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how to press hemp seeds for oil

How is hemp seed oil made?

Plus: How to make hemp seed oil at home

Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

Jul 24, 2019 · 4 min read

As CBD oil’s lesser-known cousin, hemp seed oil provides its own unique set of health benefits and its own special manufacturing methods. Since its discussed less often, we thought we would take a closer look at hemp seed oil.

Coming specifically from hemp seeds (duh), hempseed oil is co m monly confused with its uber-popular counterpart, CBD oil. While CBD oil is a health powerhouse in its own right, hemp seed oil also carries with it plenty of health benefits. It has a rich nutrient profile, lots of good fats and fatty acids and carries a wide range of nutrients. Hemp seed oil can help skin health, inflammation, brain & hearth health. Hemp seed oil is a worthy addition into anyone’s diet.

You may know that CBD oil extraction involves complicated machines that use different solvents such as C02. We thought you’d want to know how making hemp seed oil compares. Below we’ll outline how hemp seeds are commonly extracted and even how you can make your own oil at home!

Making hemp seed oil: The traditional method

All seed oils are extracted with an oilseed press machine, and hemp seeds are no different. Used for edible and industrial oils, the oilseed press machine is a trusty & sturdy machine for oil extraction. Seed press machines usually come in two distinct types: a traditional screw press or a reducing screw design.

A lot of variables go into the specific pressing of different seeds, but the main concept stays the same. First you dispense raw seeds into the seed hopper, then an expeller screw crushes the seeds. Next, the oils run through canals where the pulp gets separated from the oil.

The oil produced from this method is pure, raw and as unprocessed as modern technology can get. And this is the basic & traditional method of extracting oils from seeds. This basic method and machinery are used for all kinds of seeds and even nuts. Oils from peanuts, sesame seeds and of course hemp seeds are extracted by this method.

The hidden complexity of pressing oil

While the traditional oil press method seems simplistic, it’s actually surprisingly complex. Many variables go into seed pressing that can make or break a batch of oil.

Let’s take seed moisture content for an example. If a seed is stored incorrectly and it harbors a higher-than-normal moisture content, then it will not press well. This is because if a seed is pressed with too much moisture, the moisture will actually tie up the oil within the seeds. Problems arise with moisture levels that are too low as well. That will increase the pressing temperatures, leading to lesser oil production and potentially going above the temperature limit for “cold-pressed” oils (120°F). Even something as simple as storage can impact the way the seeds interact with the press machines, which is why it’s important for manufacturers to pay attention to every part of the process.

Seed quality is another important characteristic. Non-ripe seeds produce different quality oils and smells than ripe seeds. And obviously seeds that are moldy and improperly stored will produce low-quality oil. The actual operation of the seed press is important too, as the settings for the machine greatly affect the pressing method and pressing temperature. An operator must know how to manipulate the distance between the press head and the screw end, the speed of the press, the tip size and the type of screw needed for the seed. This is why having a well-experienced seed press machine operator is important for companies looking to produce quality hemp seed oil products.

What is cold-pressed oil?

The reason a “cold-pressed” oil is preferred over others (even though it produces less oil) is that it tends to keep more of the characteristics and benefits of the seed in the final oil.

Cold pressing also produces lower phosphorous levels. phosphorous is the culprit for the “green” and “grassy” flavors of some oils. If this is something you dislike, then cold-pressed oils are for you.

Heat and the distinctive characteristics of the oil it produces affects the quality of CBD oil too. Most CBD extraction methods require heating and pressurizing chemicals to supercritical temperatures. If you want an oil that keeps the majority of the plant’s original characteristics and fats without the ‘grassy’ taste, then cold pressed oil might be a good match.

Making hemp seed oil at home

If you’re like us, you can’t afford to buy an industrial scale oil press machine. You might still want to experiment with making your own seed oil. If so, we suggest you purchase a hand crank oil press. Not only can you make hemp seed oil, but you can press any type of seed or nut that you want.

Making hemp seed oil on a hand crank seed press is easy. First, set up the press on a flat, secure surface. Next, you’ll fill the attached oil lamp and light it for 10 minutes prior to operation. This warms up the crank and ensures the oil separates. Then, simply put seeds into the hopper and crank away!

That’s the basics of how to make hemp seed oil. We hope that the next time you see seed oils in the store, that you have a little bit more appreciation for all the hard work and precision that goes into making them.

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As CBD oil’s lesser-known cousin, hemp seed oil provides its own unique set of health benefits and its own special manufacturing methods. Since its discussed less often, we thought we would take a…

How to Make Hemp Seed Oil

hemp seed oil pin

Hemp seed oil is commercially made by pressing hemp seeds to extract their oil. This video shows a commercial seed press extracting black onion seed oil – a process very similar to making hemp seed oil.

In this article, we’ll show you how to make hemp seed oil at home using a manual press, which is much more affordable than a commercial machine and can also be used to extract oil from any other nuts or seeds you wish to use.

Why Make Hemp Seed Oil?

Consuming hemp seed oil is an excellent way to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet, and gain a multitude of health benefits they offer.

Hemp seeds are ideal for oil production because they contain a tremendous amount of healthy polyunsaturated fats, including an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids that protect your cardiovascular system.

Learning how to make hemp seed oil, and by extension, many other oils is a valuable skill. Pressing oil at home allows you to keep commercial additives out and makes you more self-sufficient when it comes to food preparation & nutrition.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Extraction Time: Varies based on press
  • Makes about 80 grams of hemp seed oil


  • 4 cups shelled hemp seeds

While whole hemp seeds can be used in most presses, the hull is just extra bulk the machine will have to break down and separate from the oil. Therefore, it’s easier to use shelled hemp seeds.

The exact amount you’ll need will depend on how long you feel like churning away at the press. However, to justify the effort required, you’ll need at least 2 cups to produce a sufficient amount of oil.


  • Home oil press
  • Bottle lamp with wick
  • Lamp fuel
  • Lighter or matches
  • Jar for oil collection
  • Bowl for expelled refuse

Manual home presses are available in several places online. Some people even make their own, including this remarkable wind-powered oil press.

Most of these home machines operate by hand crank like a pasta maker. You put the seeds into a hopper on top and turn the crank. A lit bottle lamp sits underneath the press, heating the seeds and making it possible for the oil to separate.

Most presses come with the bottle and wicks, and you add fuel. Olive oil and paraffin oil are recommended.

Less common are versions that have electric motors that provide heat to the press. Such a model can be seen making olive oil in this video.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Preparing the Press

  • Unless you have a helper to hold down the press while you crank it, you’ll want to secure the press to a sturdy table.
  • Set up the lamp and light it.
  • To allow the press to heat up, wait about ten minutes before beginning to process the hemp seeds.

2. Working the Press

  • Add enough hemp seeds to fill the hopper about a third of the way, then begin turning the hand crank at a slow, even pace. Soon, drops of oil should start dripping into the collection jar.
  • As the hopper empties, add more hemp seeds. Don’t overload the hopper or it may clog or be too difficult to turn the crank.
  • The pressed hemp seeds will come out the end of the press as dehydrated seed cake, which is no longer useful for nutrition but can be used in mulch or compost mixture.
  • Continue in this way until you get the amount of hemp seed oil desired.

Here’s a great video of the process, just using peanuts instead of hemp seeds.

The hemp seed oil you’ve produced will be dark and rich, perhaps more than you’re used to from store-bought varieties.

Remember that the lighter commercial hemp seed oil is, the less of the hemp seeds’ natural, healthy compounds are in it.

3. Cleanup

Like any piece of metal equipment you want to last a long time and work reliably, it’s important to clean the press after every session.

This means taking the screw shaft out of the main press body and getting all the leftover debris out.

If you don’t do this, it will solidify after the heat is removed and clog the machine.

Final Thoughts

By following the guide above and applying some elbow grease, you can make nutritious oils without the commercial additives.

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to make hemp seed oil. Please let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment or question, and by kindly sharing this article.

Learn how to make hemp seed oil, and press many other oils, by following this step-by-step guide. Make hemp seed oil without the commercial additives