Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil? Exploring the differences

Maybe your health care provider just recommended CBD oil to you, or you’ve heard about it and are curious, and then you hear about hemp oil. Naturally, you wonder, Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?

The simple answer is no; hemp oil and CBD oil are distinctly different products derived from different parts of the same plant. Each comes with its lineup of benefits and uses. We’ll outline these differences and give you a close look at what makes hemp oil distinct from CBD oil.

woman applying hemp oil

What is hemp oil?

Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the cannabis—or hemp—plant and contains less than 0.3 percent THC. It’s a non-psychoactive oil that, according to many, offers benefits for both the body and mind. While not all of these claims have been verified, what is certain is that hemp oil is an excellent source of essential fatty acids and nutrients. It’s an omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid powerhouse and also contains GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which has anti-inflammatory properties.

woman using cbd cream

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the cannabis plant. The plant contains more than 100 different chemicals, known as cannabinoids. CBD oil is rich in CBD (cannabidiol), the ingredient that makes this oil so popular.

CBD oil is available for everyday use in a variety of forms, including capsules, tinctures, extracts, and topical creams. If you’re just starting with CBD oil, the most effective way to use it is to find a version that matches your individual needs and start with only a small dose, gradually increasing the amount as needed.

Key differences between hemp oil and CBD oil

As stated earlier, hemp oil is obtained from the seeds of the cannabis plant. It’s a natural, highly nutritious product you can use in a variety of ways, from topical skin creams to seasoning your food. Hemp oil is loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. To start, try using it as a cooking oil, adding it to your food, or taking it as a dietary supplement.

Unlike hemp oil, CBD oil is obtained from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the cannabis plant. These parts of the plant yield an oil with high levels of CBD, a compound that has been shown to have numerous health benefits. Many have turned to CBD oil to treat a variety of conditions.

Besides their sourcing, the main difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is their composition. Hemp oil is mostly composed of fatty acids, while CBD oil is mostly composed of CBD.

What do hemp oil and CBD have in common?

Despite their differences, these oils work well together. Since they come from the same plant and feature complementary properties, hemp oil is often used as a carrier oil for CBD oil. It’s important to also note that both oils are considered non-psychoactive, meaning they won’t produce the “high” associated with marijuana use. Neither of these oils is useful for recreational purposes.

man experiencing knee pain while hiking

Safety considerations for hemp oil and CBD oil

While there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the use of these oils, it‘s important to remember that they’re still relatively new to the market and are not regulated by the FDA. As such, it’s important to know these few safety considerations before using either of these oils or products derived from them. There are potential side effects to watch for when you use CBD or hemp oil, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Interactions with other medications

Remember to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or taking new products like these oils. This is especially important if you’re currently taking other medications. CBD oil and hemp oil can interact with certain medications, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving either of these oils a try.

When applying CBD oil or hemp oil topically, you’ll want to start small. Test one or two drops on a small area of skin first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction to the oil. Give it maybe an hour or two just to be safe. If you experience any irritation, redness, or swelling, discontinue use immediately.

With any new products you use, whether it’s hemp, CBD, or any other kind of concentrated oil extract, you must be aware of the potential risks and side effects before using them. With these safety measures in mind, these oils are considered safe for most people when used as directed.

Choosing between hemp oil and CBD oil based on need

So, which oil should you use? Ultimately, the choice between CBD oil and hemp oil comes down to what you’re looking for and your specific needs. If you want a natural way to help you with more specific situations, then you may prefer CBD oil. If you’re interested in a natural way to improve your overall health or add more vitamins and minerals to your diet, then hemp oil may be a better option for you.