There is some confusion about CBD oil and whether if it’s better hemp-derived or cannabis-derived CBD oil.  CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis strains, and depending on the strain, we can find it in a higher or lower concentration. However, CBD is the same, whether it comes from hemp or cannabis. In other words, CBD is the same regardless of the cannabis strain. Then, is hemp oil and cannabis oil the same?

The main difference is that hemp (or industrial hemp) has a very low THC concentration (less than 0.3%). On the other hand, cannabis can have much higher THC levels. However, some strains are rich in CBD, and different strains are abundant in THC.

Also, there’s some confusion because there are products classified as “hemp oil” and others as “CBD oil.” Hemp oil is obtained from cannabis seeds, while CBD oil derived either from hemp or cannabis plants.

This article explains the differences between hemp and cannabis and CBD oil and hemp oil.

Hemp VS Cannabis: Plant Anatomy

Marijuana and hemp are anatomically speaking the same plant.
Marijuana and hemp are anatomically speaking the same plant.

Both hemp and cannabis anatomically classified as the same plant, which means they are the same. Then, if they are anatomical of the same plant, what are the differences between hemp and cannabis? Is hemp oil and cannabis oil the same?

Well, let’s start with the first question. Cannabis plants are leafier than hemp plants. In other words, they contain more buds and hence, more resin than hemp plants. The resin is found mainly in the cannabis trichomes, which means that cannabis plants produce higher concentrations of cannabinoids than hemp plants.

Hemp or industrial hemp is legal in the US. Hemp was used mainly to produce fabric, paper, biodegradable plastics, among many other uses. The CBD available in the US is primarily hemp-derived CBD. By law, this CBD oil cannot contain more than 0.3% of THC.

If there’s more resin in cannabis plants, then cannabis plants produce more cannabinoids than hemp plants. However, there are hemp strains that produce very high concentrations of CBD.

For instance, some hemp strains contain CBD concentrations in the range of 12-20% and less than 0.3% of THC, like Charlotte’s web (approx. 15% of CBD content) or Sour Tsunami with a 12.5% of CBD.

Hemp vs Cannabis oil: Differences

Marijuana leaves placed on old wood.
Marijuana leaves placed on old wood.

We have explained the difference between hemp and cannabis, but what about hemp and cannabis oil? Is it the same? What many companies sell as hemp oil isn’t cannabis oil.

Hemp oil is a cold-pressed extract of cannabis seeds. It’s a similar process as obtaining any other seed oil, such as sunflower seed oil or colza oil. It is rich in antioxidants and highly nutritious. It’s generally called “hemp oil,” but it could also be called “hemp seed oil.”

We have explained in this blog how cannabis oil is made, so we’ll not go into much detail on this post about it. To obtain cannabis oil, we need a solvent (could be ethanol) to separate the trichomes from the plant material. After that, we need to get rid of the ethanol and then start the decarboxylation process of the remnant cannabis solution.

Hemp oils or hemp seed oils don’t contain cannabinoids such as CBD or THC. The reason is simple, hemp seed-based oils obtained from cannabis seeds don’t contain any cannabinoids.

Hemp Oil Uses

It’s often used as a moisturizer and also for its nutritional value. Hemp oil used as a food supplement give flavor to dishes. It has an earthy and nutty flavor that can improve the taste of many dishes. However, it has a low smoke point, which meant that it’s not oil for deep frying.

Some people claim that hemp oil has neuroprotective and heart-protective properties. However, as previously mentioned, hemp oil doesn’t contain any cannabinoids.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil could be obtained by different methods. Unlike hemp oil, cannabis oil is rich in cannabinoids such as CBD or THC. So, if you buy CBD oil, it’s basically cannabis-derived oil obtained by separating the trichomes from the plant material (using a solvent such as ethanol). It’s often called hash oil as well.

Cannabis oil is used for many purposes. For instance, to treat anxiety or inflammation. Hash or cannabis oil could be rich in either CBD or THC. For example, some strain has a 1:1 ratio, while some others have almost no THC or CBD.

There are many intake methods for CBD or THC oil such as oral intake or vaping. For example, at Ispire, we have vaping devices specifically designed for THC and CBD vaping.

Cannabis oil and the Entourage Effect

The Entourage effect is a theory that claims that cannabinoids and terpenes have a synergistic effect .
The Entourage effect is a theory that claims that cannabinoids and terpenes have a synergistic effect.

We tend to classify cannabis oils into two main categories: CBD-based oils and THC-based oils. However, some theories claim that cannabinoids display a cooperative effect. In other words, they could show more positive results if they are combined instead of isolated. The entourage effect is a theory that claims that cannabinoids work “in concert” better than solo. Nonetheless, this theory is controversial, and there are not enough studies to prove the cannabis entourage effect.

For example, CBD is being researched for its mitigating effect in THC-related psychosis. Also, terpenes have potential positive health effects. These could be two examples of an entourage effect.

Conclusion: Is Hemp Oil and Cannabis Oil the Same?

It’s not the same because what we know as hemp oil is cold-pressed cannabis seeds, while cannabis oil is obtained by separating the trichomes from the plant material. Also, cannabis oil contains cannabinoids, while hemp or hemp seed oil doesn’t contain any cannabinoids.

Depending on the cannabis strain, cannabis oil will contain more CBD or THC. In the US, hemp production is legal, but it cannot contain more than 0.3% of THC. Therefore, most of the CBD in the US is obtained from hemp, also known as “industrial hemp.”