In recent years, much has been said about CBD oil, while hemp seed oil has remained relatively under-the-radar. Now, however, with a slew of new products that take advantage of hemp seed on the market, including skincare, protein powders and oil to use as dressings or in dips and sauces, we’re starting to hear a lot more about it.
But what exactly is hemp seed oil, how does it differ from CBD oil and what does it actually do? We put these questions to Beata Silber, who has a PhD in Neuroscience and is the global director of research and development and innovation of Hemp Food Australia, and here’s what she said.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil is extracted from seeds of the hemp plant. The extraction occurs through cold-pressing, similar to the way that olives are cold-pressed to make olive oil. Hemp seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9, with a perfect balance of omega 6 GLA and omega 3 SDA with a ratio of 1:3 which is considered optimal for human health. Hemp seed oil is also considered a powerful antioxidant containing rich amounts of Vitamin E.
Will Hemp Make You Feel High?
If you’re wondering if you can get a high from it, the answer is no. Hemp seed doesn’t contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in the Cannabis sativa plant that produces the high sensation.
How Does Hemp Seed Oil Differ from CBD Oil?
Although both hemp seed oil and CBD oil are derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, hemp oil is made by cold-pressing the hemp seeds into an omega-rich culinary oil; whereas CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp seeds do not contain CBD.
What Are Some Ways to Ingest It?
Hemp seed oil is generally consumed orally as either an oil you drizzle over salads or other food or add to smoothies and shakes. It can also be consumed as capsules. Hemps seed oil is also used topically directly onto the skin as it is an effective moisturiser which is easily absorbed without leaving the skin feeling greasy.
What Are Some Proven Benefits of Ingesting Hemp Seed Oil?
As hemp seeds are an exceptionally rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega 6, it can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. A Cochrane review found that high omega 6 intake reduced total serum cholesterol in participants who increased omega-6 fats compared to control.
Hemp seed is an interesting ingredient as it is considered to be perfectly balanced in regard to the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3, specifically a 3:1 ratio. The significance of an appropriate dietary ratio of these essential fatty acids is important to consider in any discussion of general health, as recent considerations suggest an optimal omega 6 to omega 3 ratio for humans should be somewhere between 2:1 and 3:1. Hemp seeds alone have one of the highest plant-based sources of omega 6 and omega 3 in that ideal ratio.