets and vice versa, but the versatility and natural effects of the hemp oil make it perfect for use in both humans and animals alike!
  • Soothing Properties – While hemp seed oil does not have the same effect that CBD oil has for the purpose of helping to alleviate pain, its other highly beneficial components make it ideal for use in conjunction with other active ingredients such as menthol, which has a cooling effect on the joints and muscles.  Hemp seed extract’s role is to add much-needed moisturizer but also assist in allowing optimal absorption to occur.  

Hemp is Its Own Thing!

As hemp seed oil does not contain THC, the other issue that seems to confuse consumers is if it has the same smell or flavor as actual marijuana.  That all really depends on the product and what it is combined with.  

The best description would be an “earthy” tone, as with most herbal or natural plant-based matter, it will have a specific scent to it, but can be masked by other ingredients.  The bottom line is that despite the similarities in terms of smell, it does not have the THC levels in order to give you a psychoactive reaction that you may believe it has.  

Despite the negative stigma surrounding hemp products, its many uses prove to be highly beneficial for a myriad of products and uses.  

As a natural resource, it’s easy to produce and has been known for thousands of years to be a highly effective plant with many purposes that can improve life on an everyday level.  Since it has become a more widely used and accepted ingredient in more recent times, the clarification between hemp oil, hemp extract, and hemp seed oil can be a bit on the tricky side.  

Hemp extract and hemp oil can be used as an interchangeable term, however, some products are actually using hemp seed oil.  Be mindful of the nomenclature when looking into hemp-based products.  Whether you are looking or not looking to have any THC, it is something to be cognizant of.  Regulations are slowly changing, but with the rapid increase of cannabis companies and products on the rise, it can be a bit of a challenge to know what you are and are not getting, without the proper understanding of the differences. 


Now that this has hopefully given you a better understanding of the differences of hemp extract and what great purposes it can have, and hopefully, the stigma has been broken a bit to allow the full immersion of this amazingly multifunctional oil into your world.  

Our ancestors definitely knew it’s true potential, and if we also embrace the bounties of what mother nature has to offer, there’s so much that we have the ability to improve with our lives in the most healthy way possible.  Hemp seed extract and hemp seed oil are not the taboo substances we once perceived them to be, they were just very misunderstood and under-utilized products that are making a great comeback!