Hemp oil is derived from the pressed seeds of the cannabis sativa plant and is used as a nutritional supplement thanks to its high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, strong antioxidant activity, and the presence of small amounts of unique compounds like cannabidiol (CBD).
Though it’s derived from the same plant species as marijuana, it’s not psychoactive, as the THC content of hemp seeds is practically zero.
If you are looking for health benefits from omega 3s plus some extra antioxidant power, hemp oil is a great product.
Looking for the best-quality hemp oil? Our researchers have reviewed and ranked the ten best hemp oils on the market right now.
1. Nutiva Hemp Oil
Nutiva Hemp Oil is certified organic and contains just one ingredient: raw, unfiltered, and cold-pressed hemp seed oil.
It’s the best option on the market if you want a liquid based hemp oil supplement that maximizes the antioxidant content and minimizes the possibility that pesticides or contaminants will end up in your hemp oil.
2. Hemp Garden Organic Hemp Oil
For a small, easily portable source of hemp oil that comes with an eyedropper-style dispenser, look no further than Hemp Garden Organic Hemp Oil.
This 100% organic hemp oil is pure, easy to use, and easy to apply. It’s a favorite among users that need a pure and concentrated source of hemp oil for occasional use.
3. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil
Need a capsule-based source of hemp oil? Manitoba Harvest has you covered.
These gelatin-based hemp oil supplement deliver 1000 mg of hemp oil each, without much in the way of extraneous ingredients.
Manitoba Harvest even provides a breakdown of the omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 fatty acids, making it easy to calculate your omega fatty acid ratios with this supplement.
It’s a great solution if you don’t want to bother with measuring out your own liquid doses of hemp oil.
4. NakedOil Virgin Cannabis Hemp Oil
NakedOil Virgin Cannabis Hemp Oil comes from raw, cold-pressed hemp seeds and has no ingredients other than hemp oil. One downside to this product is the clear container that it comes in.
If you are concerned about maintaining the highest level of antioxidant activity in your hemp oil, you’ll want to opt for a product that comes in amber glass or opaque plastic, so that visible light can’t degrade the antioxidant power of the hemp oil.
Especially if you go through hemp oil quickly, this is not likely to be a major problem, but it’s still worth thinking about.
5. Sky Organics Hemp Seed Oil
Sky Organics Hemp Seed Oil is the perfect fit if you want a hemp seed oil that’s optimized for cosmetic use. This hemp oil is organically grown, cold-pressed, and comes in a large eight ounce bottle with a screw-on pump top that makes it easy to apply to skin or hair.
Other options are better if you only want a consumable hemp oil, but if you want to take advantage of the moisturizing and rejuvenating properties of hemp oil, Sky Organics Hemp Seed Oil is worth a look.
6. Sweet Essentials Virgin Hemp Seed Oil
Sweet Essentials Virgin Hemp Seed Oil is a pure and organically-grown hemp seed oil that’s imported from Canada.
While it is primarily intended for cosmetic uses, it’s nevertheless technically “food grade” so you can also consume it. Still, most users of this hemp oil product tend to focus on its ability to rejuvenate skin and hair.
7. Nature’s Landscape Hemp Oil
Nature’s Landscape makes a popular, travel-sized hemp oil supplement that comes in a one-ounce bottle. Each serving has 8.33 mg of hemp seed oil.
Nature’s Landscape adds peppermint oil for a more crisp and cool scent and sensation, though purists looking for a 100% hemp oil would rather not have additives like this.
8. Nature Driven Hemp Oil
Nature Driven Hemp Oil is another small and easily portable hemp oil supplement that uses peppermint oil as an additional ingredient to achieve a cooling sensation and to mask some of the mustier, more vegetal odor and taste of raw and unadulterated hemp oil.
If you are having difficulty with the taste of natural hemp oil, it might be worth a try.
9. Nature’s Beneficials Hemp Oil
Nature’s Beneficials Hemp Oil uses the familiar blend of hemp oil and peppermint oil to improve taste and scent. Aside from this feature, it doesn’t really distinguish itself much from its competitors, making it hard to rank any higher.
10. NatulabUSA Ultra Premium Hemp Oil
NatulabUSA Ultra Premium Hemp Oil uses organically grown hemp seed oil in its production and comes in a small amber glass vial with an eyedropper top.
The primary disadvantage of this hemp oil product is that it contains peppermint oil for additional cooling and scenting, which people looking for purity won’t like.
Hemp oil benefits and side effects
Hemp oil is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, potent antioxidants, and contains trace amounts of additional beneficial compounds like CBD oil.
In addition to its health benefits, hemp oil can be used to improve skin conditions like eczema and reduce skin dryness and itching.
What’s the science say about hemp oil? We’ll take a look at the latest research.
Hemp oil contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Omega 3 fatty acids are perhaps best known as the primary constituent of fish oil, but there are plenty of vegan sources of omega 3.
Hemp oil is a particularly rich source of these healthy oils, which have been connected with benefits ranging from resistance to chronic diseases to better cognitive functioning.
One scientific review article in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology analyzed the range of beneficial ingredients in hemp oil from a health perspective (1).
The fat content of hemp oil is up to 80% unsaturated fats, which have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease. According to the authors, there are also a high amount of tocopherols, which have potent antioxidant activities.
Research in rats has demonstrated that the high polyunsaturated fat content of hemp oil can be protective against cardiovascular injury: when rats who were fed hemp oil were exposed to a transient loss of blood supply to their hearts, they sustained less damage than a similar group of rats that had not been fed hemp oil (2).
Hemp oil may improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Additional research has explored the cardioprotective effects of cannabis oil more directly.
A review study on the use of hemp oil for improving cardiovascular health was published in 2010 in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism (3).
The review examines the findings of dozens of studies on how the constituents of hemp oil interact with various risk factors for cardiovascular disease, like systemic inflammation or cholesterol levels.
While few of these studies examined the benefits of hemp oil directly, there is quite a bit of indirect evidence that hemp oil can be beneficial when consumed on a regular basis.
For example, numerous studies have shown that diets that are high in linoleic acid can lead to lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while maintaining high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol (4), and hemp oil itself is quite high in linoleic acid.
Hemp oil can improve skin conditions like eczema. Like other plant oils such as coconut oil, hemp seed is occasionally used for cosmetic purposes as well as health purposes.
However, some research suggests that consuming hemp oil orally might actually benefit skin (instead of having to apply it directly to your skin).
A study published in 2005 in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment by researchers in Finland compared a hemp oil supplement to an olive oil supplement over the course of 20 weeks in a group of subjects with eczema (5).
The results showed that the people receiving hemp oil fared better in terms of their dryness, itchiness, and their frequency of using other products like moisturizers to treat their skin.
The subjects also had higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids in their blood after using the hemp oil supplement, which suggests that these two outcomes could be connected: higher levels of healthy fats in your blood might be directly related to better skin health.
Hemp oil is not much different in its tolerability than other seed oils like olive oil or grapeseed oil. However, there are a few finer points to consider when it comes to hemp oil.
First, in rare cases people have reported testing positive for cannabis use as a result of consuming hemp oil.
Today, most hemp oil products are strictly monitored to ensure they are free of THC (the active compound in marijuana), but nevertheless it’s hypothetically possible that regular hemp oil use could cause a false positive on a drug test.
A 1997 article in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology conducted a controlled experiment with two individuals known to be non-cannabis users (6).
The researchers conducted an initial drug test, which came back negative, then had the study participants take a hemp oil supplement.
One took a low dose for one month, while the other took a high dose once. The subjects were drug-tested again, and both tested positive.
While this has no negative health implications, strictly speaking, it’s still worth considering as a hypothetical side effect.
Hemp oil has also caused problems when used by small children. One case report describes a two-year-old who developed mild cannabinoid poisoning after taking a hemp oil supplement for several weeks on the advice of the family pediatrician (7).
While tiny amounts of psychoactive compounds in hemp oil pose no problems for adults, this report suggests that small children should not take hemp oil.
Since hemp oil is a product that has only come to prominence recently (blame that on draconian and outdated laws that heavily restricted its uses until recently, due to the fact that it comes from the same plant species that marijuana comes from), there are few guidelines on appropriate dosage levels.
One study investigated a dose of two grams per day of hemp seed oil, but found no benefits on any biomarkers related to cardiovascular health (8).
This might suggest that doses of greater than two grams per day, or for a longer period of time, might be necessary to achieve the benefits of hemp oil.
Alternatively, because this study only had 20-22 people in each group, it’s possible that it was just too small to detect the effects of hemp oil.
Regardless, given the strong safety profile of hemp oil, a higher dose range than used in this study isn’t a bad idea. Hemp oil can be pretty fragile, chemically speaking, so store it in a cool, dark place to prevent oxidation of its unsaturated fatty acids.
The best hemp oils all come in amber glass or opaque plastic containers to protect against damage from visible and ultraviolet light.
Hemp oil is a great source of vegan omega 3 fatty acids, which have beneficial effects on your cardiovascular system. It’s also a rich source of antioxidants thanks to its high tocopherol content.
Its moisturizing and rejuvenating properties also help improve skin conditions like eczema, even when it’s consumed orally as opposed to being applied to the affected skin.
Current dosing recommendations are sparse, but it looks like your daily consumption should be somewhere above two grams per day. Hemp oil should be stored in a cool, dark, place.
While high-quality hemp oils are free of THC, it’s hypothetically possible to have a positive drug test due to regular hemp oil consumption, and small children should not take hemp oil.
With these minor caveats, hemp oil is an excellent source of both healthy fats and antioxidants and can be easily added to your diet or supplementation routine.