Hemp Oil Vs CBD Oil: Production, Pricing, & Availability

by Vanya Sharma last updated -

When it comes to hemp oil and CBD oil, the main point of concern is their legality status. While the production and use of industrial hemp are legal in the United States, CBD production remains outside the doors of legality in most parts of the US and the rest of the world. It is always a good idea to check with your local concerned authorities before using any of the two. Having said that, most people wonder what is the difference between these two oils, in general. So, in this article, we take a detailed look at hemp oil vs CBD oil and then let’s see which one makes the top cut, if at all. [1]

Hemp Oil Vs CBD Oil

What brings us to hemp oil vs CBD oil is the gradual increase in their demand for cosmetic products and cooking, as also reported in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. CBD oil, which was often confused to be a psychoactive substance is now finally being understood and commercially used in beauty products, an area where hemp oil has already been a champion. When put next to each other, hemp oil and CBD oil hold a lot of confusion, in terms of labeling, usage, and perception. We target towards minimizing these doubts and giving a wholesome picture of these two oils in detail below. [2]

The difference at a basic level:


  • Cannabis: 17 percent THC
  • Hemp plant: Less than 0.3 percent THC
  • Hemp seeds: 0 percent THC


  • Cannabis: Less than 0.15 percent CBD
  • Hemp plant: 12 to 15 percent CBD
  • Hemp seeds: Trace amounts of CBD
Bottles of cbd oil and hemp oil next to marijuana leaves on a wooden table

CBD oil and hemp oil come from the same plant but have a lot of differences. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Both these oils come from the hemp plant, which is a specific kind of marijuana plant, mainly high in its cannabidiol or CBD content and low in THC, which is also what is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. However, these oils are produced differently, as reported in the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. [3] [4]

Hemp oil usually comes out of a cold-press extraction process of the hemp seeds, whereas, CBD oil is produced with the entirety of the hemp plant, using highly automated extraction tools. The most common of these CBD oil extraction methods include the CO2 method or the rather traditional solvent-based method.

Color & Taste

The difference in their production process is also responsible for the difference in their colors. While hemp seed oil is green in color, CBD oil tends to be a lightish golden or dark brown in color, as also reported in a study published in the Molecules journal. When it comes to taste, hemp oil has a nutty taste, and CBD oil has a more earthy and neutral taste to it. [5]

Cannabidiol Content

CBD oil contains high levels of cannabidiol or CBD. It also contains phytocannabinoids and terpenes that are naturally occurring compounds in hemp. On the other hand, hemp seed oil does not hold any good amounts of CBD, however, it has trace amounts of THC in it.


Due to the expensive production process of CBD oil, it will cost you more than hemp oil. If you are going for a premium quality CBD oil, then it will cost you even more, but in case a product is claimed to be of premium quality it is best to check for its legitimacy.


Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. It is commonly used in cooking and beauty products. Hemp seed oil is often labeled as ‘organic’ or ‘raw’ or ‘unrefined hemp seed oil’ on products.

On the other hand, CBD oil comes from the leaves of the hemp plant. It can either be derived from hemp or any other cannabidiol rich strain of cannabis. CBD oil is usually labeled as ‘whole-plant extract’ or ‘phytocannabinoid-rich’ on products. CBD oil concentrates usually contain a carrier oil such as olive oil or MCT.


Both these oils can be found in grocery stores, health stores, and local pharmacies. If you are looking for premium quality CBD oil, you can purchase it online from CBD specific stores or websites. You can also find hemp oil in beauty stores as it is frequently used as a part of skincare routines.


Both hemp seed oil and CBD oil are used as ingredients in beauty and skincare products. As per research, hemp oil helps in de-clogging the pores, moisturizing the skin, and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Many people also use a drop of this oil directly on their face as a face oil. New research on CBD also displays its anti-inflammatory nature, which is known to help with acne, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis.

What Is The Confusion?

This brings us to the point of confusion between these two oils – and the answer to this is the marketing done by brands; they often confuse the user by using these two interchangeably. And we, the consumer, get confused because we think since both hemp oil and CBD oil come from the same plant, they might be the same thing. When in fact, as we just understood, they are pretty different from each other. This confusion is further instigated by beauty brands that endorse their products with the name CBD while only adding hemp to it, which we know is a cheaper option between the two.

What’s important to understand while buying a CBD based oil is to check for the ingredient label to save yourself from any misinformation. No matter how the brands market their product, you can always check the ingredient label to get a clear picture. Hemp oil will usually be listed as ‘cannabis sativa seed oil’, whereas CBD oil will be listed as ‘cannabidiol’, ‘full-spectrum hemp’, or ‘phytocannabinoid-rich extracts’. It is also advisable to check the milligrams of CBD or hemp in the bottle to know what exactly you’re paying for. Use in moderation and consult a doctor or medical practitioner if you have any allergies or serious health problems. [6]

Word of Caution

While you are using any CBD or hemp derived products, it is important to check your state’s laws and guidelines for the same. Hemp-derived CBD products are illegal in the US on a federal level, but still legal in many states. If you are travelling, then make sure you comply with that city/state’s laws regarding the consumption and use of CBD. Remember that most CBD products are not FDA-approved and therefore may be sold illegally or with wrong labeling. Be wary of the side effects of CBD before consuming – it can cause nausea, dizziness, and dry mouth among others. Also keep in mind that it can have serious drug interactions when taken along with blood thinning medicines. Check with your doctor if you have a serious or chronic condition.

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About the Author

Vanya Sharma is a writer at heart with interests in the health and nutrition domain and has experience in content creation, collaboration, and content strategy. Vanya has completed the “Introduction to Food and Health” certificate program from Stanford University, US. She aims to bring unbiased and helpful information to all those seeking to make their health and lifestyle a priority.

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