Hemp Oil, Hemp Extract, and CBD: What’s the Difference?

In 2018, the farm bill passed making industrial hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) legal nationwide. Since then, thousands of products have hit the market, but with no rules and regulations, it’s not always clear what exactly is in the products your purchasing.

To make things even trickier, you’ll see companies labeling their products as hemp oil, hemp extract, and CBD. It’s important to know that these terms should not always be used interchangeably.

Knowledge is power, especially in this industry, so let us teach you the differences between these terms – that way you’ll never be scammed into buying overpriced products that do not actually contain any of the good stuff!

Let us help you differentiate between the often-confused hemp oil, hemp extract, and CBD.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil (hemp seed oil) is what you will find in beauty products or salad dressing. The hemp oil comes from pressing the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant, often referred to as hemp. When you think of hemp oil, consider how you would think of olive oil, it contains a great source of omega 3s, omega 6s, and vitamin E.

Hemp oil is becoming a great addition to skincare products. Hemp oil has a comedogenic rating of 0, meaning it does not clog pores, which makes it an amazing moisturizer for both oily and acne-prone skin types. The rich omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids in hemp oil soothe and relieve itchy, dry, and inflamed patches on the skin. Hemp oil can also help improve the skin’s elasticity and water retention in the skin’s tissues, keeping the skin youthful and radiant.

However, if you are looking for the great benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids on the body, you are not going to find that from the use of hemp oil!

Hemp Extract

Hemp extract seems to be taking the world by storm in recent news, the extract also comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant (hemp). However, the extract does not come strictly from the seeds like the oil, it comes from all parts of the plant, including the stalk, leaves, and sometimes the flowers. Hemp extract is rich in a multitude of things, including potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium.

The extract also contains cannabinoids, including the two most common compounds, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, no more than 0.3% THC can be found in the plant at its dry weight for the plant to be classified as hemp.

You will begin to see several manufacturers moving towards the use of “hemp extract” on their labels to avoid potential confusion with FDA regulations currently surrounding the term CBD.

Hemp extract also has a few different defining terms attached to it when looking for a product. The company could label their product, full spectrum, or broad spectrum. This just specifies, if the product contains the extract as a whole (Full Spectrum), or the product without certain cannabinoids (Broad Spectrum). Typically, a broad-spectrum product has had the THC removed from the extract before use in the oil.

These terms are ever-changing and may not always be the differential between the type of hemp but are currently the most used definitions in the industry right now.


It is true that cannabidiol (CBD) is contained in hemp extract; however, CBD can also be separated. CBD by itself is referred to currently as an isolate. This means that hemp extract was extracted, and the CBD was separated from all of the other compounds in the extract to be used individually. This can be done for any cannabinoids found in any of the cannabis genera.  CBD is being used currently for a variety of things, including its calming effect, and aide with inflammation.

Though great on its own, CBD works well with the other compound found in the hemp extract and can be very beneficial when used in a full spectrum or broad spectrum product.

You’re Ready

Now that you know some of the key differeneces between hemp oil, hemp extract, and CBD, you’re ready to go! As always, make sure to verify what is being used in your favorite products and ensure that the extract is of good quality by gaining access to a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Hemp extract can be a great supplement for your overall health, as long as we are taking the precautions to obtain a quality product – education will play a BIG role in this!

Close Menu