Hemp oil is made from the cannabis plant, but before you get excited, it’s made from immature plants and contains only very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis.
Hemp vs. Hemp Oil
Hemp is high in protein and could probably be included as part of a Paleo diet in moderation.
The Fat Profile
Hemp oil is another matter. It’s made of almost entirely polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), and of those PUFAs, it contains three times more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. This exemplifies the deteriorating health of Americans following the introduction of seed oils. Our bodies need at least as many omega-3 fats as omega-6 fats. Consuming foods that are high in omega-6 fats causes inflammation, which has been linked to a number of chronic health issues, including everything from high blood pressure to autoimmune disorders.
Not All Omega-3s Are Created Equal
Further, the type of omega-3 contained in hemp is of the ALA variety, which our bodies can theoretically convert to DHA and EPA (the forms of omega-3 fats that our bodies can actually use). In practice, our bodies are not very good at performing this conversion. Most ALA passes right through the body without getting digested.
Chris Kresser has a more comprehensive explanation of the different types of omega-3 fats.