Hemp Seed Oil: A Primer

organic cold-pressed hemp seed oil benefits and uses

What is hemp seed oil?

Hemp oil (or hemp seed oil) is made by cold-pressing the seeds of a hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants. In Asia and Europe it has been cultivated for 7000 years. The different parts of the hemp plant (fiber, seeds and leaves) have been used for the following:  the canvas for the Mona Lisa painting, bow strings in ancient times, as well as pain medication in China and Rome.

The crop has been a fertile source of food and medicine for at least 3,000 years in places like China (healthline.com). Hemp seeds themselves can be consumed raw, cooked, or roasted. Hemp seed oil is delightfully earthy tasting and slightly nutty. With Ulli’s organic, cold-pressed hemp seed oil, every batch is unique due to field terroir, the soil, and the roasting of the seeds. Hemp seed oil is highly nutritious and can be particularly advantageous for skin health. It is high in antioxidants, has the perfect balance of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids, and contrary to popular belief, contains no CBD (www.wellandgood.com). Hemp oil is not CBD oil, which is often misunderstood. We will get back to this later. For now, let’s talk benefits. 

What are the benefits of hemp seed oil?

There are 17.2 grams of Omega-3 per one hundred grams of hemp seed oil, which gives it superfood-like benefits. Some of the benefits of hemp seed oil include promoting skin health, reducing inflammation, relieving pain, diminishing unpleasant PMS and menopause symptoms, reducing anxiety, and helping prevent cardiovascular disease (greatist.com). The fatty acids and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) found in hemp seeds have been proven to work all kinds of magic. A 2011 study found that people experiencing PMS felt fewer, less severe symptoms after taking just one gram of gamma linolenic acid (ncbi.nlm). For skincare use, hemp seed oil is known to be a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that will not clog pores or make your skin oily —it has a comedogenic rating of zero, which means its propensity to clog skin pores is none at all (wellandgood.com). 

How can you use hemp seed oil?

Spice up your cooking and skincare routine all in one. Hemp seed oil can be drizzled over your morning yogurt or in your smoothie, over a steamed vegetable dish, mixed into dips, used in your salads (green, grain, pasta, you name it!) or used as a finishing touch over your grilled steak or fish. Mixed with fresh basil, parmesan, and hemp seeds, hemp seed oil makes for a mean pesto. Trust us, Hemp Basil Pesto might be your new favorite pasta sauce. See for yourself! In terms of skincare application, hemp seed oil perfectly balances the skin and nourishes with Omega 3. It has been Ulli’s night face oil for years.

Is hemp oil safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers both hemp seed and hemp seed oil to be GRAS (generally recognized as safe), meaning that they had no questions regarding the safety of these ingredients (greatist.com). The only potential caveat for people buying the product is misunderstanding the difference between hemp seed oil (the oil we are talking about) and CBD hemp oil (a different oil than the one we are talking about). However, YOU will not have that problem because we are about to explain the difference.

Hemp seed oil vs. other oils

In terms of comparison, let’s start with hemp seed oil vs. CBD soil. Hemp seed oil and cannabidiol (DCD) oil are not the same. CBD oil production requires hemp plant’s stalks, leaves, and flowers, which contain a far higher concentration of CBD.  On the other hand, hemp seed oil comes from only the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. These seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself (food-grain strains of hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent THC, which is the compound that causes the supposed “high” of marijuana (ncbi.nlm)). Although hemp seeds lack the THC compound, they still have an extremely rich makeup of nutrients, fatty acids, and advantageous bioactive compounds (medicalnewstoday.com). 

Compared to the debatably most classic oil aka olive oil, hemp seed oil was proven to better treat skincare problems in a 2005 study that compared the two oils on people experiencing eczema (pubmed.ncbi). The study measured skin dryness, itchiness and the need for topical medications to treat symptoms, finding that adding hemp seed oil to your diet improved symptoms more than adding olive oil. 

That is not to say hemp seed oil is necessarily better than all other oils, (every oil has its perks!) but it does have some powerful benefits you don’t want to miss out on.