is CBD an essential oil

When one thinks of CBD, they often ask, is CBD an essential oil? While the two may share many similarities, the definition of what an essential oil is, is not as simple as you think.

What is an Essential Oil?

An essential oil is an extract compound that is extracted from plants. What is extracted from the plant is the very essence of the plant: its scent and flavor, which helps to create an aromatic substance. The effects of essential oils can differ based upon the plant they are extracted from. Typically, they are used in aromatherapy practices.

What is CBD?

CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant. CBD is comprised of over a hundred phytocannabinoids, which are responsible for its therapeutic effect, similar to essential oils.

Is CBD an Essential Oil: What is the Difference?

is CBD an essential oil

While both CBD and essential oil could be seen as practically being the same thing, they are VERY different. The main difference between them is the type of plants each comes from. CBD can only originate from the cannabis or hemp plant while essential oils can come from a variety of different plant sources.

Another difference between the two is how each are extracted. Most essential oils are extracted using methods such as solvent extraction, cold pressing extraction, and steam distillation extraction. CBD, on the other hand, uses the CO2 extracted method.

The Extraction Process: CBD Oil vs. Essential Oils

Essential Oils

As stated above, essential oils are extracted using a few methods. Some of the most common methods include:

Cold Pressing

The cold pressing extraction method is used when extracting citrus oils. It is typically used to help the oils to release as naturally as possible.

Steam Distillation

This type of extraction method utilizes direct steam. It is used to apply direct steam to the plant source itself in order to vaporize lighter chemicals from the plant. Once steamed, the steam condenses and thus the essential can be extracted from it.

Solvent Extraction

This is the most common way to extract essential oils. This extraction method involves separating the main compound into different parts based on how soluble they are. This method uses different solvents such as petroleum ether, methanol or hexane. What is left after the extraction is the concentrated essential oil. Once extracted, the CBD is then nano-emulsified in MCT oil to keep it bioavailable.


CO2 Extraction

The most common way CBD is extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant is using the CO2 extraction method. The reason why CO2 is used is to help remove the impurities from the plant without removing any of the necessary compounds of CBD. Using this extraction method helps to keep phytocannabinoids intact.

How Does it Work: CBD Oil vs. Essential Oils

is CBD an essential oil

CBD and essential oil, while similar, work in different ways. Here are the ways that CBD and essential oils work within the body.


Regardless of the form, CBD oil works throughout the body within the endocannabinoid system. Typically, CBD oil is applied on the skin or ingested, allowing it to reach the receptors of the cannabinoid system via the skin or the brain.

Essential Oil

Essential oils are typically applied to the skin, however, they can be inhaled as well. Once applied, the essential oils react with the limbic system, triggering certain parts such as smell or memory. They are known to react positively on both a physiological and psychological level.

The Bottomline

So, is CBD an essential oil?

No, it is not.

While it is true CBD and essential oils do have many similarities, they are vastly different. When choosing to use either option, be sure to do the proper research to ensure whichever you use will have the desired effect.


How can Terpenes4health help you?


Terpenes4health logo

Regardless of whether you want to use CBD or essential oils, Terpenes4health can help enhance the effects of both. Whether you need to calm your anxiety, ease pain or just need to feel more relaxed, Terpenes4health can be the answer.

Want to see what Terpenes4health has to offer?

Check out our Ultra Relax and Ultra Relief formulas today!


Did you agree with our post? Have some more information you would like to add? Let us know in the comments section below!



Is CBD an Essential Oil? Find Out Now. (2019, April 21). Retrieved June 3, 2019, from

Kubala, J. (2018, February 26). 7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects). Retrieved June 3, 2019, from

McKinney, J. (2018). Aromatherapy: Is Smelling Cannabis Enough to Reap Its Benefits? Retrieved June 3, 2019, from

What is CBD? (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2019, from

Is CBD an Essential Oil: Not as Simple as You Think!
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Is CBD an Essential Oil: Not as Simple as You Think!
Is CBD an essential oil? There are many similarities between the two. However, the differences between the two may not be as different as you think.
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