Hemp Seed Oil (Cannabis Sativa)
Cannabis Sativa is an annual herbaceous plant in the Cannabis genus, a species of the Cannabaceae family.
People have cultivated Cannabis Sativa throughout recorded history as a source of industrial fibre, seed oil, food, recreation, religious and spiritual moods, and medicine. Each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use.
The flowers of the female plant are arranged in racemes and can produce hundreds of seeds. Male plants shed their pollen and die several weeks prior to seed ripening on the female plants. Although genetic factors dispose a plant to become male or female, environmental factors including the diurnal light cycle can alter sexual expression.
Hemp oil or Hempseed oil is obtained by pressing Hemp seeds. Cold pressed, unrefined Hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a nutty flavour. The darker the color, the grassier the flavour. It should not be confused with hash oil, a THC containing oil made from the cannabis flower, hailed by some for its medicinal qualities.
Hemp oil is extracted from the Hemp Seeds by means of a press. The press consists of a slowly rotating worm-shaft that squeezes out the majority of the oil and separates off the remaining seed matter known as the seed cake. The whole process is done in an oxygen-free environment in order to reduce oxidation.
The oil is of high nutritional value because of its 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids, which matches the balance required by the human body.
Hemp Seed oil is manufactured from varieties of Cannabis Sativa that do not contain significant amounts of THC, the 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.
About 30 – 35% of the weight of Hemp Seed is an edible oil that contains about 80% as essential fatty acids, linoleic acid,omega-6 ( 55%), alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3 ( 22%), in addition to gamma-linolenic acid, omega-6 (1 – 4%) and stearidonic acid, omega-3 ( 0 – 2%).
Hemp, (Cannabis Sativa), seed is a highly nutritious food, and contains anti-oxidants, protein, carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids, as well as a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. It is a source of complete protein and contains all twenty know amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids.
It also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E. The green color in Hemp Seed oil is a result of the high level of chlorophyll which is naturally present in the seeds.
Hemp oil is a “drying oil”, as it can polymerize into a solid form. Due to its polymer-forming properties, Hemp oil is used on its own or blended with other oils.
The oil contained in the Hemp Seed is 75 – 80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (the good fats) and only 9-11% of the less desired saturated fatty acids.
Extensive studies have demonstrated that many common illnesses are related to deficiencies or imbalances of specific fatty acids in the body. Symptoms are often related to a lack of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and their derivatives, the postaglandins.
Most people eating a healthful diet, one that includes a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids, also have healthy skin and a strong immune system
Hemp oil is also used in paints and lubricants, and as a body care product. It may be rubbed directly onto the skin to treat cracked, dry skin, or it can be blended into body oils, body creams, and other personal care products.
Hemp oil prevents skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, acne and dry skin.
Hemp Seed oil also provides an adequate supply of antioxidants (Vitamin E), carotene (precursor to Vitamin A), phytosterols, phospholipids and a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, along with modest amounts of iron and zinc.
Hemp Seed oil also provides a good source of Chlorophyll.
The oil from Hemp Seeds is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. This makes it an alternative to Fish and Fish oil for vegetarians and vegans as those are typical sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
The taste is nutty and earthy, making it a great oil to use in salad dressings or as a bread dip.
It is not really suitable for anything sweet or anything delicate that might get overpowered by the strong flavor. You may not want to use it in a raspberry vinaigrette, but instead, use it in non-sweet dressings.
Hemp has a low smoke point, which means that it will start to smoke and change flavor with anything more than just a little bit of heat. You can warm it up, but make sure it doesn’t actually get hot, as in any kind of frying.