Hemp Seed Oil

Hanföl in Flaschen mit Hanfsamen daneben


  • Active Oil
  • INCI: Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 0
  • Composition: Linoleic acid (up to approx. 58 %), α-linolenic acid (up to approx. 20 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 15 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 6 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 2 %), γ-linolenic acid (up to approx. 2 %), tocopherols, phytosterols.
  • Iodine number: 143-166.
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, scaly, neurodermitic skin.
  • Shelf life: In cool and darkt storage 6 – 9 months.



Hemp is an annual plant originally native to Central Asia and can reach a height of up to 7 meters. The leaves of the plant are hand-shaped and have 3 – 11 long, pointed sections, which are roughly sawn at the edge. Since the plant is dioecious, the male and female flowers usually grow on different plants and have different shapes. The fruits of the plant are greenish-grey achenes. Under the rough skin of the fruits is a green seed, which contains about 35 % oil.


Extraction of hemp seed oil

The yellow-greenish to dark green oil is obtained from the seeds of the hemp plant. To obtain the oil, the seeds are separated from their hard skin, which protects it from environmental influences such as sunlight and oxygen, and then pressed until oil escapes. To preserve the valuable ingredients, the seeds are gently cold-pressed between 40 and 60 °C.

Cosmetic use of hemp seed oil

The oil can be used both internally and externally. Hemp seed oil is particularly effective against neurodermatitis and psoriasis due to the gamma-linolenic acid contained within. The oil penetrates quickly into the pores and has a cleansing and calming effect and can relieve the itching of inflamed skin. Due to the high content of unsaturated fatty acids, the oil has good spreading properties. The hemp seed oil also has regenerating properties, which help to restore skin lipids and are particularly effective against dehydration and cracking of the skin. The oil belongs to the group of drying oils and usually only a small portion of ten percent hemp oil is added to mixtures with other vegetable oils. The function of hemp oil as a softener is also noteworthy, which is why it is used in shampoos.

Hanföl in Flaschen mit Hanfsamen daneben

Benefits of hemp seed oil for skin

  • absorbs quickly
  • has a calming effect
  • has good gliding properties
  • regenerates dry skin
  • supports the restoration of skin lipids
  • soothes itching

Internal use of hemp seed oil

Like other vegetable oils, hemp seed oil exhibits a high content of mono and polysaturated fatty acids and therefore helps against high cholesteral levels. The valuable gamma linolenic acid which is contained in hemp oil, is said to alleviate the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and helps  swellings to subside. It is also used for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), since it is assumed that a lack of gamma linolenic acid plays a role here. A daily intake of 5 ml hemp oil is believed to reduce PMS symptoms.

Hemp oil is also used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic inflammation. In epileptic seizures, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain conditions, hemp oil has an antispasmodic effect.

Buy hemp seed oil – what to consider?

When buying hemp oil, one should make sure that the oil has been obtained by cold pressing, as this way most of the important ingredients are retained. In addition, an organic quality should be preferred to safely avoid possible pesticide residues. The oil should also be sold in a dark glass bottle to protect it from light and to ensure a long shelf life. Even if the shelf life is a few months, it is not advisable to buy the oil in stock, as it is most effective when fresh.

Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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