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Hemp Seed Oil - 101: A Detailed Beginner's Guide

 What is Hemp Seed Oil?


Hemp oils are a derivative of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp seeds from the plant are cold pressed which involves minimal processing and so the oil is often unrefined and quite natural.

Hemp seeds contain almost none of the compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive component found in Marijuana (Cannabis) (1).



Hemp Seeds


Health Benefits

  • Natural anti-inflammatory - which can be used to benefit the body from skin flares to joint pain (2).
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) - helps to aid heart and brain health. This includes cognitive function, moods, stress symptoms and memory (3).
  • Cholesterol Lowering - The EFAs in hemp seed oil is also known to keep balanced, healthy cholesterol levels in the body (3).
  • Antioxidant - Hemp seed oil contains Vitamin E which is an antioxidant. This helps to maintain healthy skin, eyes and immune system and can be described as anti-ageing (4)
  • Lowers Blood Pressure – Hemp oil contains high amounts of Arginine, an amino acid which helps to produce nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide dilates and relaxes blood vessels more efficiently so helps to lower blood pressure (5)
  • Benefits Skin – contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is another anti-inflammatory nutrient useful in calming skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, acne and psoriasis. It encourages skin rejuvenation, moisturises skin and unclogs pores (6).
  • Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) relieving – In many studies, GLA has also shown to reduce symptoms of PMS and hormone imbalances (7).

 

 

How To Take Hemp Seed Oil


As a topical use, hemp oil can be applied directly onto your skin especially on dry or irritated areas that may need soothing.

It can also be consumed orally; it has a slightly nutty flavour. Some may actually describe it as an achene, a tiny nut covered by a hard shell, rather than a seed. However, hemp seed oil is tolerable for those with nut allergies (4).

The oil can be used in roasting, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, as a dipping oil or simply mixed in with your food or drinks for added nutrition. Frying with hemp seed oil isn’t recommended as its sensitive to high heat.

Of course, Hemp Seed Oil can also be taken as a supplement in capsule form which is a quick and convenient way of consuming it and ensures adequate absorption. TrueVit naturals Hemp Seed Oil is available here: https://truevit.com/collections/all-products/products/hemp-oil-capsules.

 

hemp plant being inspected

 

Can You Take Too Much Hemp Seed Oil?


Hempseed oil is safe for most people to use without any negative symptoms. Taking a large quantity straight away can cause temporary digestive upset or loosened stools (6). This is due to the high-fat content of the oil and its oily nature.

If you do decide to take it orally, build up the quantity perhaps starting with 1-2 teaspoons a day, and this can be spread out in the day. If taking an oral supplement, please follow instructions on how to take and dosage displayed on its packaging.

Using too much topically may cause you to experience skin irritation, so it's always best to try a patch test of it first on a small area of skin (6).

Some studies have shown that hemp seeds can interfere with blood thinning medication, as they may have an effect on platelets, responsible for blood clotting (8). It is therefore advised to speak to your GP before taking hemp seed oil if on any blood thinner medications.

 

 

Nutrition of Hemp Seed Oil


Protein -
Hemp seed oil contains all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids, which cannot be made in the body, and 2 semi-essential amino acids for the body. This makes it a complete protein source, great for the vegetarian/vegan individual (5).

The main hemp oil proteins are edestin and albumin. Both of these proteins are easily digested in the body, meaning hemp protein is rated as a 90% digestibility protein (9,10).

The protein content is high making up 25% of its calories. For comparison, chia seeds make up approximately 17% of its calories from protein (11).

Fibre - Hemp seed oil is also a source of insoluble fibre (4). Insoluble fibre includes cellulose so adds bulk to stools, allowing it to pass more freely through the colon thus aiding digestion and colon function.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS) – In hemp seed oil PUFA levels are at about 80%. It includes the EFAs omega 3 (linoleic acid) and omega 6 (linolenic acid) which we must obtain from the diet. It also contains smaller amounts of two other polyunsaturated fatty acids: oleic acid, stearidonic acid as well as GLA (9).

Hemp seed oil contains omega 6 and omega 3 at a ratio of 3:1. The ratio means that hemp seed oil provides about 3 times more omega 6 than omega 3 (9). This is a decent ratio as we should aim for a balance of omega 3 and 6.

 

 

1 Tablespoon of Hemp Seed Oil (approximately) contains (12):

Fat

4.6g

Saturated Fat

0.5g

PUFAs

4.2g

Omega 3

1000mg

Omega 6

2500mg

GLA

450mg

Calories

57Kcal

Protein

3.3g

Fibre

0.6g

Vitamin E

16mg

Potassium

100mg


 

Other Benefits


Sustainable -
In comparison to fish oils (also rich in EFAs) hemp seed oil does not disturb the ocean’s ecosystem.

It is a crop that does not normally require pesticides and many companies are easily able to provide chemical, GMO-free and organic versions (13).

Source of Minerals - including phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron and zinc.

It also provides decent amounts of carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids and chlorophyll. It is the chlorophyll which gives hemp seed oil its green colour. These all have individual benefits (4).

 

 

Rundown


As you can see, hemp seed oil is one of the most nutritiously varied oils on the market today so it can be widely used for health benefits for a variety of people. So many nutrients are contained in this seed oil, it can be a great and enviro-friendly option to boost your nutrition.

 

hemp plant being grown


REFERENCES
 

(1) https://www.britannica.com/plant/hemp

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2868018/

(3) https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/2018/07/the-lowdown-on-omega-3/

(4) https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-hemp

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19727602/

(6) https://www.healthline.com/health/hemp-oil-for-skin#benefits-for-your-skin

(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3033240/

(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5789126/

(9) https://www.nateralife.com/blog/lifestyle/hemp-vs-whey-protein/

(10) https://www.hempbasics.com/shop/hemp-seed-nutrition

(11) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-health-benefits-of-hemp-seeds

(12) https://www.thespruceeats.com/hemp-seed-nutritional-information-3376946

(13) https://www.nateralife.com/blog/lifestyle/omega-truth-hemp-vs-fish-oil/

 

February 05, 2019 — Simi Ryatt

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