If you’re like most Americans, you’ve heard of hemp — but may not exactly know what it is or how it can be used. Traditionally, hemp was used to make paper and other products. Today, scientists are just beginning to discover the many health benefits of hemp seeds and the products made from them — including hemp seed oil.
In 2018, Congress legalized growing hemp in the United States. This paved the way for a variety of new products containing hemp seeds to be developed. Whether consumed orally or applied topically, hemp seed oil may promote skin, brain and heart health.
Given the wide array of nutrients found in hemp seeds, hemp seed oil may promote health and wellness in a number of ways. If you’re interested in adding hemp seeds to your diet — as an oil or in another form, read on to learn more about what exactly hemp seeds are, and how using it may be beneficial.
The Basics of Hemp
Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that is grown specifically for industrial uses. Its fiber, oil, and/or seeds are refined into numerous products, including wax, resin, cloth, pulp, paper, rope, biodegradable plastics, paint, food fuel, and hemp oil. It is often referred to as industrial hemp.
Although marijuana is also derived from the cannabis plant, hemp is a distinct strain of cannabis with unique phytochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has a lower concentration of THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD). As a result, the psychoactive effects of hemp products are significantly reduced or eliminated in processing.
In 2018, the Hemp Farming Act was passed as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. The passage of this law made it legal to grow in all 50 states. The bill reclassified hemp as an agricultural commodity rather than a controlled substance, allowing farmers across the United States to get licenses to produce hemp, take out loans, and even purchase federal crop insurance.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seed oil is made by cold pressing the small seeds of the hemp plant. These seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds of the plant itself. However, the seeds contain nutrients, fatty acids, and bioactive compounds that may have health benefits.
Hemp seeds are technically nuts, and may also be called hemp hearts. They contain over 30% fat, and are exceptionally rich in linoleum acid (omega-6) as well as alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Hemp seeds are also a good source of protein, and contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur, and zinc.
Hemp seed oil is distinct from cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is made from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant. This leads to a higher concentration of CBD in the resulting oil. In order to get around the limits placed on selling CBD products on websites like Amazon, some sellers may label CBD oil as hemp oil — but these are two separate products.
Potential Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
For individuals interested in hemp seed oil, there are a number of potential advantages to using this product. The oil that is harvested from the seeds of the hemp plant is highly nutritious, and may be used to support skin, brain, and heart health.
The vitamins and fatty acids that are found in hemp seed oil may help to keep skin healthy and reduce breakouts. In 2014, researchers found that hemp seed oil contains linoleum and oleic fatty acids as well as bioactive compounds that may have a range of benefits.
In the same year, a review found that the topical application of hemp seed oil to the skin can strengthen the skin and make it more able to resist infection. The authors of this review found that hemp seed oil may be helpful for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, varicose eczema, acne rosacea, and lichen planus.
In addition to skin benefits, taking hemp seed oil orally may be good for the brain. In 2018, researchers performed a study that involved giving a hemp seed extract to mice. The study concluded that the active compounds found in hemp seeds may help to protect the brain against inflammation, which can cause Alzheimer’s Disease.
Hemp seed oil may also promote heart health. In 2010, a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism examined the positive effects that hemp seed oil may have on heart issues, including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and cholesterol levels. The authors concluded that while more research is needed, hemp seed has the potential to help individuals with heart disease.
In 2014, a review of research on the use of alpha-linolenic acid in animals may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This fatty acid is present in hemp seed oil, as well as fish oils and flaxseed oil.
Beyond the oil, hemp seeds themselves have a number of potential benefits, including:
- Aiding digestion due to high amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber;
- Reducing the symptoms of menopause;
- Serving as a complete plant-based protein; and
- Reducing inflammation.
Hemp seeds can be eaten as a snack food, sprinkled onto a bowl of oatmeal or on cereal, or (if shelled) tossed into a smoothie. Hemp seed oil can be used in place of olive oil or avocado oil, or applied topically.
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Hemp seeds have a range of fatty acids, fats, and other components that are proven to benefit overall wellness. When cold pressed into an oil, hemp seeds contain many properties that may aid in skin, brain, and heart health.
Green Wellness Life offers a range of products made with hemp seed oil, such as topicals, including skin serums, and capsules. While we are not doctors and cannot diagnose or treat any medical conditions, we can provide you with the latest research on the use of hemp seed oil. Using this information, you can make a decision about whether hemp products are right for you.
All of the products that we offer on our website are made from industrial hemp grown in the United States, and have been independently tested for quality. If you are curious about hemp seed oil or another product that we carry, contact us at 888-772-7875, or email us to learn more.