Yes, and no. Hemp itself is an A+plus source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, it has the 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 that research shows is optimal for health. One of those omega-6s is GLA, or gamma linolenic acid, an anti-inflammatory. That’s why hemp-based food products, like hemp hearts and hemp milk, are gaining reps as legit superfoods.
“It probably should be called snake oil,” says Tishler. (So. save your cash.) Not only does hemp oil not have any real health benefits, but it may contain stuff that’s actually bad for you. “At the moment what you can buy is less regulated than the potato at the supermarket,” says Tishler. When hemp oil is extracted, there’s a risk that pesticides, plastics, and heavy metals could make their way in, says Tishler.
What is hemp oil—and is it different from CBD oil?
Fatty acids and GLA may also help curb the physical and emotional pain linked to PMS. Here’s why: One of the causes of PMS is a hormonal imbalance that leads to a lack of GLA in the body. Research on GLA has shown to help alleviate the symptoms of PMS by bringing hormone levels back into balance. But so far, studies haven’t found ingesting or slathering on hemp oil itself will have this effect.
CBD is a compound called a cannabinoid, says Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard-trained doc who is an expert on using cannabis as medical treatment. It can be extracted from hemp or marijuana, two different plants from the Cannabis sativa L. (“cannabis”) species. The big difference between the two: Marijuana contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the compound responsible for the psychoactive properties of pot (a.k.a., the stuff that makes you high). Hemp, on the other hand, is naturally very low in THC (0.3 percent), says Tishler.
Oh, and that ideal ratio of omegas? Researchers in Spain say that composition makes hemp oil high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A high ratio of PUFAs to saturated fats has been linked to reductions in cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). That suggests hemp oil may have the potential to help prevent heart disease, according to the study authors. But again, none of this has been tested in people.
Hemp seeds also contain these minerals and hemp nutrients:
ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Hemp Oil.”
Hemp oil, also known as hemp seed oil, is made from hemp, a cannabis plant like the drug marijuana but containing little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gets people “high.” Instead of THC, hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical that has been used to treat everything from epilepsy to anxiety.
GW Research Ltd.: “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cannabidiol (GWP42003-P, CBD) for Seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (GWPCARE6).”
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.”