CBD oil vs. hemp oil: Myths, facts, and everything in between

Are you puzzled by the buzz around CBD oil and hemp oil, trying to figure out which one suits your health and wellness needs? 

With the wellness industry flooded with these oils, it’s easy to get tangled in a web of myths and half-truths. This confusion leaves many wondering about the real differences and benefits each oil offers. 

This blog clears the air, offering you a comprehensive guide that separates fact from fiction. We’ll explore the origins, uses, and benefits of CBD oil and hemp oil, helping you make an informed decision on which oil could best enhance your wellness routine

Let’s examine these popular oils together, ensuring you have all the necessary information at your fingertips.

Is hemp oil and CBD oil the same thing?

Many people find themselves at a crossroads, trying to understand the nuances that set these two popular products apart. 

Let’s dive into the basics, shedding light on what exactly these oils are, their extraction processes, and what they’re best used for.

CBD oil

This oil is obtained from the hemp plant’s flowers, leaves, and stalks, which contain high levels of cannabidiol (CBD).

The extraction process typically involves CO2 or alcohol, pulling out the CBD along with other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes [1]. 

This method ensures the final product is CBD-rich, without the psychoactive effects found in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

CBD oil offers a spectrum of health benefits, including anxiety relief, pain management, and better sleep, making it a go-to for alternative wellness solutions.

But it’s the presence of active cannabinoids, particularly CBD, that makes this oil a subject of interest for health enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Hemp oil

Hemp oil or hemp seed oil is extracted from the hemp plant’s seeds using a cold-pressing process [2], similar to how olive oil is made. This is different from CBD oil, which is extracted from other parts of the plant. 

This oil is virtually free of cannabinoids like CBD or THC. Instead, it’s loaded with nutritional benefits, boasting a perfect balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health and immune system support.

Hemp oil is primarily used for its nutritional content and as a skincare ingredient, thanks to its moisturizing properties and rich profile of vitamins and minerals. 

It’s a popular choice for those looking to enrich their diet with a healthy fat source or improve their skin’s condition naturally.

hemp oil

Myths and misconceptions about CBD and hemp oil

Common misconceptions about CBD oil and hemp oil abound, leading to confusion and misinformed choices. 

Let’s tackle some of the most common myths and set the record straight, ensuring you’re equipped with the facts to navigate your wellness path confidently.

Myth 1 – CBD oil and hemp oil are essentially the same

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. The primary distinction lies in their source and composition. 

CBD oil is rich in cannabidiol, among other cannabinoids, and is designed for therapeutic use, targeting issues like anxiety, pain, and insomnia. 

While hemp oil is derived solely from the seeds of the hemp plant, lacking CBD and THC but rich in nutrients like omega fatty acids and antioxidants [3]. It’s used for nutritional supplementation and skin care, not for medicinal benefits.

Myth 2 – Both oils produce a ‘high’

The misconception that CBD oil and hemp oil can induce psychoactive effects stems from a misunderstanding of THC content. 

THC, the compound responsible for the ‘high’ associated with cannabis, is present in trace amounts in CBD oil [4] (less than 0.3% to comply with legal standards), which is not enough to produce intoxication. 

On the other hand, hemp oil contains no THC, given its extraction from the seeds. Therefore, neither oil will cause a ‘high,’ making them safe for those seeking health benefits without psychoactive effects.

Myth 3: Identical health benefits

While both oils offer health benefits, their effects differ significantly due to their distinct compositions. CBD oil has shown promise in relieving anxiety, reducing pain, and improving sleep quality, among other therapeutic benefits.

This is attributed to CBD’s interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system, influencing various physiological processes.

Hemp oil’s benefits are primarily nutritional and dermatological, stemming from its high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. 

It’s known for improving heart health, supporting immune function, and promoting skin health by reducing inflammation and moisturizing without clogging pores.

Each oil has its unique set of benefits, and choosing the right one depends on your specific health goals and needs.

The legal status of these oils varies significantly across regions and countries, influenced by legislation surrounding cannabis and hemp. 

This variation impacts their availability and how you can use them. Let’s explore the current legal framework to help you navigate this complex terrain.

The global perspective on CBD oil

In many countries, CBD oil is legal if it contains THC levels below a certain threshold (no more than 0.3%) and is extracted from hemp [5]. 

For instance, in the US, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD oil at the federal level, though state laws vary [5]. 

In the European Union, CBD oil is legal in most countries, provided it’s derived from hemp with a maximum allowed content of 0.3%THC [6]. 

However, strict regulations in places like Asia and the Middle East make CBD oil illegal or heavily regulated [7], [8].

Hemp oil’s wider acceptance

Hemp oil, extracted from hemp seeds with no THC, generally faces fewer legal barriers. Its non-psychoactive nature means it’s legal in many parts of the world, including the US, the EU, and Australia [9]. 

However, the legal status can still vary based on local laws and regulations regarding hemp cultivation and processing.

Impact on availability and use

Legal restrictions significantly affect the availability of CBD and hemp oil, dictating where and how consumers can purchase these products. 

In regions where CBD oil is legal, it can often be found in pharmacies, health food stores, and online. 

In contrast, stricter regulations in some countries limit access, pushing consumers to navigate a grey market or face penalties for possession and use.

Furthermore, the evolving legal landscape means staying informed about current laws in your area is essential. 

As research on CBD’s health benefits continues and public perception shifts, legislation is likely to change, potentially broadening legal access to these products.

Understanding the legal status in your region is not just about compliance; it’s about ensuring you can safely and confidently incorporate these oils into your health regimen. 

Always consult local regulations and consider professional legal advice to navigate this complex field responsibly.

How can CBD and hemp oil enhance your wellness?

CBD and hemp oils, each with unique properties and benefits, offer a range of uses that cater to different health and wellness needs. Here’s a closer look at how CBD and hemp oil might support your well-being.

Benefits of CBD oil

CBD oil’s applications for pain relief stand out. Studies suggest that CBD can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system [10], potentially reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. This makes it a good alternative for those seeking relief from chronic pain conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Anxiety and depression are also areas where CBD oil shows promise. Emerging research indicates that CBD may have anxiolytic effects, helping reduce anxiety levels and post-traumatic stress disorders [11]. 

This could offer a natural alternative to traditional medications, with fewer side effects for some individuals.

Furthermore, the potential benefits of CBD oil extend to neurological disorders. Preliminary research has explored its effects on conditions like epilepsy, showing a potential to reduce the frequency of seizures [12]. 

While research is ongoing, these findings offer hope for CBD oil as a supplementary treatment in managing certain neurological conditions.

Benefits of hemp oil

Hemp oil is particularly effective in promoting skin health and offering anti-inflammatory properties. Its optimal ratio (3:1) of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is essential for heart health and immune function [13]. 

These fatty acids, along with the oil’s vitamin E content, contribute to its anti-inflammatory effects, supporting overall wellness.

The moisturizing properties of hemp oil keep the skin hydrated without clogging pores and are suitable for various skin types. 

Additionally, its anti-inflammatory qualities can soothe skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, promoting a healthier skin barrier.

Which is stronger, CBD or hemp oil?

If we’re talking about therapeutic effects, particularly for conditions like anxiety, pain, and neurological disorders, CBD oil often takes the lead. 

Its strength lies in its high concentration of cannabidiol, a compound that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to potentially offer relief and support for various health concerns.

However, strength isn’t solely about therapeutic effects. Hemp oil, rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, offers unparalleled nutritional benefits. 

For those seeking to enhance their diet or improve skin health naturally, hemp oil might be considered the stronger choice due to its nutritional profile and moisturizing properties.

Ultimately, the question of which oil is stronger depends on your health goals and needs. CBD oil might be more potent for therapeutic purposes, while hemp oil could be considered stronger for nutritional and skincare benefits. 

Both oils have their unique strengths, making them valuable in different aspects of health and wellness.

Which is stronger, CBD or hemp oil?

How to choose the right oil for you

Here’s how to navigate your choice, ensuring it complements your wellness journey effectively.

1. Identify your health goals

Start by pinpointing what you aim to achieve. Are you seeking relief from pain, anxiety, or insomnia? CBD oil might be your ally. 

Or, are you looking to boost your nutritional intake and improve skin health? In that case, hemp oil could be the answer.

Before making a purchase, verify the legal status of CBD and hemp oil in your region. Legal considerations not only determine availability but also influence the types of products you can access.

3. Prioritize quality and safety

Opt for products that undergo third-party testing to verify their purity, potency, and safety. This ensures you’re getting a product free from contaminants and with the advertised amount of active ingredients.

4. Read product labels carefully

Labels are your window into a product’s composition. Look for detailed information about CBD or hemp seed oil content, extraction methods, and the presence of any additives or fillers.

In closing

Understanding the distinctions between CBD and hemp oil clears the fog surrounding their use in wellness practices. 

This guide aimed to equip you with the knowledge to differentiate, debunk common myths, comprehend the legal landscape, and recognize their health applications. 

Armed with these insights, you can now make an informed decision tailored to your health goals and legal considerations. 

Remember, the efficacy of your choice depends on aligning it with your specific needs and ensuring product quality. Here’s to making a choice that enhances your wellness journey with confidence and informed precision.


Why is CBD oil more expensive than hemp oil?

CBD oil is typically more expensive than hemp oil due to its complex extraction process, which requires more plant material and sophisticated technology to isolate CBD. Additionally, the high demand for its therapeutic benefits contributes to its higher price.

Does hemp or CBD oil help you sleep?

CBD oil is known for its potential to improve sleep by addressing underlying issues like anxiety and pain that can disrupt rest. Hemp oil, while nutritious, does not directly influence sleep in the same therapeutic manner as CBD oil.

Is hemp oil or CBD oil better for anxiety?

CBD oil is considered better for managing anxiety due to its direct interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system, potentially reducing anxiety levels. Hemp oil, lacking cannabinoids like CBD, does not offer the same targeted support for anxiety.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290527/ 
[2] https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/12/23/11921 
[3] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/hemp-seed-oil-vs-cbd-oil 
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK563174/ 
[5] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill-07252019
[6] https://coslaw.eu/cosmetic-cbd-cannabidiol/
[7] https://www.raps.org/News-and-Articles/News-Articles/2021/6/Global-regulatory-trends-on-CBD-use-in-food-and-fo
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8525169/
[9] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/feb/07/cbd-will-go-on-sale-in-australia-but-first-manufacturers-will-have-to-prove-it-works
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390812/
[11] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780128007563000971
[12] https://www.neurocenternj.com/blog/cbd-for-seizures-use-effectiveness-side-effects-and-more/
[13] https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-hemp-seed-oil

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.