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The Differences Between Hemp Seed Oil and Hemp Oil

Hempco LogoHempco Admin
3 Mins. Read

Do you know the difference?

Don't worry - most people won't! 

And to add to the confusion, the terms and labels used also vary from country to country. 

Nevertheless, Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed oil are having a huge moment. Due to the similar names, there's a common misunderstanding about how the two differ. This is a huge problem because one is classed as medicinal here in Australia, and one is dietary - both come from the same plant, cannabis Sativa, but breed for different products.

Today we will clarify the differences and impart you with up-to-date knowledge and terminology.  That way, you can make an educated purchase next time you're shopping for hemp products.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Legally farmed in Australia, Hemp Seed Oil is a nutritional supplement from the plant species Cannabis Sativa

Hemp Seed Oil is made by cold pressing the hemp plant's seed and has a wide variety of uses. It is rich in protein, omega oils, fibre and other essential nutrients, and despite coming from the cannabis plant, it won’t get you ‘high’.

Hemp Seed does not contain any cannabinoids unless trace amounts are remaining due to improper cleaning procedures. This means there is no THC or CBD in products made from Hemp Seed or Hemp Seed Oil.

Thus, Hemp Seed Oil is the only type of oil from the cannabis plant that is completely legal in Australia. To pass quality control measures, all industrial hemp crops are tested by the State Agricultural Department to ensure THC levels meet strict legal requirements. 

In Australia, licensed Industrial hemp farmers are only permitted to use the seed or stalk unless they have had permission from their state government. 

The government passed the legislation in 2017 that permitted stores to stock hemp seed products intended for human consumption. You can now find hemp seed products in most food stores - including chains like Coles and Woolworths. 

Industrial hemp crops in Australia must not contain more than 1% THC - a law that varies slightly from state to state. This ensures that no psychoactive effects are felt by people who consume hemp seed products.

You'll also see some brands calling their products hemp oil - which is actually a little bit misleading...

Is Hemp Oil the same as Hemp Seed Oil? 

Absolutely not! Hemp Seed Oil is very different...

Rather than the seed, Hemp Oil is mainly derived from the flower but can also incorporate the leaf and stalk of the female cannabis plant. The key difference is that Hemp Oil contains higher amounts of cannabinoids (such as CBD). This is why Hemp Oil is sometimes known as CBD Oil.

Hemp Oil (or CBD Oil) is the medical cannabis oil you've seen on the news. We won’t get too into it here, but Medical News Today has a great article about hemp oil's health benefits. Medical cannabis products became legal for use upon prescription in 2016 and are becoming easier to access every day. 

Contrary to Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Oil can be high in cannabinoids to emphasize its medicinal properties.  The focus is often on CBD in these extracts so that they won't have psychoactive effects.  But some full-spectrum extracts have been known to include concentrations of all cannabinoids - including THC.

To boil it all down: Hemp Seed Oil is a highly nutritious resource made from the hemp seed, and Hemp Oil is a cannabis-based medicine extracted from the (female) flower


We want the hemp industry in Australia to thrive - not just for the people but also for the planet.  The last thing we want to say is that you should always check labels and ask questions about what you’re buying.

It's important to know that Hemp Seed Oil and hemp oil have different benefits.  Although hemp seed oil is highly beneficial, it cannot be used as medicine. You can also be confident that Hemp Seed products will not get you high.  

In a new market with many unknowns, it's important to be the one making an informed decision.

Please share this to let your friends know the differences so they can make the right choice for themselves!