Hemp has been grown and cultivated worldwide for thousands of years for industrial and medical purposes. The oil is extracted from hemp seeds and tends to have a nutty flavor. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil has a dark to clear light green colour. Hemp oil is considered being a relevant source of high quality nutrients. The oil contains limited THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive element present in the cannabis plant, and reduced levels of CBD, cannabidiol. It is used mainly in hair products, textiles and in cooking.
Herbalist Marion Mackonochie refers to the oil as being beneficial for peoples’ general health. Marion states “The oil has a high level of essential acids and is described as containing a perfect balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 oils; it may be healthy for the heart. The oil also contains amino acid arginine, which may enhance blood flow and help an individual to maintain optimal blood pressure.” The intake of omega 3 fatty acids may have an anti-inflammatory affect on the body, Marion explains.
Hemp oil might improve the condition of skin, nails and hair . The oil may be used as a moisturizer for the skin since it is a rich source of fatty acids. Studies have also indicated hemp oil may decrease skin dryness, itching and tenderness. Moreover, since the oil has inflammatory properties, it may protect the aging process while soothing the skin .
Hemp oil is considered being beneficial also for the brain and the immune system. The oil contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which may be required for brain development. DHA is vital to the health of the brain and the retina of the eye . The oil may also promote healthy flora in the intestines and support the immune system. This might be helpful during periods of cold and flues.
Whole hemp seed oil contains both soluble and insoluble fibres, which may support digestive health. Soluble fibre may help to slow down the digestion and might create a sensation of feeling full for a longer time. Therefore, this fibre may help with weight control. Insoluble fibre might help food to move through the digestive track quicker for a healthier elimination.
Furthermore, hemp oil is considered useful for decreasing PMS and menopause symptoms. The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp seeds produces prostaglandin E1, which may reduce the effects of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is considered creating the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). GLA in hemp oil might help to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Finally Marion states “use of hemp oil might gain in popularity. Since recently, it seems to be found in most health food shops and in supermarkets. Hemp oil is sustainable and easy to grow and may be used more commonly in the future.” She considers hemp oil being a great source with many benefits, which may be more discovered and used by more individuals in the future .
How might this become a more normalized part of a person’s diet?