Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: What’s the Difference?

  • 7 min read

bottles of hemp oil and cbd oil

Let’s say you’re trying to find a supplement to help soothe your sore muscles after a workout. Or maybe you’re looking for something that may help calm your busy thoughts so you can fall asleep a bit easier. Your Google searches will probably lead you to two products: CBD oil and hemp oil. Then there are other sites that mention a third, similar-sounding product: hemp extract. 

What are the differences between organic hemp & CBD oil? And where does hemp extract fit in? Let’s dive into these questions.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: They’re Not The Same Thing

Many companies will (incorrectly) use the above terms interchangeably. Unfortunately, this leads to misinformation around the CBD space. 
To begin, let’s talk about hemp oil vs CBD oil and how they’re not the same.

When you see 'hemp extract' in our product descriptions, it means the CBD in the product was extracted from 100% organic, American-grown hemp plants. 

Hemp oil is made from all or certain parts of the hemp plant. CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one chemical compound that can be extracted from hemp or marijuana plants. Therefore, hemp oil might contain small amounts of CBD. But CBD oil is just CBD.

So, where does hemp extract fit in? Well, it depends who you ask. 

Hemp Extract: Confusing the CBD Space

While hemp oil and CBD oil are different by definition, hemp extract has more of a blurred line.

Hemp Extract vs Hemp Oil

Hemp extract could mean hemp oil, although with hemp oil, all (or most) of the hemp plant is used. With hemp extract, typically only one part of the plant is used.

Hemp Extract vs CBD Oil

Hemp extract is just that: an extract of hemp. That makes CBD oil one typeof hemp extract. But technically speaking, not all hemp extracts are CBD oil.

Starting to see where the confusion comes in?

For Zebra CBD products, we use the term “hemp extract” to clearly describe how our CBD is sourced. When you see “hemp extract” in our product descriptions, it means the CBD in the product was extracted from 100% organic, American-grown hemp plants. 

A Guide to Hemp and CBD Products

Ready to dive a little deeper? Here is the full guide to hemp oil and CBD products.

  • What Is Hemp Oil?
  • What Is CBD Oil?  
  • How Does THC it Into All of This?
  • The Hemp vs. CBD Trail Mix Analogy
  • How Do I Know Which Is Best for Me?
  • CBD Benefits For Health and Wellness

    Hemp Oil

    When researching hemp and hemp oil, you may find a lot of words used interchangeably. Let’s get some terminology down to help clear things up. 

    What Is Hemp?

    Hemp is a plant in the Cannabis genus that has 0.3% or less THC content (by weight). There are many different kinds of hemp plant, but the most common is Cannabis ruderalis, or industrial hemp.  

    What Is Hemp Oil?

    Hemp oil can be made from seeds, stalks, flowers or any part of the hemp plant. Hemp oil is sometimes referred to as “full-spectrum hemp oil.” This means that the oil was made using multiple parts of the hemp plant.

    What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

    Hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant. It is rich in nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids, and contains bioactive compounds. CBD can be found in hemp seed oil, but usually not in very high quantities compared with hemp oil or CBD oil. You’ll often see hemp seed oil products advertised as a vitamin supplement or in hair and skincare creams.

    What Does Hemp Oil Have That CBD Oil Doesn’t Have?

    A lot, actually. Since hemp oil is derived from the entire plant, it retains more of the plant’s natural substances. In addition to CBD, hemp oil can contain:

    • omega-6 fatty acids
    • omega-3 fatty acids
    • linoleic acid
    • oleic acid
    • protein
    • fiber
    • Vitamins A, C and E

      The question then becomes, why are CBD oils the product you want?

      What is CBD Oil?

      CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is an oil made from the non-psychotropic chemical compound called cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, or CBD, can be extracted from plants in the Cannabis genus, like hemp and marijuana. Although, for it to be sold in products nationwide, the CBD oil must be extracted from hemp plants.

      How Does THC Fit Into All of This?

      THC — or tetrahydrocannabinol — is the psychoactive chemical compound in a cannabis plant. Both CBD and THC can be found in hemp and marijuana plants, but the two chemical compounds are not the same thing. THC is the ingredient  in marijuana products that causes the psychoactive effects of being “high.” The effects of THC may include:

      • increased sleepiness
      • a sense of happiness or euphoria
      • a hard time focusing
      • heightened sensory awareness
      • an increase in appetite
      • relaxation
      • a sense of paranoia or panic

      The amount of THC in a plant from the cannabis genus determines whether the plant is considered hemp or marijuana. If a cannabis plant has a content of less than 0.3% THC by weight, it is considered hemp, and not monitored by government agencies. If a plant has 0.3% or more THC content by weight, it is considered marijuana — a controlled substance.

      The Hemp vs. CBD Trail Mix Analogy

      Think of hemp and marijuana plants like different kinds of trail mix. Think of the chemical compound of CBD as chocolate chips. The hemp trail mix has chocolate chips (CBD), and so does the marijuana trail mix. 

      Think of hemp and marijuana plants like different kinds of trail mix. Think of the chemical compound of CBD as chocolate chips. The hemp trail mix has chocolate chips (CBD), and so does the marijuana trail mix. 

      If you poured the trail mix right into your hand and ate it as is, you would be getting a mix of almonds, pretzels, dried fruit and chocolate chips (CBD). This handful of snacks is hemp oil. 

      If you picked all of the chocolate chips out of the trail mix until you had a nice chocolatey pile in your hand, that would be CBD oil. 

      The marijuana trail mix looks a lot like the hemp trail mix. It has chocolate chips, dried fruit, pretzels and almonds, but it has another ingredient that differentiates it from the hemp trail mix — THC. THC is the psychotropic chemical compound found in a marijuana plant, and for the sake of the analogy, we’ll call THC peanuts. 

      Important Note:Technically, the hemp trail mix has small, trace amounts of peanuts (THC) — less than 0.3% by weight. However, think of the presence of “peanuts” in hemp trail mix like food labels that say things like: “This product was made on shared equipment that produces peanut products.” The peanuts are technically there, but only enough to make a difference for the most peanut-sensitive individuals. 

        You can still pick through your marijuana trail mix and just enjoy the chocolate chips, but becausethere are actual peanuts in the mix, things get trickier. 

        Let’s take this analogy a little bit further. 

        Bringing Trail Mix to Camp: The Camp Counselor’s (FDA) Reaction

        Where do you eat the most trail mix? Summer camp. 

        Because some campers have bad reactions to peanuts, the marijuana trail mix is carefully monitored by the camp counselors (the FDA). So even if you just pulled out the chocolate chips from your marijuana trail mix and avoided the peanuts altogether, that marijuana trail mix andthe chocolate chips you pulled out of it would still be banned from certain areas of the camp. But because there are only trace amounts of peanuts in the hemp trail mix, it’s allowed all over camp. 

        How Do I Know Which Is Best for Me?

        It depends on what you’re looking for. Now that you know a little bit more about hemp products and CBD products, let’s go over the best usage cases for each. 

        The Limited Benefits of Hemp Products 

        The major difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is this: plant substance. 

        If you take hemp plant products, you may get more vitamins, omega fatty acids, fiber and proteins than if you take CBD only. Hemp oil is similar to olive oil and sunflower seed oil in its nutritional health benefits. As a nutritional supplement to your health regimen, hemp might be the right choice for you. But there is a serious drawback to choosing hemp products. 

        The CBD content is much lower in hemp products  than in CBD oil products. By choosing hemp products, you will be losing out on many ways CBD can enhance all aspects of your general wellness. 

        CBD Benefits For Health and Wellness

        If you’re looking for something that will help you learn how to de-stress and could help relax sore muscles after a tough run, or to quiet your busy mind so you can sleep or improve your energy and mood levels, that’s where you want to choose the more focused product: CBD oil

        Cannabidiol works with your natural endocannabinoid system to improve many aspects of health and wellness.

        Uses For CBD In Your Everyday Life

        Here are some of the ways that CBD may help you:

        • Healthy sleep habits:If you’re someone who has a hard time closing your eyes and drifting off to sleep, CBD oil enhanced with natural melatonin may be the perfect solution to get you into better sleep habits.
        • Helping to ease everyday stress:If you’re looking for something to help you take a few more deep, calming breaths during your stress-filled day, try a CBD oil product that incorporates a natural calming agent like valerian root.
        • Post-workout muscle relief:To help your muscles feel more at ease after a tiring workout, a CBD product that combines CBD’s benefits with lavender’s relaxing properties could yield satisfying results.
        • Improving focus and energy:You may be the kind of person who always has a million ideas, and struggles to focus on just one. Or you may have a hard time finding the energy to complete an ever-growing to-do list. If you need help with focus and energy, CBD oil may be a perfect solution for you.
        • Nourishing skin wellness:Your skin is your body’s largest organ. CBD oil moisturizers may help replenish your skin’s natural oils and leave you feeling pampered and glowing. 

        Zebra CBD: Clearing Away the Confusion Around CBD

        It’s easy to get confused with all the information (and misinformation) about CBD products, hemp oil and CBD oil when you’re researching these by yourself. Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

        As a leader in the CBD industry, the team at Zebra CBD can help you find the answers you’re looking for. We believe that you deserve to know exactly what you’re getting, whether you’re looking for an answer online or when purchasing a CBD product.

        For this reason, all Zebra CBD products come backed by a Label Accuracy GuaranteeTM.



        Healthline. CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil: How to Know What You’re Paying For

        Medical News Today.Hemp Oil Benefits.

        Choose Zebra CBD oils for optimal health

        Only the finest ingredients are selected for our full-spectrum hemp extract oils to bring you enhanced mental clarity, sound sleep and relief from stress and body aches. Simply add to your favorite beverage or recipe, or take it straight from the dropper.

        Learn how Zebra CBD oils work to optimize wellness