Hemp Seed Oil vs Cannabis Oil: What’s the difference?

image of marijuana plant

The Main Differences

Since the innovations in the uses for cannabis and hemp oils have become a loaded topic over the last decade or so, many people have questions regarding the differences between these two health influencing substances. Some people may have an aversion to one or the other based on the name or the sound of the name due to the lack of knowledge about these great oils. The purpose of this article is to explain the differences and give you a small amount of info about both.

Both hemp oil and cannabis oil contain cannabidiol or CBD which contains medicinal properties.

However, there is much less of this compound contained in hemp oil than cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is actually around 100 times more potent than hemp oil and the dose of hemp oil necessary to have the equivalent effect is extremely high.

What is CBD?

According to Wikipedia:

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana and is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is one of hundreds of  components of marijuana, by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization,

“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

From the Same Family 

Hemp oil and cannabis oil come from plants that are in the same family, but there are some pretty big differences. Hemp that is used for the purpose of making rope, cloth, paper and other items is referred to as industrial hemp. Hemp plants can be grown in close proximity to each other, and are relatively low maintenance because they can withstand wide temperature ranges. The cannabis plant is far less resilient because it requires a natural or manufactured tropical environment.

Types of Oil

Hemp Oil 

This is made from the same hemp that is grown for industrial use. Industrial hemp is high in CBD, but lacks any sort of psychoactive properties due to its extremely low THC content. CBD is legal in many areas and has been found to be very effective in treating some illnesses, particularly in the case of childhood seizures. As more research is completed, it is becoming clearer that there is a future for CBD products and their amazing benefits for skin, and other ailments. Hemp oil is also rich in important nutrients.

Health Benefits of Hemp Oil

Have you been searching for an easy way to combat aging while getting the nutrients that you need? Sometimes the things we’re looking for can come from more convenient sources than you might expect. Hemp oil is a natural, useful oil that can provide a variety of fantastic effects. If you’re curious about some of what it must offer, this information will help you discover some of the different health benefits of hemp oil.

1.  It Is Nutrient Rich

If you are looking for a great way to get a heavy concentration of minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, hemp oil might be a great choice. It can also deliver a healthy and balanced amount of micro nutrients like chromium and strontium. Chromium is an important micro element that helps the body metabolize fats, proteins, and some carbohydrates. Strontium is known for helping your bones to retain their density, and has been used in a pill form to help combat the presence of osteoporosis.

2.  It Is Great for Your Skin

It’s generally accepted that applying an all-natural oil to the skin has its benefits as a moisturizer, but it turns out that hemp oils have some specific benefits when used on the skin. Hemp oil is full of powerful antioxidants like vitamin E, and it contains an agent called linoleic acid, which has been proven to reverse some of the effects of aging in your skin. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid, and accomplishes its age defying effects by helping cell membranes to use nutrients in a more efficient way. It also improves cellular metabolism so that your cells don’t burn out and die as quickly.

3.  It May Lower Your Cholesterol

Runaway cholesterol is one of the leading causes of most cardiac events, so it’s clear that you would have a motivation to find out how you can reduce your cholesterol. One way to do this is to ingest hemp oil. As the only vegetable oil that has both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it has the ability to manipulate and speed up your metabolism so that the free-floating fats in your bloodstream don’t build up in your arteries and become a life-threatening blockage. These fatty acids also work together to fight inflammation in the arterial walls so that your blood cells can pass through with very little difficulty. 

4.  It has Great Anti-inflamatory properties.  

The major factors that make hemp oil beneficial are its contents of anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties. … It can treat the painful inflammation of diseases such as arthritis, therefore, hemp oil for pain is an exceptional choice for such patients.

Cannabis Oil

This oil is created using the flower and leaves of the cannabis plant. This type of oil has some CBD, but it is a much lower percentage of CBD than that of the industrial hemp plant. The biggest difference here is that the oil contains a lot more THC than that of the industrial hemp variety, and because of this, retains many of the psychoactive properties that can be experienced by smoking it. It also has a wealth of anti-inflammatory properties when used topically. Its become more and more popular and is becoming legal in more areas.

Health Benefits of Cannabis Oil

Cannabis or marijuana refers to the products derived from the cannabis Sativa plant.

A comprehensive review published in 2007 into the potential health benefits of cannabis stated that despite the possible risk of mild addiction, the therapeutic value of this herb was far too valuable to simply ignore.

The same review goes on to say that cannabis has been used for its medicinal benefits for millennia and that it has the ability to treat a wide range of illnesses including cancer, anorexia, pain, and inflammation.

It can also be used for a number of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and Tourette’s syndrome. Given that cannabis has so much medical value, the big question  is “why governments, including the federal government of the US, have been so ready to ban it even for medicinal use?”  Some thoughts on this include the fact that it is also, of course, very real competition for major pharmaceutical companies and losing out on their bottom line is not something that the pharmaceutical industry finds attractive.

Some of the health uses that have been found for Cannabis oil are as follows:

  1. To treat Stress and Anxiety
  2. Appetite and Obesity
  3. Asthma
  4. Hearth Health
  5. Pain Relief
  6. Cancer
  7. Skin Protection
  8. Hair Health
  9. Eye Health
  10. Seizures

CBD Oil vs Hemp Extract vs Hemp Seed Oil

CBD stands for cannabidiol which is a chemical compound found in the cannabis Sativa plant.  (CBD) was discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.  In 2018, clinical research on cannabidiol included preliminary studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.

The cannabis Sativa plant includes two main species: hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the ingredient that causes the psychoactive ‘high’. But hemp contains a much higher percentage of CBD and only trace amounts of THC, which is why CBD is typically extracted from the hemp plant (and also known as hemp extract). CBD isn’t going to get you high, although it can have psychoactive effects along the lines of reducing anxiety and depression.

Cannabidiol  (CBD) can be taken into the body in multiple ways, including by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as an aerosol which is sprayed into the cheek or mouth.  It may be supplied as CBD oil containing only CBD as the active ingredient (with no included tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] or terpenes), a full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid solution.  CBD does not have the same psychoactivity as THC,] and may change the effects of THC on the body if both are present.  As of 2018, the mechanism of action for its biological effects has not been determined.

CBD is extracted from the stalks, stems, and flowers but not the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant. Any product made from hemp seed oil (sometimes called cannabis Sativa seed oil) will not contain CBD.

Hemp seed oil is still good for you, however. Like other carrier oils (i.e., olive or sunflower seed oil), hemp seed oil is high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega fatty acids. It could better option if skincare is your goal versus aches and pains

A big issue when talking about these so-called wonder products, though, is that terms like CBD oil, hemp extract and hemp seed oil are very frequently used interchangeably. But the difference between them can be pretty big.

Everyone knows about THC’s psychoactive abilities, but CBD gets lots of credit for its anti-inflammatory benefits.    A 2012 study in theJournal of Experimental Medicine and a 2016 study in the European Journal of Pain both found that CBD reduced chronic pain or arthritis pain levels with CBD.

The terms CBD oil and hemp extract are typically synonymous—which can be confusing, and they are also referred to as plain old hemp oil. Hemp extract is specifically elicited from those parts of the hemp plant known to have high levels of cannabidiol, which provides all the anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits.

These products are classified as 1) full spectrum, 2) broad-spectrum, or 3)  isolate extracts.

1.  Full spectrum CBD implies an extract of the ‘full plant’–that’s CBD along with all the hemp plant’s natural cannabinoids, flavonoids (i.e. plant pigments), and terpenes, the aromatic components of a plant’s essential oils that are also known to have a therapeutic benefit. Of course, ‘full plant’ also means trace amounts of THC may be included so you may not pass a drug test if you use this.  People opting to use full spectrum products, do so because of something known as the ‘entourage effect’—the synergistic interaction of all the above components, which is claimed to lead to better therapeutic benefits.

2.  Broad-spectrum CBD is basically full-spectrum CBD but has all traces of THC removed. This is chosen by those who do not want any trace of THC in their system.

3.  Isolate extracts are products that have all traces of THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and more removed during the extraction process so that all that remains is pure CBD.

What about Safety?

Studies are ongoing to test for side-effects and determine CBD’s full benefits, and more research is looking at the possibility of CBD use in a wide array of medical conditions from Parkinson’s to post-traumatic stress disorder. Last June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even approved the first cannabidiol-based drug, Epidiolex, to address severe forms of epilepsy.

The FDA has issued warnings against illegally marketed CBD products that promise unrealistic results, including claims that it can cure cancer.  You should always do your own research and buy legally-sanctioned products so you can reap the benefits of CBD.


While hemp oil and Canabis oil both come from the same family of plants, the oil from the hemp plant is not going to make you high like that from the marijuana plant.  Both oils have certain health benefits and more studies are underway to find out more about the benefits.

CTFO Brand

I recommend the CTFO (Change the Future Outcome) brand, which has helped me personally with my sciatic pain.

CTFO claims its products are manufactured in GMP certified facilities, which means they’re regulated by the FDA to ensure that what’s the labels is what’s in the products. CTFO products are claimed to be the highest quality and purity available anywhere, and they offer a 60-day, empty container, money-back guarantee to prove it!

You can sign up to become a customer and shop HERE or enroll as a distributor and sell CTFO products yourself.

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I welcome comments and questions from visitors to my site, you can leave yours below. -Shirley

NOTE:  This post contains affiliate links, which, if clicked on and a product purchased, I receive a small commission (with no increase in cost to you).










2 thoughts on “Hemp Seed Oil vs Cannabis Oil: What’s the difference?”

  1. Hi there. That’s a really interesting article Shirley. In the UK we are miles behind the USA on the way CBD oil is received. They’ve been arguing for ages about the benefits of Cannabis-based treatment and whether it can be used in our NHS. The good news is, it’s being accepted as a treatment for some conditions now. There are benefits for people with chronic pain and it’s recognised for treatment of MS for example.

    CBD oil is now widely available here and typically is sold in our Vape Shops (although there now seems to be some problems with Vaping in the USA). I’ve bought some myself, it tastes disgusting, but there may be better ways to take it than under the tongue.


    1. Thanks Dave for your comment and your information about CBD use in the UK. Vaping is not something I’ve been interested in and there seems to be some negative issues. In fact, CTFO has discontinued their vaping products. Thanks for your comment Dave. -Shirley

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