Hemp seed oil is growing in popularity and based on the purported benefits for good reason.
The oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is the name given to cannabis plants with little to no THC. The seeds are cold-pressed to produce one of the most diverse and nutritionally strong oils available. As the seeds are from the hemp plant, they will not produce the famous cannabis ‘high’.
We reached out to 5 health and nutrition experts to find out more and things to watch out for:
Thomas Lorne Irvine
Owner and head coach – Quest Personal Training Studio Inc. &
St. Lawrence College Cornwall physical fitness teacher
Hemp seed oil – Eliminate inflammation and optimize health
Mostly grown in Canada, hemp is a high-yielding and eco-friendly crop, as the use of herbicides and pesticide are not commonly used or needed.
It is the only natural food oil containing Gama linolenic acid (GLA) that doesn’t need to be in a supplement form.
Is Omega 6 a bad fat?
Like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega fatty acids are essential meaning that your body can’t make them, and you must therefore get them from your diet.
It’s important to get the right balance of omega fatty acids in your diet. An imbalance may contribute to a number of chronic diseases.
The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of most modern diets is a shocking 10:1 and 50:1- which is associated with many health problems.
The ideal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 4:1 or lower, Hemp seed oil is 3:1 ratio!
While excess consumption of certain types of omega-6 fatty acids can promote inflammation, which is associated to Arachidonic Acid (AA), not all omega-6 fatty acids are bad – particularly not Gama-linolenic Acid (GLA) which is highly deficient in the average modern diet.
GLA provides a large range of health benefits associated to its powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Aging, diabetes, hypertension and other diseases have been shown to impair GLA metabolism, making dietary sources desirable.
A low fat diet can drop your testosterone and recovery by 10-15%. Eliminating the bad omega 6 fats from processed food and grain-fed animal food is the key!
Rotate hemp seed oil for the good GLA Omega 6 Fat
Eating the same foods or taking the same supplements daily can cause stress on the body, making you miss out on nutrients from other sources.
Having a diverse diet can help to avoid food allergies and intolerances, which can lead to headaches, water retention, congestion, fatigue and weakened immunity.
Do not consume the same food or supplement on consecutive days. Ideally, avoid the same food/supplement for 72 hours.
In reference to GLA Omega 6 fat, it is encouraged to rotate borage, black currant, echium, evening primrose and hemp seed oil into your diet.
Provide your body with a variety of nutrients and improve your awareness of how foods and supplements affect you individually.
Benefits of hemp seed oil
-Improves hormone and digestive health by the synthesis of prostaglandins and eicosanoids
-Reduces symptoms associated with PMS, menstrual cramps and breast tenderness
-Reduces inflammation, arthritic pain and swollen joints.
-Reduces stress, depression and irritability
-Reduces tumor growth
-Reduces plaque build-up in blood vessels from the enzyme lipase
-Reduces sugar cravings and it is a natural appetite suppressant
-Improves memory and brain health
-Improves the production of nitric acid, lowering blood pressure and improving heart health
-Improves gut flora, which enhances digestion and the immune system
-Improves hair growth, shine and strength
-Is the ideal oil for massage and healing treatments, providing moisturizing benefits and relief of acne, psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions related to bacterial, fungal and viral infections
Nutritional experts recommend 9-18 grams of Omega 6 to 6-7 grams of Omega 3. A dosage of 3-5 tablespoons of hemp seed oil will provide that ideal quantity. Some individuals with higher body fat, higher stress levels and other conditions may require a higher volume of Omega fats.
1.5-2 grams of GLA per day can reduce inflammation and pain. Hemp seed oil contains 450 mg of GLA per tablespoon.
Best uses for hemp oil?
Certified non-GMO, organic, cold-pressed and unrefined hemp oil provides a diverse and powerful nutritional punch that suits the vast majority of diets.
Its high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids makes it sensitive to rancidification when exposed to air, heat and light exposures.
Do not use hemp seed oil for cooking. Rather, use hemp as an addition to salads, shakes or as a dipping oil that provides a nutty taste!
Founder of Bang Personal Training
Cautions you still have to be aware of are total calories consumed, especially if you’re trying to get leaner. Replacing some animal fats and yes, even coconut fat, with options like hemp seed oil is generally advisable.
Robby Robinson, AKA The Black Prince and Mr. Lifestyle, is a bodybuilding legend that has been able to keep himself in tremendous shape.
I have used hemp see oil for over 30 years. The healing results are one of the reasons I have retained my youthfulness and training longevity. Among its many benefits, it:
- Promotes heart health
- Assists with weight loss
- Moisturizes and alleviates skin conditions
- Boosts the immune system
- Is a powerful anti-inflammatory (eases arthritic pain)
- Gives pain relief
- Improves brain function
The results have been life changing. My skin is toned and tight like a 30 year old, why? Because of year of using hemp seed oil. It can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as prevent signs of aging from developing. The linoleic acid and oleic acids found in hemp oil can’t be produced by the body but play a crucial role in skin health and anti-aging, so they’re important nutrients to add to your diet.
Rose Reisman is an author, cookbook author and registered nutritional consultant.
Hemp seed oil comes from cannabis but is not the same as marijuana or CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is a healthy, nutty flavoured oil great for cooking. It is rich in essential fats and antioxidants. Hemp is high in protein and the pressing process to turn the seeds into oil improves it nutritionally. Omega fats in hemp seed oil support the health of your major organs.
Some of its main benefits are:
• It’s ideal as a low-heat cooking oil, or raw as a nutritious dressing/dip for bread
• The nutty flavour is very tasty
• It’s good for baking and light cooking
• Hemp oil has 25x more omega-3 oils and 40% less saturated fats than olive oil.
• 1 tbsp provides 85% of EFA for the day
• Its omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is a perfect 3:1 – excess omega 3 raises risk for heart attacks
It also improves:
1. Skin health – the fatty acids and vitamins keep the skin healthy, prevent breakouts and slow the aging process
2. Heart health – the fatty acids may have a positive effect on high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both reducing the risk of heart disease
3. Inflammation – Hemp seed oil is known to reduce pain caused from inflammation. This includes muscle pain and general stress. Rubbing the oil into the affected muscles seems to benefit.
4. Brain health – the omega fatty acids protects the brain against inflammation which can lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s
The only downside of hemp seed oil is that there may be a small risk of THC getting into the system. This could be due to contamination. Be sure to only use oil that comes from a reputable manufacturer.
Kathleen Trotter is the author of Finding Your Fit and is a fitness writer/media expert.
No one food can or should be crowned the perfect food. The benefits of any one product depends on the other foods you consistently consume.
I am sure you have heard the recommendation regarding fruits and vegetables to “eat the rainbow”. That “get variety” message goes for all healthy foods, including oils. Every food has a unique nutritional footprint. If you don’t currently consume hemp seed oil, absolutely start today! Try a yummy salad with hemp seed dressing, or put some hemp in a smoothie. If you are already biased towards hemp as your “go to oil” my suggestion is “mix things up”. Aim to consume a variety of healthy fats – try salmon, sardines, flaxseed oil, avocado oil etc.
If you were my client and asked “how nutritious is hemp seed oil?”, I would first look and see the quality and variety of the oils you currently consume. If I looked at your food diary and you ate a smoothie with hemp seed oil for breakfast or a big salad with hemp seed dressing for lunch and salmon and vegetables for dinner I would probably say “great – A+”. If you had that same smoothie and salad and salmon for weeks on end I would rethink my “A+ grade” and suggest you “mix things up and eat the rainbow of fats”. Net is, if you already consume large amounts of hemp, vary your oil consumption… try avocado or olive oil.
Can hemp seed oil be considered a part of an overall healthy diet? Absolutely. Hemp contains essential fatty acids and as such, has a myriad of benefits including minimizing post-exercise muscle soreness, improving delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells, decreased inflammation, enhancing aerobic metabolism, and increasing energy levels and stamina.
Is consuming hemp a “must”? No. Many people are very healthy without consuming hemp seed oil. Now, including essential fatty acids in your diet is a must, but you can get those from other foods. Try chia seeds, fish such as mackeral and sardines, and walnut oil.
Also, be careful of any new “it” foods such as hemp. You can’t just add flax to processed crap – think muffins or sugary cereals – and then feel better about your choices. Adding a food rich in omega-3s to something doesn’t make up for an otherwise unhealthy choice. Aim to eat a nutritionally dense diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats such as hemp. Obviously, have a treat once in a while — just make sure the treat is an exception to the rule rather than the norm.