Have you ever wondered if there’s a difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, especially as they both come from the same plant? The answer is yes, and while both oils have their fair share of impressive benefits, CBD oil and hemp oil are obtained from different parts of the plant and offer completely distinctive advantages. 

In this article, we’re going to look at various aspects of CBD oil and hemp oil so you can decide what’s best for you (and it could be both).

Table of Contents

The many differences between CBD oil and hemp oil
What is CBD oil?
What is hemp oil?
CBD oil and hemp oil production techniques
CBD oil vs hemp oil – what are the benefits?
The benefits of CBD
The benefits of hemp oil
Is CBD oil or hemp oil better for pain relief?

The many differences between CBD oil and hemp oil

One of the primary differences between CBD oil and hemp oil is the benefits each provides. CBD oil is used to address pain, anxiety and promote deeper sleep, whereas hemp oil is known best for its nutritional value and hydrating skin benefits. But that’s only part of the story; let’s take a closer look at what makes these two oils different from one another.

What is CBD oil?

Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is one of over a hundred active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is the second most common cannabinoid, second only to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD can help you feel more relaxed, but it won’t provide the intoxicating effect that comes with THC. 

Cannabis plants that contain very little THC (0.3% or less) are called hemp, whereas those that contain more than 0.3% THC are often referred to as marijuana. Neither hemp nor marijuana is a scientific classification, however. 

CBD oil is made using the flowers, leaves and stalks of the cannabis plant. It can be produced from both the hemp and marijuana varieties, but in markets where THC is not legal (such as Hong Kong), it is only made from hemp to ensure it complies with local laws.  

What is hemp oil?

Hemp oil, which is sometimes called hemp seed oil, is made using only the seeds from the hemp plant. The seeds have an entirely different composition than the plant’s leaves, stalks and flowers; they only contain trace amounts of CBD, while hemp leaves are much more potent and can contain up to 40% CBD.

CBD oil and hemp oil production techniques

The production method is another significant difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. Generally, hemp oil is produced through cold-press extraction using hemp seeds. 

Because CBD oil contains more parts of the hemp plant, it requires higher-tech extraction techniques. The most commonly used CBD oil extraction methods are supercritical fluid extraction (also known as CO2 extraction) or the more traditional solvent-based extraction. 

Hemp oil has a dark to clear light green colour and a nutty flavour, while CBD oil has a clear to dark golden colour and has either a neutral or earthy plant flavour.

CBD oil vs hemp oil – what are the benefits?

The great thing about CBD oil and hemp oil is that you can use them in a host of ways to get different benefits. 

The benefits of CBD

CBD comes in a range of formats, each of which provides unique benefits. CBD oil is the most popular and it is often taken sublingually (absorbed through the glands under the tongue). Taking CBD oil sublingually provides fast onset which can be particularly beneficial when you’re dealing with pain or bouts of anxiety. 

You can also eat or drink your CBD, in which case it gets processed by the digestive system. This means it takes a little longer to feel the effects, but it can provide a nice slow and steady result which some people may prefer for helping with sleep, lower intensity pain, inflammation and stress.  

There are also many CBD creams, salves, balms and sprays that are designed to be applied to your skin. This is a great way to get targeted relief for muscle aches, inflammation, acne flare-ups and skin irritations. 

When taken orally, the most commonly reported benefits of CBD oil include:

Applying CBD oil topically also comes with various benefits, including:

  • Relieving stress and tension in muscles
  • Helping with post-exercise recovery
  • Soothing redness, sunburn and bug bites on the skin

The benefits of hemp oil

Hemp oil is packed with a vast number of benefits thanks to its richness in essential unsaturated fatty acids, essential amino acids plus vitamins B and D. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seeds make the oil a deeply hydrating choice for many of today’s quality beauty products, such as body lotions, skin creams and hair care.

Besides beauty, the high ALA omega-3 and omega-6 content make hemp oil a great heart-healthy, nutrient-dense oil, ideal for no or low heat cooking. Try it out for yourself by swapping olive oil for hemp oil on salads or in marinates and get an extra dose of B vitamins, magnesium, and vitamin E.

When taken orally, hemp oil is:

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals that provide anti-inflammatory effects
  • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 to support heart and eye health
  • Rich in antioxidants and minerals that help fight ageing and boost immunity

When applied topically, the benefits of hemp oil include:

  • Moisturises and softens skin without clogging pores
  • Boost hair growth and lessens hair loss
  • Strengthens nails
  • Improves skin elasticity

Is CBD oil or hemp oil better for pain relief?

While hemp oil is known for being full of healthy fats and rich in mineral content, it’s not known for its pain-relieving abilities. Conversely, one of CBD’s most famously unique gifts is its reported anti-inflammatory potential that reduces stiffness, pain and muscle aches.

CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system and research suggests it’s linked with the release of dopamine, developing a sense of well-being in the brain and the body. This makes it ideal for relieving the likes of anxiety, stress, headaches, muscle and joint pain – along with many more similar conditions.