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Hemp Oil vs. Fish Oil

So you’ve been told that certain fish oils are good for you. They help with inflammation, heart issues, stress, and other complications. Have you ever wondered just how this fish and krill oil work? We hear and read about the two active oils that are really important: EPA and DHA. Okay, great. They are good for you, but how do they act?

They work on the same system as Cannabidiol (CBD)…the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

In a nutshell, CBD works by reducing the amount of two enzymes that are created in excess when your body has large amounts of stress: FAAH and MAGL. These enzymes work to destroy your body’s endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-AG. Without a properly functioning ECS, well, you don’t function as you should. It is imperative to have an ECS that is working at an optimal level if you want to get the most out of your life. The ECS works as the master homeostatic, or balancing, system in your body. This system affects everything from your brain function to your immune system to your organ function to your musculoskeletal health.  CBD is the most direct way to address the ECS.  Fish/hemp/flaxseed (and other) oils that produce EPA and DHA are another, albeit less effective, way of addressing this vital system.

As humans, we used to have a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Now, we have an entirely unhealthy ratio of 20:1. Realistically, we should strive to have a 3:1 ratio. A large imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids leads to inflammation, illness, and obesity. Obesity, itself, leads to a tremendous amount of health problems.

It’s a good thing that our body is able to produce the fats that it needs. However, there are two fats that cannot be made. They need to be consumed. These fats are alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid). Without these fatty acids, we get diseases and with ample amounts, we gain the ability to ward off a lot of diseases. Our diets tend to have more than adequate amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Most of the vegetable oils have lots of linoleic acid. It is true that gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 fatty acid, does have benefits as it has been shown to reduce inflammation. Of course, hemp oil has a good amount of GLA.

Regarding alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), in our bodies, it gets converted into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This is where fish oil comes in. We do not need to worry about intermediary steps during conversion if we take EPA and DHA directly.   ALA can be found in nuts, seeds, fruits, and some vegetables.

Fish oil is frequently supplemented to help people get necessary or additional EPA and DHA. Although fish oil seems like a safe and effective solution to getting in enough omega-3 fatty acids, there are a lot of potential problems with fish oils.

  1. A 1000mg capsule of fish oil does not contain 1000mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Generally, you get about 300mg.
  2. Fish oil is extracted from the liver, skin or other parts of a fish. Some of these parts have toxins and it’s also possible to ingest plastics and other ingredients deleterious to your health (whatever the liver is processing) unless the oil has been properly processed. You could be ingesting these toxins.
  3. Fish that are higher on the food chain have higher levels of heavy metals, such as mercury, and we most certainly do not want to be ingesting those.
  4. Fish oils get easily oxidized by free radicals. This means that the oil, unless protected by antioxidants, could be rancid by the time you consume it.
  5. Fish oil does not have the added nutritional benefits of plant based sources. We lose fiber and other benefits as well.

This brings us to the benefits of hemp oil.

  1. Hemp oil contains an optimal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. It’s in a 3:1 ratio. Being it is from a plant, you also get nutrients / terpenes that you cannot otherwise get from fish oil. Hemp oil also has the superior omega-3 stearidonic acid (SDA) which converts to EPA far more superior than ALA (about 5-10x better). As a side note, flaxseed oil, which is a great oil, contains a bit more omega-3 fatty acids as compared to hemp oil. However, it does not have the idea ratio of omega:6 to omega-3 and it does not have any SDA…it only has ALA. This alone makes hemp oil superior to flaxseed oil.
  2. The hemp oil we use is grown organically and is non-GMO. Some would call it the ‘perfect’ oil! It is free of any contaminants. Period!
  3. Our tinctures are double lab tested. One test is from the producer of our product and one from a third party. Hemp is naturally disease resistant to begin with. Our tinctures are tested for concentration of CBD, pesticides, other toxins, and heavy metals. We take no chances…neither should you.
  4. ALA is a more stable form of omega-3 fatty acids, as is SDA. This means that the oxidation of oils we see with fish does not apply to hemp oil. Of course, we do not want to ever leave any oil in direct sunlight, or high heat. Regardless, hemp oil is very stable whereas fish oil is not.
  5. Plant based oil, especially hemp oil, is loaded with phenols and antioxidants. It’s over 80% essential fatty acids. Not only does the oil offer the most balanced source of essential fatty acids, but it also helps with the reduction of free radicals. The hemp seed is loaded with vitamins and minerals, has low amounts of saturated fat, and has high levels of essential fatty acids.

So, there you have it.  Although fish oils have tremendous benefits, there are a lot of potential pitfalls to consuming them.  On the other hand, hemp seed oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and has a perfect omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (3:1).  EPA is great for the ECS and the ECS is responsible for homeostasis  on a lot of levels.  Adding CBD to quality hemp oil creates what is likely the most potent way to activate  your ECS.  Do your body a favor and get the best omega-3 rich oil and ECS activator that you can: hemp oil with CBD.  It’s unmatched!

The statements in this blog have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No statement in this blog or specific product discussed are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  This blog is for informational purposes only.  We ask  you to discuss all matters of this blog with your doctor before beginning use of any products herein discussed.

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8 Responses

  1. Chloe
    | Reply

    “Fish oil does not have the added nutritional benefits of plant based sources. We lose fiber and other benefits as well.“
    That one is a joke right??

    • Dr. Allen Manison
      | Reply

      No joke.

      Fish oil is a great source of ecosanoids, which have a light effect on the ECS. CBD has two mechanisms that influence the ECS and both have a more direct effect. Plant based sources also offer far more in regards to nutrients. Water soluble antioxidants and carotenoids, both needed for free radical scavenging, are abundant in hemp oil, and these are not found in fish oil.

      Care must be taken with fish oil as it becomes oxidized quickly. Testing is needed and antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, should be added to avoid free radical damage to the oil. We are better served eating the fish vs. just consuming the oil. Omega-3 FAs rich fish that are low on the food chain (to avoid heavy metal toxicity), are a great way to go.

      Being most all the benefits of fish oil are through the ECS and hemp oil, with CBD concentrate, more directly influences this system, you will get far greater benefits with a CBD/hemp oil product.

      If you are a fan of fish oil, just be certain that your oil is tested and has antioxidant protection.

      Hope this helps answer your question.

  2. Sue
    | Reply

    I take hemp oil 2 doses daily 1ml each with a vitamin called Ventracore developed by a Dr. Crandall for my hypertension. Any side effects from taking these together?

    • Dr. Allen Manison
      | Reply

      Ventricore is a combination of L-arginine HCL, R-alpha lipoic acid along with vitamins C, D and B12. I do not know of any literature currently that specifically points to CBD interfering with these ingredients. At this time, although it does not apply 100% of the time, avoid taking CBD with certain medications that say do not take with grapefruits…this is due to the Cytochrome P450 enzyme interaction in the liver.

    • Bill jacobson
      | Reply

      I have been told that my diet of flax seeds and chia seeds does not provide enough dha. Shoud i take fish oil or hemp seed oil in addition

      • info@nnlifestyle.com
        | Reply

        That’s a great question. A high quality fish oil is a very direct way to get EPA and DHA but you have to check the labels and also be sure that there are no toxins. So, fish oil can be a bit risky. As far as plant based oils go, hemp oil is actually better than flaxseed oil. This is due mostly to hemp seed oil having SDC. Please read the attached link. Dr. Manison wrote a blog on this some time ago…it has good information that may help with your decision. https://nnlifestyle.com/hemp-oil-vs-fish-oil/

  3. RW alter
    | Reply

    I think the portion above that they were thinking was a joke is ‘We lose fiber and other benefits as well’. Your oil contains fiber?

    • Dr. Allen Manison
      | Reply

      That’s an interesting topic. Hemp seeds are very rich in fiber both in the shell and the inside. The hemp oil is derived from the seeds whereas CBD concentrate or distillate is from the flowers, leaves, stem, etc… I wrote this blog some time ago and when it was written, it was noted in places that there is fiber in the oil. I have not revisited this to update but there’s likely more data out there now in either direction. If you find something concrete on this topic, please let me know and I will certainly edit the blog to be sure the information is accurate.

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