Cannabis is one of the most controversial plants of our era and forbidden in most countries around the world because it is considered a dangerous drug, although statistics show zero fatalities. However, in some countries like Thailand, Netherlands or Bolivia it is tolerated, and its use is legal, while others such as Denmark, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Russia and even Iran decriminalize it.
The fans of the conspiracy theory believe that its use is prohibited in the majority of countries because it represents a threat to the pharmaceutical industry giants. Since the beginning of the 11th century, cannabis was used as a natural medicine, and until the late 1930’s it was included in the formula of almost 40% of all traditional medications because of its reduced risk of side effects.
The main reason that cannabis oil is forbidden and considered a powerful drug is its concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Even if recent lab tests prove the beneficial influence of this substance over different types of cancer by killing the sick cells while protecting the healthy ones, people remain somehow skeptic and associate the use of cannabis with bad and rebel behavior. Meanwhile, hemp oil obtained from cold pressed seeds barely contains any trace of THC which makes it legal to use. It is also rich in beneficial nutrients like Omega 3 and 6.
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp is a plant from the family of Cannabis. During history, it was used to produce paper and different clothes, because hemp fibers are quite strong. The oil extracted from this plant is different from the cannabis oil because it has no psychoactive properties. The oil is usually obtained by cold pressing the seeds which produce more of this substance than the rest of the plant. Usually, it is used industrial hemp, specially cultivated for obtaining high quantities of oil. Unrefined, hemp oil has a slightly green color and a flavor which reminds of nuts. Once it is refined, the hemp oil losses both flavor and color and many of its beneficial properties. According to its use, this oil has different types of packing.
Do not confuse hemp oil with hash oil. These two products have similar names, but different composition. Hash or cannabis oil has THC, an active ingredient responsible for the psychoactive properties, while hemp oil barely has any trace of it. The oil obtained from hemp is a great source of Omega fatty acids and it can be used internally, as a nutrition supplement or externally in the composition of various beauty products.
What is hemp oil used for?
Hemp oil is a fully natural product with a wide use. Because of its moisturizing properties, it can be applied directly to the skin or hair after a bath or included in the formula of different creams and lotions. This oil can also be used for cooking, although it is not recommended to be cooked at high temperatures. It is a great replacement for olive oil in salad dressings, for example. Some people consider that hemp oil can be used as a dietary supplement.
Be careful when you buy hemp oil because the unrefined version gets rancid really fast if not kept in a refrigerator in dark containers. Don’t buy large quantities because it has a relatively short shelf life. The refined hemp oil has a longer life, but it is processed, and most of its benefits were lost.
As an opposite use, hemp oil can be turned into biodiesel fuel and replace petroleum because it is more eco-friendly. For this reason, it is also a compound of plastic bags and paints.
Why is hemp oil good for the health?
Including hemp oil into the daily routine can only bring benefits for the health. This oil is available in different forms, so one can choose the most appropriate solution for curing its health problem. Due to its high concentration of healthy nutrients and essential fatty acids, hemp oil has multiple uses and brings just as many benefits.
There were several relevant laboratory studies conducted in order to obtain evidence that cannabis extract has a good influence on the overall health. It was noticed that the main active substance of the cannabis oil, THC, fights efficiently cancerous cells and strengthens the healthy ones. The side effects of using this plant are not life-threatening. Still, in the majority of the countries around the world, this product is considered illegal.
If hemp oil is similar to cannabis, what makes it healthy? It is a question many people ask due to the negative perception cannabis gained over time. Well, first of all, it has no trace of THC, so there will be no hallucinations. No one will lose contact with reality if using any form of hemp oil. Also, this product is a natural source of proteins, antioxidants, tocopherols, vitamins, and minerals. Omega 3 and 6 improve the immune system, fight aging and support the proper function of the cardiovascular system.
Nutritional values of hemp oil
Some nutritionists and scientists include hemp oil into the ‘superfood’ category due to its nutritional values. More than 40% of its compounds are oils, and the overwhelming majority of these oils is EFA (essential fatty oils). Omega 6 or Linoleic Acid represents 55% of the EFA’s in hemp oil, followed by Omega 3 or Alpha Linoleic Acis with 22%. Gamma Linoleic Acid and Stearidonic Acid are each found in approximately 4%.
The two Omega are essential for the health due to their properties. Omega 3 is essential for helping the organs function properly and keeping the metabolism within optimum levels. The brain also needs it to prevent cognitive degeneration. It helps the heart pump oxygen to all the organs, and it fights to reduce the systemic inflammation. Omega 6 supports the immune system, fights allergies and ensures high energy levels. By supplementing on Omega 6, one supports the body in recovering faster from fatigue.
Although these two fatty acids bring significant benefits for health, in high quantities they might cause damage. The ideal ratio between these two is 3:1 for Omega 6 and this perfect balance is found in hemp oil.
Using Help Oil for Health
The oil obtained by cold pressing the seeds of hemp has a broad use for supporting health, and this aspect was only recently understood and accepted by the scientific and medical community. Some of the essential applications of hemp oil include:
Treating different skin conditions
Due to its balanced composition, hemp oil has moisturizing properties, and it is used both in beauty products and as a cure for skin problems. Applied directly on the skin, without being diluted it nourishes and soothes the skin. Hemp oil is better absorbed by the skin than the olive oil, so it doesn’t leave behind that oily film on the skin. It also helps regulate the sebum production, so the skin gets a natural shine. Because of the omega fatty acids, the extract from this plant slows down the aging process of the cells, preventing and reducing the wrinkles.
Ever wondered why the skin sometimes looks dull after a shower? Well, the process is called reversed osmosis. The water sometimes causes the skin to lose nutrients, but hemp oil improves the water resistance of the skin and protects it, especially if the water has high levels of TDS.
If your skin is atopic or very dry, you can add a hint of olive oil to the hemp oil, to prevent the skin from absorbing it quickly. Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by the deficiency of Omega 6 in the body. Regular consumption of hemp oil can prevent the recurrence of this problem.
Hemp oil also contains high levels of essential antioxidants like Vitamin E, which does wonders for the skin texture and the health in general. It is an essential purpose for the majority of women to age gracefully, so including a generous source of antioxidants in the diet helps achieve this dream. Free radicals cause damage to the cells and antioxidants fight their adverse effects and delays skin aging.
Acne is one common skin condition which can be improved or even cured if treated correctly with hemp oil. The Omega 3 acid has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the inflammation of the skin. This way red pimples are reduced and future breakouts are prevented because pores are not blocked as it may happen by using other topical solutions.
Eczema is another skin problem which affects many people. The most efficient way of using hemp oil, in this case, is internal. One or two spoons of this oil ingested daily ensures enough PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) to reduce the symptoms of eczema or atopic dermatitis. Medical studies revealed that after 20 weeks of treatment people experience remarkable changes in the profile of plasma lipid, by having higher levels of healthy fatty acids.
After using hemp oil for a while, the skin feels energized and regenerated. This oil is a great natural moisturizer for the skin because it has a similar lipid composition. The effects are obvious if used on dry skin and nails as it enhances the elasticity and ability to retain water.
Improving hair condition
Hemp oil can be the main ingredient for various treatments for scalp and hair. Many natural cosmetic products for hair include in their formula hemp oil because this substance can thicken the hair string and improve the blood circulation on the scalp. As a result, it helps reduce the hair loss and scalp infection. Shampoos can be transformed by adding this product so the formula becomes less oily. It doesn’t have a negative influence on the hair, on the contrary, it improves its texture. The scalp also becomes less oily so the hair could be washed less frequently.
The ceramides found in the hemp oil play a significant role in supporting the cellular membranes. They could be compared to a gate which allows essential substances to enter or exit a cell. By applying a weekly hemp oil mask on the hair, it will look shiny, and the scalp will be hydrated and with no dandruff.
Scientists say that one single tablespoon of hemp oil each day can reduce considerably the pain associated with the different inflammatory disease. The high concentration of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids found in the composition of this oil has incredibly strong anti-inflammatory properties. Medical studies revealed evidence of a tight connection between the use of oil obtained from hemp seeds and a lower level of inflammation in the body. If regularly used as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, hemp oil can reduce systemic inflammation and improve painful conditions like arthritis. Add a hint of hemp oil to your daily green smoothie, and the results will soon be noticed.
Supporting the nervous system
Fatty acids like omega 3 and 6 play an essential part for the proper function of the nervous system as a whole as well. They are a crucial component of myelin, which is the fat layer that surrounds the nerves and helps them communicate with the brain. This cover has the role to ensure the proper communication between the brain and all the other body parts and to prevent degeneration and degradation of the nerves in time; it needs a constant supply of fatty acids.
One of the rare, but still very dangerous conditions that may occur if the myelin is damaged is Multiple Sclerosis, or MS. There is still little information available regarding the precise mechanism and trigger factors of this health problem, but recent clinical studies showed that by adding hemp seed oil to the daily diet improves the symptoms of MS patients.
Improving the entire circulatory system and the heart
Considering the multiple benefits of fatty acids, it is little surprise that Omega 3 and Omega 6 also improve the condition of the blood vessels. The linoleic acid found in the hemp oil not only has a significant influence on the skin, but it also reduces the levels of bad cholesterol and helps to prevent arteries from storing up the saturated fats which could block them eventually. When this happens, the heart is forced to work harder to provide oxygen to every organ in the body. As a result, the blood pressure level grows.
Improves the mood by maintaining the hormonal balance
Good health is also positively influenced by the regular consumption of hemp oil. As previously mentioned, the fatty acids keep brain’s functions at optimum levels. Individual clinical trials noticed that Omega 3 acid might reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder, while others support the idea that it improves autism and ADHD.
One type of Omega 6 fatty acid is gamma-linolic acid, also known as GLA, which was proved by medical studies it can help balancing hormones in the female body and reduce side effects of menstruation like cramps. The body transforms this acid into prostaglandin PGE1, a protective hormone which maintains the hormonal balance during the menopause period.
By adding extra fatty acids to the diet, one gives the body the chance to produce lipids called endocannabinoids, which can balance the mood by controlling the neurotransmitters and reduce illnesses like depression or anxiety.
Boosting the immune system
The oil obtained from cold pressing the hemp seeds are full of nutrients and high-quality fats which are beneficial for the immune system. As previously mentioned endocannabinoids play a crucial role for the optimum function of the body. By maintaining the balance, they not only improve mood, but they also boost the immune system as well, giving more energy and strength to fight different health conditions. Omega 3 and 6 protect the healthy bacteria in the intestine and create a barrier against harmful bacteria.
Does hemp seed oil cause any side effects?
A common question many people ask when they first hear of hemp oil is up to a point understandable. Considering the general perception around the world regarding cannabis, it is not a surprise to ask if hemp oil can make one feel high. The answer is “definitively, no”! Commercial or industrial hemp does not contain THC, the active substance in cannabis, which has psychotic properties. Usually, the hemp oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds. Very small amounts of THC are found in the gland of the plant. Rarely the entire plant is pressed to obtain oil, and when it happens, the amount of THC is almost untraceable. Everyone can rest assured that by using hemp oil as a dietary supplement they will not get high.
People with a high sensibility to THC might experience some unpleasant effects, though. THC is a neurological chemical commonly found in the plants from the cannabis family. It is responsible for causing hallucinations, high anxiety or euphoria. For those with a history of drug abuse, it is recommended to avoid using hemp oil as supplements.
Hemp oil is a natural and organic product so it should not cause health problems. The formula is clear from dangerous ingredients so it should be safe to use in many different forms available on the market. Even if its high concentration of essential substances for good health, people must be aware of potential adverse effects. Before starting a treatment based on hemp oil, it is advisable to talk to a doctor, especially if you are aware of any medical condition.
Although including hemp oil in the dietary habits can help improve the functions of the circulatory system, it might also cause some problems for those suffering cardiac disease. This product has a direct influence over the blood coagulation and inhibits the production of platelets within the blood. If currently, you are following treatment for blood clotting deficiency or any other cardiac disorder you need doctor’s approval before taking hemp oil, in spite of its many known benefits. Also if you plan to undergo any surgical procedure, it is recommended to stop using hemp oil to avoid excessive blood loss during the process.
Certain people might experience some discomfort regarding the digestive system. Among the unpleasant symptoms described by those who used hemp oil are: abdominal cramp, softer stools or even diarrhea. In extreme cases, diarrhea can cause malabsorption of nutrients and weight loss. There is still need for further medical studies regarding these side effects, people with digestive or bowel disorder history should avoid supplementing with this product.
Hemp seed oil can have unhealthy effects on the body is used for frying. When cooked at high temperatures polyunsaturated fats are transformed into peroxides which are harmful to the health. Hemp oil can be used for enhancing the flavor of some recipes, and it must be kept in a cold ambient in tightly sealed bottles because it gets rancid faster than other cooking oils.
Recommended daily dosage
Hemp oil is safe to be used both internally as a supplement and externally as a topical treatment. This compound made its way to the cosmetic industry for a while now, and many beauty products include hemp oil in their formula nowadays. From shampoos, to face creams and body lotions hemp oil is present in all cosmetic products which promise to moisturize and soothe the skin. Even if it is a natural product with no additives, it is recommended for the daily dosage not to exceed two tablespoons a day. This dosage ensures 3 to 6 grams of Omega 3 and 8 to 16 grams of Omega 6. Even if hemp oil has many benefits, when used in large quantities it becomes toxic.
Hempseed oil recently caught the attention of the medical community, so it still needs more researcher to prove beyond any doubt its therapeutic properties. Even so, there are promising results regarding its wide range of health benefits, like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective, antibacterial, antifungal, skin regenerative, blood thinner and so on.
Unlike cannabis, which has a negative reputation all over the world, hemp oil is regarded as an excellent source of nutrients. So far, the list of potential side effects is short and it applies to a limited part of the population, especially to people with existing health conditions. The reported side effects are mild, and in most cases, they don’t pose a threat to life.
We live in an era of speed. We are always on the run making sure to meet deadlines and rarely take the time to look out for our bodies and souls. We need a natural supplement which can take care of our health when we don’t have the time. If included in the daily diet and consumed within the recommended dosage, hemp oil can improve the overall health, from skin and hair to hormonal balance and cardiovascular system.