Hemp vs. CBD Gummies: The Difference + Our Top Picks 2023

Hemp and CBD may seem interchangeable but, as medical cannabis expert and double-board certified doctor Dave Gordon, M.D.. explains, they’re definitely not.

“CBD (cannabidiol) is an active ingredient, a phytonutrient with the ability to support our inflammatory response and with potential healing properties,”* says Gordon. “Hemp is a plant—a specific type of a cannabis plant from where CBD is derived.”

While hemp-derived CBD comes from the industrial hemp plant, not all hemp products contain cannabidiol (although they usually do). Hemp-derived CBD oil is made using the aerial parts of the cannabis plant (i.e., leaves, flowers, stems), whereas a generalized “hemp seed oil” comes only from the seeds (which don’t contain meaningful levels of CBD).

Sounds easy enough, but to truly differentiate the two, you’ll need to take a closer look at the ingredients of a particular product.

“The term ‘hemp gummies’ is very non-specific and may or may not contain the active ingredients that a consumer is looking for,” says Gordon. “CBD gummies are more likely to contain CBD and other ingredients that have the health support benefits people want, but without looking at the third-party testing of the actual ingredients, the labels mean nothing.”

While hemp oil extracts in general include beneficial fatty acids and compounds (even hemp seed oil is beneficial for skincare and cooking), there’s less research and limited evidence of benefits compared to CBD oil. Here’s what we do know about gummies containing hemp-derived CBD:

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