Composition with hemp oil on table

Hemp Oil Or CBD? Which One Should You Choose

It is not surprising that some people get confused about the difference between hemp oil and CBD (also called cannabidiol). This is because there is already confusion that exists about the difference between the hemp plant and the marijuana plant, from which they are derived. So to understand whether you should choose hemp oil or CBD, let us first define what is hemp and what is marijuana.

Hemp Versus Marijuana

The hemp plant and the marijuana plant are both classified as cannabis sativa, meaning they are close relatives in the plant world. The main difference between the two is that the hemp plant lacks high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while the marijuana plant contains the THC levels needed to create a “psychoactive” reaction. A psychoactive reaction is defined as that “high feeling” that smoking marijuana – also called jutes – can bring about. Because there is not enough THC in the hemp plant, it is not a banned substance. However, the marijuana plant does contain a lot of THC which is why it is a banned substance in the US.

The Differences Between Hemp Oil and Cannabidiol

Hemp oil is derived from the hemp plant, though it is sometimes called “cannabis sativa seed oil” or “hemp seed oil” instead. Though hemp oil is produced from the seeds of the cannabis sativa species, it does not contain THC.

On the other hand, cannabidiol (which is sometimes called CBD) is also taken from the cannabis sativa plant but does contain THC. This is the first major difference between hemp oil and CBD. 

Another difference between the two is that CBD is produced from only the leaves, stalks and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant – hemp oil comes from the seeds.

The third difference between hemp oil vs CBD is that hemp oil has been freely sold to the public for decades. It has a history of being used in cooking and for skin care purposes, plus it has been readily available in health food stores for sale to consumers. On the other hand, CBD is a fairly new product in the market and there is still confusion about the legality of selling it to the public. The confusion stems over the fact that CBD contains THC, and also because the marijuana plant is still banned by the US federal government. There are US states that do permit sale of CBD so it has become a case-to-case basis kind of selling.

The fourth difference between hemp oil and CBD is that hemp oil is much less expensive than CBD. One reason for this is that the public is informed that CBD has more health benefits than hemp oil. However, hemp oil already has a proven track record of positive skin care effects. So it really depends on what consumers want to use the product for.

Why The Public Gets Confused

The confusion may be because it is hard to tell the difference between a hemp plant and a marijuana plant at first glance. The best way to tell if what you have is a hemp plant or a marijuana plant is by testing the seeds, stalks and flowers to see how much THC is available from that particular plant. It is easy to get hemp mixed up with marijuana because of this.

Another point of confusion is that there are some parties that label CBD as:

  • PCR or phytocannabinoid-rich
  • PCR hemp extracts
  • Hemp oil
  • Full-spectrum hemp

Though this may bring in more sales for sellers, it just makes it harder to choose between hemp oil or CBD when trying to make a purchase.

There are also unscrupulous sellers who mislabel their products deliberately so that consumers think they are buying CBD but are actually purchasing hemp seed oil instead. There are even some sellers who don’t put in either hemp oil or CBD in the bottle – consumers wind up purchasing just the carrier oil without any cannabis sativa extracts in it. This is why legitimate retailers are getting a bad reputation in the market, which just makes it harder to determine whether buying hemp seed oil or CBD is the right choice to make.

If you want to find more information about the differences between these two, try watching this video:


If you are doing research on whether to buy hemp oil or CBD, it is important to be certain about what you intend to use the product for. Generally, hemp oil is purchased for its nutritional value since it is added to recipes for cooking, and because it does have benefits for skin care. On the other hand, some sources claim that CBD has potential health benefits so it has medicinal value. Hopefully you now know how to differentiate between the two so that you are no longer confused as to which one is suitable for your purposes.