Hemp Oil: Is It Good for You?
Hemp seeds are one of nature’s perfect foods. Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant that is a variety of Cannabis sativa, an annual plant in the Cannabaceae family. Hemp is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products.
In addition, these seeds contain only trace amounts of THC, the substances which cause the drug-like effects of marijuana.
In the present day, Australia, Austria, Canada, Great Britain, China, Spain, and France are among the most important producers of hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds can be used to produce numerous food products including:
- hemp-based protein powder;
- hemp cheese substitutes;
- hemp oil;
- hemp milk.
The seeds are rich in 2 essential fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). Also, it has each of the 9 essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce. In addition, 1 tbs of hemp oil contains 130 calories.
It acts as a skin cleanser
Applying this oil to the skin can relieve itchiness and dryness, reducing the need for other medications.
Furthermore, this oil is renowned for promoting healthy cell growth and penetrating the inner layers of the skin. It is soothing and calming while providing just the right amount of moisture.
According to the latest research, it may also provide relief from eczema and improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Hair growth stimulation
Consuming this oil can stimulate growth and nourish the hair as well as considerably improve the moisture quality of your hair.
You can also use it before shampooing. Massage a tsp of oil into your scalp and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.
Breast cancer prevention
More than 40,000 women die from this condition every year annually, and approximately 250,000 new cases will be diagnosed in women in the U.S.
In studies, consumption of this oil was able to improve advanced-stage breast cancer due to THC content, the psychoactive component.
Improves your gut bacteria
Most people don’t realize it, but how they live and what they eat are changing the profile of their gut bacteria. Our gut microbiome is made up of bacteria (good and bad) which live within our intestines, protecting us from different diseases and helping us digest our food.
A 2006 study by the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Microbiology, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA, concluded that the essential fatty acids in this oil support the function and response of the immune system and promote healthy gut bacteria.
Proteins are considered the building blocks of our life and consist of multiple chains of amino acids.
There are 9 essential amino acids for humans, and they include – isoleucine, histidine, lysine, leucine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine.
This oil contains all of these nine essential amino acids. Without adequate protein consumption, our bodies can’t generate the biochemical compounds needed for muscle contraction, cardiovascular function, healing, and growth, nor can it put together the structures which make up every cell, organ, and tissue.
It contains sitosterol, a plant sterol found in many plant foods, which offers numerous health benefits. Daily consumption of this compound can lower the amount of LDL cholesterol your body absorbs by as much as 35 %, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Furthermore, sitosterol acts against some types of cancer. For example, it lowers the growth of human prostate and colon cancer cells. In addition, it acts against lymphocytic leukemia.
It is a good source of tocopherols
Tocopherol, better known as vitamin E, is a fat-soluble substance that possesses antioxidant properties. Tocopherol has the capacity to limit the production of free radicals, therefore, it may be useful in the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Additionally, vitamin E helps to prevent the appearance of age spots and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Lastly, tocopherol lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease by disrupting a chain of events that leads to plaque buildup in the arteries.
Studies in the 1980s observed that hormone-like compounds, such as prostaglandins, play an important role in helping the physical body to function correctly.
The gamma-linolenic acid found in this oil produces prostaglandin, which lowers the adverse effects of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin affects the levels of sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) in both men and women.
Microwave treatment of these seeds decreased p-anisidine (an organic compound with the formula CH3OC6H
Side effects of hemp seed oil
According to research, ingesting this oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding may have some side effects. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid using it.
Too much omega-6
Essential fatty acids (like omega-3 and omega-6) cannot be made by your body, hence, they need to be included in your daily diet. They are also known as “good fats.”
Nevertheless, up to 70% of the fat content in this oil is omega-6, also known as linoleic acid, and consuming too much omega-6 can throw off your fatty acid balance, which can ultimately lead to an inflammatory reaction in the body.
Overconsumption can lead to diarrhea, loose stools, vomiting, abdominal cramping, nausea, or throat irritation.
It contains THC chemical which is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. THC is believed to affect the human body in a few ways by influencing pulse rate, body temperature, and perception of time.
However, because it contains low levels of THC, usually less than 25 parts per million (ppm), this oil does NOT cause any psychotropic reaction.
It may have an anti-clotting effect on the blood due to its rich content in fats (they slow blood clotting and reduce swelling).
Moreover, patients who suffer from heart disease and take blood thinners prescription medications should check with their healthcare specialist before using them.
It is prone to rancidity, even more so than many other vegetable oils.