Hemp Oil: Is It Good for You?
In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
- Nutrition Information
- Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Oil
- Potential Risks of Hemp Oil
Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from hemp, a cannabis plant like the drug marijuana but containing little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gets people “high.” Instead of THC, hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical that has been used to treat everything from epilepsy to anxiety.
Hemp is increasingly popular as a remedy for a range of conditions including skin issues and stress. It may contain properties that contribute to reduced risks of illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease, though additional research is necessary. Hemp oil may also reduce inflammation in the body.
In addition to CBD, Hemp oil contains large amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, which are two types of unsaturated fat s, or “good fats,” and all nine essential amino acids, the materials your body uses to make protein. Here’s more information about nutrients in hemp seed oil and how they may benefit your health.
Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. In one serving of hemp seeds (3 tablespoons), you’ll find the following:
- Calories: 170
- Calories from fat: 108
- Total fat: 12 grams
- Saturated fat: 1 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
- Sodium: 0 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Sugars: 1 grams
- Protein: 10 grams
Hemp seeds also contain these minerals and hemp nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Gamma linolenic acid
- B vitamins
Many of these nutrients provide the body necessary minerals and also contribute to overall health. Note that hemp seeds contain a significant amount of iron (20 % of your recommended daily diet). This helps prevent iron deficiency, or anemia.
Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp seed oil is used as a remedy for a range of conditions. Some studies show that its nutrients and minerals can contribute to better skin and heart health as well as reduced inflammation. Here’s a deeper look at what the research says about the potential health benefits of hemp oil:
Improved Cardiovascular Health
The amino acid arginine is present in hempseed oil. Studies have shown that this ingredient contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Consuming foods with high arginine levels can help decrease the risk of heart disease.
In studies, the CBD in hemp oil has been shown to reduce seizures in rare types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Regularly taking CBD can also reduce the number of seizures brought on by tuberous sclerosis complex, a condition that causes tumors to form throughout the body.
Over time, excess inflammation in your body can contribute to a variety of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma. It has been suggested that gamma linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp, acts as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have also linked the omega-3 fatty acids in hemp with reductions in inflammation.
Spreading hemp oil on your skin as a topical application can also reduce symptoms and provide relief for several types of skin disorders. One study showed that hemp oil can act as an effective acne treatment, though more research is needed in this area. In addition, consuming hemp seed oil was found to improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, or eczema, due to the presence of the “good” polyunsaturated fats in the oil.
Potential Risks of Hemp Oil
Although hemp and marijuana come from the same species of cannabis plant, hemp has little to no THC. This means that consuming hemp is legal in the U.S. and will not cause you to become intoxicated or impaired.
In general, hemp seed oil is safe to ingest or use topically, but there are a few things to note if you decide to start taking hemp oil. Pay attention to the following potential risks of hemp oil:
Some people experience skin irritation when using topical oils containing CBD, possibly due to an allergy. Start with using a small amount to see how your skin reacts to it, and keep an eye on any changes.
It’s possible that ingesting CBD-containing oils like hemp oil can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Again, when you’re first introducing hemp oil into your diet, start small to see how it impacts you. Reactions may be different from person to person.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity: “Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”
Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment: “Scoping paper on the potential adverse effects of CBD products.”
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports: “Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy: an Update.”
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: “Gamma linolenic acid: an antiinflammatory omega-6 fatty acid.”
ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Hemp Oil.”
GW Research Ltd.: “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cannabidiol (GWP42003-P, CBD) for Seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (GWPCARE6).”
Harvard Men’s Health Watch: “Iron and your health.”
Journal of Clinical Investigation: “Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes.”
Journal of Dermatological Treatment: “Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis.”
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.”
Nutrition & Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”
StatPearls: “Chronic Inflammation.”
The Whole U: “Super seeds: Power up with flax, hemp, & chia.”
USDA FoodData Central: “HEMP OIL.”
World Health Organization: “CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Pre-Review Report.”
Find out what the research says about hemp oil, who should avoid it, and how it may affect your health.
Hemp Seed Nutrition
Hemp Seed Protein
Hemp seeds are second only to soybean in protein content. Proteins serve a variety of functions in the human body such as acting as enzymes, antibodies, and the structural components of tissues, hormones and blood protein. The main function of dietary protein is to supply amino acids for the growth and maintenance of body tissue. Digestion disassembles proteins into their basic building blocks – the amino acids.
Hemp protein contains all 20 known amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce. Proteins are considered complete when they contain all 9 essential amino acids in a sufficient quantity and ratio to meet the body’s needs. Hemp seeds contain an adequate supply of these high quality proteins (EAAs) for a well balanced diet.
Hemp protein is free of the tryspin inhibitors which block protein absorption and free of oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas. Approximately 65% of the protein in hemp seeds is made up of the globulin protein Edestin and is found only in hemp seed. Edestin aids digestion, is relatively phosphorus-free and considered the backbone of the cell’s DNA. The other one third of hemp seed protein is Albumin, another high quality globulin protein similar to that found in egg whites. (see our nutritional composition tables for further info)
Hemp Seed Oil
The oil contained in the hemp seed is 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (the good fats) and only 9-11% of the lesser desired saturated fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom. The essential fatty acids (EFAs) contained in hemp seed oil are required in our diet more than any other vitamin, yet our bodies do not naturally produce them. They must be obtained from external sources in the food we eat. EFAs are involved with producing life’s energy throughout the human body and without them, life is not possible. In general, North Americans have a high dietary deficiency in EFAs due to out high intake of animal fats versus plant fats, caused by our high consumption of processed foods and meats versus natural organic foods.
Hemp seed oil has been dubbed “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”, due to the fact that it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (linoleic/ LA) to Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic/ LNA) essential fatty acids, determined to be the optimum requirement for long-term healthy human nutrition. In addition, it also contains smaller amounts of 3 other polyunsaturated fatty acids in Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid and stearidonic acid. This EFA combination is unique among edible oil seeds. (see nutritional composition )
Extensive studies have demonstrated that many common illnesses are related to deficiencies or imbalances of specific fatty acids in the body. Symptoms are often related to a lack of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and their derivatives, the postaglandins. Most people eating a healthful diet, one that includes a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids, also have healthy skin and a strong immune system.
Yet some individuals may experience shortages in specific fatty acids or their metabolites due to dysfunctional enzyme systems or other inhibitions in their metabolic pathways caused by genetic, immune-system-related, or even environmental factors. It has been proven in several clinical studies that dietary supplementation with EFAs or their metabolites (such as GLA) will often prevent or even cure these illnesses. Since hemp seed oil contains both EFAs in a desirable balance while also providing two of the EFA metabolites, it is a good resource for the prevention and treatment of certain illnesses.
Hemp seed oil also provides an adequate supply of antioxidants (Vitamin E), carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), phytosterols, phospholipids and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, along with modest amounts of iron and zinc. Hemp seed oil also provides a good source of chlorophyll. The daily recommended allowance of hemp seed oil is 14-28 ml (1 to 2 tablespoons). This allowance provides between 8 and 16 grams of Omega 6 (LA) and between 3 and 6 grams of Omega 3 (LNA). And lastly, unlike other Omega-rich alternatives (flax, evening primrose, borage or fish oils) that are sold mainly as a vitamin supplement, hemp seed, hemp oil and hulled hemp seed all have a flavorful “nutty” taste that will create consumer demand and can easily be added into most any recipe to obtain a balanced diet!
Caution: Highly unsaturated vegetable oils such as Hemp Seed Oil are denatured by heating above 150єC (300єF), which can result in the production of unhealthy trans-fatty acids and increased peroxide values. Use Hemp Seed Oil as a flavor-enhancer in many recipes. Do not use as a substitute for frying oils. Keep bottles tightly sealed after opening and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
In addition to the high quality protein and oil found in hemp seeds, 34% of this nutritional package deal is rounded out with carbohydrates made up of dietary fiber and a small amount of sugar. This dietary fiber is made up of 3% soluble fiber and 27% insoluble fiber. (see nutritional composition.
Benefits of consuming Hemp Seed & Oil
– Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA
– Lower blood LDL cholesterol levels
– Lower blood pressure
– Improve cardiovascular circulation & function
– Improve organ function
– Improve immunity levels
– Increased energy levels & metabolic rate
– Reduce symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
– Reduce inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis
– Improve recovery of muscles after exercise
– Reduce & treat dry skin and hair conditions
– Reduction of many degenerative diseases through preventative measures
Hemp products are GMO-Free, Gluten-free, Herbicide & Pesticide free, peanut free, Vegetarian approved, Kosher certified, No THC and Tryspin inhibitor free.
Hemp products have a wonderful nutty flavor that can easily be incorporated into your diet while providing a powerful daily supplement.
Hemp Food Nutritional Comparison
Hemp seed oil has been dubbed, “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil” due to the fact that it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of both the required essential fatty acids (EFAs) for long term human consumption. Omega 6 -Linoleic Acid (LA) : Omega 3 – Linolenic Acid (LNA). Hemp oil is also an excellent source of the LA derivative super-polyunsaturated Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) at 2.5-3% of volume* * Based on EFA composition noted in research crop reports conducted in Manitoba and Canada during the last three years.
Only Hemp seed oil contains Omega 6, Omega 3 and GLA Only Hemp seed oil contains 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids – highest in the plant kingdom and unique among seed oils.
The following tables and charts offer typical specifications and compositional breakdowns of various hemp seed & oil products.
Hemp Seed Nutrition Information