The use of cannabis is off the charts! While the budding industry keeps on peaking, the medical and recreational use of marijuana seems to have overwhelmed the western world. Believe it or not, some of the most beneficial effects of this plant don’t emerge through its smoke, and the best thing is that they come in a guilt-free form of hemp seed oil.
Could it be that one of the most promising health benefits of cannabis comes free of the notorious psycho-side effects? Here, we aim at clarification.
What’s more, it’s been rumored that hemp seeds can be used for a wide variety of health conditions. In the following lines, we display the most relevant cannabis seed-related data to debunk the hemp seed oil myths once and for all.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Basically, it is an oily extract made exclusively of mature seeds coming from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Other cannabis-derived oils include hemp oil and CBD oil. However, those are made from the whole plant, including buds, leaves, and stems.
Seeds, on the other hand, have a slightly diverging chemical composition, thus the final product exhibits different properties. Furthermore, hemp oil contains a higher specter cannabis-derived phytochemicals and has lesser nutritional value. On the other hand, CBD oil is a concentrate that contains primarily cannabidiol (CBD), and to some lesser extent even THC.
So does hemp seed oil contain CBD? According to a study from 2019, it does. Namely, this study concluded that as many as 20 different cannabinoids could be found in hemp seeds. However, the content of cannabinoids largely depends on the type of seeds, plant strain, and the extraction method.
The bottom line is that the overall levels of CBD and THC are significantly lower than in other cannabis- or CBD-infused products.
In other words, hemp seeds do not contain a physiologically impairing level of mind-altering chemicals, and hemp seed oil uses go beyond just nutrition and skincare. It beneficially impacts various organ systems and could be used for the treatment of multiple conditions.
Its widespread medical use is only partially supported by studies, and it entirely relies on the chemical composition of the oil.
What Is in Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp seeds display a rich chemical profile that accounts for their nutritional and therapeutic effects.
According to composition studies, hemp seed oil contains a broad spectrum of useful fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, plant steroids, and other phytochemicals. Separately, these constituents express therapeutic effects on particular physiological processes. However, when applied together, it is their natural balance in the oil that facilitates the effectiveness of hemp seed oil for skin, heart, brain, hormonal, and metabolic conditions.
The food industry is overrun by “healthy” products. The impact of an active lifestyle is shifting the consumer’s vantage point from mass consumption to monumental nutrition. In this changing landscape, seeds and nuts are getting ever more popular. Hemp seeds hold a prominent place among today’s healthy foods.
Hemp seeds incorporate:
- Complete proteins – These are the ones that contain all essential amino acids. In contrast to other plants, each hemp seed has about 30% of protein, which makes them a good source of dietary amino acids for vegans.
- Unsaturated fats – The majority of hemp seed oil benefits rely on its optimal balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and alpha-linoleic acid. Furthermore, this oil contains no harmful saturated fats or metabolically impairing trans-fats.
- Dietary fiber – Mainly located in the seed’s outer shell. Eating whole hemp seeds will reduce appetite and promote healthy digestion.
- Minerals and vitamins – Organic hemp seed oil is abundant in vitamin E and vitamins of the B-complex, with plenty of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and zinc.
- Other phytochemicals that act as antioxidants.
Overall dietary benefits of hemp seed oil contribute to more healthy digestion and aid in the treatment of several metabolic diseases. Furthermore, this composition accounts for other health benefits.
Hemp Seed Oil for Skin
The unique balance of fatty acids acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, while antioxidant molecules help fight skin damage due to oxidative stress, such as in aging.
When applied via hemp seed oil lotion or massage oil, it protects the skin by creating a strengthening lipid layer on the surface.
Furthermore, there is evidence that hemp seed oil could be used for psoriasis, and in the treatment of eczema, varicose skin diseases, infective dermatitis, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Recent studies reveal that this oil could fight infections when used topically. Its anti-infective properties, conjointly with its sebo-regulating omega-acids, could justify the use of hemp seed oil for acne.
However, one of the most promising therapeutic roles of this oil is in the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis. This is an inflammatory condition, and it has been linked to gut immunity.
The amount of dietary fiber and protective fatty acid ratio could aid in the oral treatment of atopic dermatitis. According to the research, dietary hemp seed oil induces remission of clinical manifestations of atopic dermatitis. Additionally, the use of hemp seed massage oil helps replenish the altered lipid barrier in patients with Atopic Dermatitis.
Impacts on Brain Health
CBD has proven neuroprotective properties. However, it is scarcely found in hemp seeds. In addition to these small quantities of CBD, the more intensive antioxidant effects might justify the use of hemp seed oil for neurodegenerative diseases.
Studies propose its use in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and even in stabilizing seizures in children.
Effects on Heart Health
Hemp seeds contain a naturally balanced ratio of omega-3, omega-6, and gamma-linoleic acid, which has been declared as the optimal preventive combination of fatty acids for heart health and vascular inflammation.
Dietary intake of hemp seed oil benefits the structure of the blood vessels and prevents high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and lowers high cholesterol levels.
Hemp seed extract is abundant in arginine, an essential amino acid. When consumed in adequate quantities, this nutrient increases the levels of nitric oxide, a powerful vasodilator. In other words, this protein-derived compound actively lowers high blood pressure.
Hemp Seed Oil for Metabolic Conditions
Anti-inflammatory compounds, in combination with antioxidative molecules and dietary fiber, make an unbeatable metabolic combination.
In hemp seed oil, their effects combine to affect fat and sugar absorption in the gut, regulate digestive-mediated immunity, improve liver metabolism, reduce oxidative damage, and regulate glucose levels.
Taken for a longer period, hemp seed oil compounds could aid in the treatment of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and even liver diseases.
Impacts on Women Health
Hemp seed oil contains phytosterols, which are plant-based steroids. These are not as potent as human or animal-derived ones. However, they can be used as a substitute in hormonal imbalances.
There is evidence that supports the use of hemp seed oil for symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Furthermore, gamma-linoleic acid induces the synthesis of Prostaglandin E1, which attenuated the effects of prolactin in PMS. Therefore, the use of hemp seed oil capsules improves overall PMS symptoms. For the same reasons, some cultures use hemp seed oil for its topical benefits in treating sore breasts.
The Bottom Line
In the end, what is hemp seed oil good for? It can be an excellent natural remedy for a variety of diseases. However, most of the studies done on both topical and dietary use of hemp seed oil have not quantified its effects. Therefore, it cannot be recommended as a mainstream therapy. However, it has unambiguous support from various experts.
The bottom line is that hemp seed oil is a great choice of complementary medicine for a variety of health conditions. What’s more, its nutritional benefits clearly surpass other plant-based oils.
In either case, the health benefits of hemp seed oil are science-based and spread from mild skin infections to severe neurological disorders. It is a matter of time before we start seeing supplements with hemp seed oil more frequently around us. Even with THC-free products, the emerging budding industry wins.