Hemp Seed Oil Manufacturing Process
Authored by Bak Basics
March 19, 2019
HEMP SEED OIL MANUFACTURING PROCESS
Hemp seed oil is commercially made by pressing hemp seeds to extract their oil with a cold pressing technique that requires the seeds to be de-shelled with removal of the outer husk. It has great nutritional value but does NOT contain any appreciable cannabinoids especially CBD and THC.
Before the seed is pressed into oil, it is necessary that the seed is 99.99% cleaned. This is done to remove all possible leaf matter as well as dirt and contamination from other crops. Since the seed itself contains no THC, the only way the oil can have any measurable levels of THC is if the seeds are contaminated by the outer protective leafy matter that contains the seed. The cleaning stage makes sure the leaf matter has been removed.
The seed is then loaded into hoppers that empty into a series of cold expeller press heads. These heads extract the oil by extruding the seed into long chunks of hemp cake which separates the oil in a corkscrew type process. This does create a fair bit of friction and with friction comes heat. The heat is minimized at the head since the process is a cold press. The highest temperature that occurs during pressing the seed for oil is 40ºC at the press head and the oil is exposed to those temperatures for several seconds only before it quickly cools as it is expelled through the oil drain holes in the press cylinder. By this point the oil has cooled to 32ºC or cooler. Once the oil enters the holding reservoir, it has further cooled to below 20ºC. The fresh hemp seed oil is then fed into a stainless-steel cold-filter filtration process. This filter removes any suspended solids from the oil and produces a top quality, clear, food grade hemp seed oil. The oil is then drained into a stainless-steel storage reservoir.
During the entire pressing process, the oil is flushed with nitrogen gas. The nitrogen gas is used in the stainless-steel storage reservoir to further remove any suspended oxygen molecules from the oil. The oil is then stored in the stainless-steel reservoir until it is needed for packaging, where it is added to bottles, jugs, pails or drums using nitrogen gas to maintain an oxygen free environment.
Hemp seed oil has a relatively low smoke point and is not suitable for frying. Hemp seed oil is primarily used as a food oil and dietary supplement. Compared with other culinary oils it is low in saturated fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. In fact, it’s the only edible oil that contains greater than 80% polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. Linoleic acid (LA) and linolenic acid (LNA) are found in a ratio of 3:1, which is widely believed by nutritionists to be the optimal ratio. Another benefit of hemp seed oil is the high levels of vitamin E. On average, 100g of hemp seed oil contains 100–150mg of vitamin E which supports immune function and prevents inflammation from its antioxidant properties. However, and unfortunately, hemp seed oil alone does NOT contain a significant amount of CBD or any other cannabinoids.