Although the hemp and the cannabis (marijuana) plant belong to the same plant family, Cannabis sativa L, they are two different plants and have different compositions. The most notable difference is the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in each plant. THC is the psychoactive portion of the cannabis plant. It’s the chemical that makes you feel “high”.
The amount of hemp seed oil you take depends on how you use it and what health benefits you would like to obtain. Researchers estimate that three tablespoons of hemp seed oil per day can provide the amount of 3:1 fatty acid ratio needed for a healthy diet.
Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) present in hemp seed oil has been shown to reduce inflammation. A review of studies suggests that natural herbs rich in GLA are effective in relieving symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and multiple sclerosis (MS).
While the cannabis plant has high THC levels (up to 28%), the hemp plant’s THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%. Thus, products derived from the hemp plant are unlikely to create a “high” and are mainly used for medicinal purposes.
Supports a Healthy Pregnancy
Hemp seeds do not have as many phytochemicals as the plant itself, but they have a rich profile of fatty acids, nutrients, and valuable bioactive vitamins and minerals. The oil is well-known for being nutrient-rich and for its general health benefits and comprises healthy fatty acids, protein, and carbohydrates. The many positive health effects of hemp seed oil are linked to the 3:1 ratio of linoleic (LA) and a-linolenic acid (LNA), two essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that particularly benefit the heart.
The gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) found in hemp seed oil is known for its ability to fight- inflammation. This is good news for people who have arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. For example, people with multiple sclerosis (a chronic inflammatory disorder) who participated in a study were given hemp seed oil and evening primrose oil, and their symptoms improved. Scientists believe that it may be helpful in the treatment of fibromyalgia as well.
3. Assists in Weight Loss
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Since hemp seed oil is rich in GLA, which reduces weight by preventing weight regaining, one study found that formerly obese individuals taking GLA supplements for a year gained less weight. It is possible that omega-3s in hemp seed oil also enhance weight loss, but this still needs to be studied.
Hemp CBD has also been shown to help us snooze, with sleep scores significantly improved in clinical research.* Of course, this benefit is dependent on timing (i.e., during wind down before bedtime) and dose (typically 40 mg or higher of CBD), which currently lacks clinical consensus and can be quite individualized.
In this extraction method, the hemp is exposed to high-pressure, low-temperature CO2 gas, which helps isolate and preserve the cannabinoids in the oil. This technology is considered the cleanest (i.e., no solvents) and most premium. Thus, a hemp oil that’s 100% CO2 extracted is considered to be the most high-quality format. The only drawbacks are slow extraction time and high production costs, meaning these products can be on the expensive side.
Capsules are a convenient way to deliver hemp oil, and they allow for more controlled and consistent doses over time. They also allow for other botanicals to be included (i.e., multi-ingredient formulas).
3. It supports a good night’s sleep.*
As the name implies, this is oil that has been extracted from hemp seeds. Unlike hemp oil, hemp seed oil contains little-to-no phytocannabinoids and is instead extracted for its healthy fatty acid profile. It is typically used for culinary purposes, as well as to support healthy skin, nails, and hair.*
In the body, cannabinoids interact with and support the endocannabinoid system—a homeostatic physiological system that affects the brain, digestion, immunity, and more.*
Hemp oil extracts can be consumed orally or sublingually (under the tongue). Sublingual application of hemp oil is a common delivery route for tinctures and is thought to facilitate a fast onset of action of the CBD and its partner cannabinoids.
Hemp oil extract is generally considered safe. Feeling tired is a common “side effect” (or benefit, depending on your goals) at higher potencies of hemp CBD.* And though quite rare, some less pleasant side effects have been reported with CBD including decreased appetite, nausea, and loose stools.