The Differnce Between Hemp and Flax Seed - Hemp Farm

Hemp vs Flax - What's The Difference

Both hemp seeds and flaxseeds are known for their health benefits, which include hearty doses of protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.


Hemp seed oil has been dubbed, “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”

Hemp seed oil has been dubbed, “Nature’s most perfectly balanced oil”, due to the fact that it contains the perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of both the required essential fatty acids (EFAs) for long term human consumption. Omega 6 -Linoleic Acid (LA) : Omega 3 – Linolenic Acid (LNA). Hemp oil is also an excellent source of the LA derivative super-polyunsaturated Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) at 2.5-3% of volume.

Only Hemp seed oil contains 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids – highest in the plant kingdom and unique among seed oils. Though flax oil is high in Omega 3, the perfect balance of hemp’s EFAs allows your body to best digest the excellent properties in hemp oil. Flax oil is pressed from the seeds of Linum usitatissimum, the source of linen fibre and oil better known in this country as linseed oil, and after applying a chemical boiling process using heat and acid, commonly used as the base for oil paints.

Hemp Seed Oil

  • Hemp oil is considered one of the world’s healthiest oils.
  • Hemp oil is naturally rich in omega-3 (including omega-3 SDA, which is a more potent form of the fatty acid).
  • Hemp oil has one of the lowest amounts of saturated fat and the highest contents of polyunsaturated fat amongst all the culinary oils.
  • Hemp oil contains omega-6 GLA (usually found in Evening Primrose oil) which promotes healthy growth of skin, hair and nails.
  • The final point for hemp oil in this hemp oil vs flaxseed oil contest, it contains an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (a balance of omegas is important to maintain optimum health; an imbalance can lead to diseases including diabetes).

Flaxseed Oil

  • While flaxseed oil contains a higher level of omega-3 than hemp oil, it does not have the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Not a good start for it in this hemp oil vs flaxseed oil contest.
  • The omega-3 in flaxseed oil is exclusively ALA (the short-chain fatty acids) and does not contain any SDA, the more potent form of omega-3 found in hemp oil.
  • Unlike Good Hemp oil, flaxseed oil is considered too fragile to be used for cooking and needs to be refrigerated, finishing the points for flaxseed in this hemp oil vs flaxseed oil comparison.

Hemp Seed Oil vs Flaxseed Oil

Nutritional value per 100g Hemp Seed Oil Flaxseed Oil
Saturated fat 9.2g 9.4g
Polyunsaturated fat 78.0g 66.0g
Omega-3 18.7g 53.3g
Omega-3 SDA 1.6g 0g
Omega-6 56.6g 12.7g
Omega-6 GLA 3.3g 0g
Omega-6 / Omega-3 ratio
(ideal between 2:1 – 4:1)
3:1 2:1

Misconceptions about Hemp & Flax Oils

Hemp oil and flax oil both contain omega-3 & omega-6 essential fatty acids, though in significantly different proportions. They also differ in their molecular stability, or shelf life, and in the ways to best consume them.

Fatty Acid Content

Hemp oil contains more essential fatty acids than flax oil as well as two polyunsaturated fats called gamma-linolenic acid and stearidonic acid that flax oil does not contain. Google the health benefits of GLA and SDA for more information, as Hemp Farm cannot provide this information in order to comply with “Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code”.

Other Nutritional Components

Flax oil has slightly more calories than hemp oil. Hemp oil and flax oil both provide tocopherols, or vitamin E complex compounds, although hemp oil provides significantly more and provides carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, as well. Hemp oil also provides trace minerals while flax oil has no mineral content.

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