What’s the Difference Between CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil?

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Hemp oil vs. CBD oil
If you’re curious about using natural oils for health ailments, you’re probably familiar with hemp oil and CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol oil.

It can be hard to understand the difference between the two since they’re often used interchangeably. Yes, they both come from the Cannabis sativa plant. And, yes, they both can be used topically or ingested.

But there are key differences between these two oils and how they may impact your overall health. (Here’s what you need to know about CBD oil for insomnia.)

Here’s a closer look at these two popular natural oils and what you need to know about each.

The difference between hemp oil and hemp seed oil
To know the difference between CBD and hemp oil, you first need to know exactly what hemp oil is. While “hemp oil” may be used as a shorthand for hemp seed oil, they are actually not the same thing.

Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. While marijuana and hemp are both Cannabis sativa plants, they are different varieties.

Hemp plants contain little or no delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. (In fact, hemp plants must contain 0.3 percent or less THC to be grown legally, while marijuana plants in states with legal marijuana can have 12 to 25 percent or more.)

The seeds of the hemp plant don’t naturally contain either THC or CBD, although they sometimes can become contaminated by trace amounts during processing. Therefore hemp seed oil doesn’t contain THC or CBD, and is valued more for its nutrients and moisturizing properties.

It’s often used in food and beauty products, but don’t look to hemp seed oil for the cannabinoids found in the rest of the plant, which are thought to be useful for treating certain conditions. (Here’s what you need to know about CBD vs THC.)

On the other hand, hemp oil is extracted from the stems, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, which do contain CBD and sometimes small amounts of THC. Hemp oil would be considered a full-spectrum oil—it contains all the compounds found in the plant—and may be higher or lower in CBD, depending on the source of the product.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is specifically meant to contain the compound that’s been found to be useful as a remedy for seizures, pain, anxiety, and other health problems. (And to make it ever more confusing, CBD oil can be derived from either marijuana or hemp plants.)