Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil
Cannabis sativa L.
Hemp Seed Oil is pressed from the seeds of the Hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa, to make a sweet, nutty oil. Hemp Seed Oil is considered to be the most nutritional of all oils available. It has a plethora of medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic uses, making it a wonderful multi-purpose ingredient. The oil may contain trace amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive phytochemical found in the cannabis plant, however the amount would be so insignificant it would not produce any psychoactive effects. Hemp Seed Oil has a history of use for its medicinal and nutritional properties dating back as far as 4000 B.C. in China and has long been a popular natural remedy in Eastern cultures. Hemp Seed Oil provides the body with complete protein, nutrition, and with all the essential amino acids necessary for health and wellness. The market for Hemp Seed Oil and other useful hemp products is growing worldwide as more people become aware of its many benefits and as prejudice against it lessens.
What's in Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp Seeds contain oil that is relatively rich in essential fatty acids. In particular, Hemp Seed Oil is a source of both the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). A tablespoon of seeds generally contains 3 to 4 grams of total fat, of which 70% are polyunsaturated fats and as much as 15 to 20% are ALA. GLA content is generally much lower at roughly 2 to 5%. ALA and GLA and other plants that contain one or both of these substances, such as flax, borage, evening primrose, and black currant are known to have benefits for a variety of inflammatory conditions, atherosclerosis, and some neurological problems. Hemp Seed Oil also contains natural Vitamin E and a significant amount of protein.
Benefits of Applying Hemp Seed Oil to Skin
In cosmetic and bodycare products, Hemp Seed Oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, fights skin inflammations, helps heal skin lesions, has antioxidants, prevents tissue damage, offers some protection against UV sun exposure, and contains moisture balancing properties. The oil is non-greasy, readily absorbs into the pores, is an emollient, and has rejuvenating and moisturizing properties for the skin. People with psoriasis, acne, eczema, dandruff and dry skin can benefit from topical application to affected areas or from inclusion of the oil in hair and skin products. You can also take the oil internally to experience improved skin texture and suppleness. Adult users of Hemp Seed Oil have reported softer skin, and stronger nails and hair after only a few weeks of using 1-2 tablespoons per day.
Moisture regulation is carried out through a layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is comprised of skin cells held together by lipids. Our skin cells are continuously dying, shedding and being replaced by new ones. This cycle is controlled by the health of the stratum corneum, or "barrier" layer. The key to the integrity of this barrier is moisture, specifically keeping water inside the skin. In order to do this you need to apply a humectant (something that attracts or holds water). Hemp Seed Oil replenishes our EFA's (essential fatty acids), which helps our skin hold moisture, making it a natural humectant. The effectiveness of our barrier function is what determines the moisture level of our skin, thus the health, softness and smoothness. EFA's specifically Omega 6, Omega 3 and Omega 9 preserve this barrier.
Hemp Seed Oil is made up of 80% essential fatty acid, the highest amount of any other plant. It prevents moisture loss on a physiological level; it does not just merely "coat" the skin as do other oils. It contains the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 based on our cells needs. Hemp Seed Oil so closely matches our own skin's lipids that it's able to penetrate inside our cells and lubricate the surface between them, allowing the EFA's to enter our body. For this reason EFA's have been proven to provide a healthy moisture balance and play a preventative role in skin aging.
Skin that's lacking in EFA's allows a greater loss of moisture, causing dryness. Dry skin problems, such as eczema, psoriasis, cracking, scaling, and loss of elasticity can be reversed by using skin care products containing Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Regular use of medicinal Hemp Seed Oil can help reduce any skin discomfort. It soothes and restores dry damaged skin, leaving it smooth, silky, and moisturized. It is also an excellent choice for hair and lip care.
Hemp Seed Oil has unique anti-inflammatory properties that are not often found in other oils. This, added to its antioxidant properties, allows Hemp Seed Oil to help heal and detoxify your skin, as well as even out your skin tone.
Some cosmetics use Hemp Seed Oil to take care of skin lesions and blotches that may occur as a result of excessively dry skin. Since it won't clog your pores like many other oils, you can safely use Hemp Seed Oil to moisturize your skin, and do so without any greasy buildup. It has high fluidity and lubricity and is absorbed quickly and efficiently into the skin. Hemp Seed Oil also provides mild UV protection, which helps prevent damage and diseases related to over-exposure to the sun.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil in Your Diet
Using Hemp Seed Oil can improve energy levels, blood pressure, regularity, cholesterol levels, hair, finger nails, and help ease joint and arthritic pains. It can also help to improve concentration levels and assist in combatting mood disorders. Recent studies have shown that EFA's can help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and also relieve symptoms of chronic illness in both humans and pets. Many studies have shown that North Americans have a high dietary deficiency in EFA's because of a high consumption of animal fats versus plant fats. This is due to a high intake of processed foods and meats.
People that have taken Hemp Seed Oil on a regular basis have been found to have more healthy skin and a strong immune system. Because of the high content of Omega 3 and Omega 6, Hemp Seed Oil is a large contributor in preventing heart trouble, and also lowering the cholesterol level. It helps in the treatment of cancer, such as prostate, colon or breast cancers. It is proven to reduce dementia (Alzheimer’s), as well as the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Amino Acids help to break down protein through the digestive system, and Hemp Seed Oil contains all of the essential amino acids necessary for one’s body. Hemp Seed Oil is a phosphorus free oil that contains two types of protein, which are only found in the seeds from this plant. Edestin, the first protein, helps in food digestion, and has a 65% protein make up. The second protein is Albumin, which is also found in egg whites. Hemp Seed Oil helps to block and reduce the possibility of having an upset stomach and in preventing gas pockets. It doesn’t have the inhibitors that cause upset stomachs as is the case with soy protein.
The high content of Vitamin D helps in treating and in preventing Osteoporosis, inflammation, eczema and psoriasis. Hemp Seed Oil helps to promote healthy growth in children. Proper enzyme formations come from the sulfur containing amino acids that are produced from hemp seeds.
Cooking Tips: Hemp Seed Oils are rendered unfit for human consumption once heating above 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Doing this will result in the production of unhealthy fatty acids and an increased peroxide level. Do NOT substitute Hemp Seed Oil with cooking or frying oils. For your optimum health, Hemp Seed Oil can be eaten as a food product (when not overheated) and taken as a nutritional supplement. Try it as a salad dressing, poured over pasta, baked potatoes, and vegetables. It is an excellent alternative for olive oil.
Medical Conditions that Benefit from the use of Hemp Seed Oil: