Hempseed Oil Benefits and Drawbacks
Jun 01, 20
In this article we’ll be covering hempseed oil benefits and drawbacks as it relates to supporting health, what the research tells us, and how you can use this to make an informed decision.
What is hemp seed oil
Hempseed oil (also termed “hemp seed oil”) benefits have been known about as early as 6000 BC, when hemp was cultivated in China for its seeds and oils for use in foods and medicine. See our article titled What Is Hemp for more on hemp history.
One reason we’ve seen an explosion of recent interest in hempseed oil benefits is because in 2008, the New Zealand government passed legislation that allowed the sale of hemp for human consumption. Although, the current laws state that only the hemp seed is to be used, the rest of the hemp plant may not be used for human consumption.
Hempseed oil is commercially made by pressing hemp seeds to extract their oil with a cold pressing technique that requires the seeds to be de-shelled with removal of the outer husk. It has great nutritional value but does not contain any appreciable cannabinoids, especially CBD and THC.
Hempseed oil benefits
There are range of benefits to consuming hempseed oil. Below we’ve listed them for you...
- Hempseed oil has a mild, nutty taste and is used as an oil on salads, in cooking and in the production of soaps, shampoos and detergents. The oil may also be used as a feedstock for the large-scale production of biodiesel.
- Hempseed oil is often used as a hair conditioner, and a skin moisturizer. Some studies found that hempseed oil may improve dry, itchy skin and help symptoms of eczema.
- Hempseed oil contains a range of beneficial fatty acids, which are crucial for brain health, and although the body naturally produces most of the fatty acids the brain needs, some are only available through food sources.
- Hempseed oil offers omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which can improve memory and focus by giving the brain the fuel it needs. In fact, depression can be reduced in people consuming a fatty acid-rich diet.
- Hempseed oil contains about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range to support the immune system.
- Hempseed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation, which may decrease your risk of diseases like heart disease.
- Hempseed oil supports the immune system by providing increased amounts of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid.
- Hempseed oil can also aid in balancing blood sugar through providing omega fatty acids.
- Hempseed oil 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.
- Hempseed oil is proven to help with arthritis, neurodermatitis, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
As you can tell, the hempseed oil benefits are quite far reaching. Largely these benefits are based on hemp seed oil’s fatty acid profile, vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content. The benefits are similar in nature to that of other healthy plant-based oils such as flaxseed oil, bar the exception that hemp has a considerably high omega 3 profile.
Hempseed oil drawbacks
We’ve covered some of the benefits to hemp seed oil, but are there any drawbacks or complications you need to be aware of? Here’s the low-down...
- Hempseed oil can on very rare occasions cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, throat irritation, hypertension, and bradycardia.
- Hempseed oils’ mild, nutty taste doesn’t always agree with everyone’s palate.
- Hempseed oil cannot be taken with cardiac glycosides such as lanoxin.
- Hempseed oil cannot be taken with diuretics due to potassium flushing.
- Hempseed oil requires a high consumption in order to positively affect omega fatty acid status.
- Hempseed oil experts recommend titrating your consumption starting low and slow and working your way up.
- Hempseed oil is not suitable for high temperature cooking, only for warm or cool dishes.
The drawbacks of hempseed oil are extremely low and any side-effects are extremely rare in most cases of consumption. The side effects listed above would be about as common for any plant based oil. The hempseed oil benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks, but you be the judge.
Hemp seed oil vs CBD oil
If you’ve heard the buzz about CBD oil over recent times, you may be wondering what the difference is between hempseed oil and CBD oil, given they’re both extracted from the hemp plant. Here’s the difference...
Hempseed oil is made by cold pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. Only the seeds are used, not the whole hemp plant. That means not the stalks, leaves, flowers or buds. Only the seeds. Once the seeds have been cold pressed, they do not contain any appreciable cannabinoids.
CBD oil is made from the flower of the hemp plant. This is where the largest concentration of cannabidiol (CBD) is found in the hemp plant. Upon CBD being extracted and isolated, it is then added to a base oil such as coconut oil.
Therefore, CBD oil is a single isolated product devoid of any other hemp plant matter entirely. Hempseed oil benefits are significantly different from the benefits you’ll find from using CBD oil.
Hempseed oil vs full spectrum hemp oil
Given that we understand hempseed oil is made from cold pressing the seeds of the hemp plant, how does it differ from a full spectrum hemp oil?
A full spectrum hemp oil is made from a full spectrum of beneficial compounds from the hemp plant. Although processing practices vary among manufacturers, full spectrum hemp oil typically contains a wide range of different cannabinoids, fatty acids, terpenes and other powerful plant compounds to increase the absorbability, synergy and effectiveness of the product’s benefits.
Hempseed vs CBD vs Full Spectrum
We now understand hempseed oil is produced by cold pressing hemp seeds. That CBD oil is made from extracting a single cannabinoid, cannabidiol, from the flower of the hemp plant and through refining, it becomes a single isolated product with a base oil carrier such as coconut oil.
We also understand that full spectrum is similar to CBD oil in only the respect that it is a product containing cannabinoids from the hemp plant. In CBD oil’s case, only cannabidiol. Whereas in the case of full spectrum, you’ll get cannabidiol, plus the other 119 cannabinoids from the hemp plant, which on its own would increase synergy and effectiveness in the body.
Then when you factor in the fatty acids, for bioavailability (absorbability), plus terpenes, which are powerful compounds in their own right (often found in essential oil products). You get a power packed potion that can yield incredible (almost magical) results in terms of benefits in the human body. This is also called "the entourage effect."
We hope that by now you can tell the difference between hempseed oil, CBD oil and full spectrum hemp oils so that you can make a better, more informed decision about hempseed oil benefits and any drawbacks.
We have a full range of articles on our blog covering the latest research as it relates to specific bodily conditions, and how hemp, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system work to provide such incredible effects in the body.