Here's Exactly What You Need to Know About Hemp Seed Oil Before You Try It

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Trends come and go, but as we've seen with a few, there are some that just stick around, because their benefits speak for themselves. Case in point, the increased interest and discussion around hemp seed oil. While it may be known for its close relation to CBD products, it actually doesn't contain any CBD, but does in fact contain many other health benefits. The oil is rich in healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants vitamin E and beta carotene, making it a dynamic ingredient in skincare. With benefits that range from aiding in bone health to balancing hormones, hemp's popularity proves that there's something to this ancient seed. Read on for our complete guide.

 

What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

Extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, hemp seed oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant—a tall, seedy, and fibrous plant native to Eastern Asia. While it's used in beauty products as an emollient to retain moisture, it's also used in various products such as paper, textiles, and biodegradable plastics. All food-grade hemp seeds can be further processed to make oil, or they're shelled and are often added to smoothies or salads as a superfood.
 
Like flax seed and sacha inchi oil, hemp has a high amount of omega fatty acid content. Since these oils are heat- and light-sensitive, they're not used for cooking, and rather kept refrigerated to preserve their nutrient content and essential fatty acid structure. Look for high-quality hemp oil that is unrefined, and dark in color—the green pigment in the oil is from the small amount of chlorophyll naturally present in the skins of the seeds.

The hemp plant, seeds, and oil were treasured for generations to treat inflammation, and became popular again in the past few decades. Dr. Andrew Weil published an article titled "Therapeutic Hemp Oil" in 1993, in which he looked at the benefits. "To most people, Cannabis sativa is synonymous with marijuana, but the plant's Latin name means the 'useful hemp.' Species designated sativa (useful) are usually among the most important of all crops. In fact, the utility of hemp is manifold: the plant has provided human beings with fiber, edible seeds, an edible oil, and medicine, not just a notorious mind-altering drug," the introduction states.

What Is the Difference Between Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Oil?

This may seem confusing but hemp oil differs from hemp seed oil. Hemp oil—aka CBD oil—is pressed from the leaves, flowers, stems, and stalks of the plant, which contains a higher concentration of CBD, and can be used to treat everything from epilepsy to anxiety. Hemp seed oil is pressed from the seeds of the plant, which don't contain CBD, but they still have a rich profile of nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds that can also have health benefits.

 

So, Does Hemp Seed Oil Contain THC?

Often mistaken for cannabis, it does in fact belong to the same family, but they are two different plants and have different compositions. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive portion of the cannabis plant that makes you feel "high." While the cannabis plant has high THC levels (up to 28%), the hemp plant's THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%.
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