Hemp seed oil is a great source of high-quality nutrients and has a long history of use in Eastern culture as a multi-purpose natural remedy. Despite its widespread popularity, prejudice related to its association with Cannabis kept it from common use in the West until more recently. While the oil contains virtually no THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, hemp oil is still considered sketchy to some. Thankfully, education is prevailing and the market for hemp seed oil is growing in the United States, with an increasing number of people seeking it out for its reported health benefits.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
1. Good for Heart Health
2. Supports Healthy Skin, Hair, & Nails
Hemp seed oil is often used as a moisturizer for the skin, and for good reason. Studies have indicated that hemp seed oil can dramatically decrease skin dryness, which alleviates itching and irritation. Moreover, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin.
3. Excellent Nutrition for Your Brain
Hemp seed oil contains 85 percent essential fatty acids (EFAs), and an optimal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) to omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linoleic acid, not to be confused with alpha lipoic acid). Linoleic acid plays a critical role in brain health, and has been linked to better mental health. Omega-3 fatty acids like alpha linoleic acid play an important role in eye health. Mothers who supplement with hempseed oil during pregnancy may provide brain — and eye — protective benefits for the developing baby.
4. It's a Mercury-Free Fatty Acid Supplement
Taking a fish oil supplement can increase omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, a nutrient that is essential for brain development, immune system health, and mood regulation.[6, 7, 8] However, fish contains a great deal of mercury which can hinder neurological and developmental mechanisms in the unborn baby. Fortunately, hemp seed oil works as a terrific alternative to traditional omega-3 fatty acid supplements and doesn't carry the same risk of mercury ingestion.
5. Supports the Immune System
The essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil have been shown to promote healthy flora in the intestines and support immune system response and function. This can be very helpful during the cold and flu season when viruses are running rampant at school, work, and in everyday social interactions.
- Gavel NT, et al. "The effect of dietary hempseed on atherogenesis and contractile function in aortae from hypercholesterolemic rabbits." Acta Physiologica Hungarica. 2011 September;98(3):273-83. doi: 10.1556/APhysiol.98.2011.3.4.
- Callaway J, et al. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis." The Journal of Dermatological Treatment. 2005 April;16(2):87-94.
- Sapino S, et al. Hemp-seed and olive oils: their stability against oxidation and use in O/W emulsions." Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2005 July-August;56(4):227-51.
- Cocchi M, et al. "Linoleic acid: Is this the key that unlocks the quantum brain? Insights linking broken symmetries in molecular biology, mood disorders and personalistic emergentism." BMC Neurosci. 2017;18,38.
- Connor WE, et al. "The effects of n-3 fatty acid deficiency and repletion upon the fatty acid composition and function of the brain and retina." Progress in Clinical and Biological Research. 1988, 282:275-294.
- Bourre JM. "Roles of unsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) in the brain at various ages and during ageing. The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging. 2004;8(3):163-74.
- Ergas D, et al. "n-3 fatty acids and the immune system in autoimmunity." The Israel Medical Association Journal. 2002 January;4(1):34-8.
- Peet M, et al. "Omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders." Drugs. 2005;65(8):1051-9.
- Emily Oken, et al. "Maternal Fish Consumption, Hair Mercury, and Infant Cognition in a U.S. Cohort." Environmental Health Perspectives. October 2005; 113(10): 1376-1380.
- Fritsche K. "Fatty acids as modulators of the immune response," Annual Review of Nutrition. 2006;26:45-73.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.