Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from hemp, a cannabis plant like the drug marijuana but containing little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gets people “high.” Instead of THC, hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical that has been used to treat everything from epilepsy to anxiety.
Hemp is increasingly popular as a remedy for a range of conditions including skin issues and stress. It may contain properties that contribute to reduced risks of illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease, though additional research is necessary. Hemp oil may also reduce inflammation in the body.
In addition to CBD, Hemp oil contains large amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, which are two types of unsaturated fats, or “good fats,” and all nine essential amino acids, the materials your body uses to make protein. Here’s more information about nutrients in hemp seed oil and how they may benefit your health.
Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. In one serving of hemp seeds (3 tablespoons), you’ll find the following:
- Calories: 166
- Calories from fat: 131.4
- Total fat: 14.6 grams
- Saturated fat: 1.4 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
- Sodium: 01.5 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Sugars: .45 grams
- Protein: 9.5 grams
Hemp seeds also contain these minerals and hemp nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Gamma linolenic acid
- B vitamins
Many of these nutrients provide the body with necessary minerals and also contribute to overall health. Note that hemp seeds contain a significant amount of iron (17% of your recommended daily diet). This helps prevent iron deficiency or anemia.
Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp seed oil is used as a remedy for a range of conditions. Some studies show that its nutrients and minerals can contribute to better skin and heart health as well as reduced inflammation. Here’s a deeper look at what the research says about the potential health benefits of hemp oil:
Improved Cardiovascular Health
The amino acid arginine is present in hempseed oil. Studies have shown that this ingredient contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. Consuming foods with high arginine levels can help decrease the risk of heart disease.
In studies, the CBD in hemp oil has been shown to reduce seizures in rare types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Regularly taking CBD can also reduce the number of seizures brought on by tuberous sclerosis complex, a condition that causes tumors to form throughout the body.
Over time, excess inflammation in your body can contribute to a variety of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma. It has been suggested that gamma linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp, acts as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have also linked the omega-3 fatty acids in hemp with reductions in inflammation.
Spreading hemp oil on your skin as a topical application can also reduce symptoms and provide relief for several types of skin disorders. One study showed that hemp oil can act as an effective acne treatment, though more research is needed in this area. In addition, consuming hemp seed oil was found to improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, or eczema, due to the presence of the “good” polyunsaturated fats in the oil.
Potential Risks of Hemp Oil
Although hemp and marijuana come from the same species of cannabis plant, hemp has little to no THC. This means that consuming hemp is legal in the U.S. and will not cause you to become intoxicated or impaired.
In general, hemp seed oil is safe to ingest or use topically, but there are a few things to note if you decide to start taking hemp oil. Pay attention to the following potential risks of hemp oil:
Some people experience skin irritation when using topical oils containing CBD, possibly due to an allergy. Start with using a small amount to see how your skin reacts to it, and keep an eye on any changes.
It’s possible that ingesting CBD-containing oils like hemp oil can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. Again, when you’re first introducing hemp oil into your diet, start small to see how it impacts you. Reactions may be different from person to person.