Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil vs Cannabis Oil: The Showdown

 You've heard of CBD, right? Maybe you know a lot; perhaps you're just learning. Either way, at some point in your journey to a happier, healthier you, you're going to come across the #1 cannabis oil question:

"What's the difference between hemp oil, CBD oil, and cannabis oil?"

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two. With many retailers deliberately using confusing labeling, it's left many consumers who were looking forward to seeing the potential benefits of CBD feeling disappointed, but that's not saying hemp oil doesn't offer any benefits. Read on to find out more.


There's a great deal of confusion because they all come from that famous five-leaf plant you know as Cannabis. The problem is that 'Cannabis' is a general term we apply to all the different cultivars and varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant, of which there are hundreds, maybe thousands.

It's like how we (in the UK at least) call all vacuum cleaners 'hoovers,' when in truth, there are many different brands and models within brands that have different qualities. Cannabis is just like that.

It's easy to get confused in the noise because all of the oils in the showdown, Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, and Cannabis Oil are extracted from varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. This is where the common Cannabis Oil Myths come from.


Myth #1: Hemp, CBD, and Cannabis Oil all come from the 'Cannabis' Plant.

This is true. They can (and generally DO) all come from the same 'Cannabis sativa' species, but they do not all come from the same plant variety or cultivar. 

Sticking with our hoover analogy, an excellent way to think of it is if you take apart a 'Hoover' vacuum and layout all the parts, then take apart a 'Dyson' vacuum and layout all the parts; you'll find different elements in each. Yet they are both vacuum cleaners.

In the case of the plants, they develop their differences either through human-controlled plant-breeding or natural selection and genetics when grown in the wild.

These differences lend themselves to different traits and, more specifically, in the case of Cannabis sativa, different strengths of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids.

The type and volume of cannabinoids in each variety are different, and from these differences, we get the different varieties grown for either recreational or industrial purposes.

They're all varieties of Cannabis, but they're all unique. Just like you.

Myth #2: Cannabis Oil, CBD Oil, and Hemp Oil Are The Same

This one is not true.

Although they all come from the same plant species, they are not the same. Just like my eyes are brown and yours are blue.

There are several differences between the oils:

  • The way they're grown.
  • The specific variety of Cannabis they come from
  • The method of oil extraction
  • The ingredients of each oil
  • The effect they have on your body.
  • The legality (at least in the UK)

Given a large number of variants, it's clear to see they aren't the same. And they don't have the same effect on your body.

Myth #3: Cannabis Oil, CBD Oil, and Hemp Oil Have the Same Properties.

Again, not true.

The reason why it is not true is that each plant variety has been bred for specific properties and purposes. These purposes can primarily be split into two main categories; recreational use and industrial use.

The different uses are derived primarily from the chemical composition and the associated cannabinoids found within each variety.

Marijuana, for example, is bred for its high content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). You'll probably know that THC is the primary cannabinoid in the Cannabis plant that causes you to have a psychoactive reaction when you consume it.

Industrial Hemp, on the other hand, is bred for it's more robust tensile strength and multi-purpose industrial use. It contains minimal THC and does not cause a psychoactive effect when you consume it.

Although Hemp contains minimal THC, it does provide a higher concentration of a different cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a different chemical compound found in the Cannabis plant that retains the properties found in Marijuana but does not cause any psychoactive effects.

It is for this reason (and that of a more relaxed legal framework) that we are now seeing a surge in clinical research studying the effects of CBD on the human body. Or maybe it's the other way round!

While all the varieties of Cannabis sativa contain these cannabinoids to varying degrees based on how they're bred, it is the quantities of these distinct chemical properties in each that govern their usefulness for desirable properties.


Difference between cbd oil and hemp oil

Once you are aware of the different chemical makeups of each cannabis variety, it is easier to understand why some cannabis oils are more effective than others. But what denotes one oil from another? And how can you be sure you're buying the right cannabis oil for your needs?

Let's try and help with a simplified guide.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the combination of the isolated extracted cannabidiol (CBD) from a variety of cannabis plants with high concentrations of CBD (usually Hemp) and carrier oil. The carrier oil can be any oil with high bioavailability, such as hemp seed oil or olive oil. All of our unflavoured CBD oils use hemp seed oil as the carrier because of its high bioavailability.

CBD oil comes in varying strengths. The 'strength' of oil determines how much cannabidiol you'll receive per dosage. And because it's such a common question, we wrote a great guide about CBD dosage, and you can find our CBD Dosage Guide here.

CBD is legal and does not contain any THC and is therefore not psychoactive.

What is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil is the result of the cold-pressing of hemp seeds and not hemp plants. Pure Hemp Seed oil does not contain any cannabinoids. That means no THC or CBD. It is, therefore, unable to offer you the same health benefits as either CBD Oil or Cannabis Oil.

Hemp seed oil does have some attractive properties, however, with the main one being the essential fatty acid ratio of 3:1, making it perfect as a delivery mechanism for CBD.

If you infuse Hemp Seed Oil with extracted pure CBD, you will create CBD oil.

What is Cannabis Oil?

Keeping in mind our discussion earlier about both Hemp and Marijuana being in the 'Cannabis' family, Cannabis Oil could be any oil extracted from a Cannabis plant.

Typically, however, when you see Cannabis Oil for sale, you know the oil that contains both the THC and CBD cannabinoids (and all the other cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant). Cannabis oil in this state is illegal in the UK because THC is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Cannabis Oil contains the psychoactive properties of THC.

Of course, many many users swear by its health benefits, and in our Ultimate CBD Oil Guide for 2019, we discuss many of these benefits in more detail.


What's the Difference between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil

The simplest way to be sure you're buying the right oil for you is to follow these steps:

  • Know precisely what you're hoping to achieve with the oil (mental wellbeing, pain relief etc.)
  • Buy from a reputed retailer.
  • Check the ingredients of any product.
  • Verify any claims by requesting to see the latest certificates and lab tests

Where Can I Buy High-Quality CBD Oil In The UK?

Make sure you are getting the best quality full-spectrum CBD Oils to ensure you are getting the maximum effects possible from your Oil. Buy an Enhance CBD oil as our oils have been carefully sourced and are extracted in the UK to give you the freshest Oils. Using supercritical CO2 extraction meaning, you receive all the natural and beneficial parts of the hemp plant without any nasty chemicals.

Want to get even more out of your CBD experience? buy our flavored CBD OIls today and enjoy the delicious natural flavours on top of the wonderful benefits CBD oil can bring to your wellbeing. Experience CBD the way nature intended with Enhance CBD.

Feel free to ask any other questions you might have on our Facebook page or drop us an email at the address below.

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