CBD Oil vs. Cannabis Oil: The Differences You Need to Know

CBD oil vs. Cannabis oil

CBD oil vs. cannabis oil vs. hemp oil…

You’ve likely heard all of these terms before. And you’ve probably heard them all used interchangeably (and incorrectly) on numerous occasions.

Any quick Google search will tell you that cannabis is a complex plant.

The thing is, these are not the same. When it comes to CBD oil vs. cannabis oil (and hemp oil as well) there are several important distinctions.

If you’re confused, know that you’re not the only one. We’re here to help you figure it out.

CBD Oil vs. Cannabis Oil

Let’s start by saying that CBD oil and cannabis oil both come from the cannabis plant. Therein lies part of the confusion.

Cannabis oil comes from the marijuana plant, whereas CBD oil typically comes from the hemp plant. But both are cannabis.

Cannabis refers to a group of three plants:

  • Cannabis sativa
  • Cannabis indica
  • Cannabis ruderalis (some debate the classification of this one, and whether or not ruderalis is a subspecies of Cannabis sativa)

Both cannabis and hemp are part of the Cannabaceae family. Hemp belongs to the sativa species only, but cannabis (marijuana) can be a member of the indicasativa or ruderalis species.

However, while similar, these two plants have very distinct chemical makeups that make them quite different. The most important being the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.

Hemp plants produce no more than 0.3% THC. 0.3% THC is also the legal limit for CBD in most U.S. States. It naturally contains much higher levels of CBD.

Cannabis plants are bred to contain as much as 30% THC or more, depending on the strain. Compared to hemp, it typically contains far lower levels of CBD. That said, cannabis plants can be used to create an extract rich in THC and CBD; however, the resulting product is considered cannabis oil, not CBD oil.

So, what’s the difference?

  • CBD oil contains high concentrations of CBD and low (less than 0.3%) THC.
  • Cannabis oil contains high concentrations of THC. It can contain either low or high concentrations of CBD, but the level of THC is what classifies it as cannabis oil.

CBD Oil vs. Cannabis Oil: Other Differences

So the chemical makeup is what really sets these two oils (and plants) apart, but there are other cool differences:

  1. Hemp is typically grown outside, in large fields, and while monitored, largely reliant on Mother Nature. Marijuana cannabis is more often grown indoors, in carefully controlled environments, and closely monitored by cultivators.
  2. Hemp is used for many different things – clothing, building materials, textiles, etc. – not just for CBD oil. Cannabis is really just grown for recreational and medicinal uses.
  3. Both hemp and cannabis plants contain a wide range of beneficial terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, including THC, CBN, CBG, etc, but cannabis tends to have a greater concentration of these.

And What About Hemp Oil?

At the beginning of this article we mentioned hemp oil, and of course then we went on to talk about CBD from hemp. But CBD and hemp oil are not the same thing.

I know, yet more confusion…

Hemp oil comes from the hemp plant. But it comes mainly from the seeds of the plant. The seeds contain little to no CBD and no THC. Hemp oil is similar to many other carrier oils in that it’s a cold-pressed extract from those seeds. This method of extraction is similar to how olive oil and coconut oil are made.

Many consider hemp oil a superfood and it’s great for adding nutritional value to your diet. It’s high in nutrients, fatty acids, and healthy bioactive compounds.

Lots of people also use hemp oil for skin care, since it’s a powerful moisturizer that doesn’t clog your pores. 

Hemp is usually much cheaper than CBD as well, and often comes in much larger bottles. 

So, now you know.