Hemp Oil VS CBD Oil: Our Budtender Explains

I worked in a dispensary for years and frequently saw people stumped when it comes to the differences between Hemp oil and CBD oil. 

Both are beneficial, but there are some specific, need-to-know differences between them. Below, I’ll clarify the confusion, discussing their differences, uses, and benefits. 

By the end, the difference between Hemp Oil VS CBD Oil will be crystal clear, and you’ll be an informed consumer, ready to make educated choices on the purchase of your next product.

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Key Takeaways 

  • “Hemp oil” typically refers to hemp seed oil extracted from hemp seeds, stalks, and stems but has varied meanings and is also commonly used to describe CBD hemp extracts.
  • CBD oil is derived from cannabinoid-rich hemp flower and is used specifically for its potential therapeutic benefits. 
  • Any vague labeling or product details on CBD or hemp products are red flags. 
Hemp VS CBD Oil Label Explanation

What Is Hemp Oil? 

Hemp oil is a natural oil derived from hemp seeds. Unlike CBD oil, which is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, hemp (seed) oil comes from the seeds and contains negligible amounts of THC or CBD.

Hemp seed oil is a nutrient-rich oil extracted by cold-pressing hemp seeds. 

It’s also a treasure trove of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants that support the body.

But, this definition isn’t that clear cut in reality. In the marketing world, “hemp oil” can mean different things. 

This is often confusing, especially for newbies. A big reason for the confusion?


Some products labeled hemp oil are actually CBD oil, as the word “hemp oil” is sometimes used in place of the word “hemp extract” (aka CBD oil) to bypass (paid) marketing restrictions.

Always check product labels and lab reports to see what’s inside. The Certificate of Analysis (COA) will tell you exactly what’s in your product. 

If it’s cannabinoids like CBD or THC you’re after, you won’t find them in hemp seed oil. It only contains minuscule traces of these compounds, if any. 

A lot of the time, hemp oil is used to describe a hemp CBD extract mixed with hemp seed oil. 

Moral of the story? 

Knowing the difference between Hemp oil vs CBD oil can be a bit bewildering. This is why when buying hemp products, understanding what’s what on the labels can make a huge difference. 

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What’s CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a natural Hemp extract diluted in a carrier oil. It is derived from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant, specifically the hemp variety, known for its high cannabidiol (CBD) and low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.

This Hemp extract is often blended with carrier oils like medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil.

The most common reasons people use CBD are to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, improve sleep quality, and reduce pain, while hemp seed oil is used as a nutritional supplement. 

But both Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are derived from Hemp, which contributes to even more confusion.

In essence, both hemp oil and CBD oil are born from Hemp, but not every Hemp oil is rich in CBD. 

Types of CBD Oil 

There are three main types of CBD: Full-spectrum CBD, Broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolate, each offering unique characteristics and benefits.

CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like. 99%+ pure, Isolated CBD. All other cannabinoids and plant compounds are removed during extraction. 

Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains cannabinoids and other beneficial plant compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids, but THC is removed during extraction.  

Full-spectrum CBD oil is the whole package: CBD plus the full-spectrum of all other beneficial Hemp compounds, including trace amounts of THC. 

It’s theorized that broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil offer the most benefit. 

This is because all the compounds are said to contribute to the entourage effect, a strongly supported theory that suggests cannabinoids and other compounds work better together than their isolated counterparts.  

CBD isolate can still be beneficial, though, and excellent for those who are looking for a Hemp product that only contains strictly CBD. 

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In Short…It Depends on Context 

Navigating the difference of hemp oil vs CBD oil can be tricky. 

But it’s easy once you know what to look for. And that you understand the difference all depends on the context.

Some people use hemp oil to describe CBD oil, while others are referring to hemp seed oil when they use hemp oil. 

One way to navigate this muddled mess of hemp market vocab? Always check the product label and COA. This is the only way to know what’s inside. 

Keep in mind that the hemp industry is still largely unregulated, meaning there are a lot of shady brands that aren’t always honest. Trust us, there are plenty of hemp companies selling hemp oil and saying it’s CBD oil. 

If you’re shopping around for CBD and stumble upon a brand selling “hemp oil” claiming it has CBD, but they don’t offer any lab reports or say how much CBD the product contains, definitely don’t buy it. 

Plenty of legit CBD brands sell high-quality products lab-tested for potency and purity. 

Remember, any uncertainty, product description, or ingredient vagueness are all red flags when considering what CBD products to purchase. 

Wrapping Up 

The language landscape of hemp oil vs CBD oil can be a bit bumpy at times. 

However, knowing what these two terms typically describe will ensure you make an informed buying decision. 

In an industry that still somewhat resembles the Wild West, being a discerning consumer is vital. 

Scrutinize those product labels and demand third-party lab reports, and you’ll avoid the shady brands trying to pass off hemp seed oil as CBD oil. 

Here’s to making informed choices on your wellness journey! Both hemp oil and CBD oil have a lot to contribute to the cause.