Making Hemp Seed Oil: A Simple Guide To How It’s Made

As CBD oil’s lesser-known cousin, hemp seed oil provides its own unique set of health benefits and its own special manufacturing methods. Since its discussed less often, we thought we would take a closer look at hemp seed oil.

Coming specifically from hemp seeds (duh), hempseed oil is commonly confused with its uber-popular counterpart, CBD oil. While CBD oil is a health powerhouse in its own right, hemp seed oil also carries with it plenty of health benefits. It has a rich nutrient profile, lots of good fats and fatty acids and carries a wide range of nutrients. Hemp seed oil can help skin health, inflammation, brain & hearth health. Hemp seed oil is a worthy addition into anyone’s diet.

You may know that CBD oil extraction involves complicated machines that use different solvents such as C02. We thought you’d want to know how making hemp seed oil compares. Below we’ll outline how hemp seeds are commonly extracted and even how you can make your own oil at home!

MAKING HEMP SEED OIL: THE TRADITIONAL METHOD

All seed oils are extracted with an oilseed press machine, and hemp seeds are no different. Used for edible and industrial oils, the oilseed press machine is a trusty & sturdy machine for oil extraction. Seed press machines usually come in two distinct types: a traditional screw press or a reducing screw design.

Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil in a spoon, with the oil overflowing into a bowl. We discuss how hemp seed oil is made and making hemp seed oil at home.
Making hemp seed oil, or any seed oil, involves a seed press. The details can get complicated, however.

A lot of variables go into the specific pressing of different seeds, but the main concept stays the same. First you dispense raw seeds into the seed hopper, then an expeller screw crushes the seeds. Next, the oils run through canals where the pulp gets separated from the oil.

The oil produced from this method is pure, raw and as unprocessed as modern technology can get. And this is the basic & traditional method of extracting oils from seeds. This basic method and machinery are used for all kinds of seeds and even nuts. Oils from peanuts, sesame seeds and of course hemp seeds are extracted by this method.

MAKING SEED OILS IS MORE COMPLEX THAN IT SEEMS

While the traditional oil press method seems simplistic, it’s actually surprisingly complex. Many variables go into seed pressing that can make or break a batch of oil.

Let’s take seed moisture content for an example. If a seed is stored incorrectly and it harbors a higher-than-normal moisture content, then it will not press well. This is because if a seed is pressed with too much moisture, the moisture will actually tie up the oil within the seeds. Problems arise with moisture levels that are too low as well. That will increase the pressing temperatures, leading to lesser oil production and potentially going above the temperature limit for “cold-pressed” oils (120°F). Even something as simple as storage can impact the way the seeds interact with the press machines, which is why it’s important for manufacturers to pay attention to every part of the process.

Seed quality is another important characteristic. Non-ripe seeds produce different quality oils and smells than ripe seeds. And obviously seeds that are moldy and improperly stored will produce low-quality oil. The actual operation of the seed press is important too, as the settings for the machine greatly affect the pressing method and pressing temperature. An operator must know how to manipulate the distance between the press head and the screw end, the speed of the press, the tip size and the type of screw needed for the seed. This is why having a well-experienced seed press machine operator is important for companies looking to produce quality hemp seed oil products.

WHAT IS COLD-PRESSED OIL?

The reason a “cold-pressed” oil is preferred over others (even though it produces less oil) is that it tends to keep more of the characteristics and benefits of the seed in the final oil.

Cold pressing also produces lower phosphorous levels. phosphorous is the culprit for the “green” and “grassy” flavors of some oils. If this is something you dislike, then cold-pressed oils are for you.

Oil pours into troughs from large metal containers in a cold-pressed seed oil factory.
The complex process of creating cold-pressed seed oils requires a surprising amount of expertise and precision.

Heat and the distinctive characteristics of the oil it produces affects the quality of CBD oil too. Most CBD extraction methods require heating and pressurizing chemicals to supercritical temperatures. If you want an oil that keeps the majority of the plant’s original characteristics and fats without the ‘grassy’ taste, then cold pressed oil might be a good match.

MAKING HEMP SEED OIL AT HOME

If you’re like us, you can’t afford to buy an industrial scale oil press machine. You might still want to experiment with making your own seed oil. If so, we suggest you purchase a hand crank oil press. Not only can you make hemp seed oil, but you can press any type of seed or nut that you want.

Making hemp seed oil on a hand crank seed press is easy. First, set up the press on a flat, secure surface. Next, you’ll fill the attached oil lamp and light it for 10 minutes prior to operation. This warms up the crank and ensures the oil separates. Then, simply put seeds into the hopper and crank away!

That’s the basics of how to make hemp seed oil. We hope that the next time you see seed oils in the store, that you have a little bit more appreciation for all the hard work and precision that goes into making them.

Ellijah Pickering

Ellijah Pickering is a freelance writer based out of Michigan. He loves to write about music, sports, the cannabis industry, movies & television.

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