What is Hemp Seed Oil? Benefits, Uses & Buying Guide

Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are two different ways hemp seed oil can be processed: Unrefined, cold-pressed hemp seed oil – this oil is green in color with a nutty flavor. Cold-pressed hemp oil preserves hemp’s nutritious content, so it is often called “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”. It has a limited shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator once opened. Refined hemp oil – this oil is clear and colorless. It doesn’t have much flavor and also lacks the natural vitamins and antioxidants that hemp is known for. Refined hemp oil is typically used as ingredients for body care products, fuel, lubricants, and even plastics.

*Note: It’s important to note that there are other forms of oils derived from hemp, such as hemp essential oil or hemp CBD oil. These are all extracted from the plant in different ways. This blog post focuses on providing an in-depth overview of hemp seed oil.

Top 6 Benefits & Uses for Hemp Seed Oil

Did you know that people used hemp oil in medicine and in their households in 6000 BCE?

Hemp has been around for millennia actually since there is evidence that it was being cultivated around that time. In China, both the oil and the seeds were used in food. Not only was the plant used for food, but the ancient Chinese used the stalks for building materials. They also made clothing and shoes from hemp cord. Beginning around 100 BCE, there is evidence of hemp being used to produce paper.

hemp history china
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By the 1500 CE era, hemp was a familiar plant in Europe. In fact, King Henry VIII would fine his subjects if they did not grow hemp. Prior to the development of cotton, hemp was the primary source material for clothing.

By the year 1616, settlers brought the crop to Jamestown. In 1619, the Virginia Assembly established that all citizens were required to grow hemp. By the mid-1800s, hemp extract was listed in the third edition of the United States pharmacopeia.

Hemp seed oil is extracted from a different variety of cannabis than the type people ingest to get “high.” It contains no THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in “marijuana.” However, the medical benefits have been recognized for centuries and more are discovered every day.

Below, you’ll find a few of our favorite benefits of hemp seed oil.

hemp seed oil benefits
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High in fatty acids GLA and omega-3, hemp seed oil helps to reduce inflammation. It also helps to promote a boosted immune system. A 2007 study revealed that in addition to preventing heart disease, hemp seed oil helps in relieving cancer treatment side effects.

Cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), contained in the oil, are partly responsible for the hemp’s healing benefits. When it comes to ingesting CBD extract, it could be included in edibles, smoked or used in vaporizers. Research has shown that vaporization allows patients to get the most cannabinoids in a less amount of time compared to other methods of intake.


Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) is an important building block in prostaglandins, which are hormone-like compounds that help the body function optimally. Hemp seed contains GLA and this may be a reason that some people who take hemp supplements report relief of PMS and/or the symptoms of menopause.


Hemp seed is nutritious – mainly because of the high level of essential fatty acids that it contains. These fatty acids are essential to building a strong and healthy immune system. Even further, our bodies produce the same endocannabinoids found in THC naturally, but they are derived from the same fatty acids provided by hemp oil.  Supplementing with hemp seed oil is a good way to boost your fatty acids, and in turn, boost your immune system.

uses for hemp seed oil
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Yet again, fatty acids have proven an essential component in several studies relating to mood disorders. Supplementing with Omega-3 can improve symptoms of those with bipolar disorder. Other patients who have conditions like ADHD have benefitted from supplementing with Omega-3s. Hemp seed is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential when it comes to mood and regulate the release of neurotransmitters, where neurotransmitters play an essential role in conditions like depression and anxiety.


These fatty acids we keep mentioning are essential to the health of your nervous system and brain. The nerves that communicate with your brain are protected by a myelin sheath. Myelin is a conductor that ensures that messages sent from one nerve reach another and their proper destination. Ensuring that you get enough fatty acids will help prevent nervous system and brain degeneration over time. Hemp seed oil is high in these fatty acids which have been shown to protect the brain.


Hemp oil has long been used as a wood varnish. Just mix a little of the oil in with lemon oil and apply it over your finished woodwork. Afterward, buff it out to make your furniture shine. Got a squeaky hinge or a bike chain that’s catching? Hemp oil is an environmentally friendly replacement for petroleum-based oils that are used to quiet these annoyances.

The hemp seed oil has many health-related uses and there are many benefits to adding it to your holistic health plan. In fact, hemp has so many benefits we’ve run out of space in this article. Hemp seed oil can even help you achieve beautiful skin, nails, and hair. It is truly one of nature’s powerhouses.

Things to Consider When Buying Hemp Seed Oil

Here are some things you could consider when purchasing your first or next hemp oil

  1. What does “Cold Pressed” mean?: Typically, when you press seeds for oil, the temperature rises from the heat that’s produced from the friction caused by pressing and grinding. When the heat rises too high, this makes the oil lose a lot of its value. By cold pressing, presses are required to maintain a much lower temperature (less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit), which ensures that the oil retains the flavor, aroma, and nutritional value of the seed. That is why unrefined cold-pressed hemp maintains a green color, smells nutty, and contains all sorts of nutrition.
  2. Refined vs Unrefined: Unrefined has a similar meaning to “cold-pressed” in that the oil is processed in minimal heat. But it also means that the oil has not been bleached or deodorized. A lot of unrefined oils are also called “virgin”, “extra virgin”, “raw”, or “pure”. This also means that unrefined oil has a much shorter shelf life and the oil can start smelling odd when it gets closer to its expiration date. Refined oil, on the other hand, has been bleached and/or deodorized. That is why refined oil has a much longer shelf life. If you’re ever in doubt, try observing and smelling the oil. If the oil is clear, doesn’t taste like anything, and doesn’t have any scent, it is most likely refined.
  3. How are you using it?: Before buying hemp oil, it’s important to decide why you’re buying it. How do you plan on using the hemp oil? Will you use it as a dressing or additive to your daily diet? Do you plan on using it for your skin? Depending on what your answer is, you can tailor what type of hemp oil to buy. If you are looking to eat (or drink) hemp oil for its nutritional benefits, we recommend checking out our price & reviews section to see what unrefined hemp oil is the best fit for you. If you are considering hemp oil for your skin, there are many other options you could consider. Unrefined hemp oil is used to make some amazing hemp skin care products.
  4. Capsules or liquid oil?: Hemp oil is typically sold in bottles that you can store in the fridge. But if you are simply looking to “eat” hemp oil for its nutritional benefits, some brands offer hemp oil in capsules. Capsules is advantageous in that they have a longer shelf life and they don’t have to be refrigerated, unlike regular hemp oil. You can simply take them daily like you would your vitamin pills. But if you would rather enjoy your daily hemp oil with your shakes or salad, getting a regular hemp oil bottle offers you more variety in ways to eating it.
  5. Read reviews: The hemp seed oil market is becoming saturated with a lot of new brands looking to take advantage of this growing health product. If this is your first time shopping for hemp products, it might be difficult to compare the different products and decide which one offers the best value and quality. To help with your purchase, we developed an unbiased hemp seed oil review that analyzes the origin of the hemp seeds, price, and average reviews from online customers.

How To Use Hemp Seed Oil For Your Skin

There are a couple of ways you can use hemp oil to clean your face and to keep your skin healthy. Both these options work well, so choose or modify one that would be easiest for you to fit into your daily schedule:

  1. Rinse your face and neck with warm water.
  2. Pour a good amount of oil on your hand.
  3. Apply it on your face as you would with any other cleanser.
  4. Rinse off the oil with warm water.
  5. You’ll notice that a lot of the oil will remain on your skin (that’s ok!).
  6. Leave the remaining oil on your skin for five minutes.
  7. After 5–10 minutes, pat your face and neck with a towel.
  8. This should help the remaining oil to come off.
  9. For best results, do this every day!

If you’re looking to use hemp for your skin, discover what brands offer the most unique hemp body care products.

Ways To Eat Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp oil can be eaten in many different ways. It just really depends on your creativity. Here are some common ways hemp oil is used:

  • Add it to your smoothie.
  • Just take a spoonful twice a day as a supplement.
  • Add it to your oatmeal.
  • Use it as a dip.
  • Salad dressing.
  • Can be used to make tofu.

Explore Easy Hemp Seed Oil Recipes

Balsamic Hemp Vinaigrette dressing
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Balsamic Hemp Vinaigrette Dressing
Hemp Popcorn
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Power Hemp Popcorn
Hemp Seed Basil Pesto
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Hemp & Basil Pesto

Ministry of Hemp is America's leading hemp advocate.

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Latest Comments
  • cbd hemp oil says:

    Great post.

  • Mike Paul says:

    Shalom Aleichem.

    I’m 66 yrs old & grew up in the 1950’s-1970’s in N.Y., so I’m a big proponent of complete legalization.
    With that said, I feel like a novice when it comes to all these products that claim this and that. For instance CBD oil verses Hemp oil.
    I’m on disability for back pain (prolapse disc, bone spurs, Osteoarthritis) & not a pill head.
    I’ve tried full spectrum CBD oil (500mg) at $80 for 1 oz. It worked, but that’s just way to high for me to afford each month.
    So I switched to Hemp oil (3,000mg) for $24 for per 1 oz bottle, but it doesn’t work as well as the CBD.

    One company on enay was selling full spectrum CBD oil 1,500mg at $37 per nittle (it worked), than they had some “disagreement” with enay, so I went theur site & their same oil was going for $67 per bottle.

    I’malso interrstrd in buying unrefined cold press Hemp seed oil for (internal) consumption (for the small amount of pain relief it offers), am not sure because everywhere I go it’s advertised as “good for the hair, nails” etc. When I inquire to thesr sites about being eaten, I never receive a response.

    Any help will be appreciated on this matter.

    Ratson haba b’shem YaHuah


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