Gamma-linolenic acid in hemp seed oil

Gamma-linolenic acid (γ-linolenic acid, C18:3 n-6) contents of hemp seed oil have been published in several scientific articles. The table below lists several references that have found different values, all in the range of ~1 – 7%, i.e., 1 – 7 g/100 g.

Gamma-linolenic acid (γ-linolenic acid) concentrations in hemp seed oil

Quantity (%, i.e., g/100 g oil)



2.0 (range: 0.7 – 4.1)


Kriese et al. 2004

4.0 (Finola cultivar)


Callaway 2004

0.9 (Yunma no. 1 cultivar)


Chen et al. 2010

0.5 (Bama Huoma cultivar)

1.0 (Liuan Hanma cultivar)

2.4 (Beian cultivar)

0.6 (Qingshui cultivar)

0.6 (Dabaipi cultivar)

0.5 (Baotou cultivar)

0.6 (Yuci cultivar)



Montserrat et al. 2014

6.4 (Uso31 cultivar)


Porto et al. 2015

5.8 (Finola cultivar)

The human body can efficiently convert gamma-linolenic acid to dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid [Mustonen und Nieminen 2023, D‘Helft et al. 2022].

For humans with an enzyme deficiency called delta-6-linoleic acid desaturase deficiency, gamma-linolenic acid seems to be an essential fatty acid [Kriese et al. 2004].

Potential health effects of consuming gamma-linolenic acid require more human studies [Mustonen und Nieminen 2023, Hooper et al. 2016].

It’s possible that consuming plant oils rich in gamma-linolenic acid can beneficially affect triglycerides and cholesterol levels but especially the latter is uncertain [Khorshidi et al. 2020].