Before we get into the health benefits of hemp seed oil we should clarify just what exactly hemp is. There are a few misconceptions that should be addressed about hemp, especially in its relationship to marijuana.
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants but the main difference is that marijuana contains high levels of a cannabinoid called THC which causes the marijuana high when smoked or ingested. Relax folks, hemp contains very little THC and will not get you high. Hemp also contains a higher level of CBD (another cannabinoid) which is thought to reduce the effects of THC making it even less like marijuana in terms of being classified as a drug.
Besides the nutritional value and health benefits that the hemp seed contains, the actual hemp fibre has been used for thousands of years to produce things like paper products, building materials and clothing. But that’s another story.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
One third of weight from the hemp seed is from oil. The seeds are cleaned and the oil is extracted using a press in the same manner as other oils. Cold pressed unrefined hemp oil has a light nutty taste and can be used as an alternative to other oils as a salad dressing or in recipes as a substitute. It is also a great way to marinate vegetables and add additional flavor. It is not recommended for frying or deep frying.
The health benefits of hemp seed oil are many and it has seen a resurgence in popularity recently. It can now be found as an ingredient in things like protein powders for bodybuilders and even as an additive in healthier pet foods. Don’t be surprised if you see hemp oil as the new health miracle ingredient in many foods and products in the near future.
And here’s why……
Hemp seeds are rich in protein and the oil is the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids have so many health benefits it’s staggering. Great for the brain and eyes and also for heart health and proper cardiovascular functioning just to name a few.
The hemp seed oil contains phytol which is an antioxidant that is also found in foods like beans and raw vegetables like spinach. Let’s talk vitamins, how about A, C and E which are all found in hemp seed oil along with Beta-carotene. It also contains minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Taken internally for a period of time the oil from hemp seeds has been shown to improve skin conditions such as eczema and acne due to its concentration of healthy fats that are known to be good for your skin.
Shelled hemp seeds also known as hemp hearts can also be added to your diet and have many health benefits. They contain twice the protein found in chia and flax seeds and are loaded with magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Just sprinkle some on your salad for an added nutty flavor.
And those are just the benefits from adding hemp oil to your diet.
It can also be used externally as a moisturizer and has anti-aging effects on the skin.
Hemp oil can be used directly on hair and scalp and is said to improve the texture of hair and provides essential fatty acids and amino acids for scalp health.
Once again, I will stress the fact that hemp will not get you high……but use it anyway, it’s really good for you.