F.A.Q Series: What’s the difference between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

We’ve decided to expand our FAQ section into more extensive answers based on the popularity of these questions from our user base. As the interest in CBD continues to grow, knowing your broad spec from your isolate and your hemp oil from your CBD oil has never been more important. There remain many businesses out there looking to make quick returns in this industry who are not interested in quality or your experience as a consumer. By doing your research you can skilfully avoid dodgy sellers and find brands and products that are right for you. In this post we will be clearing up confusion around different ‘oil’ terms which can be very confusing as terms like ‘Hemp Oil’, ‘Hemp Extract’ ‘Cannabis Oil’, ‘CBD Oil’, and even ‘Hemp Seed Oil’ are sometimes used interchangeably.

As there are also no set labelling standards in the CBD industry, brands and manufacturers can make the decision on what to call things whether they are right or wrong.  Let’s break down each term to determine if products labelled with these terms contain CBD.


What is Hemp Oil or Cannabis Oil?

Both of these terms are very broad and can be considered the top of the pyramid in terms of what they apply to. Hemp and Cannabis Oil products can contain a wide range of different ingredients and do not necessarily contain CBD. The best way to determine if a product labelled broadly as Hemp or Cannabis Oil contains CBD is to look closely at two things:


  • Does the ingredient list clearly state CBD with a clear amount?


  • Does the ingredient list contain ‘Hemp Seed Oil’ or ‘CBD Oil’?


To make this assessment it is also important to know what the terms ‘Hemp Seed Oil’ and ‘CBD Oil’ actually mean.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp Seed Oil is oil squeezed out of hemp seeds; nice and simple. It can be thought of as the rough equivalent to olive oil or coconut oil. While Hemp Seed Oil does contain lots of healthy fats and other compounds is does not contain any CBD at all. It is mainly used as a food i.e. in salad dressing or as a carrier oil for actual CBD. If you are searching for CBD, Hemp Seed Oil is not what you are looking for.

People interested in CBD have long been advised to stay clear of Amazon and one of the reasons for this is that sellers are selling inexpensive Hemp Seed Oil as CBD Oil; a clear scam.

Update: Early 2022, saw Amazon launch a pilot listing program for legitimate CBD products. This means real CBD can be found on Amazon but unclear, 'scam' products still exist on the platform. 

Hemp Seed Oil can be further categorised into the ‘refined/unrefined’ categories and may sometimes be described as ‘cold pressed’. Despite any of these adages, hemp seeds do not contain CBD, so it is best to avoid products labelled as such if you are looking for CBD.

A key giveaway as to if a product is just Hemp Seed Oil is both the price and the bottle size. Hemp Seed Oil is relatively inexpensive and as it is used for cooking, tend to come in much larger bottles than CBD products.

CBD scams often involve individuals re-bottling Hemp Seed Oil into small 10ml or 30ml bottles and trying to pass this off as CBD. If you see 10ml or 30ml bottles of CBD being sold (especially on places like Amazon) for unbelievably cheap prices (Less than £8-10), then it is almost certainly scam. 


What is CBD Oil? 

CBD Oil is extracted directly from the flower, stems and leaves of the hemp plant. Product labels do not always make it immediately clear if they contain CBD. Sometimes products which do contain CBD do not have CBD listed as an ingredient and in other cases CBD is listed as an ingredient when it is not there i.e. low-quality amazon oils.

One of the reasons behind this is the ‘risk’ posed by CBD for businesses. Both in the USA and UK, CBD is seeing increasing regulation. Many payment companies, for example, will not process payments that are linked to CBD products as they deem CBD (and other cannabis derivates) high risk. Some companies therefore purposefully avoid using the term CBD in order to make their products appear less risky to payment processors and regulatory bodies. However, this is very underhanded and misleading for consumers.

The most sure-fire way to determine the CBD contents of a product is to look at their 3rd party lab reports. If a company does not provide lab reports on their website on or request then they are best avoided. They do not take their products seriously and they don’t take you seriously as a consumer. Lab reports offer varying detail but should, at a minimum, tell you the CBD content of your product and may also assess other cannabinoids, heavy metals, pesticides, terpene content and more.


What is Hemp Extract?

Some brands and manufacturers add to the confusion by listing ‘Hemp Extract’ as a primary ingredient. On top of this you may also find Hemp Seed Oil, MCT, olive or other oils as ingredients as well. This can lead to consumers thinking that Hemp Extract is just another carrier oil like MCT, but Hemp Extract does contain CBD as well as a wealth of other cannabinoids. Labelling ‘Hemp Extract’ is not purposefully misleading but it remains very unclear and with lots of better ways to label, brands and manufacturers shouldn’t still be doing this without good reason.


Bottom Line

The world of CBD can be confusing and is often targeted by scammers but hopefully this has made some of the terminology used clearer. There are plenty of good, clearly labelled products out there and if you are confused by a product label or remain unsure, simply look elsewhere or if you really want to try a specific product, message the company and they should be able to explain.

Here is our checklist for sourcing products with CBD where the labelling is not clear:

  • Contact the company or brand selling the product and ask them specifically about the content.
  • Take a look at their 3rd lab reports – if reports are not available then they are not a reputable seller!
  • Look at reviews from experienced users on different websites about the product you are interested in.

If you are ever concerned about using CBD or purchasing CBD online from a company you aren’t sure about, even if it is nothing to do with Dr. Ed®, feel free to reach out to our support team to lend a hand. Head to our Contact page to speak to us.

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