Hemp seed oil is manufactured from varieties of Cannabis sativa that do not contain significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive element present in the cannabis plant. This manufacturing process typically includes cleaning the seed to 99.99% before pressing the oil. There is no THC within the hemp seed, although trace amounts of THC may be found in hemp seed oil when plant matter adheres to the seed surface during manufacturing. The modern production of hemp seed oil, particularly in Canada, has successfully lowered THC values since 1998. Regular accredited sampling of THC in Canadian hemp seed oil shows THC levels usually below detection limit of 4 ppm (parts per million, or 4 mg/kg). Legal limit for THC content in foodstuffs in Canada is 10 ppm. Some European countries have limits of 5 ppm or none-detected, some EU countries do not have such limits at all.
According to PeaceHealth, a website dedicated to providing information on an array of different supplements and medications, hemp oil can cause minor side effects in the digestive system. For example, the website suggests that hemp and hemp oil can soften the stools, often leading to diarrhea or abdominal cramping. Many times, excessive diarrhea can lead to increased weight loss or malabsorption. While further research is needed to substantiate these side effect claims, it is recommended that for individuals with a history of digestive disorders or irregular bowel movements to not take hemp oil supplements.
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About 49% of the weight of hempseed is an edible oil that contains 76% as essential fatty acids; i.e., omega-6 fatty acids including linoleic acid (LA, 54%) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 3%), omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 17%) in addition to monounsaturated fat (5% to 11%) and stearidonic acid (2%). Hemp seed oil contains 5% to 7% saturated fat. In common with other oils, hemp seed oil provides 9 kcal/g. Compared with other culinary oils it is low in saturated fatty acids.
Hemp oil — obtained by pressing benefit-rich hemp seeds — is slightly different than cannabis oil, although they both come from the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis Sativa. The term hemp is used to describe a Cannabis Sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC. Hemp is a high-growing plant that’s commonly grown for industrial uses, such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, paper and more.
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Pure undiluted cannabis essential oil is a green concentrated, sticky, resinous substance that is considered highly volatile. Its components are very powerful, including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and other highly active organic compounds. It is extracted by steam distillation from the flowers and upper leaves of cannabis plants, which are in the Cannabis genus. The essential oil is primarily made and distributed from France and various other European countries, but its exportation is somewhat limited by, as mentioned above, the legal ramifications of what cannabis essential oil is derived from.
Refined hemp seed oil is clear and colorless, with little flavor. It is primarily used in body care products. Industrial hemp seed oil is used in lubricants, paints, inks, fuel, and plastics. Hemp seed oil is used in the production of soaps, shampoos and detergents. The oil has a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids. It may also be used as a feedstock for the large-scale production of biodiesel.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.