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CBD Oil, Cannabis Oil & Hemp Oil: What’s The Difference?

Aren’t they just the same thing? Well yes, and no. There is much ambiguity in the industry about the differences between CBD oil, Cannabis oil and Hemp oil – some of it a marketing ploy, some of it just plain confusing. So let’s break it down for you.

Cannabis Oil vs CBD Oil

Cannabis (often referred to as marijuana) and hemp are two varieties of the same plant species, cannabis sativa. Put simply, Cannabis oil is extracted from the Marijuana plant and contains at least 20% of the psychoactive compound THC and a lower level of the cannabidiol compound (CBD). You will only be allowed access to Cannabis oil with a doctor’s prescription. The oil derived from hemp on the other hand produces more CBD but has less than 0.3% THC and is the variety that is now readily available for over-the-counter purchase. So the reason we said “yes and no” in our opening line of this article, is because technically CBD oil and Hemp oil ARE the same thing – the terms are just being used incorrectly.

Ok, so what about Hemp SEED Oil

Hemp seed oil is often referred to as hemp oil, which heightens the confusion even further. While both are known for their health benefits, they are two completely different things:

  • The difference lies in the CBD content

Hemp seed oil contains virtually zero CBD, whereas CBD is the main active ingredient in hemp oil (which is why it is called CBD oil).

  • They are extracted from different parts of the plant.
    The CBD oil extracted from the hemp plant is usually extracted from the flowers, leaves and the stem, while hemp seed oil, as the name suggests, is made from pressing the seeds.
  • They offer different benefits.
  • Hemp oil/CBD oil is known for treating medicinal concerns and offers numerous therapeutic benefits, namely insomnia, pain and inflammation.
  • Hemp seed oil is used primarily for its nutritional benefits. It’s very high in fatty acids as well as Vitamin E. and as such can be incorporated into cooking, beauty products and is even used as a varnish for wood.

Check your labels

If you are buying your products over the counter, you won’t need to worry about checking the ingredients for Cannabis oil (if you’re purchasing legally, that is), so let’s take that off the table.

However, it’s important to know what to look for when buying the hemp variety. Intentional or not, companies often claim their products contain CBD, when in fact they do not. To add to the confusion, what a large number of brands are calling CBD oil is really full spectrum extract from the hemp plant. So check your labels because if it is full-spectrum extract, it will contain more than just CBD as an active. What you are looking for is the CBD isolate as the active ingredient.


The Cannabex oils for example, comprise only Anhydrous Hemp Oil and MCT vegetable oil (the carrier) so you can be rest assured that all of the other cannabinoids (including THC) are non-existent in their products.


The information on this page is intended as an educational tool only and should not be used to treat illness. Please consult a medical doctor or registered homeopath if you have any questions or concerns with regards to your health.  

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