hemp oil vs hemp seed oil

Hemp Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

Navigating the online market for CBD and other cannabis products can be challenging. Often, people interested in CBD but unfamiliar with the terminology find themselves scrolling aimlessly through websites, unsure of exactly what they’re reading or what products are best suited for their needs.
Here, we’ll clarify hemp oil vs hemp seed oil and the definitions of other industry terms that should matter to CBD users.

CBD Knowledge Nuggets

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CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a member of the large family of cannabinol compounds found in the marijuana plant. Research has demonstrated CBD’s remarkable capacity for treating a range of health conditions by impacting the functioning of your body’s Endocannabinoid System.

The cannabinoid, THC, is responsible for the “high” feelings that people feel when smoking cannabis. For a plant to be legally classified as hemp and therefore produce CBD, it must consist of less than 0.3% THC. A person should feel no feelings of euphoria when taking CBD.

The effects of CBD are as varied as the people who have taken it. Your body uses CBD in the way that it needs to most. For most, the absence of anxiety and reduction of stress are the biggest benefits of regular CBD supplementation.

Understanding Terms: Hemp vs. Marijuana vs. Cannabis

Before we discuss the most common misconceptions circulating on the web regarding CBD, we should first discuss the various terms used for the plant that CBD is sourced from – cannabis.
The terms cannabis, marijuana, and hemp are often (incorrectly) used interchangeably. In fact, each term has a distinct definition and appropriate use.
Here are the definitions of each:


This is the scientific term for the genus (group) of plants that include the species Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis ruderalis.
In biology textbooks, “cannabis” is the term that is used to identify the group of plants that form the cannabis family.
Increasingly, the CBD industry prefers the term “cannabis” over “marijuana.”


Legally, “marijuana” is cannabis plant material that contains more than 0.3% total tetrahydrocannabinol content — better known in popular culture by its acronym, THC.
Some marijuana products genetically bred for maximum THC content can contain as much as 30% THC.
As opposed to hemp products, which are being sold in many retail outlets, marijuana can only be sold in carefully regulated, licensed dispensaries.
“Marijuana” is a relatively new term, having just been coined in the late 19th or early 20th century. The term “marijuana” was applied to the cannabis genus because of racist associations between Mexicans in Texas and other frontier areas and the supposed widespread use of cannabis among them.
Today, many industry leaders and activists consider “marijuana” a racist and outdated term, opting for other ways to reference cannabis and its preparations.


Legally, hemp is cannabis plant material that contains less than 0.3% THC. As the cannabinoid compound that causes the “high” in users, THC content is what government authorities are most interested in regulating. Therefore, hemp is essentially non-psychoactive cannabis.
The now-famous 2018 Farm Bill paved the way for a rebirth of the hemp industry by allowing the separation of hemp from the 1932 Controlled Substances Act that restricts marijuana cultivation. While “marijuana” remains a Schedule 1 narcotic according to federal scheduling, “hemp” is now freely grown commercially.

The term “hemp” and its associated uses – outside of the plant’s medicinal properties – has a storied history in the United States.
A handful of America’s Founding Fathers grew hemp. Thomas Paine’s famously revolutionary pamphlet Common Sense was printed on paper from Benjamin Franklin’s hemp mill. Thomas Jefferson smuggled high-quality hemp from China into France.
The hemp plant is both hardy and extremely useful for several purposes. It can be used to make paper, clothing, and even as a high-quality protein powder which. Hemp, along with flax seeds, holds the title as the only plant to contain all 12 essential amino acid.

Why the Use of Different Terms Matter

Depending on the context, the various terms have important legal ramifications. Entirely different federal regulations exist for the handling of THC-rich marijuana compared to THC-free hemp.
The distinction in legal terms is intended to separate “legitimate” (in the eyes of the authorities) industries that utilize hemp (biomass, for example) from the black-market activity associated with marijuana.
Both because of its arguably racist origins and because of its implicit association with criminology, “marijuana” has fallen out of favor. In 2020, finding CBD companies or advocacy groups that refer to their products as “marijuana” would be difficult.
Protecting your health by choosing the most beneficial form of cannabis is another important reason to understand the varying terminologies.

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Understanding the Various Forms of CBD

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the all-star of the more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The majority of the plant’s health benefits observed by researchers are due either wholly or primarily to CBD, including lessened anxiety, pain relief, and lowered inflammation.
Importantly, CBD works in concert with the many other cannabis compounds in an “entourage effect” which we’ll discuss further below.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the health-promoting compounds that occur naturally in cannabis, including terpenes, flavonoids, and the more than 100 cannabinoids in the plant.
Together, these compounds work synergistically by exerting the “entourage effect,” multiplying their benefits by working in tandem.
For medicinal and therapeutic purposes, full-spectrum CBD is generally considered the gold standard.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in full-spectrum CBD except for THC, which has been removed in a lab.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is pure, 100% CBD. The other compounds have been stripped from the oil through a laboratory process called winterization. Because CBD has a higher-temperature boiling point than the other compounds in the plant, carefully targeted burning can remove them and leave only the pure CBD.
Although the chances of CBD causing a positive test on a drug screening are small, people who must take drug tests for employment or other reasons often prefer to stay on the safe side by using THC-free CBD isolate. Not all tests screen for the same cannabinoids, so, the only way to insure a negative drug test is by not using any cannabinoid products.
Other people who might select CBD isolate over other forms are people with conditions that like seizure disorders that may require higher concentrated dosages of CBD alone.

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Your serving size may be different than your friend’s, even if you have the same issue to treat. The main rule is to start low and increase. Just because your pain is intense, doesn’t mean you need a lot of CBD to handle it. Your body may react differently than others.

It depends on your type of pain. For chronic pain, a daily tincture may be beneficial. For localized pain, a roll-on or balm may be the best way to use CBD.

There are hundreds of companies selling CBD, both good and bad. A popular company may not have the right product for you. Sometimes it may come down to just which one feels right to you. You can see our list of partners that we have determined are good ones to purchase products from.

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Hemp Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil

Now that we’ve clarified the various terms for the cannabis plant and its use and the different forms of CBD, let’s discuss the different kinds of oils that can be produced from the cannabis plant.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil comes from the flower portion of the cannabis plant, the part that contains CBD.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil, as the name suggests, is produced from the seed of the cannabis plant rather than the flower.

Why the Differences Matter – Hemp Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

Importantly, hemp seeds do not contain any significant amount of CBD. Therefore, people who want to benefit from the health-promoting properties of CBD should select products produced with hemp oil and avoid those containing hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil provides none of the benefits associated with CBD.

Beware of Deceptive Marketing

Although hemp seeds and the oil derived from them do offer impressive health benefits, they do not offer the same ones as CBD. Only oil sourced from the flowers of hemp plants contain CBD.
Some companies, hoping to profiteer off of consumers’ confusion, market products containing hemp seed oil on Amazon.com and elsewhere as CBD products.
You can avoid the pitfall of misleading advertising by only selecting CBD products from reputable, certified manufacturers of real CBD products.

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Why Choosing Hemp-Derived CBD Is Important

Legally, CBD products sold in the United States cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. If the CBD is sourced from hemp plants that themselves do not exceed the threshold of 0.3% THC, then the CBD will not exceed the legal limit.
However, if the CBD has been sourced from THC-rich “marijuana” plants, the product could contain as high as 30% THC. This could cause unwanted effects from supplementation as well as potentially trigger legal issues for both the producer and the user.
Responsible manufacturers of CBD products test for quality to ensure they do not exceed the legal limit.

Understanding hemp oil vs hemp seed oil is one of the first things you should master as you go into the world of CBD. Take a look at other articles to get a better understanding of how CBD can help you and the best type for your situation.

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