Which is Better CBD Oil or Hemp Oil?

I received an email  from a Good Decisioner curious about the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. Thanks for your Inquiry Kelvin! This was a fun one to research!

Here is a brief breakdown on the difference between the two.

Plant Anatomy

  • CBD oil is made from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the hemp plant—the only parts of the plant where cannabidiol is found.
  • Hemp oil, or hemp seed oil, is made from hemp seeds, meaning there is little to no CBD content.


Hemp Oil

To extract the oil, hemp seeds are pressed and bottled or further processed and refined before bottling. Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids like linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). They are also an excellent source of protein and offer vitamin E and other health-enhancing minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.

Health Benefits 

Studies have shown that giving hemp oil to those with eczema may improve symptoms of the skin disorder, including dryness and itching. Studies suggest that these effects are due to hemp oil’s balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Hemp is a good source of GLA (gamma linoleic acid), which has been shown to decrease the inflammation that can occur with menopause. Hemp oil has also been found to alleviate symptoms of PMS, which can reduce the effect of the hormone prolactin in the body.


CBD or cannabidiol oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, and stalks of matured hemp plants. CBD oil can be extracted through several methods including carbon dioxide, ethanol, and even olive oil. The extraction method can play a part in the quality of CBD oil.

Health Benefits

CBD is sought for its range of health benefits, which include relief from pain, inflammation and insomnia. For those sensitive to the “high” of THC, CBD offers the power of the cannabis plant without psychoactive effects.

In a study of patients with arthritis, CBD effectively reduced pain, stiffness and inflammation. In another study of those with multiple sclerosis, patients experienced improvement in pain reduction, walking and muscle spasms when taking CBD.

CBD can also help those suffering from depression and anxiety. A report published in Neurotherapeutics found that CBD oil shows promise in the treatment of conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. And a survey published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018 showed that 62 percent of cannabidiol users reported that they used CBD to treat a medical condition, with the top three conditions being pain, anxiety and depression.

CBD can also help you sleep better, as determined by several studies. In one study, CBD showed promise for inducing deeper REM sleep, while another study of Parkinson’s disease patients found that taking CBD oil reduced symptoms of insomnia. And with CBD’s potential to relieve anxiety and pain, falling asleep becomes more likely, as these experiences can interfere with getting proper rest.

The Entourage Effect

When you harvest oil from the entire plant, you get every potential beneficial compound the plant has to offer including not just CBD, but dozens of other cannabinoids and scent compounds called terpenes.

Because hemp seeds don’t have the same cannabinoid profile, terpenes or other beneficial compounds, you’re only getting a fraction of the benefits that you would from CBD oil and not tapping into the entourage effect.

As a clinical herbalist we tend to believe that the different compounds of the cannabis plant work better when they’re used together compared to being used individually or as isolated extracts. The terpenes for instance, help the cannabinoids achieve their best effects; the cannabinoids help other cannabinoids – everything works together harmoniously.

With the entourage effect, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

So one is not really better than the other. It is best to consider which benefits you hope to gain, and then choose accordingly.

If you are curious about a food, plant, herb or substance let me know! I’m always looking for fun topics to write about!