Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species. It’s important to differentiate it from CBD oil, which is extracted from the cannabis plant’s flowers and leaves.

Hemp seed oil is known for its nutritional benefits and is increasingly popular in health and wellness circles. It also has surprising other uses.

Hemp Seed Oil Benefits and Uses

Overview of Health Benefits

  1. Nutritional Value: Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, in a ratio considered optimal for human health. It is also a good source of protein and contains various vitamins and minerals.
  2. Heart Health: The balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in hemp oil may contribute to heart health. These fatty acids can help in reducing cholesterol levels, which may lower the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. However, it should not replace any current medications or treatments unless advised by a healthcare professional.
  3. Skin Health: Hemp oil is beneficial for skin health due to its moisturizing qualities and presence of omega-3 fatty acids. It can help in reducing dry skin, alleviate itching and irritation, and potentially reduce the need for skin medication.
  4. Anti-inflammatory Properties: The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help in managing the symptoms of chronic diseases like arthritis.


Hemp seed oil is not only rich in essential fatty acids but also contains a variety of other nutrients that contribute to its health benefits:

  1. Protein: Hemp seed oil contains small amounts of protein. However, the whole hemp seeds are known to be a complete protein source, containing all nine essential amino acids.
  2. Vitamins:
    • Vitamin E: This is a significant vitamin in hemp seed oil, known for its antioxidant properties. It plays a role in skin health and may have cardiovascular benefits.
    • B Vitamins: Hemp seed oil contains some B vitamins, though in varying amounts. These include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B6.
  3. Minerals:
    • Magnesium: Important for bone health and maintaining normal nerve and muscle function.
    • Potassium: Essential for heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction.
    • Calcium: Vital for bone health and plays a role in signaling within the body.
    • Iron: Necessary for the transport of oxygen in the blood.
    • Zinc: Crucial for immune function and overall cellular health.
  4. Phytosterols: These plant-based compounds are structurally similar to cholesterol and may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
  5. Chlorophyll: This gives the oil its green color and has antioxidant properties.
  6. Carotenes: These are vitamin A precursors that play a role in eye health and the immune system.

It’s important to note that while hemp seed oil is nutritious, it’s used more as a supplement rather than a primary source of these nutrients.

Most of the vitamins and minerals are present in modest amounts compared to what you would find in whole hemp seeds or other nutrient-dense foods. However, its combination of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals makes it a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

Does it work for pain?

Hemp seed oil is sometimes associated with pain relief, but it’s important to distinguish between hemp seed oil and other cannabis-derived products like CBD oil, which are more commonly linked to pain management.

  1. Hemp Seed Oil: This oil is primarily valued for its nutritional content, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can have anti-inflammatory effects. While chronic inflammation is a cause of many types of pain, hemp seed oil’s potential for direct pain relief is not as well established in scientific research. Its anti-inflammatory properties might indirectly help with pain related to inflammation, but it’s not typically used as a direct treatment for acute pain.
  2. CBD Oil: Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is different from hemp seed oil, is often used for pain management. CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that can help with pain, inflammation, and anxiety, without the psychoactive effects associated with THC. There’s more evidence supporting the use of CBD for pain relief, especially for conditions like arthritis, nerve pain, and chronic pain syndromes.

If you’re considering using hemp products for pain relief, it’s important to understand which type of product (hemp seed oil or CBD oil) might be appropriate for your specific needs.

How to Take Hemp Seed Oil

  • Dietary Supplement: Can be consumed directly in small quantities as a dietary supplement (about 2 tablespoons per day).
  • Cooking: It can be used in cooking, although it’s better not to heat it to preserve its nutrients. It works well in salad dressings, dips, and as a drizzle over prepared foods.
  • Topical Application: For skin health, hemp oil can be applied topically. It’s often an ingredient in lotions, balms, and soaps.

Taste, Scent, & Color

Hemp seed oil has distinct sensory characteristics, including its taste, scent, and color:

  1. Taste: Hemp seed oil has a nutty, earthy flavor. Some describe it as slightly grassy or herbal. It’s not as strong as olive oil, but it has a more pronounced flavor than neutral oils like grapeseed or canola. Its unique taste makes it a good choice for dressings, dips, or drizzling over foods, rather than for cooking, as heat can alter its flavor.
  2. Scent: The scent of hemp seed oil is often described as earthy, nutty, and slightly grassy. It’s not overpowering but does have a distinct aroma that sets it apart from other oils. The scent is more noticeable when the oil is fresh and tends to be milder than the actual taste.
  3. Color: Hemp seed oil typically has a greenish color, which can range from light to dark green based on the processing and the quality of the seeds used. The green color comes from the natural chlorophyll present in the hemp seeds.

It’s important to note that the quality of hemp seed oil can vary based on the production methods and the quality of the hemp seeds used.

Cold-pressed, unrefined hemp seed oil usually has the most vibrant taste, scent, and color. Refined hemp seed oil, while still beneficial, may have a milder flavor, scent, and a lighter color.

For personal use, especially in culinary applications, the unique flavor profile of hemp seed oil can add an interesting dimension to cold dishes and dressings.

It’s always recommended to use it in raw applications rather than heating it, to preserve its nutritional properties and prevent alterations in taste.


Studies and findings indicate that hemp seed oil has diverse benefits. However, more research, especially in the form of human clinical trials, is needed to fully understand the extent and mechanisms of these benefits.

Studies highlight hemp seed oil’s potential health benefits as:

  1. Anti-Acne Properties
  2. Cardiovascular Health
  3. Dermatological Benefits
  4. Nutritional Profile
  5. Optimal Fatty Acid Ratio

Who Should NOT take Hemp Seed Oil?

While hemp seed oil is generally considered safe for most people, there are certain situations and conditions where caution should be exercised or its use might be contraindicated:

X – Allergies:

Individuals who are allergic to cannabis or hemp should avoid hemp seed oil. If you have a history of allergies to related plants, it’s prudent to consult with a healthcare provider before using it.

X – Medication Interactions:

The oil may interact with certain medications, especially those that are metabolized by the liver. This is because certain components in the oil can affect the activity of liver enzymes responsible for drug metabolism. If you are on any medication, particularly blood thinners or any medication that carries a grapefruit warning, consult with your healthcare provider before using hemp seed oil.

X – Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:

There is limited research on the safety of this oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding. As a precaution, it’s advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to consult their healthcare provider before using hemp seed oil.

X – Gastrointestinal Disorders:

Some people might experience digestive issues when taking it, especially in large quantities. Those with sensitive digestive systems or gastrointestinal disorders should use it cautiously and start with small doses.

X – Immunocompromised Individuals:

While there’s no direct evidence suggesting hemp seed oil is harmful to immunocompromised individuals, it’s always a good idea for those with weakened immune systems to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

X – Surgery:

Due to its potential effects on blood clotting, it might be recommended to stop using hemp seed oil a few weeks before undergoing surgery. Check with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations.

X – Children:

The safety of hemp seed oil in children has not been extensively studied. If considering hemp seed oil for a child, it’s important to discuss it with a pediatrician.

Remember, while hemp seed oil is often touted for its health benefits, it’s not a substitute for medical treatment.

Other Uses for Hemp Oil

Hemp seed oil has several uses beyond its health benefits, including a variety of household and practical applications.

Here are some of the non-health related uses of hemp seed oil:

  1. Wood Finish and Polish: Hemp oil can be used as a natural wood finish. It penetrates into the wood, enhancing its natural color, protecting it from drying out, and giving it a slight shine. It’s a great alternative to chemical wood finishes.
  2. Lubricant for Hinges and Tools: Hemp oil can serve as a lubricant for squeaky door hinges or rusted tools. It’s a more environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based lubricants.
  3. Leather Care: Hemp oil can be applied to leather products to keep them supple and prevent them from cracking. It’s a natural way to maintain leather shoes, belts, or bags.
  4. Insect Repellent: Some people use hemp oil as a base for homemade insect repellents, blending it with essential oils known to ward off insects.
  5. Rust Prevention: Coating metal surfaces with hemp oil can help prevent rust, making it useful for tools, bikes, and other metal items.
  6. Paint Base: Hemp oil can be used as a base for eco-friendly paints. These paints are natural, non-toxic, and provide a durable finish to walls and other surfaces.
  7. Plastic Substitute: Hemp oil, along with other components of the hemp plant, is sometimes used in the creation of bioplastics. These are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics.

In addition it is used for…

  1. Carrier Oil in Aromatherapy: While this borders on a health-related use, hemp oil is often used as a carrier oil in aromatherapy. Essential oils are mixed with it for massage or in diffusers.
  2. Soap Making: Hemp oil is sometimes used in soap making. It adds a moisturizing quality to the soaps and is gentle on the skin.
  3. Natural Makeup Removal: Hemp oil can be effective in removing makeup gently from the skin, without the use of harsh chemicals.

These diverse uses make hemp oil a versatile product. This is true particularly for those interested in natural, eco-friendly alternatives to conventional products.

“Hemp is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel.” [Source]

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it Legal?
    • Yes, hemp oil is legal in many countries, as it contains negligible THC (the psychoactive compound found in cannabis).
  2. Can it Make You High?
    • No, hemp oil does not contain THC at levels that can cause a high.
  3. Are There Any Side Effects?
    • Hemp oil is generally well-tolerated, but some people may experience mild digestive issues or allergic reactions.
  4. How Should it Be Stored?
    • It should be stored in a cool, dark place. Refrigeration after opening can extend its shelf life.
  5. Can it Interact with Medications?
    • There’s limited research on hemp oil’s interactions with other medications. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before adding it to your regimen, especially if you are on medication.

In conclusion, hemp oil offers a range of health benefits. However, it’s not a cure-all and should be used as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Always consult with a healthcare professional for advice tailored to your individual needs, especially if you have existing health conditions or taking medication.


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