Hemp Oil vs. CBD-rich Oil

In recent years, CBD has become the popular kid in the world of medical marijuana and holistic remedies as there have been several cases where it has been reported that it may have helped treat a variety of conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety and more. With notoriety comes skewed information and many are confused about the difference between hemp oil and CBD-rich oil. This prompted the nonprofit organization Hemp Industries Association to issue a statement explaining the difference between the two to ensure that nobody is misled about the intended uses of each oil and is truly getting what will help them best.

The most key differential factor is understanding that although hemp and marijuana are related, they are not the same thing. For one, hemp barely even carries trace amounts of THC. You can smoke an entire wheelbarrow of hemp and experience no psychedelic effects. Confusion between hemp oil and CBD-rich cannabis oil has spiked and caused a great deal of controversy when it comes to passing medical marijuana laws that permit using strains that are low in THC and high in CBD for medicinal purposes. Because hemp oil can be extremely low in CBD or extremely high in CBD, it has become confused with marijuana CBD oil  made with low-THC/high-CBD marijuana strains. 

The Hemp Industries Association issued the following statement regarding the confusion between high CBD hemp oil and CBD-rich cannabis oil:

“With hemp research and development pilot programs taking off this spring, and the hemp retail market growing at an incredible rate, it’s crucial that consumers and retailers alike understand the difference between hemp oil and CBD extracts. It is important for American farmers and processors of hemp to understand that most CBD in products mislabeled as ‘hemp oil’ is a product of large-scale hemp stalk and fiber processing facilities in Europe where the fiber is the primary material produced at a large scale. CBD is not a product or component of hemp seeds, and labeling to that effect is misleading and motivated by the desire to take advantage of the legal gray area of CBD under federal law.” 

Times have changed though since this statement was first made. Now many European farms are producing industrial hemp with very high CBD and low to non-existent THC.  With these new varieties of industrial hemp the difference between CBD oil derived from hemp and that of cannabis is blurred even further.  The molecules are the same, the ratios of cannabinoids are even identical to most high CBD marijuana strains.

-Eric Steenstra, executive director of Hemp Industries Association

Once upon a time, hemp dominated cash crops in the United States—even more than corn and wheat put together. However, it was classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 meaning it could no longer be cultivated in the US and used to produce products such as fabric, food, nutritional supplements, and more.


The script flipped in 2001 when the DEA attempted to ban companies who sold food and goods that contained hemp or hemp oil. However, The Hemp Industries Association was able to defend itself by arguing that hemp oil is primarily used as a culinary supplement/cooking oil and in body care products such as shampoos, conditioners, and beyond. These products were never intended to get people high (and cannot), so they remained on shelves accordingly.

Where CBD oil varies is its cannabidiol (CBD) content. Hemp oil is primarily made out of hemp seeds that do not contain nearly as much CBD and CBD oil gets its richness from the flowers, and stalks. It has been said that CBD may alleviate pain, inflammation, and has even been believed to remedy symptoms from both cancer and epilepsy.


Whether you are looking to procure hemp oil or CBD-rich hemp oil, there’s no doubt that hemp has a multitude of uses ranging from being used in textiles, paper, car parts, and even bio-fuel. As with any treatment or holistic remedy, make sure to do your homework, consult professionals with any questions, and as always, feel free to reach out to DiscoverCBD.com (info@discovercbd.com) if you are interested in trying any of our products.


Discover CBD is here to provide you with blog postings and resources that contain only useful facts about hemp-based, legal Cannabidiol (CBD) leading you to the products that are right for you.

Do you have a question or comment about CBD? Let us know, and we will respond right away. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletters and visit our website DiscoverCBD.com regularly for the latest updates on research, legislation, and other news impacting you and cannabidiol.


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