Everything you need to know about the similarities and differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, including how they’re made, what they’re used for and potential benefits they provide. As CBD grows in popularity, we want to look at the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil. Read Good Hemp's blog on hemp oil vs CBD oil here! Find out what the research says about hemp oil, who should avoid it, and how it may affect your health.
Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD Oil: What’s The Difference?
Dr. Myles Spar is a double board-certified medical expert in performance medicine, men’s health, advanced testing and integrative medicine.
Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.
Table of Contents
- What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
- What Is CBD Oil?
Hemp seed oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil are sourced from the cannabis sativa plant species. Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, while CBD oil comes from the leaves, stalks and flowers of both cannabis and hemp plants. Both oils can be identified across a variety of products, from beauty to food.
Read on to learn more about the similarities and differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, including how they’re made, what they’re used for and potential benefits they provide.
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What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and offers a robust and nutty flavor. Consisting of around 70 to 90% of polyunsaturated fatty acids (often referred to as healthy fats), it’s abundant in omega-3 essential fatty acids, tocopherols and linoleic and linolenic acids.
Depending on the way hemp seeds are handled and processed, hemp seed oil may contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD oil, according to a report by Oklahoma State University. Most companies producing hemp seed oil for consumption must adhere to strict guidelines, ensuring that the products contain almost imperceptible amounts of THC, 0.3% or less. This amount will not cause psychoactive effects.
How Is It Made?
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. The seeds are cold pressed, similar to the way olive oil is made. Once oil is extracted from the seed, it’s stored in a cool, dark place for processing and shipping.
How Is It Used?
Hemp seed oil can be used as a culinary oil to enhance flavor and may be drizzled on vegetables or made into salad dressings. It can also be taken straight from the spoon as a dietary supplement, as it’s found to be rich in polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, according to the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS).
Hemp seed oil also has a variety of industrial uses, such as paints, varnishes and other coating materials, due to its drying properties. The oil is also used in plastic flooring, such as linoleum.
Potential benefits of hemp seed oil include boosting omega intake, thanks to the oil’s unique composition of a 3-to-1 ratio of omega-6 (linoleic) to omega-3 (alpha-linolenic) essential fatty acids. In general, a diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids contributes to skin health, cardiovascular health, maintaining healthy blood pressure and reducing pain and inflammation, as well as potentially reducing some PMS symptoms like breast tenderness.
The dense nutritional profile of hemp seed oil also includes:
- Antioxidants, such as vitamin E
- Omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Hemp seed oil’s composition of fats can cause the oil to go rancid easily. A relatively low flash point—the temperature at which a liquid will vaporize or ignite when exposed to an open flame—also means it’s unsuitable for frying and is best consumed raw when fresh.
This oil is also difficult to store. Due to its fatty acid make-up, hemp seed oil is at risk of going rancid (oxidative deterioration), meaning it degrades when exposed to oxygen, according to the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology.
For best use, hemp seed oil should be used at temperatures below 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius), and is best stored in the refrigerator or freezer after opening due to its short shelf life.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is one of the most abundant active constituents of the cannabis plant. It’s a non-psychoactive isomer of THC—meaning it won’t result in the intoxicating, “high” sensation. It’s derived from the leaves, stalks and flowers of hemp and cannabis plants, but as the legality of cannabis is still controversial in some places, most CBD oils are extracted from hemp plants.
“CBD is a plant compound found in cannabis sativa—both hemp and cannabis,” says Yvonne Perez Emerson, an herbalist and the founder of Make and Mary, a CBD boutique in Portland, Oregon. There are thought to be at least 100 unique compounds found in hemp known as cannabinoids, of which CBD is the second most abundant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with the body’s central regulatory system (endocannabinoid system), which manages the body’s homeostasis (physiological balance) among bodily processes such as appetite, mood, memory, sleep, and immune system functions, adds Emerson.
They can be either consumed as phytocannabinoids found intrinsically within CBD products or produced naturally by the body (endocannabinoids). When ingested, CBD oil can help the brain and body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system and neurotransmitters that impact inflammation, pain, mood regulation and stress response.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: What’s The Difference?
The main difference between hemp oil vs CBD oil, is that hemp oil has little to no CBD content. Hemp Oil is made by cold-pressing the hemp seeds into an omega-rich culinary oil. CBD oil is made by extracting the compound CBD from the leaves, flowers and stalks of a hemp plant. However, both hemp oil and CBD oil, have their own health benefits.
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If you’ve read anything about the wellness trends for 2020 and 2021 then chances are you’ve heard of hemp oil and CBD oil (and chances are you’re a bit confused).
We’re here to make understanding CBD oil vs hemp seed oil as easy as loving them is. In a sentence, hemp oil (also known as hemp seed oil) comes from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plants and, while it does have health benefits, does not contain CBD. CBD oil, on the other hand, is a chemical compound extracted from the leaves, flowers and stalk of the same plant, and is used to treat everything from depression and anxiety to epilepsy and insomnia.
Here at Good Hemp we make a range of hemp products (from our hemp milk and hemp seeds to hemp protein powder and, of course, our original hemp oil ) from the hemp seed. But you’ve probably got more questions about all that: Are hemp oil and CBD oil the same thing or is there a difference between hemp oil and CBD oil? How exactly does CBD work? Does that mean hemp gets you high?
We thought we’d answer all of those questions in one place and delve deeper into hemp oil vs CBD oil.
What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
When considering the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil, it’s good to look at the broader picture. Both marijuana and hemp are varieties of the cannabis plant (hemp is Cannabis sativa , while marijuana is Cannabis indica ). The main difference between hemp and marijuana is that while marijuana contains up to 30% of the psychoactive compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp contains virtually none (typically below 0.3%). So essentially, marijuana will get you high and hemp won’t.
Will CBD get you high?
No, CBD will not get you high because CBD is another one of the many compounds found in cannabis plants (so in both hemp and marijuana) which has no psychoactive properties.
Is CBD made from marijuana or hemp?
CBD can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp. However, as marijuana is illegal in most places, much of the CBD you’ll find on the market is made from hemp.
What are the benefits of CBD oil?
The benefits of CBD oil is that it is used to treat a number of different conditions including anxiety, depression, pain and PMS, and is said to have beneficial effects on concentration, energy levels and sleep. It’s also sometimes used topically as an anti-inflammatory (but you might want to check the price before you start pouring it on your bad back – some CBD oils can cost around £140 for a small vial).
Interested? Good! We’ve actually dedicated a whole blog post for the benefits of CBD oil – check it out to learn more!
How does CBD work?
Put simply, CBD restores homeostasis (the body’s natural balance). It works in the endocannabinoid system by activating two of its core receptors (known as CB1 and CB2), which regulate mood, temperature, cognitive function and muscle repair.
For more information, read our blog post on what CBD oil is .
What are the benefits of Good Hemp Oil?
Good Hemp’s hemp oil is super-rich in omegas (otherwise known as good fat) and has 25 times more omegas than olive oil. It has absolutely no trans fats (and 40% less saturated fats than olive oil).
What is omega good for?
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that many experts believe aid good brain and heart health as well as boosting circulation and the immune system. Gamma linolenic acid (or GLA) is part of the omega-6 family and is known for its role in easing the symptoms of PMS and supporting the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails. Meanwhile omega-9 plays a role in promoting heart health by supporting balanced cholesterol levels and improving immune function.
How do I use CBD oil?
There are different ways on how to use CBD oil. Most people take a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue, but it can be added to your smoothie, coffee (apparently it takes away the jitters) or applied topically to pain points.
Can you take hemp oil and CBD oil together?
It’s perfectly safe to take hemp oil and CBD oil at together. Even combining different CBD products is considered a completely safe thing to do.
Is hemp oil better than CBD oil?
It depends on what you are using it for, as both have properties that serve different purposes. Hemp oil typically has more nutritional benefits, while CBD oil is best for treating the conditions we mentioned above (anxiety and depression). And, when it comes to hemp oil and CBD oil for pain relief, CBD oil wins (although hemp oil can help as well).
Is hemp oil good for pain?
Yes, hemp oil can be good for pain. Hemp seed oil is applied topically or ingested by many people as a form of natural pain relief. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful for people suffering from a variety of painful infections, autoimmune disorders or injuries.
Can you rub hemp oil on skin for pain?
Hemp seed oil can be useful as a massage oil that can reduce pain when rubbed on sore joints.
Is hemp oil or CBD oil better for anxiety?
When it comes to hemp oil vs CBD oil for anxiety, both can help to reduce it, although it is typically agreed that CBD oil is better overall for treating anxiety. It positively interacts with the endocannabinoid system – aka what regulates our moods. Studies have found that it can help ease social anxiety and get rid of fear.
Here’s how @hijessiemay is using our pure CBD oil to help ease anxiety and sleep better at night.
Hemp Oil: Is It Good for You?
Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from hemp, a cannabis plant like the drug marijuana but containing little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gets people “high.” Instead of THC, hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical that has been used to treat everything from epilepsy to anxiety.
Hemp is increasingly popular as a remedy for a range of conditions including skin issues and stress. It may contain properties that contribute to reduced risks of illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease, though additional research is necessary. Hemp oil may also reduce inflammation in the body.
In addition to CBD, Hemp oil contains large amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, which are two types of unsaturated fat s, or “good fats,” and all nine essential amino acids, the materials your body uses to make protein. Here’s more information about nutrients in hemp seed oil and how they may benefit your health.
Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. In one serving of hemp seeds (3 tablespoons), you’ll find the following:
- Calories: 170
- Calories from fat: 108
- Total fat: 12 grams
- Saturated fat: 1 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
- Sodium: 0 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Sugars: 1 grams
- Protein: 10 grams
Hemp seeds also contain these minerals and hemp nutrients:
Many of these nutrients provide the body necessary minerals and also contribute to overall health. Note that hemp seeds contain a significant amount of iron (20 % of your recommended daily diet). This helps prevent iron deficiency, or anemia.
Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp seed oil is used as a remedy for a range of conditions. Some studies show that its nutrients and minerals can contribute to better skin and heart health as well as reduced inflammation. Here’s a deeper look at what the research says about the potential health benefits of hemp oil:
Improved Cardiovascular Health
The amino acid arginine is present in hempseed oil. Studies have shown that this ingredient contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Consuming foods with high arginine levels can help decrease the risk of heart disease.
In studies, the CBD in hemp oil has been shown to reduce seizures in rare types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Regularly taking CBD can also reduce the number of seizures brought on by tuberous sclerosis complex, a condition that causes tumors to form throughout the body.
Over time, excess inflammation in your body can contribute to a variety of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma. It has been suggested that gamma linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp, acts as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have also linked the omega-3 fatty acids in hemp with reductions in inflammation.
Spreading hemp oil on your skin as a topical application can also reduce symptoms and provide relief for several types of skin disorders. One study showed that hemp oil can act as an effective acne treatment, though more research is needed in this area. In addition, consuming hemp seed oil was found to improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, or eczema, due to the presence of the “good” polyunsaturated fats in the oil.
Potential Risks of Hemp Oil
Although hemp and marijuana come from the same species of cannabis plant, hemp has little to no THC. This means that consuming hemp is legal in the U.S. and will not cause you to become intoxicated or impaired.
In general, hemp seed oil is safe to ingest or use topically, but there are a few things to note if you decide to start taking hemp oil. Pay attention to the following potential risks of hemp oil:
Some people experience skin irritation when using topical oils containing CBD, possibly due to an allergy. Start with using a small amount to see how your skin reacts to it, and keep an eye on any changes.
It’s possible that ingesting CBD-containing oils like hemp oil can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Again, when you’re first introducing hemp oil into your diet, start small to see how it impacts you. Reactions may be different from person to person.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity: “Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”
Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment: “Scoping paper on the potential adverse effects of CBD products.”
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports: “Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy: an Update.”
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: “Gamma linolenic acid: an antiinflammatory omega-6 fatty acid.”
ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Hemp Oil.”
GW Research Ltd.: “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cannabidiol (GWP42003-P, CBD) for Seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (GWPCARE6).”
Harvard Men’s Health Watch: “Iron and your health.”
Journal of Clinical Investigation: “Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes.”
Journal of Dermatological Treatment: “Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis.”
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.”
Nutrition & Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”