The rise of
products has drawn a great deal of attention to the hemp plant, but hemp offers much more than just this phytocannabinoid. Hemp is an incredibly versatile and useful plant; it has applications in a wide range of industries from textiles to biofuel, as well as personal uses entirely independent of CBD.
One of the most widespread uses of the hemp plant is hemp oil. Also often called hemp
oil, this culinary ingredient and nutritional supplement is celebrated as a vegetarian source of fatty acids. Here’s what you should know about hemp oil.
What is hemp oil?
Hemp oil is made from the seeds of a hemp plant. This cold-pressed, unrefined oil is commonly used in cooking, as a nutritional supplement, and as an ingredient in many household products, including soaps and skincare products. It’s high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats, and is widely regarded as one of the best vegan sources of omega-6 fatty acids. In personal care, hemp oil is known for its ability to leave skin feeling soft and hydrated, thanks to its high essential fatty acid content.
A note on a name
The term “hemp oil” has been used interchangeably to refer to
and hemp seed oil, but the two products are not the same.
Some CBD oil manufacturers will use the term “hemp oil” to circumvent the strict parameters for marketing and advertising the phytocannabinoid. Some hemp seed oil manufacturers may do the same to attract customers searching for CBD. No matter its nametag, the two products are distinct. Hemp seed oil does not contain any cannabinoid content, nor is CBD oil used in the kitchen like cooking oil. When we refer to hemp oil in this Magazine, we are discussing hemp seed oil, the phytocannabinoid-free nutritional supplement and skincare ingredient. When we refer to hemp extract, that’s the ingredient that contains CBD, as well as other
, polyphenols and other beneficial compounds.
How is hemp oil made?
Hemp seeds are harvested from hemp plants and then cold-pressed to separate the cells of the hemp seeds from the fibers. Cold pressing requires the use of a hydraulic press, which applies thousands of pounds of pressure to the seeds to extract the oil. The result is an unrefined oil that is light or dark green and translucent.
Unlike CBD oil (otherwise known as hemp extract), hemp oil does not contain significant levels of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids, like CBD, are primarily located in and around the flowers of the plant. This is because the resin glands of a mature plant, known as
, contain most of the cannabinoids and terpenes. Since hemp oil is produced from the seeds of a hemp plant, and not the flowers, there are little to no cannabinoids in hemp oil.
What is hemp oil's nutritional value?
Hemp oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). This nutritional value is in large part responsible for the benefits hemp oil offers, both for skincare and general health and wellness.
Hemp seed oil contains many nutrients, including Vitamin E. It also contains carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A, and boasts a wide array of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.