Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil
For centuries, Hemp oil has been widely used as a rich dietary source and used as medicine and elixirs especially in the Eastern culture. A versatile plant popular in most countries of the world, the leaves, flowers and seeds of this plant are used for several purposes. From an array of industrial and personal care products hemp has been used for buildings, clothing, plastic, fuel, paper and cosmetics. However, in recent times this plant has gained wide recognition as a super food owing to their nutritional, medicinal and therapeutic effects.
The hemp plant, botanically known as cannabis sativa L belongs to the family of cannabaceae. Although these belong to the same genus as marijuana, (cannabis) these contain only negligible quantities of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a substance that produces psychological effects and a drug induced feeling.
Hemp Seed Oil
The hemp oil is derived from the seeds that belong to the family of achene. These seeds after being separated by 99.9% from the tall growing species of the hemp plant undergo a cold press process getting rid of the THCs. When cold pressed, the oil turns dark producing either gold or green colour. Nevertheless, they emit a nutty flavor, which becomes enhanced when assuming a darker shade. However, the refined type falls short of the healthy antioxidants and vitamins, hence used in the manufacturing of products.
The seeds contain over 30% oil, with perfectly balanced chemical components, which makes it an ideal choice to enjoy optimal health.
Hempseed oil comprising of over 25% digestible plant based protein is only second best to soybeans. The complete dietary protein consists of all the twenty essential amino acids in addition to the nine amino acids-, EAAs -which the body cannot manufacture by itself and has to be obtained through dietary sources.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Hempseed oil is one of Mother Nature’s best sources of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot produce by itself except through dietary sources. The two essential EFAs are linolenic acid (LA, an omega 6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA that is omega3 fatty acid) the oil contains 80% of the EFAs, which is the highest quantity present in seed extracts. Furthermore, the proportion is just right for reaping all the best possible health benefits. Therefore, to meet the daily requirements of EFAs include two to four teaspoons of the oil, provided it the sole source of this nutritive content. Besides these two constituents, the hempseed oil is also a magnificent source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The body converts Linoleic acids to GLA, which prevents health problems.
Fatty Acids Profiles of Hemp Seed Oil and Other Seed Oils in Percentage
Hempseed oil is also a good source of vitamin e, antioxidants, phospholipids, carotene and phytosterols that offer a host of nutritional and health benefits. Besides, the oil consists of a number of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins b, d, e and a, phosphorus, magnesium calcium, potassium sulphur iron and zinc compounds.
With abundant quantities of healthy fats and vital nutrients, hempseed oil makes a perfectly balanced diet source offering several health benefits.
The EFAs in hemp seed oil helps control blood pressure levels and prevent the formation of plaque on the arterial walls. This substance decreases the levels of LDL cholesterol, one of the precursors for this condition. However using about two teaspoons of Hemp Seed oil for cooking or in any other form alleviates this condition by boosting HDL Cholesterol by stabilizing metabolism. Consequently, it promotes circulatory health and averts occurrences of stroke and atherosclerosis thus enhancing cardiac health. Furthermore, with sugar and carbohydrate contents, hempseed oil helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body.
The considerable amounts of GLA, omega6 fatty acids present in hemp seed oil offer anti-inflammatory effects. This substance with metabolism converts to dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) which in turn produces prostaglandin, an anti-inflammatory property that augments chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
An amalgam of healthy nutritive compounds consisting of digestible fiber, essential vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, combined with phenolic compounds hemp seed oil protects the body from infections and other diseases. Furthermore, the EFAs in the oil encourage the healthy flora in the gut by combating the bad bacteria promoting body’s resistance levels.
With huge doses of protein hemp-seed oil, keep the digestive tract healthy. The protein and other vital nutrients help bulking up stools, thus averting symptoms of constipation and diarrhea. The EFAs regulate the stomach acids and digestive juices enable easy absorption of the oil keeping the body healthy.
The Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), present in hemp-seed oil is crucial for brain development, especially during the first five years of an infant.
This provides anti-inflammatory effects. These help the central nervous system; nurture the cells, relieving chronic stress factors, easing depression besides dispelling symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Further, it eliminates brain fog, keeps the mind alert improving cognitive ability and concentration.
The GLA that exist in hempseed oil regulates any imbalances in the hormones by converting this compound to prostaglandins. This factor reduces premenstrual syndrome by relieving pain, mood swings, breast tenderness, pain, depression and irritability. Moreover, due to balancing of hormones it regulates the menstrual cycle helping to overcome symptoms of menopause.
The essential fatty acids present in hemp seed oil plays a major role in maintaining a healthy skin. Nevertheless, the main precursor for skin dryness is a deficiency in EFAs that lead to severe itching and irritation. Moreover, being a natural moisturizer with sufficient quantities of vitamin d that enable effective absorption of calcium. These factors help the skin stay hydrated without losing moisture. Hence applying this oil regularly helps prevent skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis and skin related problems. In addition, the antioxidants properties in the oil have an anti-aging effect, keeping the skin young, and supple. Due to hemp-seed oils effectiveness on skin, this is one of the chief ingredients in several skincare products.
The vital nutrients in hemp seed oil combined with its natural moisturizing effects keeps the scalp dandruff free and well conditioned. Massaging the scalp and the hair roots enhances blood circulation in the scalp improves hair growth and prevents hair loss. Hence, this oil is used in hair care products such as hair oils, conditioner and shampoos.
The daily-recommended dose for hemp-seed oil is one to two tablespoons per day.
Precautions and Side Effects
Despite the oils widespread popularly as a therapeutic source, there are possibilities of some side effects too.
Hemp seed oil can at times produce anticoagulant effects and stop production of blood platelets thereby affecting clotting of blood. Hence, it is imperative for people with bleeding disorders to avoid using this oil.
In some cases, hemp-seed oil can cause digestive problems leading to soft stools and frequent diarrhea.
Overdose of PUFAS
Excessive intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids can lead to bacterial infections, growth of cancerous tumors and have negative effects on cardiac function.
Overheating the oil produces side effects of detrimental peroxides owing to a breakdown of polyunsaturated fats. This can damage the organ and the skin.
Despite having minimal amounts of psychotic substances, THC it can make extremely sensitive people some gets high and often suffer from anxieties and hallucinations.