Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: The Need For Clarity

HEMP OIL VS. CBD OIL

Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil: The difference between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil

Hemp is the super plant of the century. Walking through the supermarket, you can find it in the health foods section, the cosmetics aisle, and the supplements corner. But is it all the same? Looking closer, you’ll find many different hemp-derived ingredients in those products. You might ask yourself what you’re spending your hard-earned money on. One of the most common questions is: What is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil? So let’s have a closer look and find out.

HEMP OIL

Hemp oil is produced from the seeds of industrial hemp. Like with olive oil, there are different types of it, like native, cold-pressed, refined, toasted and many more.

Hemp oil has a characteristic nutty aroma. To preserve all of its beneficial properties, it is best used without having been heated, such as on salads and other foods after cooking. It has the perfect ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which makes it an excellent addition to a healthy, balanced diet. These omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, usually found in fish oil, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects [1]. Furthermore, they can help significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes [2].

Hemp seed oil is also a powerful ingredient in skincare cosmetic products with multiple benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and anti-ageing action. In addition, the very light and non-greasy oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t cause breakouts [3]! In the ingredient list, it will appear as “Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil”.

Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil? The answer is no. The most important thing to remember is that while hemp seed oil is healthy and beneficial, it does not contain CBD.

CBD OIL

CBD oil is produced from industrial hemp's flowers, leaves and stalks. There are different types of it, like full- or broad-spectrum oils or isolate-based oils (click here to learn more).

As hemp extracts alone are thick and pasty, manufacturers dilute them to make them easy to use and dose. They often use healthy oils such as MCT coconut oil or olive oil and various flavourings to enhance the benefits. Many people use CBD oil daily to boost their lifestyle and wellbeing naturally. A recent survey suggests that the main reasons for CBD use are self-perceived anxiety, sleep problems, stress and general health. Some people also mentioned the treatment of post-exercise muscle soreness and pain [4] .

You can also find CBD oil in cosmetic and skincare products. It is a powerful ingredient with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to balance the skin barrier function, meaning it has a skin-protecting effect. Studies have also shown that it might be a promising tool to combat acne and eczema. Moreover, it might be a natural alternative to some commercially used ingredients in oral care products [5]. In the ingredient list, you will find it as “Cannabidiol” or “Cannabis Sativa Leaf Extract”. Many companies combine it with hemp seed oil, so don’t be surprised if you find both on the label.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP OIL AND CBD OIL

When looking at hemp oil vs. CBD oil, the difference is that hemp oil does not contain CBD.

While both are excellent choices for a healthier lifestyle and better-looking skin, they provide different benefits. Therefore, you should always carefully check the label to ensure that the product you are buying will give you the desired effect.


If you choose to buy CBD oil products, always look for the certificates of analysis that responsible companies provide on their websites. Last but not least, only use products as instructed on the label; if you’re not sure about something, do reach out to customer service.

We ensure our content is current and accurate with strict guidelines about sourcing that rely on governmental authority, academic institutions and peer-reviewed studies.

  • [1] Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial — Link to source
  • [2] An Update on Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Health — Link to source
  • [3] Topical Use of Cannabis sativa L. Biochemicals — Link to source
  • [4] Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems — Link to source
  • [5] Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders — Link to source
Portrait of Anna Falk

written by

anna falk - head of product

Anna Falk is Head of Product at Harmony. Anna obtained her PhD degree in Organic Chemistry with highest honours and has a combined 9 years of experience in R&D, project, and product management across the fields of natural product synthesis, catalysis, and cosmetics. She has produced award-winning, internationally published research at the Universities of Berkeley, Edinburgh, and Cologne.

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