Hemp seeds and oil

Hemp oil adds a nutty aroma and provides important nutrients

timer3 minSeptember 2023

An ancient crop, hemp is not only suitable for manufacturing textiles, rope and paper, but is also a food. Rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals, industrial hemp is used in the form of flour, pesto, chocolate, tea, beer and as a cooking oil.

Info
What's it all about?

πŸ‘‰πŸΌ What’s special about hemp oil?
πŸ‘‰πŸΌ How is hemp oil manufactured?
πŸ‘‰πŸΌ Where is hemp oil used?

Researchers have looked back in time to Ancient China in around 2800 BC. Here, they’ve found the oldest traces of industrial hemp discovered so far in the form of ropes made from hemp fibres. Although it flourished as a crop very early, industrial hemp sank into obscurity for a long time. But in the past few years, hemp has seen something of a resurgence in Europe, primarily as a food in the form of hemp oil, hemp flour and hemp seed. This is shown by the hemp cultivation that’s flourishing in Europe. In recent years, the areas provided for cultivation in the European Union (EU) have increased sharply. The largest grower in the EU is France with a cultivation area of 18.28 thousand hectares in 2021, followed by Germany (4.6) and Lithuania (2.31)[source].  Hemp oil is extracted from natural hemp seeds. The usually cold-pressed cooking oil packs a punch in terms of content – and not only in the kitchen.

Hemp leaves
Industrial hemp: a plant with many advantages

Cultivation and harvesting of industrial hemp in Germany

🌿 Farmers in Germany have been permitted to grow industrial hemp from certified seeds since 1996.
🌿 Only agricultural companies that are farmers under the law of Alterssicherung der Landwirte (ALG) [old-age insurance for farmers] are allowed to grow industrial hemp.
🌿 Those who grow industrial hemp must register with the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and document the size of the cultivation area, its location and the varieties being grown.
🌿 The farmer must report to the Ministry when flowering begins so that a sample can be taken to determine the THC content.
🌿 Harvesting may begin only after approval by the Ministry and a THC content under 0.2 percent.

What’s the difference between hemp oil, cannabis flower essential oil and hash oil?

Although hemp is generally known for its intoxicating effect, this applies only to one oil from the hemp plant – hash oil. In contrast to hash oil, neither hemp oil nor cannabis flower essential oil cause a state of intoxication. These two oils differ from one another too. Cannabis flower essential oil is gleaned by steam distillation of the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. But pure hemp oil is cold pressed from the seeds of natural hemp. The cold pressing of the hemp seeds is performed only at low temperatures of 40°-60° Celsius to better retain the content of the oil. What both oils have in common is that they are free from THC, although cannabis flower essential oil can contain traces of THC but does not have an intoxicating effect. However, hash oil is an oil-type extract usually containing high levels of THC. Like hash, it is extracted from the blossom resin. Hash oil is used both as an intoxicant and as a medicinal product.

Facts about cooking oil: What makes a good cooking oil? What’s the smoke point of oil all about? And what’s the best way to dispose of cooking oil?

Is hemp oil healthy?

Hemp oil, such as the organic hemp oil from METRO own brand METRO Chef, contains essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the ideal ratio   of one to three. This differentiates hemp oil from other less balanced cooking oils like sunflower oil, thistle oil, poppy seed oil and grape seed oil. Because of the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids it contains, hemp oil is a natural alternative to fish and is especially suitable for fish-free vegan and vegetarian diets.

Where is hemp oil used?

Like most cold-pressed cooking oils, hemp oil is perfect for cold dishes, as the heat during roasting and frying destroys the content and flavour of the cooking oil. However, warm dishes can also be seasoned with the nutty cooking oil, for example shortly before serving when the frying or roasting process is already complete. Hemp oil is deep green in colour. And the darker the green, the more intense the flavour of the cooking oil. Hemp oil spices up muesli, yoghurt and porridge and can also be used as a dressing for leafy or raw vegetable salads. The cooking oil harmonises well with dill, parsley and chives to enhance dips and marinades. Hemp oil also pairs well with potatoes, celery and swede and is a suitable addition to smoothies.

 

Hemp oil
Hemp oil is often used as an ingredient in cosmetics

How long does hemp oil keep?

Because of its composition, hemp oil can only be kept in the fridge for two months after opening. Sealed and in a cool place, it can be stored for between nine and twelve months. A bitter aroma indicates that the hemp oil has passed its best.

Some people might say that they’ve never consumed hemp oil because they don’t like the nutty aroma or they’ve simply never heard of the oil before. But it’s very probable that they’ve actually rubbed up against hemp oil already. Quite literally, as hemp oil has a special pattern of fatty acids that’s similar to that of human skin so hemp oil is a frequent ingredient in cosmetics. Hemp oil also contains gamma linolenic acids, which are said to have an anti-inflammatory effect when applied to skin. Just take a look in your bathroom cabinet.

Info
METRO Own brands

METRO offers a wide selection of premium cooking oils, for example from the METRO own brands aro, METRO Chef, METRO Chef Bio and METRO Premium.