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2023 Study: Hemp Seed Oil Analysis

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

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2023 Hemp Seed Oil Analysis Study

A 2023 study entitled "Quality Indexes and Composition of 13 Commercial Hemp Seed Oils" that was published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis reported that "the foods most susceptible to illegal practices are those with a complex chemical composition or those for which no proper composition control and contamination detection methods have been developed or standardized."

For those who don't like to read below the proverbial fold: The researchers found cannabinoids in the hemp seed oil, including delta-9 THC. Read on to learn the details.

A hemp field.
Do hemp seeds contain cannabinoids?

The research reported that information regarding the chemical composition of oils from plants such as flax, hemp, and camelina is lacking. In addition, it noted that no standardized methods exist for identifying adulteration of plant oils with cheaper oils, "considering the high price of these products on the market."

Hemp Seed Oil Analysis Study Overview

Hemp seed oil analysis. The study reported that hemp has gained renewed popularity and research attention in recent years and that it offers significant "nutritional and pharmaceutical value." It noted that the cultivation of hemp was prohibited in the United States during the late 1930s "due to the presence of the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)."

The scientists explained that industrial hemp cultivars are typically characterized by "a high content of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), the acidic precursor of cannabidiol (CBD)." They noted that in Italy, the seeds are the only part of the hemp plant that are permitted by law to be used for food and related products (including hemp seed oil and flour).

A bottle of hemp seed oil.
What is in hemp seeds?

Hemp Seed Oil Analysis Study Results

Results from this 2023 study are interesting and educational. Most consumers who flock to health-oriented products such as cold pressed hemp seed oil are unaware of the true contents of what they are consuming. Here's what the scientists discovered.

Hemp Seed Oil Analysis: Nutrients & Minor Compounds

The study reported that hemp seeds are a good source of nutrients and minor compounds with biological properties and that they contain:

  • 25-35% lipids (fats)

  • 20-25% protein

  • 20-30% carbohydrates

  • 10-15% fiber

  • Some minor components, including Vitamins A, C, and E and some minerals

Hemp Seed Oil Analysis: Cannabinoids Present

Interestingly, the study also observed the presence of cannabinoids in the hemp seed oil. In particular, it found CBDA, THCA, and delta-9 THC in the following volumes:

  • CBDA (from 4.25 to 91.6 mg/kg)

  • THCA (up to 5 mg/kg)

  • Delta-9 THC (up to 5.29 mg/kg)

The researchers also found a number of terpenes, including alpha-pinene and beta-pinene.

View the original study.

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