Are CBD Oil and Hemp Oil the Same?

cbd oil vs hemp oil

The short answer: CBD oil is made from a hemp extract typically extracted from the plants flower biomass that contains the cannabinoids such as CBD (Cannabidiol). This extract is then combined with a carrier oil such as hemp oil, which is made from hemp seeds to form the end product known as CBD oil or CBD hemp oil. Hemp oil also known as hemp seed oil on its own does not contain any cannabinoids, so the two products CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same.

Where does CBD Oil come from and how is it Manufactured?

CBD oil is made predominantly from hemp biomass that particularly includes the leaves, flowers, and stalks. Manufacturers extract cannabinoids like CBD from hemp flowers, as they contain the highest concentration of trichomes, the plants factories for producing cannabinoids. Hemp is a variety of cannabis that contains only 0.2% THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Companies derive CBD from hemp plants and combine it with a carrier oil such as MCT oil to make CBD oil. Some brands use hemp seed oil or olive oil as carrier oils. However, MCT oil has excessive bioavailability that enhances CBD absorption into your body.

THC is the component that makes people high and the amount found in legal hemp is too low to cause such affects. Therefore, hemp-derived products such as CBD oil do not make you high.  Besides, CBD does not cause intoxication.  However, cannabis also contains CBD, but some strains can have up to 30 % of THC. The high THC amounts is why cannabis leaves users stoned. This makes CBD oil made from hemp particularly attractive for users who want all the benefits of cannabis but without the high due to the low levels of THC.

Companies use various procedures to extract CBD from hemp. Ethanol and CO2 (carbon dioxide) methods are common among leading CBD brands. However, it is advised to avoid CBD made using solvents such as butane, as they are harmful to your health if they end up in the CBD you consume. Between ethanol and CO2 extraction, the latter is the best method.

CO2 extraction is expensive, but it allows manufacturers to make high quality, solvent-free CBD products. Carbon dioxide is used in its supercritical state to make hemp extract. The other benefit is that it is safe and companies can reuse to extract more CBD. Nonetheless, other companies utilize ethanol instead for CBD extraction.

Manufacturers make three CBD extract types from hemp. One is full-spectrum CBD, which contains various hemp components: cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, vitamins, flavonoids, oils, and minerals. These elements work together for a better entourage effect, which boosts CBD's performance in your body. The main cannabinoid in hemp is CBD, but the herb also has minor cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, CBN, Delta 8 THC and THC.

The other type of CBD is broad-spectrum, it does not contain THC but incorporates other minor cannabinoids, CBD, and terpenes. The components offer an enhanced effect, but possibly not to the extent of a full spectrum extract.

The third kind of CBD extract is an isolate, where the only cannabinoid found is CBD; no terpenes, fatty acids, or other cannabinoids. The isolate extract is typically dissolved in a carrier oil to form an isolate CBD oil and may have flavouring added or terpenes for a more palatable taste.

Where does Hemp Oil (Hemp Seed Oil) come from and how is it Manufactured?

Hemp seed oil is made from hemp seeds and these do not contain any cannabinoids and is made by cold-pressing the seeds. The seeds contain fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins to support various functions in your body. The oil is made using pollinated female hemp plants that have produced seeds and although hemp seeds lack THC, trace amounts of THC can be found in this product due to the accumulation of plant matter in machinery.

CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil

The terms CBD oil and hemp oil are sometimes used interchangeably.  Some companies use this terminology with underhanded marketing tactics to sell plain hemp seed oil to consumers that believe CBD oil and hemp oil are the same thing.  Consumers should check lab test results if they are not sure if their perceived CBD oil contains any Cannabidiol.  A clearer and more acceptable use or terminology, is where companies refer to their product as CBD Hemp Oil, which indicates that it contains CBD and is dissolved in a hemp seed carrier oil.  In the UK, with the launch of the Novel Food Act, it is now required by approved sellers of CBD oil that the labelling explicitly highlight the active ingredients in its products to prevent customer confusion and improve their confidence in such products. 

Hemp oil (hemp seed oil) on its own, is a highly nutritious food and is rich in desired fatty acids such as Omega 3, 6, and 9. explains that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for metabolism, heart, and brain health, and omega 6 provides bodily energy. On the other hand, omega 9s are a proper replacement for some saturated fats.  When a hemp extract is then combined with a carrier oil such as hemp oil, the consumer benefits from both the cannabinoids and nutrients combined. 

Preliminary studies show that the Cannabidiol in CBD oil to have promising health benefits, although more research is needed. For example, explains that pure CBD exhibits anti-seizure benefits and reduces the frequency of seizures to improve patients' wellbeing. Besides, the FDA in 2018 approved a drug called Epidiolex, which contains CBD, for treating two seizure disorders, Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes. Additionally, Sativex is a drug containing CBD and THC, and it has been approved in the UK and Canada for multiple sclerosis pain. 

The bottom line is that CBD oil and hemp oil are two different products, however it is possible that hemp oil is found in CBD oil when the chosen carrier oil for the CBD extract is hemp seed oil.


Please note that this article was written by a 3rd-party author who is a specialist on the topic of CBD, hemp and cannabis. Any information or recommendations contained within this article, are independent to the opinion of RUDERALEX CBD and our employees. We make no claims for any of our products, please read our disclaimer for additional information.