Hemp vs Cannabidiol: What’s the Difference?

Hemp vs Cannabidiol: What’s the Difference? by Candace Osmond at CBD Origin

Hemp and cannabidiol have seemingly taken the world by storm in recent years. You can’t go to the store without finding a new snack, beauty product, or supplement containing hemp seeds, hemp oil, or CBD.  

If you’re not quite sure what hemp and cannabidiol are, or you haven’t quite worked out the difference between the two – you’re in the right place. I’ve given you the rundown of all the main differences between hemp and cannabidiol, their uses, and more. I hope this helps you learn more about them and decide whether they’re something you want to add to your routine. 

Hemp vs Cannabidiol

Hemp vs Cannabidiol

Determining the differences between hemp and cannabidiol can be confusing. Many blogs and articles will refer to the two as interchangeable. However, while hemp and cannabidiol come from cannabis Sativa, they are distinctly different. 

The Main Differences Between Hemp and Cannabidiol

  • Hemp is a variety of cannabis plants (Cannabis Sativa), whereas Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical compound derived from Cannabis Sativa. 
  • Hemp oils are high in omega fatty acids, making them good for cognitive function, skin, eyes, and the immune system, whereas cannabidiol is beneficial for anxiety, sleep, pain, and maybe anti-inflammatory.
  • Cannabidiol is typically used sublingually but can be added to food and drinks or applied topically, whereas hemp oils tend to be used mainly in food applications but can also be applied to the skin. 

About Hemp 

In recent years, hemp has become a bit of a fad, showing up in everything from food to beauty products, but what exactly is it? Does it have any real benefits? Let’s take a look. 

What is Hemp?

Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis plant – Cannabis Sativa. Unlike other strains of Cannabis used mainly for recreational purposes, hemp is not psychoactive as it contains little to no THC but has a high concentration of CBD. 

Hemp has been used for various purposes for thousands of years and across cultures. Hemp has been used for textiles, rope, sponges, etc. but is also used in a range of consumables and topicals. 

Types of Hemp Products

Some of the most common products and uses for hemp include:

  • Ropes, strings and textiles, and clothing.
  • Hemp seeds.
  • Hemp oil (Consumable).
  • Topical hemp oil products.
  • Beauty products.
  • Protein powders.
  • Prepared foods – protein bars, granola, sauces, etc. 
  • Hemp milk.

Benefits of Hemp

Benefits of Hemp

When it comes to topical and consumable hemp products, there are various benefits to adding these products to your meals or routine.  

Hemp seeds, which many hemp products are made from (oils, protein powders, etc.), contain incredibly high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are two critical compounds in preventative and maintenance healthcare.  

Omega fatty acids are essential to our cardiovascular health, cognitive function, eyes, and skin and may contain anti-inflammatory properties.  

Hemp seeds are also high in protein and fiber, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids. These pllay an important role in positive outcomes for those with digestive health concerns, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and more.  

It has also been suggested that hemp can have anti-aging properties when applied topically. It contains oleic and linoleic acids, two compounds important to skin health.  

With all of these benefits to offer, it’s easy to see why hemp has seen a rise in popularity. This vegan source of protein and omega fatty acids really packs a punch!

How to Use Hemp

Hemp is most commonly consumed as hemp seeds or hemp oils. However, there are various hemp-based products now, including hemp milk. These mostly neutral yet slightly nutty seeds are easy to add to any number of applications. 

Hemp seeds and oils can be tossed into or used to dress salads, added to cereal or yogurt, blended into smoothies or beverages, or baked or cooked into various recipes. Personally, I love adding hemp seeds to smoothie bowls as a topping or using hemp protein powders to make energy balls or a quick lunchtime shake.  

Hemp oil can also be used topically in its pure form and applied similarly to a serum. Additionally, you may find hemp or hemp oils in topicals like pain relief or anti-inflammatory balms, bath bombs, massage oils, and more. 

About Cannabidiol 

About Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol or CBD is a popular topic of conversation as it’s being added to everything from bath bombs to seltzer waters or candies. Is CBD really worth all the hype though? What can it actually do for you? Let’s take a look. 

What is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol is most commonly referred to as CBD. It’s a chemical compound most commonly derived from hemp (Cannabis Sativa). Still, it can also be extracted from other varieties of Cannabis plants such as indica. Suppose you’re in a country or state that does not have legalized marijuana. In that case, CBD available to you will strictly be extracted from hemp.  

Cannabidiol does not have any psychoactive properties, unlike THC, so it will not produce a “high.” Despite this, CBD has many uses and benefits – most commonly in topical or consumable applications. 

Types of Cannabidiol Products

The range of products that contain cannabidiol (CBD) is constantly growing as people learn the benefits of CBD. Still, you can find cannabidiol most commonly in the following forms and products:

  • CBD oil and tinctures.
  • CBD Edibles, typically made out of CBD Oil. CBD Gummies are the most popular. 
  • Infused waters and beverages.
  • Bath and skincare products – lotions, bath bombs, etc. 
  • Pain relief topicals – balms, rubs, roll-ons. 
  • CBD Isolate, which is a pure form of CBD.

Benefits of Cannabidiol

Benefits of Cannabidiol

The benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) are far-reaching, and research is constantly uncovering more and more promising information on just how beneficial CBD can be.

A well-known benefit of CBD is that it aids in pain relief, and in fact, it’s been a common pain relief remedy for many chronic pain conditions for years. For pain relief, both topical balms and rubs and consuming CBD oil or edibles can help. However, finding the right dose and method of administering CBD for you may take some time. When possible, it should be done with the assistance of your doctor or healthcare professional.  

Promising research points to possible neuroprotective factors in the use of cannabidiol, especially where conditions like MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s are concerned. More research is necessary.   

CBD may be helpful in the management of several mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Despite having no psychoactive properties, CBD can include a feeling of calm and relaxation that can help reduce stress and tension. Thus leading to better outcomes for those who experience anxiety or depression.  

As mentioned above, CBD can promote a feeling of calm and relaxation, which can be beneficial to sleep. Whether you struggle to fall asleep, experience insomnia, or have trouble getting a full, restful sleep. CBD can help your body achieve a more relaxed state, ready for sleep. 

How to Use Cannabidiol

When using cannabidiol in the form of CBD oil you can take the desired dosage sublingually – holding it under your tongue for a few minutes before swallowing the rest. However, it’s versatile and can easily be used similar to hemp oil by adding it to smoothies and beverages.

Another popular way to use cannabidiol is topical. There are endless topical options out there for those seeking the pain-relief or relaxation benefits of CBD without consuming it. This includes rubs, lotions, bath bombs, serums, and more. 

Alternatives to Hemp 

Already use hemp products, or looking for an alternative? Here are some similar products that can still give you some of the benefits of hemp:


Chia seeds

Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica L plant. They’re tiny, round, black or white seeds that just like hemp seeds, are incredibly nutritious. 

Just a few tablespoons of chia seeds contain nearly 5g of protein, almost 10g of fiber, alpha-linolenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamins b1 and b3. Additionally, they are a great source of antioxidants. 


  • Can help lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Affordable.
  • Nutritionally dense for a small serving size.
  • Easy to add to smoothies, yogurts, and other foods. 
  • Supports bone health.
  • Fibre supports digestive health and healthy body weight.
  • Great source of protein, fiber, and nutrients for vegans and vegetarians.


  • Not as high in omega fatty acids. 
  • Does not have the same benefits to cognitive function, eyes, skin, etc. 

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are just that, the seeds from pumpkins. These seeds are small, but still much larger than hemp seeds but can be used in similar ways and with similar health benefits.  

A single serving of pumpkin seeds boasts 2g of fiber, 7g of protein, 6g of omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin K, zinc, iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and a variety of antioxidants. 


  • Some evidence support that pumpkin seeds may be protective against some cancers. 
  • Affordable.
  • Nutritionally dense for a small serving size.
  • Easy to add to smoothies, yogurts, and baked goods, and more. 
  • A healthy dose of omega-6 fatty acids to support brain function, skin, and hair growth. 
  • Great source of protein, fiber, and nutrients for vegans and vegetarians.
  • High in magnesium which many people are lacking in and that supports healthy blood pressure, healthy bones, regulating blood sugar, and reducing the risk of heart disease. 
  • Magnesium, zinc, and tryptophan from pumpkin seeds may help to improve sleep. 


  • Not as high in fiber or protein.


flax seeds

The health benefits of flax seeds have long been praised. Flax seeds are tiny brown or golden colored seeds that come from the flax plant. 

You can tell why flax seeds are considered a superfood just by looking at the nutrients they pack in a single tablespoon – 1.3g of protein, 2g of fiber, high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins b1 and b6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. 


  • Affordable.
  • Nutritionally dense for a small serving size.
  • Easy to add to smoothies, yogurts, and baked goods, and more. 
  • A high dose of omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Great source of fiber and nutrients for vegans and vegetarians.
  • High in lignans, a plant compound associated with reduced cancer risk. 
  • Contains both soluble and insoluble fiber making them beneficial for GI health. 
  • May help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol. 


  • Not as high in protein. 

Alternatives to Cannabidiol

CBD products can be expensive and difficult to source depending on where you live, so if you’re looking for an alternative that provides some of the benefits of CBD you may want to consider the following: 



Kava Kava is a herbal supplement that comes from the Piper methysticum plant common in the Pacific. Kava Kava is usually consumed by drying the roots of the plant and crushing them into a powder that’s used to create a drink.  

Kava Kava can produce a similar feeling of calm and relaxation as CBD due to the kavapyrones it contains. Also like CBD, there has been some evidence to support kavapyrones as pain relief and for things like anxiety, and sleep issues.  


  • Accessible from health food stores, grocers, and online retailers. 
  • Can promote feelings of calm and relaxation similar to CBD. 
  • Has been used in the treatment of anxiety, pain, and sleep difficulties. 


  • Can be expensive but more affordable than CBD in some places.
  • Kava Kava can cause some side effects including headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, and skin concerns. 
  • Can interact with some medications. 

Valerian Root

Valerian Root

Valerian root is a medicinal herb used in a variety of supplements, teas, and tinctures. It can produce similar benefits to CBD and can be used to treat many of the same conditions.  

In the management of anxiety and sleep, valerian root is thought to have a mild sedative effect as well as increases the amount of GABA in the brain – two things that can help calm the mind and promote sleep and relaxation. Valerian is also commonly used in the treatment of hot flashes in menopause.  


  • Promotes a sense of calm and relaxation. 
  • Can be used in the management of anxiety and stress by helping to increase the amount of GABA in the brain and providing a mild, sedative effect. 
  • Helps reduce the severity and/or frequency of hot flashes in menopause. 
  • Can help with PMS symptoms. 
  • Affordable and widely available in a variety of preparations. 


  • Can interact with some medications.
  • May cause side effects like headaches, upset stomach, itching, and skin rash. 



Ginger is a household staple – used in a variety of food preparations as well as medicinally. It’s most commonly used as a spice but has tons of amazing health benefits that support its long history of being used as a medicine.  

Gingerol is a powerful anti-inflammatory with loads of great antioxidants that are frequently used in medicines and teas to aid in digestion, reduce nausea, help with cold and flu symptoms, and more.   

Ginger does not carry many of the same benefits as CBD but is readily available and can aid in the treatment of tons of common ailments.  


  • Cheap and available everywhere both as a spice or in medicinal preparations such as teas and tablets. 
  • Highly effective for nausea and stomach upset. Can be particularly helpful for those undergoing chemo or who experience morning sickness during pregnancy.
  • It May help with the management of osteoarthritis pain and function when taken regularly, likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Like CBD, it may be neuroprotective. 
  • Can help fight infections such as colds and flu.
  • Can help with some pain conditions such as menstrual pain. 
  • Is considered generally safe and side-effect-free for most people. 


  • Some people cannot handle the intense flavor of ginger. 
  • Must be taken regularly if looking for certain health benefits. 

Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum CBD

Are they different? Yes. The most significant difference is the compounds contained in them. Full-spectrum CBD usually has all the naturally occurring bits such as terpenes and such.

Broad-spectrum CBD is similar but usually lacks the presence of THC.

What is Delta 8?

It’s a fancy name for another form of cannabinoid compound found in cannabis. The standard compound you’ve probably heard of is Delta 9. Both are natural and found in marijuana and produce a psychoactive effect. 

Delta 8 is considered a more chill version of Delta 9, and some even call it ‘diet weed’ because it doesn’t get you as high as the Delta 9 version.

It’s totally legal to use in almost all States. Delta 8 helps with nausea and pain relief, boosts your appetite, and even tackles vomiting during chemo treatments.  

Like full spectrum CBD products, Delta 8 should contain 0.3% Delta 9 THC content.


Question: Is Hemp a Cannabidiol?

Answer: No. Hemp is the strain of cannabis plant that cannabidiol is derived from. Cannabidiol is one of the chemical compounds, along with THC that is found in hemp and cannabis plants. 

Question: What is the Difference Between CBD and Hemp?

Answer: Hemp is a type of Cannabis plant however it’s a different strain from the cannabis typically used for recreational purposes. Hemp has high CBD and low THC concentrations meaning they won’t get you high. CBD is a chemical compound extracted from the hemp or other strains of cannabis.

Question: What are the Benefits of CBD and Hemp?

Answer: There are lots of great benefits to CBD and hemp. Hemp oil is high in omega-3s which is known to be great for cognitive function, our eyes, and skin, and has anti-inflammatory properties. CBD has been shown to improve pain symptoms, can help with anxiety, depression, and sleep, and maybe neuroprotective. 

Question: Does CBD from Hemp Get You High?

Answer: No. CBD or Cannabidiol does not make you high. While it is a substance that is extracted from cannabis and hemp, the substance that makes causing feelings of being high is THC, a separate compound extracted from the same plants. 

In Conclusion 

While they may often be used interchangeably, hemp and cannabidiol are two different things that just happen to come from the same plant. Hemp is a type of Cannabis Sativa, whereas cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in Cannabis plants, including hemp plants. Both hemp and CBD provide amazing health benefits when used as a consumable or topically. For pain and management of other chronic conditions like anxiety, I prefer a high-quality CBD oil or topical. 

For overall health, I love adding a few tablespoons of hemp seeds or protein powder to my meals to up my protein and fiber intake and get a good dose of vital nutrients and omegas. If you liked this article be sure to comment below, and if you’re interested in more articles like this, check out our website.

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