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Hemp Oil vs Fish Oil – Which Is Best?

In today's health-conscious world, Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids have become buzzwords synonymous with optimal well-being. These essential fatty acids play crucial roles in our brain function, cardiovascular health, and skin vitality. But as the demand for these nutrients grows, so does the debate surrounding their best sources.


Fish oil, once celebrated as the go-to supplement, now faces scrutiny due to environmental and purity concerns. Meanwhile, hemp oil emerges as a promising and sustainable alternative, offering a balance of these essential fatty acids without the environmental toll.


In this article, we'll delve deep into the world of these oils, comparing their benefits, pitfalls, and overall impact on health and the planet.


Why do We Need Omega-3 & Omega-6? 

The average human on a Western diet has unhealthy ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 at around 20:1.


For optimal health, we require a 3:1 ratio, as large imbalances lead to health issues such as inflammation and obesity.


Although our bodies can produce some fats on its own, it cannot produce omega-3 and omega-6, which therefore need to be consumed in our diet.


Many animals (such as dogs and cats) require the same. Omega-6 is found in vegetable oils and is shown to reduce inflammation and fight diseases.


Omega-3 is found in seeds, nuts, fruit and some vegetables and gets converted into some very important substances inside our bodies (such as EPA {Eicosapentaenoic acid} and DHA {Docosahexaenoic acid}).


This is why fish oil is so popular: it allows you to take EPA and DHA directly without your body needing to convert it.


Painting of fish in the ocean 


What Is Fish Oil & Why Is It Necessary? 

Fish oil dates back to the last century when it was initially produced on a large scale during the industrial revolution in England.


Cod Liver Oil was a variant that was eventually banned, as it led to pollution of waterways due to toxic runoff from the manufacturing process.


Today, fish oil is sold in every supermarket and chemist. As a more refined version of the last century's fish oil, it generates billions of dollars in revenue but does little to help our bodies or the planet. Innovations in manufacturing have removed saturated fats to ensure only the necessary fatty acids remain.


Fish Oil has many variants, including Deep Sea Krill Oil, Odourless Fish Oil, Triple Concentrated Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil.


It's a trendy supplement, especially in many Asian cultures.


Oily fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel and salmon do not produce fish oil in their bodies. Instead, they accumulate it from eating other fish that have omega-3 and microalgae stored in their bodies.


Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and the two additional fatty acids mentioned above (EPA and DHA).



Is Fish Oil Good For You?

Some people prefer eating fish daily rather than taking fish oil supplements.


However, in today's world, poor environmental conditions in practically all of the world's oceans result in us ingesting high levels of heavy metals, toxins and mercury when we eat a lot of fish.


While fish oil is an easy source of EPA and DHA, fish oil tests regularly display high pollution levels from harsh contaminants such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), methylmercury (toxic to unborn babies) and dioxins.


Fish oil is generally extracted from the liver and skin of fish, meaning it's possible to ingest plastics and other toxins the liver is still processing.


Larger fish that are higher up the food chain carry very high levels of mercury. Additionally, fish oils are oxidised very easily by free radicals.


A large portion of fish oil found on supermarket shelves is rancid when tested.
When you consume fish or fish oil supplements, you are having a negative impact on the earth's fragile ecosystem.


Overfishing plagues our oceans, and the fish oil market drives much of this negative environmental impact.


According to a Canadian research group, consuming just 100mg of fish oil per day will collapse fish stocks in the middle of the 21st century. It's simply not sustainable.


Plant-based sources are a much healthier alternative to fish oil, and the most under-utilised and nutritious source available is Hemp Oil.


A much healthier alternative to fish oil is plant-based sources, and the most under-utilised and nutritious source available is Hemp Oil. 


Fish on a chopping board


Why Is Hemp Oil Better Than Fish Oil?


Firstly, Hemp Seed Oil contains omega-6 and omega-3 in the optimal 3:1 ratio.


This is necessary for human health, as we need to receive the omegas in this ratio, or else our bodies cannot absorb them. It's like putting a round peg in a square hole; it just doesn't work.


When you receive your healthy fats from a plant-based omega source, you also benefit from other nutrients, minerals and terpenes not present in fish oils. Hemp oil features the superior form of omega-3, SDA (stearidonic acid), which converts to EPA in your body more efficiently.


The manner in which most Australian farmers grow hemp is organic, so make sure that your source of hemp is Australian, as much of the hemp grown overseas is produced in toxic environments.


By using non-GMO seeds, there is no need for the use of herbicides or pesticides as the plant is naturally pest resistant which ensures the final product is contaminant free.


Additionally, the omega-3 found inside hemp is a much more stable form and will not oxidise like fish oil. However, please be advised that you should not leave your Hemp Oil in direct sunlight.


Plant-based oils are loaded with phenols and antioxidants, which help with the reduction of free radicals, contributing to a more youthful and naturally healthy body and skin.


  • Hemp oil contains stearidonic acid (SDA), a superior form of omega-3 that converts to EPA more efficiently than fish oil. 

  • Hemp seed oil is a great source of Omega-9, which is not found in fish oil.

  • Hemp seed oil is more stable and less likely to oxidize compared to fish oil.

  • Hemp seed oil is easily digested and less saturated than fish oil.


Hemp Seed Oil is packed with vitamins and minerals,containing very low amounts of saturated fats but with very high levels of essential fatty acids. It's also very safe for humans. 


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Is Hemp Oil More Sustainable Than Fish Oil?

The short answer is yes. Firstly, Hemp Seed Oil does not destroy the environment or kill any species and wild habitats.


Hemp Oil is very sustainable and contributes significantly to our natural environment by promoting soil regeneration, stopping erosion and reducing greenhouse emissions.


A substantial advantage of Hemp Seed Oil over Fish Oil is that you can apply it directly to your skin, as it's clinically proven to help with eczema and dermatitisand other skin conditions.


It's easily absorbed, and it doesn't stink! Aside from this, hemp has been used to make biofuel, plastics, clothing and building materials, to name just a few items. It's perhaps the most sustainable material in the world.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are an essential part of our diet. If taken in measured ratios, omegas will ensure optimal health and well-being for humans.


It's important to know the facts, and it's essential to realise that we are not restricted to getting these essential fatty acids from fish oil or other marine-based supplements.


There are alternative options. The question is, which will you choose?

Hemp Oil and Fish Oil - which is best?


Dosage and Consumption: Hemp Oil vs. Fish Oil


Hemp Oil:

  • Recommended Dosage: For general health, the suggested dosage of hemp oil is 1-2 tablespoons per day. You can add it to salads, smoothies, or even take it directly.

  • For Specific Conditions: For conditions like eczema or arthritis, you may need higher doses. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.

  • Overconsumption Risks: Although hemp oil is safe for most people, excessive intake may lead to digestive upset or diarrhea. It's important to start with a smaller dose and gradually increase it to avoid any negative reactions.


Fish Oil:

  • Recommended Dosage: For general health, a typical dosage is about 250–500 mg combined EPA and DHA per day, which is roughly equivalent to 1–2 capsules of most fish oil supplements.

  • For Specific Conditions: If you're taking fish oil for a specific health condition, like high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you may need higher doses. Again, consult your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.

  • Overconsumption Risks: Consuming too much fish oil can increase the risk of bleeding, impair immune function, and lead to excessive levels of vitamin A, particularly if you're taking cod liver oil. It may also cause digestive problems or a fishy aftertaste.


Note: When it comes to both hemp and fish oils, individual needs can vary based on factors such as age, sex, health status, and diet. It's essential to start with a lower dosage and consult your healthcare provider, especially if you're pregnant, nursing, or taking medications.



Hemp seed oil offers several advantages over fish oil, including a better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, more stability, and additional benefits for skin health.


It is also a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option. Hemp oil is a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as other nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium.

On the other hand, fish oil is a rich source of EPA and DHA, which are important for brain function and heart health. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Ultimately, the choice between hemp oil and fish oil depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you're looking for a plant-based option that's rich in nutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties, hemp oil may be the way to go.


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READ NEXT: Is Hemp Seed Oil Safe for Children?