understanding the difference between cbd oil & hemp seed oil

Hemp vs CBD Oil

Many people think hemp seed oil (hemp oil) and CBD oil (actually called a hemp extract) are interchangeable terms. In actuality, hemp oil and CBD oil are two very different things. Sure, both oils derive come from the cannabis sativa plant, but they’re not the same — so what are the differences?

To help understand the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil, the guide below will help educate you.

hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil has long been a health food staple. It is rich in essential nutrients like omega-3, omega-6 and vitamin E. Plus, adding a bit of hemp oil to your morning coffee or putting a few drops in your favorite vinaigrette is a great way to enrich your diet. 

Hemp oil has also proven to have amazing moisturizing properties, as skincare products use it to leave skin soft and not oily. What you won’t get from consuming hemp oil, though, is the many soothing effects of CBD.

To make hemp oil, manufacturers cold-press hemp seeds (this is the same technique people have used to make things like olive oil for generations). But, hemp seeds don’t contain any phytocannabinoids — the active ingredients found in cannabis like CBD and THC. So making oil from hemp seeds ensures that the end product is CBD-free.


On the other hand, to make CBD oil, flowers and leaves of the hemp plant are extracted. This is where you can find all the beneficial cannabinoids like CBD. Oils made from these parts of the hemp plant — like the ones made here at Pachamama — are guaranteed to contain CBD. 

Many brands use a chemical extraction process to make their CBD oils. But Pachamama uses a chemical-free, proprietary, air extraction method to make its CBD products, which ensures the finished product is rich, unadulterated hemp extracts with a smooth and natural flavor. 

CBD oils can also come in many different varieties. Full spectrum hemp extracts and broad spectrum hemp extracts (which both contain CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids), and CBD isolates (which only contain CBD) are the three main categories of CBD oil.

Full Spectrum Hemp Extract

Full spectrum extracts contain small amounts of THC (<0.3%) and a host of other phytocannabinoids. These phytocannabinoids work together with CBD and THC to unlock CBD’s full healing potential. This synergistic relationship between phytocannabinoids is called the entourage effect. CBD has phenomenal health benefits on its own, but full spectrum products allow your body to reach a deeper range of value.

Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract

Broad spectrum products also have all the phytocannabinoids, including CBD, but are completely THC-free.

CBD Isolates

CBD isolates contain CBD only. At Pachamama, CBD isolates are put through a process that completely isolates CBD from other cannabinoids, terpenes, oils and waxes. This makes CBD isolates perfect for those who want to get the benefits of CBD, but can’t risk any exposure to THC.

How to Tell the Difference

The trickiest part of all this, however, is that it isn’t exactly easy to tell the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil when seeing the stuff on store shelves. Don't fall for potentially misleading labels like 'cannabis sativa oil,’ as this only means that the oil comes from the cannabis sativa family of plants, which includes both hemp and marijuana. However, it doesn't mean that the oil necessarily contains any CBD.

Be vigilant when shopping for CBD oils. Make sure you read product labels to find out exactly what’s in the bottle you’re buying. Look for products that clearly state the amount of CBD they contain. And if you don't see CBD mentioned anywhere on the packaging, then it probably is not in there.