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April 3, 2020

Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD in Skincare Products

As hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) products continue to rise in popularity, it’s become increasingly confusing to understand these offerings’ various differences and nuances. When looking to add CBD to your skincare routine or help with skin issues, you may run into products labeled as “hemp oil” or “hemp seed oil.” At first glance, you may say to yourself:

“Well, CBD derives from hemp, so don’t these products contain cannabidiol?” 

You may need to take a close look at the fine print to make the call. Hemp seed oil and CBD do both come from hemp or cannabis Sativa; however, they come from different parts of the plant. So, when shopping for a skincare product that contains CBD, the fact that it says hemp oil doesn’t make it 100% certain it will contain cannabidiol. 

CBD and hemp products are still technically in their infancy when it comes to nationwide cultivation and distribution, which can make the distinctions between the two difficult to unravel. 

We’re here to clear up any misconceptions or confusion surrounding the differences, similarities, and effectiveness of CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil in your skincare products. 

What's Hemp Seed Oil?

As we mentioned earlier, hemp seed oil and CBD come from different parts of the plant. Unsurprisingly, hemp seed oil comes from the seeds — and is extracted by pressing the seeds of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). It’s important to note that hemp seed oil does not contain CBD, cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, or terpenes. These are the primary ingredients and chemical compounds that react with our endocannabinoid system and provide CBD’s desired effect — but we’ll get into this more later on. 

So, why do people choose to try hemp seed oil in their lotions, soaps, washes, or other skincare products? 

What hemp seed oil does contain is a wide range of nutrients and fatty acids that can benefit your skin, but not necessarily in CBD’s therapeutic ways. It’s a wonderful hypoallergenic oil that can protect and deeply hydrate dry skin without clogging pores.

What About CBD?

While hemp seed oil only comes from the seeds, CBD extracts come from the entire plant (flowers and leaves), giving it a wider range of beneficial chemical compounds and ingredients. While CBD oil does contain trace amounts of THC, it’s not enough to produce any psychoactive effects. To be considered CBD oil, it must remain under 0.3% THC. 

As promised, let’s dive a little deeper into how CBD oil interacts with the body and skin to obtain desired effects like:

  • • Promoting healthy immunity
  • • Calming skin 
  • • Supporting clear complexions 
  • • Regulating oil production
  • • Fighting breakouts or blemishes 

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a vital component of homeostasis and proper bodily functions. It’s a central regulatory system that impacts a diverse range of biological processes, including the brain, central nervous system, connective tissues, immune cells, organs, and glands. It’s even been named the bridge between the body and mind as it plays an essential role in promoting healthy receptors for proper functioning or adjustment. 

CBD also contains terpenes, the compound responsible for the aromatic and therapeutic properties of plants. Different terpenes can affect the body in different ways, especially when combined with CBD to achieve what is known as the entourage effect. 

Whether it’s supporting the immune system, lifting your mood, or even promoting sleep — terpenes combined with CBD are a great addition to your skincare routine, giving you incredible ingredients for healthy skin. 

What to Look Out For

As mentioned, when shopping around for skincare products that contain CBD, you should be aware that hemp seed oil doesn’t have the ingredient you’re looking for. It can be confusing when confronted by so many intermingling terms and phraseology, but taking a close look at your products’ ingredients can help spare you from a bad purchase. 

Here’s what to look out for:

Seed vs. Extract

When looking at skincare products, be on the lookout for where ingredients derive from. If it says aerial extracts, you’re more than likely getting cannabinoids. If it says seed, CBD is probably not in there. However, the best way to be certain is to ask the manufacturer or see if they can provide you with third-party lab results. A reliable CBD company will certainly have these. 

Product Type

Different skin care products achieve different results, which means it’s important to know exactly what it’s for before trying it out. CBD body oils are for your skin, but that doesn’t mean every CBD oil is a topical solution. There are certainly tinctures that should be administered orally, so make sure you’re purchasing the right product for the right purpose.


  • Hemp seed oil doesn’t’ have any cannabinoids, so you don’t need to worry about the concentration. However, it’s important to look at the additional ingredients for synthetics, as these may have negative interactions with your skin.
  • CBD oil products will list their concentration, typically in mg (milligrams). The higher the number, the more concentrated the product is.

Don't Be Fooled

There’s a lot of consumer confusion surrounding hemp seed oil and CBD oil, as there has been a wide range of underhanded marketing tactics deployed by some brands to fool customers. If you’re on the lookout for CBD-related skincare products, make sure to evaluate the product before purchasing to make sure it’s not hemp seed oil.

Yes, hemp seed oil contains a wide range of fatty acids that can be a great moisturizer for your skin. However, it doesn’t contain CBD’s desired endocannabinoid interactions, soothing effects, or relief properties. Hopefully, this article helped give you some much-needed guidance when looking for CBD skincare products.


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