Hemp vs Flax: What’s The Difference?

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.

Common Misconceptions about Hemp & Flax Oils

Hemp oil and flax oil both contain omega-3 and 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.


Flax oil does not have a particularly palatable flavour and therefore does not appear in many recipes, whereas the nutty, full-bodied flavour of hemp oil lends to many tasty culinary creations, including soups, sauces and salad dressings. Flax oil is best taken in supplement form while hemp oil can be incorporated easily into one’s diet. However, you should never fry with hemp oil. Both hemp oil and flax oil need to be stored in a refrigerator and should not be heated about 300 degrees F. While both oils should be consumed quickly, flax oil degrades much faster than hemp oil, going rancid much quicker, even under refrigeration.