Hemp vs. CBD: What’s The Difference?

Hemp Vs CBD

The year 2018 brought changes in the hemp industry thanks to a certain farm bill. Once passed, it meant that industrial hemp production was legal in the United States. It also meant that CBD moved into legality too. 

Now, in 2021, using hemp and CBD is more normalized across more states. Even if they do not sell hemp or marijuana, stores advertising CBD have popped up in almost every state. 

However, that does leave two questions: what is the difference between the two? What are the benefits to each of them? 

This hemp vs. CBD guide is here for you to understand the ins and outs of the two. Read on below to see whether hemp or CBD is right for you. 



Hemp is not marijuana, but they both come from the same plant family, Cannabis sativa. Cannabis has different cannabinoids, but you will likely recognize THC and CBD as familiar ones. 

The two significantly differ from each other: THC is a cannabinoid with psychoactive effects. You will get high after ingesting large amounts of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. 


CBD, on the other hand, does not have psychoactive effects. It only contains one type of cannabinoid called cannabidiol; hence the term “CBD” comes from. 

CBD coming from cannabis versus coming from a hemp plant also differs a bit. Hemp plants contain more CBD within them, whereas cannabis plants contain more THC. 


Remember, hemp comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is a plant that has been around for hundreds of years.

Hemp is not just for getting high: it is used for food, rope, clothes, and more. Unfortunately, industrial hemp does have a bias against it. When people hear the word “hemp,” they assume it is related to marijuana and getting high, which shows they truly do not understand the benefits of hemp. 

It is a great material, and it is not utilized enough in the United States compared to other more environmentally wasteful materials. 

Hemp does contain a little bit of THC. That said, the THC amount is so low that it may not get you completely high but instead give you a sense of euphoria or pain relief.

If it contains more than 0.3% of THC, the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration) has it classified as a Schedule I drug. This is only for certain states that have not legalized recreational marijuana yet. 


Hemp oil comes from the stalk (or sometimes the flowers) of the plant itself. It has up to 140 different kinds of cannabinoids and cannabinoid compounds. One of these is the infamous THC. 

It only has 0.3% of THC in it. Because of this low amount, it will not make you high when you ingest or use hemp. All fifty states have legalized hemp oil, so you are fine to use it, but it does not hurt to double-check your local laws

Please note: hemp oil is not the same thing as hemp seed oil. If you see this on a product, it may be marked as “cannabis Sativa seed oil” instead. This is all the more reason to check the products you want to buy carefully. 


CBD oil is only one aspect of cannabidiol and can come from a hemp plant or a marijuana plant. If you purchase it in its isolate form, you will not have any other cannabinoids in the CBD. 

If you are looking for CBD from the marijuana plant, you may find it classified as cannabis oil instead. It will contain high amounts of THC, so you may get high from using it. It is not legal everywhere, so double-check your local laws. 


Slowly but surely, the interest in CBD has grown. Educating consumers on CBD and its qualities is important to avoid bad products or misinformation, though. While CBD has come a long way, it still has a way to go. 

People claim CBD has great health benefits. While that cannot be confirmed for everything, there are scientific studies on CBD to see whether it can help remedy pain, anxiety, and even depression. 

What is known now is that CBD and your body’s endocannabinoid system helps to signal parts with pain or mental issues to relieve it. There is new research about the benefits of using CBD oil on your skin, too, acting as an anti-inflammatory. This means skin issues like rashes and acne can disappear thanks to the help of CBD oil! 


There are many differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, but sometimes hemp seed oil is mistakenly thought of as being the same as CBD oil. Here is what sets them apart, though: 

Hemp seed oil is full of a variety of vitamins and minerals. It may have some nutritional upsides to it. That said, it does not have any CBD in it, so you would miss out on the benefits of CBD if you ingest hemp seed oil only. 

Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are not made with the same processes. CBD oil is created by CO2 extraction, while hemp seed oil is cold-pressed into its oil form. They are two different kinds of oils with different cannabinoid properties. 


Knowing the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate is a bit confusing. This guide will break it down below for you. Be sure to check out our many different CBD oils up for grabs! 


If a label says your product is full-spectrum, it means it has all of the cannabinoids in the product itself. In other words, none of it was removed. This means you have all of the benefits that every cannabinoid and terpene can offer. 

Hemp products marked as full-spectrum contain that small amount of THC (0.3% or less); you will not get high from this. There are other benefits of hemp oil extract to consider. 

If you see a CBD oil product marked as full-spectrum, be careful. This means it has THC in it. Because of that, you may get high from using it.

Unless you see the words “cannabidiol,” “CBD,” or “full-spectrum hemp extract” on the product’s ingredients, then you have found hemp seed oil instead. Sometimes the labels are misleading because someone may be trying to sell you faux CBD. 


If the CBD product you are eyeing is marked as “broad-spectrum,” this means it has all of the terpenes and cannabinoids still active in it apart from THC. You may see the label says “THC-free.” 

Using broad-spectrum CBD products is a good way to avoid ingesting THC and avoid the psychoactive effect it can have on those who use it. 

CBD Isolate

This is only CBD. There are no other cannabinoids or terpenes left in the product, so only CBD remains. 

Still, you need to be careful when considering products marked as “pure CBD.” The label will tell you a lot, but you should also inquire about the product at the shop you are buying it from.

The store or manufacturer can sometimes show you a Certificate of Analysis (or a CofA) that gives you more information about the CBD product you are considering. This CofA will tell you exactly what is in the CBD product and whether it is isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. 

Is Hemp or CBD Better?

Deciding if hemp vs. CBD is better depends on what you, as the consumer, are looking for. What kind of cannabinoids are you looking for in your product? 

Hemp seed oil does not have psychoactive effects because THC and CBD levels are often in much lower quantities or are not even in the product itself.  However, it does benefit you, such as helping you get rid of constipation and even antioxidant supplements. 

CBD has so many potential uses. For example, some people use CBD oil to treat their pain and inflammation. CBD oil may also help reduce the effects of epilepsy.

Researchers are always studying new ways to use CBD, including possibly as a way to fight breast cancer symptoms


In the end, whether you decide to use hemp oil or CBD oil is up to you. CBD does not produce the typical “high” feeling like THC does in large quantities.  Knowing the similarities and differences between hemp vs. CBD will help you decide what kind of product and potential benefits you are looking for. Are you still struggling to decide between buying CBD oil vs. hemp oil? Contact us today so that we can give you assistance and more context. We want you to make the best decision for yourself and your health!

Learn More About Cannabinoids in our CBD Blog!

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