People have purchased hemp seed oil, or hemp oil, for decades. You will find it at most health stores. It is different from CBD oil insofar as it doesn’t contain many cannabinoids or terpenes. Instead, it is highly nutritious and also has its uses in the beauty industry.
Hemp oil comes from varieties of Cannabis sativa that don’t contain high quantities of intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This article looks into its ingredients and possible benefits. It also focuses on scientific research into how hemp seed oil can help the body and outlines what NOT to expect.
What Is Hemp Oil Made From?
Hemp oil is similar to sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil. Like those oils, it is a cold-pressed extract from seeds. The seeds are the primary edible part of the hemp plant. While it is possible to make hemp tea from the leaves, the seeds contain the most nutrients. One thing to note is that hemp hearts are seeds with the shell removed. They are not as fibrous as whole hemp seeds.
Hemp seed oil is a deep green-colored product high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants. However, it contains no CBD or THC and practically no other cannabinoids or terpenes.
What’s in Hemp Oil?
Nutritionists say hemp seed oil is a healthy, nutritionally-balanced oil. It provides a high level of monounsaturated fats, essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (55%), and alpha-linolenic acid (16%). It generally has a low level of saturated fat (9%). One tablespoon of hemp seed oil a day will give you the daily requirement for essential fatty acids.
Hemp Oil Nutritional Value
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, 20 grams of hemp seeds (two tablespoons) contains the following:
- 111 calories
- 75g of fat
- 31g of protein
- 73g of carbohydrates (this includes 0.3g of sugar and 0.8g of fiber)
- 330mg of phosphorus
- 240mg of potassium
- 140mg of magnesium
- 14mg of calcium
- 98mg of zinc
- 59mg of iron
- 22mcg of folate
The above might seem impressive, though hemp seed oil provides a low percentage of a mineral’s RDA in most cases. For example, we’re supposed to consume between 3,500mg and 4,700mg of potassium each day. Even so, there are plenty of health benefits associated with hemp seed oil’s ingredients.
What Are the Health Benefits of Hemp Oil?
Here’s a quick overview of the most relevant ingredients and what they can do.
Omega 3 & Omega 6
Hemp oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6. Both are essential fatty acids that play a crucial role in the body. They also offer several health benefits.
They are used to produce signaling molecules, known as eicosanoids. These are related to blood clotting and inflammation. Furthermore, Omega-3 and Omega-6 contribute to the health of cell membranes and hair, skin, and nails.
Hemp seeds have a ratio of 1:3 omega 3 to omega-6, which is considered the optimal range.
Fatty acids may affect the immune response in the body, which can benefit individuals with skin disorders. Research suggests that good immune system health depends on the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 acids. Hemp seeds have a ratio of 1:3 omega 3 to omega-6, which is considered the optimal range.
Magnesium plays an essential role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions within the body. This includes the metabolism of food and the synthesis of proteins and fatty acids. Magnesium is also involved in muscle relaxation and neuromuscular transmission and activity.
Scientists have linked magnesium deficiency to:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Coronary heart disease
- Insulin resistance
Like nuts and seeds, hemp offers some of the best sources of magnesium.
Approximately 25% of the calories found in hemp seeds come from protein. By weight, hemp seeds offer similar amounts of protein to beef and lamb. One hundred grams of hemp seeds offers over 31 grams of protein.
Hemp seeds are regarded as a complete protein source, meaning they provide the essential amino acids. The body can’t produce these amino acids, and you must obtain them from your diet.
The digestibility of hemp protein is also excellent, better than the protein obtained from nuts, grains, and legumes.
Hemp seeds are second only to soybeans when it comes to protein content. Proteins serve several functions in the human body. These include acting as antibodies, enzymes, and the structural components of hormones, tissues, and blood protein. Supplying amino acids is the primary function of dietary proteins.
Amino Acid – Arginine
Arginine is an amino acid that plays a role in the biosynthesis of proteins. The body converts it into a chemical called nitric oxide, which can help prevent heart disease.
Nitric oxide helps blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. It also stimulates the release of insulin, growth hormone, and other substances in the body. Taking arginine by mouth can reduce blood pressure in healthy people. It could also do the same for individuals with high or slightly elevated blood pressure.
This study, published in The International Journal of Angiology in 2008, outlined arginine’s antihypertensive effect.
Research suggests that women suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) could alleviate symptoms like insomnia, bloating, weight gain, and leg swelling by using hemp oil.
A study published in Reproductive Health in 2011 looked into this issue. Researchers found that the emotional or physical symptoms of PMS are linked with sensitivity to prolactin. This hormone is associated with low levels of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). Linolenic acid can help increase PGE1 production, and hemp oil contains a high level of this compound.
Benefits of Consuming Hemp Oil – What Does the Research Say?
There is a significant amount of scientific data outlining the many benefits of hemp oil. Here is a small sample of what researchers have uncovered to date.
Hemp Oil for Skin Conditions
- Atopic dermatitis
- Acne rosacea
- Lichen planus
- Seborrheic dermatitis
There is plenty of other research to suggest that hemp seed oil is worth adding to your skincare regime. A 2014 study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation revealed that hemp oil was a potent and possibly universal anti-acne treatment.
Meanwhile, a 2005 study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that hemp oil usage helped to improve eczema symptoms.
Hemp Oil’s Antibacterial Properties
A 2017 study published in Molecules looked into the properties of hemp seed oil. The researchers found that hemp oil had antibacterial properties that suppressed the activity of different forms of bacteria. Perhaps most pertinently, it helped combat Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium capable of causing bone and heart valve infections, pneumonia, and skin infections.
Hemp Oil to Reduce Inflammation
Excess inflammation over time can increase the risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in hemp could act as an anti-inflammatory.
A 2012 study published in Brain Behavior and Immunity found that supplementing with omega-3 reduced inflammation and anxiety in medical students. Hemp seed oil, of course, is rich in omega-3.
Hemp Oil to Combat Heart Disease
A study published in Advances in Nutrition in 2014 looked into the benefits of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) on cardiovascular disease (CVD). The researchers wrote that it was time to revisit the dietary recommendation for ALA to reduce the risk of CVD. They suggested that increasing dietary ALA would decrease CVD risk.
However, a Cochrane Database study from 2018 suggests that omega-3 offers little, if any, benefit to the heart. Even so, the high level of alpha-linolenic acid in hemp seed oil suggests the product is worth considering if you want to lower the chances of heart disease.
What Not to Expect from Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is not the same as CBD oil. You should not expect the same medicinal benefits when using hemp oil. CBD oil is produced using the stalks, flowers, and leaves of the hemp plants. These contain a much higher concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids.
Hemp seeds have a rich profile of fatty acids, nutrients, and useful bioactive compounds.
Hemp oil comes from the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds don’t contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself does. However, they do have a rich profile of fatty acids, nutrients, and useful bioactive compounds.
Compared to CBD oil, hemp oil’s main drawback is the lack of cannabinoids, terpenes, or other medicinal compounds in the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the cannabis plant. It doesn’t provide any of the benefits associated with whole-plant hemp extracts, like CBD oil.
If you want CBD oil, focus on brands such as Charlotte’s Web and Provacan. They offer a wide variety of products containing cannabidiol. You can check their third-party lab reports for proof that you’re getting what you pay for.
Where to Buy Hemp Seed Oil?
Sometimes, hemp seed oil is marketed as CBD oil deliberately to relieve consumers of their hard-earned money. Remember, hemp seed oil contains practically no CBD and is significantly less expensive. You can purchase it in most health stores, and even giant chains such as Walmart sell it.
Most people cook with hemp seed oil, but you can also apply it topically to help with certain skin issues. It is possible to create healthy snacks by sprinkling hemp seeds on your oatmeal or yogurt. Some brands have jumped on the bandwagon by creating hemp milk and hemp protein powder.
Please note the following potential side effects when using hemp seed oil:
- Mild diarrhea
- Throat irritation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin irritation
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
Medical experts also recommend avoiding hemp if you’re using diuretics or cardiac glycosides. Combining the latter with hemp could reduce your heart rate to a dangerous level. Meanwhile, both hemp and diuretics can decrease potassium levels, leading to potential issues with heart function.
Final Thoughts on Hemp Oil
Unlike CBD oil, people do not use hemp seed oil for its medicinal value. Instead, it’s more of a nutritional supplement. Hemp oil is rich in healthy fatty acids, high-quality protein, minerals, and vitamins. It provides excellent nutritional value and is also becoming very popular in the beauty industry.
Hemp oil has unique benefits and is an excellent addition to most health and wellness routines. However, whether eating hemp seeds or applying it topically, start with a small amount to see how the product affects you before increasing your intake.