Hempseed Oil Health Benefits You Will Appreciate
There are so many sellers online telling you to buy this and to buy that and before you know it, you end up with so much useless stuff. Now, here comes hemp seed oil sellers boasting about all the health and cosmetic benefits. So, what’s the catch, and is hemp seed oil a good buy?
If you are like many of us, you will need more convincing, and that’s just fine. You should be well informed before you make a purchase. So, in this article, we will take a look at hemp seed oil from source to composition, to benefits and even drawbacks. You will even learn how it can be used in food. So let’s begin.
Where does it come from?
Hemp seed oil actually comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant, but it is not the kind of oil that will get you high. Hemp seed oil is made using the seeds of the hemp plant which contain less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is responsible for producing the mind-altering effects associated with the plant. It is also important to note that hemp seed oil is also not the same as CBD oil. To make CBD, the flowers, stalks, and leaves of the plant are used which contain higher concentrations of CBD.
To make the oil, the seeds undergo the cold-pressing process until the oil is expelled. Other methods of extraction involve using a gas stove, ranges, organic ethanol, and even chemical solvents
Unrefined, the hemp seed oil has a dark to clear light green color. When it is refined for use in cosmetics, the oil is clear and colorless.
What is it used for?
Hemp seed oil is used for many purposes in different parts of the world. Some of these uses include:
Hair and skincare
You can use hemp seed oil on your face as a moisturizer because its fatty acid content helps to reduce skin dryness. It is also an ingredient in many cosmetic products such as soaps and lotions because its natural antioxidants help to nourish the top layer of the skin and can penetrate to deeper layers to prevent acne and address skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
Adding hemp seed oil to your conditioner can help to make hair less dry and brittle. Its fatty acids help to moisturize the hair and scalp, and also soften and condition the hair. Massaging hemp seed oil into your scalp can also help to increase blood circulation and promote hair growth.
If you have arthritis, multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia, then hemp seed oil may be perfect for fighting your inflammation. Its omega-6 content helps to build the body’s immunity and fight inflammation by promoting the production of a hormone name prostaglandins which is responsible for controlling inflammation.
Promoting heart health
Hemp seed oil contains an optimal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Adding it to your diet can, therefore, help to lower your cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have also shown that consuming hemp seed oil reduces cholesterol absorption in the body to enhance cardiovascular health.
If you are diabetic, hemp seed oil can be a great supplement to help to boost or regulate your fatty acids intake.
Improving brain health
Even though the levels of THC and CBD in hemp seeds are low, they contain other cannabinoids that help to improve brain function. If you or anyone you know suffer from any form of anxiety or PMS, hemp seed oil can be used for its anti-depressant effects. Simply inhaling it can even help to improve the mood.
The fatty acids in hemp seed oil are also great for memory retention and preventing age-related cognitive decline. Studies have even come out to show that hemp seed oil can reverse a severe form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiform by inhibiting its growth.
If you are like millions of Americans suffering from digestive issues, you will be glad to know that consuming even a little hemp seed oil can help to relieve constipation and ease bowel movements. This is as a result of the fiber content of the oil, along with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids which regulate the secretion of digestive juices and hormones.
In a single tablespoon of hemp seed oil, there are approximately 130 calories.
Hemp seed oil contains a large number of antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotene which help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the human body. It also contains minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and iron. Hemp seed oil is also a good source of chlorophyll which actually gives it its light green color.
The essentially fatty acids that are needed by humans are not produced within the body. However, hemp seed oil contains an impressive ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Type of Fat
The majority of hemp seed oil, approximately 80% is polyunsaturated fatty acids, or “good fat”. Only about 11% is saturated fatty acids or “bad fat”.
It has been given titles such as “the most unsaturated oil” and “nature’s most perfectly balanced oil” because of its low saturated oil content and the optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Taste and smell
Hemp seed oil that is refined has little to no odor. The unrefined hemp seed oil has a nutty, earthy smell.
Refined hemp seed oil is basically flavorless. Darker hemp seed oils will have a nuttier, grassier flavor.
Hemp seed oil has a smoke point of around 330°C. Beyond that, it will start to oxidize and produce unhealthy trans-fats.
If you have been approached with hemp seed oil before, then you may have already heard about its benefits. If not, here a few:
- It improves the condition of the hair and skin- Hemp seed oil is effective in treating skin disorders such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and lichen planus. It can also moisturize the hair and skin, to make them stronger and healthier.
- It can treat and prevent chronic illness- Hemp seed oil is known for decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol which can help to prevent heart disease and diabetes. It is also helpful for lung, breast, and brain cancer patients who prefer a natural remedy for treating their cancer.
- Natural pain relief- If you have arthritis, joint or muscle pain, you stand to benefit from the anti-inflammatory component of hemp seed oil when taken orally or applied topically.
- Easy to access- Since hemp seed oil is legal in all 50 states, you can easily grab a bottle off a shelf or order one online.
The benefits all sound great, but what about the drawbacks? What disadvantages are there to using hemp seed oil? Here are a few:
- Diarrhea and stomach cramps- While great for constipation and other digestive issues, too much hemp seed oil in your diet can cause cramps from the softened stool, and diarrhea.
- THC exposure- While there are only small amounts of THC in the hemp seed itself, if the hemp seed oil is produced within a facility where other cannabis products are made, there is a slight chance that it might get mixed in with your oil. If you are going to do a drug test, it might be best you avoid consuming it for a few days.
What’s the best way to use it
Because of its low smoke point, you shouldn’t use hemp seed oil for high-heat cooking such as frying, stir-frying, sautéing or searing. You should probably avoid using heat altogether. However, you can use it as a topper to add to salads, or as a marinade for extra flavor.
Hemp seed oil can also be added to smoothies, soups, spreads, and dips to enhance their flavor and nutritional value.
Since refined hemp seed oil is basically flavorless, you can substitute it with oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil.
For the nutty flavor, you can go for peanut or walnut oil.
Things to note
- Depending on how you wish to use it, you can purchase hemp seed oil in its pure form or in the form of soft-gel capsules.
- The recommended dosage of hemp seed oil is 1-2 tablespoons a day.
- Before consuming hemp seed oil, you should consult your doctors especially if you are taking other medications.
- While hemp seed oil can be used in its pure form, it is best to do a patch test before applying it all over the skin to see how it reacts. You may also dilute it with other oils or add it to your other beauty products to receive its benefits.
- Pay keen attention to how the hemp seed oil is extracted before you purchase it. If there is no clear indication that it was made using the cold-press method or with organic ethanol, you can assume that its extraction involved heat and chemicals.
Conclusion- Healthy or Unhealthy?
After an analysis of all the data there is on hemp seed oils, it is safe to say that the benefits of hemp seed oil far outweigh the risks. It is now up to you to consume it within moderation, and take note of the information that was presented here to make it a healthy addition to your life.