What is the difference between Hemp oil and CBD oil?

Written By: Sunil Alvarez

The world of Cannabis can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. The recent resurgence of the Cannabis plant has led to a massive boom in industry, which has resulted in a countless number of available wellness and lifestyle products. Adding more noise to the education problem we see with CBD today. 

You may find yourself asking questions like: What are the differences between Hemp oil and CBD oil? Don’t they come from the same plant? 

The short answer is yes, but the longer explanation can be a bit more complicated. Let’s break down the differences between Hemp oil and CBD oil. And in doing so, we’ll expand on some additional topics that will be useful when deciding which Cannabis product is going to be best for you.


A Little About The Cannabis Plant

what is the difference between cbd oil and hemp oil

“Hemp” and “Marijuana” are common labels used for describing strains of the Cannabis Sativa L plant species. The label Hemp is generally used for Cannabis plants that have 0.3% or less in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Marijuana is a label used to describe Cannabis plants that have higher traces of THC, the psychoactive organic chemical found in Cannabis.


First, let’s go over some basics, starting with the Hemp plant. Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis Sativa L plant species. It has very little THC so it is not psychoactive and for thousands of years, Hemp has been primarily known and grown for its strong and versatile fiber. It was commonly used for things like clothing and rope. 

A fun fact, the earliest recorded use of hemp for medicinal purposes was documented in 2737BC by the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung. Emperor Shen Nung is known as the Father of Chinese Medicine and frequently used Hemp to help folks that suffered from ailments such as gout and rheumatism. Read more about hemp and its alternative uses here.


CBD & Hemp Oils Available Today

As far as the oils that you see on the market today, they are extracted from Hemp biomass and Hemp seeds that are either imported into or grown in the United States. Oils that are extracted from hemp seeds typically list “hemp seed oil/extract” as one of the main ingredients under the supplement facts and are known to pack a good amount of protein, but unfortunately have no medicinal value. 

Oils that are labeled as “Hemp Oil” and list a milligram amount, like 10,000mg’s, can cause some confusion so stick with us here. Now, in this example, it most certainly is 10,000mg of Hemp Oil but if the hemp extract contains very little traces to zero amount of CBD or any other cannabinoid, then this product also has no medicinal value. 

We highlight this because there are plenty of products on Amazon that claim to offer relief from physical and mental ailments, but the ingredients found in their products are questionable at best for the relief they claim their products provide. Unless they have provided 3rd party lab tests, it’s safe to assume that they are using hemp seed oil or industrial hemp oil, both of which have zero medicinal value. 

Be wary of companies that are riding the CBD and Cannabis craze wave and are marketing these products as cure-alls without having any science to back their claims. 


Back To The Basics of Hemp

So getting back to the basics, if there’s one thing to remember about the Hemp plant, it’s that it does NOT get you high. Another important thing to remember is that it’s federally legal so you don’t have to worry about breaking any laws. As long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, of course. And since its legalization, there are dozens of hemp products available online, so buyer beware because not all hemp is created equal. 


CBD & Hemp Oil Labels & Prices

So if CBD Oil and Hemp Oil are both extracted from Hemp, why are they labeled and priced differently? The short answer is plant genetics and cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are organic chemicals found in the Hemp plant, each with their own unique properties. Research shows that they are useful in providing anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits and over 110 of them have been discovered so far. 

Hemp plants that have low counts of cannabinoids are grown for different reasons, such as textiles and cooking oils, and are cheaper to produce. This is why you’ll see products that have 5,000mg of Hemp Oil on the label and are priced at $29 for a two-pack, like in the example below. 

It’s the cannabinoids found in the plant that are extremely valuable and provide medicinal benefits, not so much the plant itself. So if you have 5,000mg of Hemp Oil, but little to no cannabinoids such as CBD, then that oil offers no medicinal value whatsoever. 

Not to say it’s useless, because it can be used for other things like cooking. But again, these low cannabinoid strains that we’ll categorize as Industrial Hemp, have very little to no medicinal benefits.

hemp oilhemp oil label

Here’s an example of what we mean. This is a product that we found on Amazon and on the label, you’ll see 5,000mg of “premium hemp oil.” However, when you take a closer look at the supplement facts on the back, it’s clear as to why they price this product at $29.99 for a two-pack. 

The majority of that 5,000mg in Hemp oil is most likely Hemp seed oil, which is nutritious but has absolutely zero cannabinoids, so again no medicinal benefits. Another thing that stood out to us was that they claim the product is 3rd party lab-tested but do not provide a link to the lab tests which is suspicious.


The Importance of 3rd Party Lab Tests

Make sure the company you purchase from makes their lab tests available so you can get insight into the cannabinoids found in the Hemp extract used for their product. A lot of companies out there will claim that their products are 3rd party lab-tested, yet don’t make the tests available. 

Aside from the cannabinoid count, 3rd party lab tests are important because they test for dangerous materials such as heavy metals, pesticides, and microbials. So remember, no lab tests equals a big red flag. 

To help you get a better idea of the 3rd party lab tests we’re talking about, here are the analyses of our 2500mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil tincture. The first test is for the cannabinoid profile, and the second is to test for heavy metals and pesticides.

cbd oil lab test

Above is the 3rd party lab test by Botanica Testing Inc. for our 2500mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture. You’ll see that the results are clear, 2500mg of CBD in a 30ml bottle or 83.13mg per milliliter and the legally acceptable amount of THC, 0.3% or less. Also, because this is a full spectrum tincture, you’ll find other cannabinoids were detected, such as CBC and CBD-V. 

And below is the Pesticides and Heavy Metal analysis provided to us by Green Scientific Labs here in Florida. We make sure to test for these harmful substances to ensure the safety of our customers and the quality of our product.

cbd oil lab tests

cbd oil lab test
Cannabis Strains & Genetics

On the variety of products available, there are strains of Hemp/Cannabis that have been bred to produce a much higher concentration of the cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD), as well as other cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, and THC. 

These strains typically require a higher amount of attention and care because the majority of cannabinoids found in the Hemp plant come from the female flower. If the conditions are not right, these flowers will lose potency and offer no medicinal benefits. 

Keep in mind that Hemp plants can be either male or female. Male hemp plants produce seeds and are usually low in cannabinoids so they’re mainly used for their fibers. Female hemp plants grow flowers that produce a higher concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids. 

Cannabinoids like CBD are commonly extracted and mixed with a carrier oil like MCT (medium-chain triglyceride), then packaged and made available as hemp supplements, like Maku’s Full Spectrum Tinctures

Over the past few years, these products have grown in popularity and are now in high demand due to the physical and mental benefits that cannabinoids have shown to provide.

Below we listed a few examples of high CBD Hemp/Cannabis strains that are commonly used for some of the wellness products that you’ll find on the market today. Our personal favorite is Cherry Wine ;-)

cherry wine cbd flower

Cherry Wine CBD

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Genetics: The Wife x Charlotte’s Cherries
  • CBD Content: 18 percent
  • THC Content: 0.3 percent

Super Lemon Haze CBD flower

Super Lemon Haze CBD

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Genetics: Super Lemon Haze x high-CBD male
  • CBD Content: 14 percent
  • THC Content: 0.3 percent

elektra cbd flower

Elektra CBD

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Genetics: Early Resin Berry x ACDC
  • CBD Content: 16 percent
  • THC Content: 0.3 percent

oregon og cbd flower

Oregon OG CBD

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Genetics: Cannatonic x Astral Works
  • CBD Content: 13 percent
  • THC Content: 0.3 percent



Now that you have a better understanding of the Cannabis plant, cannabinoids, and the importance of 3rd party lab tets, let’s wrap this up. 

To summarize, the differences between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil is simply the amount of the Cannabidiol (CBD) found in the hemp extract used. If the product is labeled as “hemp oil” then it’s most likely going to be extracted from industrial hemp which again has no medicinal value. If the oil is labeled as CBD Oil then the hemp extract is going to be high in CBD.

The only way to know this is by looking at the 3rd party lab tests for the product batch. If you’re looking for the anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits that have made Cannabis so popular, make sure to find a product with a high CBD (cannabidiol) count.

We hope this article has helped clear some of the confusion surrounding these topics for you. If you have any questions or would like some guidance with regards to dose, strength, and delivery method, please contact us! We’ll be happy to help.

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Abel, E.L. (1980). Marijuana, The First Twelve Thousand Years. New York: Plenum Press Perry 

Fine, M.D.1,* and Mark J. Rosenfeld, M.S., Ph.D.2 (2018). NCBI, The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain.