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.
Nutritionals: About 30–35% of the weight of hempseed is an edible oil that contains about 80% as essential fatty acids (EFAs); i.e., linoleic acid, omega-6 (LA, 55%), alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3 (ALA, 22%), in addition to gamma-linolenic acid, omega-6 (GLA, 1–4%) and stearidonic acid, omega-3 (SDA, 0–2%).
The proportions of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in one tablespoon per day (15 ml) of hempseed oil easily provides human daily requirements for EFAs. Unlike flaxseed oil, hempseed oil can be used continuously without developing a deficiency or other imbalance of EFAs. This has been demonstrated in a clinical study, where the daily ingestion of flaxseed oil decreased the endogenous production of GLA.
In common with other oils, hempseed oil provides 9 kcal/g. Compared with other culinary oils it is low in saturated fatty acids.
Storage: Highly unsaturated oils, and especially poor quality oils, can spontaneously oxidize and turn rancid within a short period of time when they are not stored properly; i.e., in a cool/cold, dark place, preferably in a dark glass bottle. Hempseed oil can be frozen for longer periods of storage time. Preservatives (antioxidants) are not necessary for high-quality oils that are stored properly.
Cooking: Hempseed oil has a relatively low smoke point and is not suitable for frying. Hempseed oil is primarily used as a food oil and dietary supplement, and has been shown to relieve the symptoms of eczema.