Hemp seed oil throughout the history
Hemp is being used for more than 10.000 years. Initialy it was used as a food source, later as a textile fiber and as a medicine. As it can be seen from the history records, about 6000 BC, people began producing hemp seed oil in the area of modern day China. Hemp seed oil is not as “popular” as it was earlier in the history, mainly because people still have misconceptions about hemp and treat it the same as psychoactive marihuana, which is mostly used for recreational purposes. Many of the ancient cultures already knew lots of hemp derived benefits, so it isn’t surprising that the hemp seed oil, as we know it today, was mainly used as a food supplement.
Extraction proces of hemp seed oil
For hemp seed oil extraction we need hemp seeds, that are produced by female hemp plants an are a product of pollination. Hemp is primarily dioecious plant, but recently, more and more hemp farmers are using monoecious hemp strains. This means that we can find both male and female reproductive organs on same plant. When hemp seeds mature (they turn brown and do not burst when gently pressed between fingers), they are ready for harvest, either by hand or machine. When harvested, hemp seeds are carefully cleaned (protective outer shell, hemp leaves and other hemp particles). Hemp seeds can also be sterilised afterwards.
Collected and cleaned hemp seeds are put into containers, from where they travel to cooled pressing heads, which, by extraction and extrusion, separate hemp seed oil and hemp seed residue. During pressing, hemp oil is heated for a short time, but does not exceed the temperature of 50 °C and thus maintains all its active ingredients (cold press technique). Sufficiently cooled, hemp seed oil is then passed through filtration systems in order to remove residual impurities (sediments, residues of seeds and other solid matter). Thus, we get a high quality hemp seed oil that is ready for packaging.
Uses of hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil has a pleasant nutty taste and its colour varies from light to dark green. Because of its beneficial effects, it is mostly used as a food supplement. Oil can be used for salads, shakes, cold soups, etc. Because it has a low smoke point (temperature, at which oil changes it’s characteristics and starts to smoke), it is not recommended for preperation of hot dishes or for frying, as it can harm our health.
Due to the spread of hemp seed oil use and it’s nutritional value and better absorption than other oils, it has a great potential for replacing them. Hemp seed oil is not used only as a food supplement, but also as an additive in various dermal and hair care products. When hemp seed oil is used on the scalp, the hair grows stronger, becomes shiny, elastic, less susceptible to fall out, and properly moistened. Itching, dryness and the formation of dandruff also decreases. It also promotes blood circulation, which prevents the possible occurrence of any scar infection.
Hemp seed oil can be used in various ways for hair treatment:
- apply the oil directly to the scalp, massage and leave overnight, wash the scalp the next day
- hemp seed oil can be mixed into shampoos or hair conditioner
- when applied to the scalp, cover with a shower cap and wrap a warm, wet towel for about half an hour (before applying the shampoo)
- prepare “mascara” (mix about 5 tablespoons of hemp seed oil and avocado oil, 3 teaspoons of honey, add banana and 5-10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, mix well, apply to the scalp, cover with shower cap and leave it for about half an hour before washing)
If we use hemp seed oil for skin, it acts as a nutrient and it can help us with many dermal and skin related problems:
- Soothes irritated skin,
- inhibits acne formation,
- reduces varicose veins and prevents their formation,
- moisturises and maintains the moisture of the skin (especially recommended for people with dry skin problems),
- reduces wrinkles,
- it takes care of the balance of oily skin (because hemp seed oil does not close the pores, it is considered as an ideal oily skin moisturizer),
- reduces wrinkles and inhibits their formation,
- reduces skin inflammation,
Hemp seed oil ingredients and active substances
Hemp seed oil is most appreciated because of its nutritional value and active ingredients. Most important ingredients of hemp seed oil are linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) or better known as unsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6. Gamma-linoleic acid is also present ant it is said that it is an excelent “additive” for loosing weight. We can’t be certain about that, but with a healthy diet, regular exercise and consumption of hemp seed oil, we can definitely contribute to faster changes in our body. We mustn’t forget to mention stearidonic acid (SDA), as with that, we get a wide range of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and nutritional values.
|Monounsaturated fatty acids||Polyunsaturated fatty acids|
|Oil type||Saturated fatty acids||Total||Omega-9||Total||Omega-3||Omega-6||Smoke point (°C)|
|Sunflower (>70% omega-9)||9.9||83.7||82.6||3.8||0.2||3.6||227|
|Sunflower (<60% omega-3 & 6)||10.1||45.4||45.3||40.1||0.2||39.8||227|
All values are in percentages, based on the total fat weight.
Hemp seed oil vs fish oil
Everyday, we can hear more discussions about differences and effectiveness of hemp seed oil and fish oil. Is either of them any good? Which is best for our health? Is it environmentally friendly?
Hemp seed oil consists of nearly 85% of essential fatty acids, which are crucial for the health of our brain and heart. Most effective and recommended is ingestion on an empty stomach, because in that way, the active ingredients of hemp are easily absorbed. An ingestion of a tablespoon (around 15ml) of hemp seed oil is more than enough to meet daily needs of essential fatty acids. The difference between hemp seed oil and other oils is, that hemp seed oil has a very low content of saturated fatty acids, thus meaning, it is easily digested and acts as antioxidant. Many minerals can be found in it, including phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc,… Vitamins E and D are also present in hemp seed oil. Thanks to the natural phenolic compounds, hemp seed oil can also prevent formation of cancer cells, relieve chronic inflammations and eliminate free radicals in our bodies. Hemp seed oil is environmentally friendly, because it is produced without chemicals or any other harmful substances. It also has an ideal ratio (for humans) of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (3:1).
Fish oil is made from “oily” fish like sardines, salmon, tuna, etc. It has a lot of omega-3 fatty acid and two other fatty acids, named EPA and DHA. It is said that they can improve health of our heart and brain. Even though fish, from whom they gather oil, don’t naturaly produce omega-3 fatty acids, they store it in their bodies by eating algae and other fish. Fish oil has a 7:1 omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and for optimising (balancing) the ratio, we need to take other dietary supplements.
In Great Britain there was a serious concern about toxins found in fish (mercury, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls) and it was publicaly called for a reduction of fish oil consumption. Fish oil is also highly perishable (mainly because of DHA and EPA). Because of that, it is said that many fish oil capsules are spoiled before they even reach our homes. With that in mind we can conclude, that hemp seed oil is better than fish oil. Hemp is more environmentally friendly, resistant to various diseases, parasites, helps to reduce greenhouse gases and doesn’t disturb the ecosystem.
Hemp seed oil vs CBD oil
The most obvious difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil is, that hemp seed oil is produced by cold pressing of seeds, while for the production (extraction) of CBD oil, hemp flowers (buds) are used with combination of different solvents (CO2, alcohol, etc.). Peculiarity of CBD oil and CBD enriched products (CBD drops, CBD paste, CBD balm,…) are definitely cannabinoids and their therapeutic potential. They can be found in almost every part of hemp plant, but in largest amounts they are found in hemp flowers (buds) inside trichomes.
Hemp seed oil recipes
Garlic hemp seed oil salad dressing
- 1/4 cup of hemp seed oil
- 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
- 4 chopped/minced cloves of garlic
- 1/8 tablespoon of pepper
- 1. Carefully mix all the ingredients, until they are fully incorporated.
- 2. Let it sit for an hour, so the garlic releases all of its flavour.
- 3. Shake well and drizzle onto a salad.
Hemp seed oil salsa
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 handful of fresh cilantro minced
- 1/2 large red onion, diced
- 1/2-1 jalapeño pepper, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic minced fine
- 2 tablespoons organic hemp seed oil
- big pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1. Combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, pepper and lemon juice.
- 2. Add hemp oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- 3. Mix well & serve with your favorite chips, tacos, burritos or grains.
- 4. Store fresh homemade hemp oil salsa in the refrigerator and consume within 3 days for best flavor.
Cedar smoke beard balm
- 5g beeswax
- 4g shea butter
- 6g rice bran oil
- 4g broccoli seed oil or camellia seed oil
- 6g unrefined hemp seed oil
- 3 drops tea tree essential oil
- 3 drops bergapatene-free bergamot essential oil
- 1 toothpick swirl vetiver essential oil
- 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
- Melt the beeswax, shea butter, rice rban oil, broccoli seed oil, and hemp seed oil together in a small saucepan or double boiler over medium low heat.
- Remove from heat and stir in the essential oils.
- Decant into a 30mL/1 ounce tin.
- To use, massage a small amount into a beard or mustache.
Do you want to take care of your hair via natural way? Do you want healthy skin? Would you like to take care of your well-being and health with help of nature? If you answered yes at least once, look no further. Hemp seed oil is the perfect solution for you, as it has lots of health benefits, it is eco-friendly, has an ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (it is considered the most balanced vegetable oil) and has lots of minerals and vitamins.
Author: L. O.