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Home » Blog » Hemp Education » Hemp Seed Oil 101: Is This Highly Touted Supplement Legitimate?

Hemp Seed Oil 101: Is This Highly Touted Supplement Legitimate?


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Are you new to the world of cannabis? If so, chances are that you came here from a Google search out of curiosity. Are you contemplating a hemp seed oil product after reading some rave reviews or heard a friend swear by its effects? You came to the right place. This post will explain all there is to know about hemp seed oil. By the time you reach the concluding paragraph, you’ll understand exactly what this oil is and isn’t.

What Is Hemp?

To understand the definition of hemp seed oil, you need to understand what hemp is. Many people use this term interchangeably with the term cannabis. Is hemp just another word for cannabis, much like the word “marijuana?” Cannabis consists of three species: sativa, indica, and ruderalis. Hemp is the casual term for the cannabis sativa species. Various parts of the plants, including the seeds, are cultivated for their rich oils.

Hemp Seed Oil Is NOT Hemp Oil

This section is perhaps the most important. If you forget everything else in this post, just remember this: hemp seed oil and hemp oil are NOT one and the same thing. There is actually a huge distinction. The difference is more pronounced than, say, the difference between whole and skim milk.

Hemp seed oil is pretty self-explanatory. This is the oil derived solely from hemp seeds. Hemp oil, though, is derived from various parts of the cannabis sativa plant, which may include different fibrous parts of the leaves and buds. As such, it may contain higher traces of THC. This is the psychoactive cannabinoid that produces the feeling colloquially described as “being high.” In the U.S., cannabis products containing over 0.3% THC are illegal. There are, however, usually state-level exceptions when it comes to legally prescribed medical use.

The hemp seed contains no THC. The seeds, though, may contain residual traces of the plant, so there may be minute concentrations of THC and other cannabinoids. The level, though, is negligible and well below the 0.3% limit. This is what allows hemp seed oil makers to legally market their products as a supplement. For you, the buyer, this makes the oil easy to obtain in any state without bypassing complex legal hurdles.

Hemp Seed Has No CBD

Here is another important point that prospective buyers may not be aware of. Just as hemp seeds do not contain THC, they also do not have significant traces of CBD. Hemp seed oil is not hemp oil, and it’s also not CBD hemp oil. If you see a product labeled as CBD hemp seed oil, the product is either a sham or contains CBD as a fortified and secondary ingredient. Hemp oil, on the other hand, often contains rich traces of CBD, as that is the main cannabinoid in hemp.

With that in mind, hemp seed oil does not contain any of the verified benefits of CBD. The seeds, however, are quite nutrient-dense, hence why it’s still a highly sought-after item by health buffs.

How to Use Hemp Seed Oil

With the above pointers in mind, feel free to treat hemp seed oil as a condiment. Pour a handful of drops on our salad or add them to your post-workout smoothie for an extra nutritional kick. Others use them as dip for their French bread or mix them with other sauces. You can also just consume the oil as is. Others are known to put them on cookies or ice cream to add nutritional value to otherwise empty calories.

If you so choose, you may even vape hemp seed oil. Some users go this route because vaping has a higher bioavailability compared to oral ingestion. By vaping hemp seed oil, more of the vitamins remain intact and do not get destroyed in the digestive tract.

The Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD, but it’s otherwise an antioxidant powerhouse. What’s the nutritional profile of hemp seeds? All of the following benefits are backed by hard science.

  • Hemp seeds contain the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO dilates blood vessels and is shown to reduce the risk of vascular disease1. We recommend hemp seed oil in conjunction with foods that improve blood circulation.
  • Hemp seeds are a complete protein source, making them a viable alternative for vegetarians and vegans.
  • The seeds are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is critical for healthy digestion. Soluble fiber is a prebiotic source for good digestive bacteria2. This makes hemp seeds a great companion to a probiotic supplement like Floracil50.
  • While hemp seed contains no CBD, it does contain the same terpenoids found in most cannabis plants. The terpene Myrcene, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties3.
  • You may have noticed that a lot of hair care products contain hemp seed. This is because the seeds contain vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Both promote skin and hair emollient and act as a natural moisturizer without clogging skin pores4.
  • Hemp seeds may support weight loss. The seeds are high in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). This fatty acid has been shown in a 2007 study to reduce weight regain in formerly obese subjects5.

While the benefits are numerous, we must emphasize that hemp seed oil is not a substitute for a healthy diet. Please continue to exercise common sense by sticking to a sensible way of eating and exercising. Hemp seed oil is just that, a supplement and not a replacement for a disciplined lifestyle.

Give Hemp Seed Oil a Try

By now, you should have a firm grasp of exactly what you’re getting in a bottle of hemp seed oil. As with any dietary supplement, be sure you only buy the product from a trustworthy supplier. Some hemp seed oils out there contain a blend of inferior ingredients in order to keep the costs down. Try to aim for 100% hemp seed oil extract and avoid those claiming to contain some sort of proprietary blend. Go to our Where to Buy page for links to reputable suppliers.


Medical References

Napoli C, Ignarro L. Nitric oxide and pathogenic mechanisms involved in the development of vascular diseases. Arch Pharm Res. 2009;32(8):1103-1108. [PubMed]
Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-1435. [PubMed]
Rufino A, Ribeiro M, Sousa C, et al. Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory, anti-catabolic and pro-anabolic effects of E-caryophyllene, myrcene and limonene in a cell model of osteoarthritis. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015;750:141-150. [PubMed]
Kiefer D, Pantuso T. Omega-3 fatty acids: An update emphasizing clinical use. Agro Food Ind Hi Tech. 2012;23(4):10-13. [PMC]
Schirmer M, Phinney S. Gamma-linolenate reduces weight regain in formerly obese humans. J Nutr. 2007;137(6):1430-1435. [PubMed]
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Christopher Walker

Christopher Walker has a degree in Neuroscience from Duke University, and is the research writer for The Universal Plant. He has dedicated his life to helping men and women around the world educate themselves and take action to improve their health with natural plant-based and nutrient therapies. Follow him on Instagram @_christopherwalker