Industrial hempseed oil

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When hemp seed is pressed, it creates an oil which can be used directly for nutritional and industrial products. It is a healthy and sustainable product.

Hempseed oil was once an essential, everyday part of the average household. Our ancestors’ homes were lit by oil lamps. They used soaps and detergents with a hemp oil base to wash themselves and their clothes, while its nourishing and preserving qualities made hemp oil a perfect treatment for leather items. 

The versatility of hemp oil

Hempseed oil’s versatility made it a widely used and valuable product of hemp farming up until the early 20th century. Hemp oil was used in paints, varnishes, sealants, lubricants for machinery, and printing inks. Oil paints with a hemp oil base were used by the Dutch Masters to create classic works of art, such as those on display in our museums in Amsterdam and Barcelona.

Hemp oil for horses

For centuries, hempseed oil has been used to treat horses’ hooves, as it is very effective in preventing splitting and flaking of the hoof - a condition which can lead to serious problems if the split becomes infected. Hempseed oil is also used to treat saddles and harnesses, keeping the leather supple and resistant to weather and sweat, so both the horse and rider are more comfortable. Leather Oil and Hoof Oil, produced by our sister company HempFlax, are both exhibited in our museums and are also commercially available.

The future of hemp oil

Hempseed shows a remarkable range of variation in its constituent oils, some of which are more useful for industrial purposes than others. Breeding programs have already begun, with the aim of selectively breeding and improving those strains whose seeds show a high content of the desired constituents. There is currently a great deal of interest in the potential of hempseed oil as a fuel, and as a binding agent in hemp plastic, as oil-based fuels and plastics cause enormous environmental damage and are likely to increase in price as oil becomes more scarce.

Als hennepzaad wordt geperst ontstaat er een olie die direct is te gebruiken voor voeding en voor industriële producten.

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Collection items

A peasant in Brittany (France) spins yarn from hemp fibre.

Did you know that industrial hemp is one of the oldest agricultural crops on earth? Learn all about the industrial use of hemp in our museums.