Q&A: What Should I Look for in a Hemp Oil?

With the recent passage of the Farm Bill, it seems like hemp products are everywhere you look. With so many options to choose from, it’s more important than ever to ask the right questions when seeking a hemp product.

Q. Is there THC in the product?

A. In order to be designated as industrial hemp, a Cannabis sativa plant product must contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that has psychotropic effects. Plants with over this percentage are defined as marijuana.1 Make sure you’re purchasing a product from a source you trust to ensure that what’s on the label is what is in the bottle.

Q. What is the composition of the product?

A. The Cannabis sativa plant contains more than 80 different phytocannabinoids, which are naturally occurring plant-based bioactive compounds that can support and influence the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS promotes biological balance in many cells and tissues throughout the body.2

While certain phytocannabinoid compounds may be more well-known, research has indicated that several of the phytocannabinoids found in hemp may work together to produce synergistic effects on the body’s ECS.3 Terpenes, a group of compounds naturally present in all plants and spices including pepper, cloves, and cinnamon, are also thought to carry a wide array of health supportive properties.4 Terpenes work together with phytocannabinoids to enhance the overall benefit of hemp oil and support physiological health.3,4 This synergy is known in the research community as the entourage effect. Ultimately, healthcare practitioners can best advise on which compounds people might seek for their personal support needs.

Q. How much information does the manufacturer provide on the product?

A. This is where manufacturing transparency comes in. It’s vitally important to purchase any product from a trusted source. If you can access data from testing conducted on the product, it will provide added peace of mind. 

Q. What extraction methods were applied?

A. Did you know there are multiple ways extracts can be obtained from plants? Conventional methods commonly using alcohol or solvents are generally more cost-effective and rapid from a manufacturing standpoint. Other more costly and time-consuming methods can include supercritical extraction. Supercritical extraction uses pressure to extract the desired compounds from a plant. The most well-known form of supercritical extraction utilizes carbon dioxide and is termed “supercritical CO2 extraction.” Unlike many conventional extraction methods, the supercritical CO2 extraction process is free of any harsh chemical solvents. CO2 extraction is also thought to be a more environmentally friendly method as compared to conventional methods.5 

For more information on hemp, please visit the Metagenics blog.


  1. Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20181210/CRPT-115hrpt1072.pdf. Accessed May 17, 2019.
  2. Aizpurua-Olaizola O et al. Drug Discov Today. 2017;22(1):105-110.
  3. Russo E. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2011;163:1344–1364.
  4. Andre CM et al. Front Plant Sci. 2016;7:19.
  5. Stahl E et al. J Agri and Food Chem. 1980;28(6):1153-1157.

Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team

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