The hemp plant is so incredibly versatile; it really is a marvel. In addition to eating delicious and nutritious hemp seeds, you can also use the oil to boost your food’s nutrition.
Hemp oil is high in nutrients and fatty acids that can help promote better health. It has a distinct flavor, nutty and grassy, and is a great addition to foods like salads or smoothies. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t be used for heat cooking as it can lose some of its beneficial properties in the heating process.
But don’t worry! If you’re looking for something to use as a substitute, here are five of the best hempseed oil alternatives that can stand in whenever needed.
- Wheatgerm oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Regular olive oil
- Unrefined sunflower seed oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
Best All-Around Substitute For Hempseed Oil: Wheatgerm Oil
Wheat germ oil is extracted from the germ of the wheat kernel. It has a distinct, nutty, grassy flavor that can be used in salad dressings and other cold dishes, much like hemp oil.
Both hemp seed oil and wheat germ oil are usually consumed as a health tonic, and both offer unique health benefits due to their distinct fatty acid profiles and nutrient contents. Hemp seed oil is known for its balanced omega-3 and omega-6 ratio, while wheat germ oil stands out for its exceptionally high vitamin E content.
Neither oil is suitable for high-temperature cooking, but both can be used in cold dishes or drizzled over cooked foods to enhance flavor and boost the nutritional value of your meals.
Best Raw Cooking Substitute For Hempseed Oil: Wheatgerm Oil
Wheatgerm oil has a smoke point of just 225 degrees, so it is unsuitable for any heat cooking. However, it is an ideal substitute for hempseed oil in any raw recipe. It is rich in vitamin E and has a grassy nutty taste, making it an excellent addition to salad dressings, dips, spreads, and sauces.
Best Hempseed Oil Substitute for Regular Cooking: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
When it comes to regular cooking, hemp oil can stand the lower end of the spectrum, but you are better off going with an oil with a higher smoke point just to be safe. In this case, extra virgin olive oil may work, depending on the smoke point of your individual brand. EVOO has similar grassy notes to hempseed oil but without the nuttiness.
Best Hempseed Oil Substitute for High-Heat Cooking: Regular Olive Oil
Regular olive oil is made with a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin, which gives it a higher smoke point. This makes it an excellent choice for higher-heat cooking, but again, check the smoke point of your preferred brand! It has some of the same flavors as EVOO, albeit not nearly as strong.
Hempseed Oil Substitute that is Closest in Flavor: Unrefined Sunflower Seed Oil Or Wheatgerm Oil
Hemp oil has a pretty unique flavor. When looking at substitutes with a similar flavor profile, it is hard to find one that is both grassy and nutty! It is a tie for me between unrefined sunflower seed oil and wheat germ oil. The unrefined sunflower seed oil has that grassy, nutty taste but leans more towards nutty. Wheatgerm has both but leans more towards grassy. Maybe the two combined would be the perfect balance!
An important note is that unrefined sunflower seed oil vastly differs from the refined sunflower oil we see in bulk at supermarkets. Unrefined has not been chemically processed and retains its flavor profile and nutrients.
Best Neutral Favored And Budget Friendly Substitute For Hempseed Oil: Refined Olive Oil
Refined olive oil is a cheaper alternative to hemp oil. It does not have all the nutritional benefits of hemp oil, but it still contains enough virgin olive oil to have a decent amount of nutrients. Other refined oils are cheaper, such as soybean or canola, but they are much less healthy alternatives.
Best Healthy Hempseed Oil Substitute: Wheatgerm Oil
Wheatgerm oil is healthy but in a different way than hemp seed oil. It contains nutrients such as vitamins A and E and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for overall health, though it doesn’t have as much omega-3 in it as hemp oil and is heavier on the omega-6 side.
Another great healthy oil to try might be chia seed oil if you want to increase your omega-3 intake or pumpkin seed oil which we will discuss below.
Best Keto/Paleo/Whole30 Hempseed Oil Substitute: Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is a great alternative to hempseed oil if following a keto, paleo, or Whole30 diet. It’s high in monounsaturated fats such as oleic and linoleic acids, which benefit heart health. Plus, it has zinc which helps boost the immune system, and magnesium for energy production. It’s also a great source of vitamin E and carotenoids, antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage. Pumpkin seed oil is usually used as a salad dressing, but it can also be used in other recipes; just don’t heat it too high.
Wheatgerm oil is unfortunately unsuitable for the paleo and Whole30 diets, as it comes from the wheat grain, and grains are not allowed on those diets. It is suitable for keto, though!
No, hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD. Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the Cannabis plant, and its primary use is to provide nutritional benefits. It does not contain any psychoactive or medicinal properties as CBD does. CBD oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the Cannabis plant and is used mainly for medicinal purposes.
Yes, hempseed oil is good for the skin! It is highly moisturizing and nourishing, containing fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. It is also known to help reduce acne and inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it can irritate some skin types, so be sure to patch test before using it.
No, wheatgerm oil does not contain gluten. It is derived from wheat, but the oil itself does not contain protein, which is where the gluten is present.