The best hemp seed
If you’re looking to add more plant-based protein to your diet — or simply some added crunch to a meal — look no further than hemp seeds. These tiny seeds are highly nutritious and pack in high fiber, complete protein, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and minerals. Many nutrition experts consider hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts) to be a superfood because they are so nutrient dense.
Read this shopping guide to learn more about hemp seeds’ health benefits as well as what you need to know before purchasing a product. We’ve also included reviews of our top picks at the end, like Navitas Organics’ Organic Hemp Seeds, which provides that much-needed burst of energy in the morning.
Considerations when choosing hemp seeds
Nutrient profile of hemp seeds
Adding hemp seeds to your diet has a whole host of health benefits. Here’s a breakdown of these super-seeds’ healthy components.
Gamma-linolenic acid: Hemp seeds stand out for their rich omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content. GLA may help alleviate a number of conditions from PMS to heart disease to arthritis pain — or other chronic conditions that can benefit from this anti-inflammatory fatty acid.
Complete protein: Hemps seeds are considered a perfect plant-based protein because they contain all 20 amino acids (the building blocks to protein), including nine amino acids that our body can’t produce itself. Two tablespoons of hemp seeds boast around nine grams of protein, making hemp hearts an excellent choice to blend into your morning smoothie to power your day.
Fatty acids: Besides the powerhouse omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid, hemp seeds contain omega-3s in an ideal 3:1 balance (of omega-3s to omega-6s) that is optimal for heart health. This fatty acid profile also naturally reduces inflammation levels and strengthens the immune system. While hemp seeds are high in fat (around two grams in two tablespoons), these fatty acids are considered healthy fats.
High in fiber: Most people don’t get enough fiber in the standard American diet. Fiber keeps your gastrointestinal system regular and can improve digestion. The insoluble fiber contained in hemps seeds (along with their low carb/high fat profile) can help suppress your appetite if you’re trying to lose weight. Two tablespoons of hemp seeds contain two grams of fiber.
Minerals: Lastly, hemp seeds are packed with a plethora of minerals that your body needs to function like zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. They also contain the antioxidant vitamin E, known to have cancer-fighting properties.
Hemp seeds come in a variety of packaging. Bulk mylar bags with airtight closures ensure freshness (hemp hearts are susceptible to spoilage). Stand-up, resealable, plastic pouches are the most common packaging, and also protect the seeds from going rancid. Plastic jars or tubs are another option and may come with a convenient measuring scoop.
Hulled or shelled
Most hemp seeds are sold shelled, which means a mechanical process has removed the outer shell of the seeds and sterilized them for storage. Unhulled hemp seeds are not as widely available and may be too “crunchy” for the average consumer. Hemp seeds that are sold “raw” or “cold-pressed” means they haven’t been heat sterilized in the hulling process.
Most “health nuts” prefer organic products, which haven’t been treated with chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic hemp seeds are easy to find and are also non-GMO.
Our team of experts has selected the best hemp seeds out of dozens of options. Don't buy hemp seeds before reading these reviews.
11 Best Topical and Oral Hemp Oils
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Hemp oil comes from seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. It doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, or the cannabinoids found in cannabidiol (CBD) oils.
Using hemp oil, also called hempseed oil, won’t get you “high.”
The oil can be applied topically or taken orally as a food supplement or additive. It’s a great source of nutrients, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.
Hemp oil has all 20 amino acids, making it useful for building and repairing muscles. Plus, it contains dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Read on to discover some of our favorite hemp oils.
Hemp oils can be used topically for a variety of hair and skin care uses. It may help treat symptoms related to some skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne rosacea.
Below is a list of some of the best topical hemp oils available. Check with the manufacturer before ingesting any of these oils.
1. Life-Flo Pure Hemp Seed Oil
Price: Around $18 for 16 ounces (oz.)
This virgin, organic, and cold-pressed hempseed oil is an affordable option that’s high in omega 3-6-9 fatty acids. It’s lightweight and easy to absorb, so it won’t leave your skin feeling oily.
It’s also gentle, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin, and has a nutty, earthy scent.
This oil can be used in a variety of different ways, including:
- as a moisturizer for your face and body
- as a makeup remover
- as a massage oil
- as a hair conditioner
- as a carrier oil for essential oils
2. Aura Cacia Organic Hemp Seed Oil
Cost: Around $7 for 4 oz.
This lightweight and organic hempseed oil has a grassy, nutty aroma. It contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which may help reduce signs of aging and damage from UV irritation.
It also has high chlorophyll levels, which give it a light green color. It’s non-GMO and free of synthetic ingredients, and it isn’t tested on animals.
This oil absorbs easily into the skin, making it a good option for people wanting a lightweight moisturizer. It can also be blended with other oils or used along with another moisturizer.
3. Edens Garden Hemp Seed Carrier Oil
Cost: $10.95 for 4 oz.
This hempseed carrier oil is designed to be used with essential oils, and can double as a skin moisturizer. It can be used to target dry areas on your body, such as your cuticles, heels, and elbows.
To use with essential oils, blend one to two drops of essential oil with one teaspoon of pure hemp oil, which is free of fillers and additives.
The woman-owned company that manufactures this oil ensures quality by testing the therapeutic value and purity of all of their oils. They also donate 10 percent of all profits to organizations that have a positive effect on the world.
4. Bella Terra Unrefined Organic Hemp Seed Oil
Cost: Around $13 for 4 oz.
This organic, cold-pressed hempseed oil has a light, nutty scent, and contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals. It can be used for skin, hair, and massage.
It’s lightweight and moisturizes skin without making it greasy. It may help to reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and stretch marks. It can also be used to make soap.
This oil is produced in small batches and packaged in a glass bottle to ensure quality and freshness. Bella Terra produces 100 percent natural products and doesn’t test on animals.
5. Nature’s Brands Organic Hemp Seed Oil
Cost: Around $21 for 3.4 oz.
This cold-pressed and organic hempseed oil has a light grassy and woody scent. It’s free of artificial preservatives, chemicals, and petroleum-based ingredients. It’s also packaged in biophotonic glass to ensure quality.
This oil is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants.
It may help you manage symptoms of acne, psoriasis, and eczema. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before using any new products to treat these or other skin conditions.
The oil can also moisturize the skin and reduce dry skin, redness, and irritation.
You can use this oil on its own or blend it with a moisturizer or carrier oil.
Hemp oils can be taken orally either as a supplement or incorporated into a variety of meals. Check with the manufacturer to see if the oil requires refrigeration.
Hempseed oil isn’t recommended for cooking, as the fatty acids are destroyed at high heats.
Below are some of the best hemp oils on the market.
6. Canada Hemp Foods Organic Hemp Oil
Cost: Around $10 for 17 oz.
This organic, cold-pressed hempseed oil is an affordable option that’s made in small, handcrafted batches to ensure quality.
The oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it contains amino acids, collagen, and vitamin E.
For a nutritious boost, add it to oatmeal, sauces, and dips. You can also use it topically to soothe dry, itchy, or irritated skin.
7. Nutiva Organic Hemp Seed Oil
Cost: Around $7 for 8 oz.
This cold-pressed, organic hempseed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and chlorophyll. It’s also sold in bisphenol A (BPA)-free packaging, which supports the company’s vision for a healthier world.
Use this oil to enhance the flavor of salads, pasta dishes, and smoothies. Visit the Nutiva website for recipe ideas.
8. Carrington Farms Organic Hemp Oil
Cost: $12.99 for 12 oz.
This cold-pressed, organic hemp oil is of food-grade quality, and is full of essential fatty acids that may help to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and improve your mood.
This oil is easy to add to savory dishes, desserts, and smoothies. Recipes can be found on the Carrington Farms website.
9. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seed Oil
Cost: Around $13 for 8.4 oz.
This organic, cold-pressed hempseed oil is free of additives and GMOs. The Canadian farmer-owned company ensures a fresh and high-quality product by following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) at their wind-powered facility.
This oil has a nutty taste. It can be added to dips, dressings, and soups, or used as a salad dressing on its own.
Visit the Manitoba Harvest website for recipe ideas. To use this oil as a supplement, take one tablespoon per day.
10. Sky Organics Organic Hemp Seed Oil
Cost: Around $11 for 8 oz.
This cold-pressed hempseed oil is made in small batches on small family-run farms in Canada and then bottled in the United States. Its high fatty acid content makes it a nutritious addition to salads, dressings, and dips.
For use as a supplement, take one tablespoon of this food-grade oil per day. You can also use it topically as a skin moisturizer or massage oil to help manage symptoms from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also improve your overall complexion.
You can find DIY beauty recipes that contain hempseed oil on the Sky Organics website.
11. Foods Alive Organic Hemp Oil
Cost: Around $20 for 16 oz.
This cold-pressed, organic hemp oil has a rich nutty flavor and is full of nutrients, including essential fatty acids. It’s produced in small batches in Canada.
To ensure a high-quality product, the hemp seeds are specially selected and tested for taste, smell, and appearance.
This hemp oil can easily be added to dressings, smoothies, and soups. To use as a supplement, take one tablespoon per day.
Most quality hemp oils have been cold-pressed using a modern steel press. This process helps the oils maintain their full nutritional value, flavor, and aroma.
When choosing a hemp oil, always buy from a reputable manufacturer that’s clear about their practices and standards.
They should be willing to answer any questions and provide appropriate documentation to support their claims. Many companies offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
The increased focus on hemp, marijuana, and CBD has led to many questionable companies offering products that are mislabeled and don’t live up to their claims.
Beware of companies that make wild or exaggerated health claims. To get a feel for the company, visit their website.
Hemp oil can be used topically as a moisturizer on its own or diluted with other oils, lotions, or hair products.
When used topically, you don’t need to wash off the hemp oil. It can safely absorb into your skin.
You can also use it as an oil cleanser. In this case, you do need to rinse it off after use.
Hemp oil can also be taken orally in a few ways. To use hemp oil as a supplement, take one tablespoon per day.
It can also be added to salad dressings, soups, and sauces, or used in oatmeal, smoothies, and baked goods. Make sure you like the taste before adding it to a large serving of food.
Hemp oil can be taken at any time of day.
Hemp oil is legal and doesn’t contain THC or CBD. It won’t cause you to feel “high” or test positive on any drug test. Hemp oil is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause digestive side effects, such as cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, in some people.
When taking hemp oil orally, always start with a small dose and gradually increase the amount you take over a period of time, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
Using hemp oil on your skin may produce mild irritation. Always do a skin patch test before using hemp oil on your skin. To test for allergic reactions, place a small amount on the inside of your arm and wait 24 hours to see if any reaction occurs.
If you have any medical conditions or take any medications, talk to your doctor before starting to take hemp oil.
When used properly, hemp oil can be a healthy addition to your wellness and skin care routine. Choose a product carefully, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Be aware of how the oil affects you when used topically or taken orally. Adjust your use accordingly, and discontinue it if any adverse effects occur.
Hemp oils may be sold for topical or oral use. When choosing a hemp oil, it's important to pick a high-quality one. Here are 11 of our favorite oils.