What’s the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?

What’s the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?

Hemp has been used all throughout human history — archaeologists have found hemp cloth that dates back 8,000 years to Mesopotamia! With CBD becoming more popular in the UK, there’s never been a better time to discuss the relationship between the two. Whether you buy CBD in the form of a CBD oil, CBD bath products, or a topical CBD like a balm, gel or cream, it all traces back to hemp.

If you’re interested in trying CBD, you’ll likely see both CBD oil and hemp oil products. But is there a difference? While both come from the same plant, they actually do have many differences. Let’s explore the differences between CBD oil and hemp oil, and how to choose the best product for you.

differences between CBD oil and hemp oil

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the most famous cannabinoids. It’s the main component in hemp and is the second-most prevalent cannabinoid in the marijuana plant (behind THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the negative side effects of smoking marijuana). Cultivators extract CBD from the leaves of the plant, specifically from the trichomes.

The cannabis plant contains more than 500 different compounds, 104 of which are cannabinoids. A cannabinoid is a naturally occurring class of substances that were first discovered in the cannabis plant (hence the name), but they can actually be found throughout most biological systems, including our own!

CBD is natural, legal, and safe. A study by the World Health Organization classified CBD as having a “good safety profile”. This is partially because your body already produces a cannabinoid directly similar to CBD—that means it can be integrated nice and easily!

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Hemp vs. Marijuana

Before we go over the differences and similarities between CBD and hemp oil, we must understand the differences between the hemp and marijuana plants. Both are in the genus Cannabis; however, they differ quite dramatically.


Both CBD oils and hemp oils are extracted from the hemp plant. Hemp is a subspecies of the Cannabis sativa plant and is cultivated for its leaves, seeds, and fibre. Like marijuana, hemp contains a myriad of cannabinoids — however, these cannabinoids aren't psychoactive.

Hemp has many uses other than for CBD extraction. You can use hemp fibres to create textiles, paper, rope, and more. Today, growers harvest hemp to contain significant amounts of CBD to create CBD oil and other CBD products.


Marijuana is a famous psychoactive drug and is usually what comes to mind when you hear someone say “cannabis.” This plant is controversial but its medical and recreational use is steadily increasing globally. Marijuana exists in two cannabis species: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica.

As stated previously, marijuana is occasionally used for medical reasons, but it’s usually used recreationally as a means to get “high.” That’s because marijuana contains psychoactive cannabinoids like THC, which hemp only contains in small traces.

Like hemp, marijuana is grown to have certain cannabinoid percentages. Where hemp growers prioritise CBD, marijuana growers usually focus on potent high THC strains. Keep in mind, marijuana is illegal in the UK and is considered a Class B drug. Only medical marijuana is legal, which is heavily monitored.

Hemp oil vs CBD oil: the similarities and differences

After all that, let’s get into the actual reason you clicked on this article: what exactly are the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil? Both products offer many similarities and differences. Here’s a breakdown of both:

similarities and differences between hemp oil and cbd


Both CBD oil and hemp oil are typically derived from the hemp plant, especially since marijuana is still illegal in the UK. This means that both CBD and hemp oil don’t contain any THC (or only small traces) and they won’t get you high.


When it comes to CBD vs hemp, the biggest difference between hemp and CBD oil is that they’re both extracted from different parts of the plant. In addition, hemp seed oil doesn't contain any CBD (or very little). 

As stated previously, CBD oil is extracted from the trichomes of the leaves. Hemp oil is extracted from the hemp seeds, which is why it’s often called “hemp seed oil”.

Since CBD oil can be extracted from any cannabis plant, reputable CBD brands (like us!) will include a lab report to show the percentages of different cannabinoid levels. Look at the CBD percentages and make sure THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids are below quantitation limit (BQL).

Avoiding confusion with CBD oil and hemp oil

So, we’ve established that CBD oil and hemp oil are two different substances, but they still frequently get confused since they’re extracted from the same plant. It’s worth saying that purchasing one instead of the other won’t harm you — but they have very different purposes.

avoiding confusion with CBD oil and hemp oil

If you’re looking for a nutritious, healthy oil then hemp oil is the way to go, but if you’re looking to experience the full nature of the hemp plant, then you’re after a CBD oil. Hemp oils do not contain CBD in more than trace amounts. 

Despite this, there’s a chance a hemp seed oil brand may claim their products contain CBD. While this may not be a lie, hemp seed oil won’t contain as much CBD as a dedicated, pure CBD oil like ours.

This is why it’s essential to read the ingredients list and check for a batch test or certificate of analysis. If you’re still unsure, you can contact the manufacturer directly and ask questions.

How to read CBD product labels

Our motto at BeYou is always—know what you’re putting in your body! We believe that the best way to identify high-quality CBD oil is by reading the product label, and having the knowledge to understand what all the jargon means.

How to read CBD product labels

As stated previously, the best CBD brands offer batch testing (also called a certificate of analysis) that states how many cannabinoids are in the product. You can find ours on our lab report page. You’ll also want to read the other ingredients in the product, including the MG amount of CBD.

CBD may be classified as:

  • Cannabidiol

  • Broad/full spectrum cannabidiol extract

  • Full spectrum hemp

  • PCR - Phytocannabinoid Rich

  • PCR cannabinoid extracts

Hemp seed oil may also be classified as Cannabis sativa seed oil. For tinctures, you’ll usually find the carrier oil as the secondary ingredient. Flavoured CBD products will have additional ingredients.

You should also be wary of brands making false claims and benefits about CBD. While research is ongoing, currently no CBD products in the UK have been directly approved to make medical claims. No CBD product should be making extensive medical claims.

Buy CBD with BeYou

While hemp seed oil has always been popular as a nutritious oil, the popularity of CBD is far outstripping it at this point. As people get a better understanding of CBD and all the other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, this popularity is only set to increase further. 

If you’re looking for CBD products, you’ll want to only buy them from a trustworthy brand. Our CBD products feature pure CBD with clear MG doses, all with 0% THC. To buy CBD visit our CBD shop page, and take a look at our CBD oils, CBD bath products, and topical CBD balm, gel and cream.

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